A state senator who floated the idea of commemorating Utah’s most famous gun maker with a state holiday on the same date as that honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. said he’ll seek another date because of backlash he faced this week.
Instead, Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Lehi, said he’ll ask veterans’ groups if they would like to share either Veterans Day or Memorial Day, and will ask the LDS Church if it’s appropriate to share the July 24 Pioneer Day state holiday with the late Ogden gun inventor John M. Browning.
Madsen said he had never officially chosen Martin Luther King Day — the third Monday in January — for his legislation, but considered it because it falls near Browning’s birthday. He blamed media reports of the idea for derailing it before he had a chance to talk with black leaders.
OK, I can see how Negro leaders would object to sharing the limelight with a Caucasian — especially since, objectively speaking, Browning’s work freed more people than MLK’s ever did. And certainly we don’t want any more stupid holidays for the ruling class. (MLK died so that Caucasian professionals could have the day off.) But Browning does deserve a holiday. Let’s make his birthday a holiday, but forbid government workers and bankers from taking that day off. It seems fitting.