What does it reveal about an organization’s philosophical extremes when it publicly slams a political figure the group embraced only months before, giving that politician a dismally failing grade?
Ask that question of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which days ago announced that it was giving President Barack Obama—a man who is on record in support of bans on semiautomatic sport-utility rifles and even licensed concealed-carry by law-abiding citizens who have passed background checks—an “F” because he has yet to implement even one item on its extremist political agenda.
In a sneering report on Obama’s first year in office headlined Failed Leadership, Lost Lives, the Brady Center openly laments that members of the Obama administration—who rank among the most easily-identifiable anti-gunners in American political history—have argued against imposing additional restrictions on Second Amendment rights, and instead suggest that we ought to enforce existing laws against the criminal misuse of firearms.
The report complains that Attorney General Eric Holder, the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the nation, had the audacity to state that government needs to be “respectful of the Second Amendment rights that everybody in this nation has.” Translation: The Brady Center advocates Congressional disregard for a fundamental individual civil right that is both affirmed and protected by a major tenet of the Bill of Rights.
One might justifiably inquire of Brady Center President Paul Helmke, himself a former mayor from Indiana presumably familiar with the oath of office to uphold and defend the constitution, just what other civil rights he might want the government to disregard, when it’s finished trampling the Second Amendment?
The Brady Center is distressed that the Obama administration “failed to voice any opposition or concern when Congress attempted to override state laws and expand concealed carry of loaded guns throughout the United States.” Millions of law-abiding Americans of all political persuasions are licensed to carry, and have gone through background checks; something that people aren’t required to do when running for the office of mayor.
These armed citizens have done nothing wrong, broken no laws, and have on many occasions prevented or interrupted violent crimes. We cite numerous accounts of armed citizens successfully defending themselves and others, and saving lives in the process, in our book “America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age.”
The Brady Center further criticized White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who disdained alarmist rhetoric from gun prohibitionists and the press regarding armed citizens near an Obama rally. What was Gibbs’ offense? He merely stated the obvious: “There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally. Those laws don’t change when the president comes to your state or locality.”
Evidently, the Brady Center supports the notion of suspending local laws, to say nothing of the Constitution, when the president comes to town. After all, this is the organization that bitterly opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Heller case that affirmed the Second Amendment as an individual right; they would gladly erase this right from the Constitution.
The Brady Center and its gun prohibition efforts have become increasingly irrelevant over the past few years. A careful examination of its extremist positions is all that is required to understand why.
Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman are co-authors of the recently-released “Assault on Weapons: The Campaign to Eliminate Your Guns,” published by Merril Press. Gottlieb is founder and Executive Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation. Workman is senior editor of Gun Week.