How I Celebrated the First Ever Gun Appreciation Day

January 25, 2013

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field...

Gun Appreciation Day was created in response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s urging for more gun control in the aftermath of the Sandy Hooks shootings. On 19 January, this new holiday was celebrated for the first time and it just glittered with promise. As I absolutely adore holidays, I was pretty excited. This was going to be the coolest day in the history of forever! We would be granted a holy time, some space to pause and consider all the positive and playful ways that guns have influenced our lives and those of our surviving loved ones. And then after a festive meal, we’d get to let loose and party! I imagined something big and loud, a variation on the Gay Pride parade, only with guns and games. Unfortunately it turned out to be more a series of angry gun shows where people accidentally or on purpose, shot off pieces of themselves.

This was a personal disappointment to me. But since I’m a free thinker I chose to commemorate the day in my own way, which was to write notes to all the people who have in some way, had an impact on my life due to the way they’ve shared gun culture with me.

Dear Miss Meadows,

Let me ask you this: has there ever been a Miss Meadows Appreciation Day?

I’m going to guess that there has not.

And what are you now, 70?

You’re getting old, and I would have to say that the chances of there being a Miss Meadows Appreciation Day are ever diminishing. While you will never be celebrated, we know through Gun Appreciation Day that guns will always be celebrated. Consider the score Guns 1, Miss Meadows 0.

Perhaps you don’t remember me, but my name is Michael Murray and I was in your second grade class back at Manor Park Primary School. I was the promising young boy with progressive ideas who always wore a Six Million Dollar Man T-shirt to class. Remember? I was also the boy who suggested we modernize the Christmas pageant, an idea you were initially receptive to until I advanced the idea that all the shepherd’s staffs be replaced with guns. “Modern Shepherds should use modern weapons,” I said, but you balked at this idea, crushing a young boy’s dreams. I do not mind telling you that I have been a very angry person ever since, and if it weren’t for guns I’m not sure that I would have made it. Guns have been my salvation, not crappy, dream-crushing teachers like you, Miss Meadows.

Anyway, I just thought that I’d write you to let you know that I’m alive, angry, in good health and armed.


Dear Bruce Willis,

Die Hard was the most awesome movie I have ever seen in my life and I have been wearing a white, sleeveless undershirt pretty much ever since. It taught me an incredible amount, like receiving a hail of bullets full of life lessons. I have to tell you the truth, Bruce—I’ve learned more from your movies than from any teacher I’ve ever had, and the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that owning guns is the only way that you can protect your family and yourself. I’m small, not very strong and quite mouthy, and as such I often find myself in difficult situations. If it wasn’t for my array of guns, I’m not sure I would feel the same level of personal confidence and empowerment that I do when I later brood over the grievances and disappointments of the day.

Just the other day a squirrel managed to get into our pantry off the kitchen, and if I didn’t have my Desert Eagle .44 Magnum, I have no idea what hell that squirrel would have visited upon my family, so thank you, Bruce for your leadership and inspiration!


Dear Frank,

I hope that life in prison is treating you well and that you’ve resolved the problems you were having with Tank. He sounds really passive-aggressive, and we all know how irritating that can be. Anyway, I just want to let you know that the family is doing great and that we miss you very much. Prison or not, we’re very proud of you and you will always be our Alpha Dog.

As it’s Gun Appreciation Day, I also wanted to take a little time to write to thank you for introducing me to guns. It was you, Frank, who took me to my first gun range, patiently teaching me how to channel my rage, frustration and anxiety into effectively wild shooting. I have to admit that I have never felt more alive or more like a man, than when we were at that bar in Pennsylvania and I drew my gun on the guy who was hitting on Rachelle. The way he tried to beckon her (my wife!) over to the bar, using only the stump of the finger he had mutilated in a hunting accident, was disrespectful, and getting him to back-it-up, by pointing my Heckler and Koch VP70 at him, was the single greatest moment of my life.

Thank you for having my back, Frank. You are the man and we’ll all look forward to seeing you in 26 months!

Michael Murray


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Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field. He won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest and dislikes Cuba. He works as a creative writer, copywriter, blogger and “journalist” and as he is modest, he feels awkward talking about his genius, which he recently found out does not translate into IQ tests. His work has appeared in the Toronto Standard, Slant Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and