August 2014

By Wink

James Brady has passed away at the age of 73.

In March of 1981 a nameless nutcase, in an attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan, rained a hail of bullets outside the Washington Hilton.  Four people were hit, including the president (in the arm/chest), and press secretary Brady (above the right eye).

Miraculously, Brady survived but remained severely handicapped the rest of his days. Brady was not able to remember the shooting, but worked tirelessly, for years, to rein in the onslaught of weapons burying our country. Aware of the power of the gun lobby, he focused on passing a law to require a waiting period to pick up a gun after a purchase. The wait, five whole days, was to allow time to do a background check to prevent felons from purchasing firearms.

Does it seem reasonable to determine if a submachine gun is being purchased by a felon? Not to the NRA. Like all other gun measures, they fought this furiously, saying the 5-day wait ‘inconvenienced’ law-abiding gun owners.

In 1993, after years of effort, the “Brady Law” was passed. The NRA made sure it was watered down, but it still contains some positive elements to reduce gun violence.

Brady may have won that battle, but the NRA wins all gun ‘wars.’  This many years later there are more guns (400 million +) than people in the United States. 

Long ago this whole issue stopped being about ‘gun rights’ and became “how can gun manufacturers sell even more weapons to an already gun-saturated country?”   They do this by scaring gun owners into buying even more guns. 

The victims, both Kennedy’s, Ronald Reagan, MLK, people in a movie theater, children at a grade school, James Brady, etc, etc, etc, carry no weight. Too many gun victims don’t survive and are, therefore, voiceless to fight the gun lobby.

As Brady, a ‘lucky’ survivor said: “I wouldn’t be here in this damn wheelchair if we had common sense legislation.”

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