Strategically, the smartest opponents to the right to bear arms are now based out of the offices of a billionaire in New York City. The folks who are headquartered in Washington, DC have been on the decline.
But here’s what I find interesting. Sebastian noted that the National Gun Victims Action Council are “a particularly whacked out fringe group” based on their very bizarre claims and goals. First of all, they carry this warning in large red letters on their website:
Whenever you hear ANYTHING about guns that seems appealing, reasonable or factual KNOW IT IS PROBABLY NOT TRUE. For the facts contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Second, they really do work on the assumption that every person in the U.S. should be a presumed future criminal with claims like this: Fact: Every criminal was once law abiding citizen.
Third, instead of the standard Brady talking points that they don’t actually want to come for our guns, NGAC outright admits their goal is to come take our guns away: Any sane gun law will lead to the government being able to take your guns away.
What’s interesting is that their boycott is not based on the idea that they don’t want to be around gun owners while they enjoy their scones and frappuccinos, it’s actual goal is to force Starbucks to donate to NGAC. To end the boycott will require Starbucks ban all guns from its stores—and become a major supporter of policies to reduce gun violence. In other words, banning guns isn’t enough. They will demand that corporations line the pockets of the leaders of this group in order to end the boycott.
But here’s the very interesting thing about the National Gun Victims Action Council: They are the Brady Campaign.
From their Board biographies:
- Elliot Fineman is a senior member of the Brady PAC–Illinois, the group that makes endorsements on behalf of the Brady Campaign in Illinois.
- Andrew Goddard is the President of the Richmond Chapter of the Million Mom March, a division of the Brady Campaign.
- Lori O’Neill is the past President & Vice President of the Million Mom March of Cleveland which she calls the “grassroots arm of the Brady Campaign.”
- Jeanne Bishop has served as President of the North Suburban Chicagoland Million Mom March Chapter and lists herself as a general Brady Campaign volunteer.
- Griffin Dix was Chairman of the Brady Campaign’s Million Mom March National State Presidents Council and the chapter-elected member of the Brady Campaign Board of Trustees.
- Bill Jenkins is married to the National Program Director for Victims and Survivors for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and represents the organization with his wife at public events.
- Thom Mannard is a founding member of the Brady PAC-Illinois.
- Alice Thomas-Norris is the President of the Million Moms March Chicago Chapter of Survivors for the Brady Campaign.
- Tom Vanden Berk is a board member of the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March.
- Amanda & Nick Wilcox are Legislative Co-Chairs of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign as well as leaders of the Sacramento Valley Chapter and the Nevada County Brady Campaign Chapter.
- Willie Williams works with the Brady Campaign to target pro-rights lawmakers in Illinois during election years.
- Heidi Yewman is the Washington state president of the Million Mom March/Brady Campaign.
In other words, out of 16 people listed on NGAC’s board, 13 are in the Brady Campaign leadership. Most are state leaders, but several are national leaders.
So, given that this new unofficial arm of the Brady Campaign is turning towards a mission of embracing extreme gun control & extended boycotts, it looks like the folks who recognize at least some limits of Heller & McDonald have been run out of the organization. This suddenly makes much more sense when it comes to Helmke’s departure. Whereas he probably didn’t think it was wise to keep spending money trying to promote boycotts and petition drives to private corporations that weren’t working, they don’t want to relent. When he conceded that Heller took door-to-door confiscation off the table for the time being, they don’t consider that limitation to be within the realm of sanity. Certainly, this explains a lot of the odd behavior we’ve seen out of what was once the dominant gun control organization in the country over the last year and a half.
23 Responses to “The New Era of Anti-Gun Groups”
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