To begin with, most people have a totally wrong idea of how the Brady Campaign came into existence.
Most believe it started after the March 30, 1981 attempted assassination of the President Ronald Reagan. John Hinckley Jr. approached Reagan and his associates as they got out of their cars in front of a Washington DC hotel. Hinkley pulled out a .22 caliber handgun and began firing. Reagan was hit in his left lung, but the 70-year-old President proved to be as tough as some of the characters he portrayed on the silver screen.
During the melee, White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head. Many thought the wound to be fatal, but Brady survived, but the injury left him permanently disabled. After Brady survived, many believe that was the launching of the Brady campaign, but in reality, it started 7 years earlier.
The original name of the anti-gun organization was the National Council to Control Handguns. Their main purpose was to ban all private ownership of handguns. In 1980 thru 1990, they used the name Handgun Control, Inc. It wasn’t until 2001 that the organization, with the help of Sarah Brady, wife of James Brady, renamed the organization the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. An associate organization known as the Center to Prevent handgun Violence was also renamed the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Note that this is a typical socialist ploy in their desire to disarm the people to allow an easier takeover of the government and all aspects of life – public and private.
James Brady died on August 4, 2014 and his death was ruled a homicide caused by the 1981 shooting. Sarah Brady died on April 3, 2015 from pneumonia. However, the Brady Campaigns continue to flourish and strive to strip American citizens of their Second Amendment right to own a firearm.
Prior to the Reagan and Brady shooting, Nelson Shields lost his son to gun violence. He joined the National Council to Control Handguns (now the Brady Campaign) in 1976. At the time, Shields told the media:
“I’m convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest. Of course, it’s true that politicians will then go home and say, ‘This is a great law. The problem is solved.’ And it’s also true that such statements will tend to defuse the gun-control issue for a time. So, then we’ll have to strengthen that law, and then again to strengthen that law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years.” [A Reporter At Large: Handguns, The New Yorker, July 26, 1976, 57-58]
That statement was made over 42 years ago. So, have they made any progress towards their goal of total handgun control?
Take a look at the right to carry map of the US from ten years after Shields’ statement:
It’s now 42 years after that map and again, I ask, has the Brady campaign been making progress?
Take a look at a similar right to carry map from 2018 and see how successful the Brady campaign has been:
Ammoland Shooting Sports News commented about the changes:
“What many of them may not want you to know is that under LaPierre’s tenure as Executive Director of NRA-ILA and NRA Executive Vice President, which ran from 1986 to the present, has seen significant gains for our Second Amendment rights.”
“One of the most conspicuous has been the expansion of concealed carry. In 1986, only nine states had either shall-issue or constitutional carry. By 2017, that number reached 42. This happened over thirty years – and the changes were done slowly. While we are still far from constitutional carry in all 50 states, it is just undeniable that the landscape has changed in favor of the Second Amendment on this issue.”
“Often the biggest hurdle was getting to a “shall issue” permit system with training requirements. Even then, bit by bit, the NRA worked to lower the requirements, lengthen the time the permits were good, and to reduce the application fees.”
It’s not just the NRA that has accomplished the expansion of our Second Amendment rights. It’s every one of you that has helped. You may feel you are only one voice, but when that voice is joined with others, you go from a solo to a choir to full chorus that sounds up from across the nation. Don’t let your voice waver or die as the Brady Campaign and others like them are still alive and all too active. Collectively, we can continue to fight and preserve our rights, but it takes all of us to do that.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.