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Another Response from the Brady Folks

Again, I think they are misunderstanding what I’m saying. First, one must understand what a bigot is:

a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially :one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

This might typically have racial connotations, but it doesn’t have to. Bigot successfully describes anyone who is intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, toward any group, not just toward racial minorities or ethnic groups. But let’s go back to the Brady folks:

In fact, the notion of “bigotry” is perhaps the pillar upon which the National Rifle Association itself has built its whole bogus empire.  That is: “Aren’t you mad at those coastal elites who look down their noses at you and your ‘way of life’?  You should be mad as hell.  GET MAD AS HELL AT THOSE ELITES!  Donate to us today.”

I think the funny thing is, by most people’s definition I’m one of those “coastal elites” that NRA warned you about, but even I can understand why this this rallying cry works. Because it resonates with people. It’s something that most gun owners can relate to. Why? Because we’ve all experienced that attitude at one time or another. How many times have you told people you enjoy hunting or shooting and had someone look at you as if you just told them you enjoy molesting children? How many of you have had people express shock that you were a gun owner, because you don’t seem like “that kind of person?” NRA uses that rallying cry because it works, and shouldn’t that tend to lend some credence that maybe a lot of “costal elites” carry around with them a lot of, dare I say, bigotry and prejudices about what kind of people gun owners, hunters, and shooters are?

Some adherents of this mantra have taken it to bizarre extremes, in fact, likening their position to African-Americans in the Civil Rights movement.  No, not kidding.  Look at this latest stemwinder by Joe from Idaho.

Well, both dealt with restoring or guaranteeing fundamental constitutional rights to Americans. Both are inherently part of the continuing argument over the Fourteenth Amendment, and how we apply fundamental rights in our society. They might not be struggling against evils of equal magnitude, but it’s still a civil rights struggle. It’s worth noting that even the Chicago Tribune, in it’s excellent article about Otis McDonald reports on parallels between the two:

The strategy was partly inspired by the civil rights-era work of the NAACP and Thurgood Marshall, who challenged racial segregation in the 1940s and 1950s by searching for compelling plaintiffs and using the press to build public sympathy and support.

The NAACP’s approach became the template for other reform movements, such as women’s rights in the 1970s, and was taken up by a spectrum of activists, including conservative groups that have used it to challenge affirmative action, with moderate success.

In the Chicago case, constitutional law experts say McDonald likely was chosen for another important reason. Arguments in the case center on the 14th Amendment, which says that a state may not “abridge the privileges or immunities” of citizens.

The amendment was adopted after the Civil War to protect former slaves in states that were passing laws restricting their rights and prohibiting them from owning guns. In the Heller decision, Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, referred to that chapter in history, arguing that those who had opposed the disarmament of freedmen did so with the understanding that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to own a gun for self-defense.

That interpretation is central to the plaintiffs’ arguments in the Chicago case.

The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s wrote the book on how to do this, and we’re just following in their footsteps using the lessons they learned. Every gun owner should read “The NAACP’s Legal Strategy against Segregated Education, 1925-1950” as it contains quite a lot of valuable lessons in the challenges of building a successful litigation strategy for civil rights. One can’t help but to realize how those lessons can be applied to our struggle. Is it fair to compare the magnitude of this country’s past racial sins with the fight on the part of some to eradicate the Second Amendment? I don’t think so. Racism has been far more damaging to this country and its institutions than gun control has ever been, and one could even argue that gun control has been a subset of that sin. Back to the Bradys:

Yet regardless of what NRA propaganda might have us believe, Americans are not born with guns in our hands, and the regulation of where guns can be carried; what kinds of guns should be out of civilian hands; how guns should be stored; and whether suspected terrorists, felons, fugitives, wife-beaters or the dangerously mentally ill should be screened out of the gun-buying process by the strongest possible background check, have absolutely nothing to do with “culture” or “bigotry.”

It doesn’t have to be “culture” or “bigotry,” but it often can be, and often is, and I think it would be wise for the Bradys to distance themselves from the folks, like Morford, who fit the definition to a T, just as I have, at great expense to some of my relationships in this community, spoken out against extreme and provocative positions of many of the stone throwers in the pro-gun movement. It’s one thing to argue in favor of your position. It’s quite another to strongly imply that you’re better and more enlightened than those who oppose your position. Maybe it doesn’t rise to the level of refusing to serve blacks at a coffee counter, but that doesn’t make it any more right, and it doesn’t make it any less bigoted, by the precise definition of the word.

11 Responses to “Another Response from the Brady Folks”

  1. Joe Huffman says:

    Good job!

    I updated my post in response to theirs and am working on another post that adresses an item you missed.

  2. Thirdpower says:

    To bad the Brady’s won’t allow comments on their ‘blog’ or come over here for debate.

  3. Matthew Carberry says:

    Joe,

    Read Kleck’s study you linked to (it pays to be a returning university student at 39 now and again).

    Strange to see that facts and reason (ex: noting lowering of crime rate during massively increased ownership and carry opportunities) will likely not have much effect on the hardest core anti-gunners. So much for “letting sound science and reason guide policy”. =/

  4. Dann says:

    Ahhh, Sebastian, you are experiencing the futility of have a battle of wits with an organization that is unarmed – so to speak.

    Kinda like bring a knife (or a pee-shooter) to a gun fight.

  5. ZK says:

    You don’t gain anything from engaging in a dialog with professional Brady employees, except to give more exposure and page-rank to their increasingly irrelevant views. Unless I miss the mark, I don’t think they can be convinced of your position; it’s their profession not to.

    Can I suggest you ignore them somewhat more? Or if you feel the need to respond to their links, that you link to cat pictures instead?

  6. Joe Huffman says:

    I use the “rel=nofollow” attribute in my links to their ilk. That takes care of the page rank issue.

    Convincing them isn’t the point. Challenging and defeating their claims for other to see is.

    My latest shots in their direction are here and here.

  7. Sebastian, this is not at all meant to minimize your importance in the gun rights movement, but I find it surprising that the Brady Bunch seems so interested in your every word as of late. Seems like you may have touched a nerve.

  8. Sebastian says:

    I know, it’s surprising to me too. Really, from their point of view, they are best served by pretending i don’t exist.

  9. kaveman says:

    You are way too polite, sebastian,

    The Brady Bunch can smell their own death and they are seeking to cling to any rope of relevance.

    MAIG is the true threat now, the BC has been defeated.

  10. Ian Argent says:

    By continuing to confront the opponent it brings out their arguments.

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