Somehow, this coming Saturday, Jan. 19, has been proclaimed “Gun Appreciation Day” (GAD) by a “coalition of gun rights and conservative groups.” Americans nationwide are urged to “show their support for gun ownership by turning out en masse at gun stores, ranges and shows from coast to coast.”

Some 50 million Americans – more perhaps – are expected to rally ’round the cause to assert and protect their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

The coalition believes the Obama administration is “more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people.” GAD is the coalition’s response.

When will these people realize that the 2nd Amendment is solidly in place; that the current issue is not about gun ownership nor specifically against the NRA? It is about our country’s escalating violence –and weapons that belong on the battlefield, not on our streets. There seems to be no quarrel with sportsmen, hunters, collectors, police and security personnel and individuals who qualify to bear arms.

Nor is there any quarrel about everyone’s right to protect self, those they love and their property. A threat to the 2nd amendment is being used as a red flag to protest against government control.

Grow up, America. The power of the people is in its voice, its character. Common sense tells us the real issue is about violence among us. It is difficult to love one another with guns in hands or on hips.

Metal muscle insults the best part of who we are – or claim to be. In its proper place, used by responsible citizens, metal muscle can say all that needs saying. But assault weapons in the hands of the mentally ill, weaklings, cowards and the self-righteous are too often obscene, self-fulfilling prophecies. The commonest of common sense tells us every freedom demands responsibility as well as self-control.

Instead of a Gun Appreciation Day, why can’t Americans recognize, exemplify and celebrate the sanity of common sense?  When it comes to weapons, short of war, bigger does not have to be better. Is a tank in every garage the next step? With every shooting we grow more encamped, entrenched with fear. How can any administration not deal with that fact?

Also, doesn’t common sense demand knowing to some degree where certain weapons are and ensuring that they are in qualified hands?  What is wrong with controlling the sale and proliferation of assault weapons and ammo?

And common sense can certainly recognize the wisdom of the 2nd Amendment, its original intent of balancing the power of government with the power of the governed.

Violence among us is a deadly and growing virus. We need to appreciate ourselves far more than our weapons – not just for one day but for all of them.