Switch to Decaf? It’s a Lot Worse for Them Than That!

Even the NRA is joining in the “Make fun of the Brady Campaign” fun.

The Brady Campaign’s resorting to this kind of silliness is understandable.  It was once the most influential anti-gun group in town, able to claim some of the “credit” for the temporary imposition of the federal handgun waiting period between 1994 and 1998 and the federal “assault weapon” ban between 1994 and 2004.

But in recent years it has experienced the longest losing streak in gun control history.  The waiting period has expired in favor of the instant check system.  The 1994 gun ban has expired.  The number of Right-to-Carry states has continued to rise.  The list goes on, at the federal, state and local level.  And the group’s core arguments about the Second Amendment were rejected entirely by the Supreme Court in the Heller case. President Obama even signed bills into law which included provisions allowing the carrying of firearms in national parks according to state law, and protecting the sale of surplus military ammunition components to the private sector.

I actually feel bad for them. Not so much because I’m sorry they are on their way toward political irrelevance — that’s been what this struggle has been about. It was going to be one side or the other, and obviously I’d rather it be them. But I can’t help but feel at least some empathy based on how I would feel if the roles were reversed, and it was us in their place.

I think the Brady Campaign are in a real pickle. It’s pretty obvious that the MAIG model, pushing gun control bills under the guise of anti-trafficking, and using novel methods to build political legitimacy and capital, is the likely future of gun control. The problem for the Bradys is they could never fundraise with the MAIG model, and if you can’t fundraise on it, you either need a wealthy patron (which Bloomberg and the City of New York are for MAIG), or a lot of foundation money, and foundation money for gun control is drying up.

I suspect what Dave Hardy said right after we won Heller is true; that it essentially removed from the table the primary reason Brady’s patrons supported gun control in the first place — the elimination of guns from society. Now that’s off the table. It was one thing to support an incrementalist approach when prohibition was still a possibility, it’s another thing when that’s no longer on the table.

That’s not to say gun control is going to go away as an issue, but the Brady model is fast receding into the sunset unless they come up with something new an innovative, and that allows them to raise money. What will that be? I don’t know. I’m not sure I want to find out either.

8 thoughts on “Switch to Decaf? It’s a Lot Worse for Them Than That!”

  1. It’s time for their employees to send out resumes and find jobs in a different field.

    They are in the business of making buggy whips while the Model T’s are rolling off the production lines. Or perhaps a better analogy would be a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union following the passage of the 21st Amendment. The membership numbers at the peak approximate those of the Brady Campaign and they both reached their political zenith then fell as public opinion shifted.

    Perhaps the Brady Campaign could scale back and sustain themselves as an organization which advocates self-abstinence without forcing it on others.

  2. Not really – there are benefits of self-abstinence or moderation in alcohol; but what does self-abstinence from firearms get you? (Other than one less line item on your personal budget from not having to buy ammo)? And as for what the WCTU morphed into – they’re hitting the end of their relevance as MADD and are returning to their prohibitionist roots – the laws are already overstrict when considered against the actually dangerous drunks and are increasingly targeting the minor-league drinkers with the same harsh penalties targeted at the hard-core drunkards.

    NRA has the “good” roles sewn up – Eddie the Eagle, training, pushing for stronger enforcement of gun laws on actual criminals (Project Exile etc). What’s left for Brady to do that doesn’t infringe?

  3. Why on earth would you feel sorry for them?

    They nearly drove us into the ground in the beginning.

    Now let them hear the sounds of their extinction.

  4. Human empathy. You can follow through with doing what you think needs to be done, and still feel sorry for the people who’s lives and careers you might be negatively affecting. Regardless of which side of this issue you’re on, we’ve all put a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears into this issue. I don’t think it’s too much to feel some understanding for how you’d feel if the shoe were on the other foot, and feel some sympathy for how the folks on the other side of the issue feel.

  5. I feel empathy for a rabid dog and the mentally ill who commit crimes too. Society needs to be protected from them but that doesn’t mean you don’t feel a sad about the situation.

    Yes, I want the Brady Campaign organization destroyed. But the people don’t need to be destroyed. We didn’t need to exterminate the Japanese, the Germans, or the Italians after world war II. Their evil institutions and their capability to do us harm had to be destroyed. But the majority of the people involved just needed some time for rehabilitation and then they could reenter civil society. I think the same applies to the Brady Campaign.

  6. Sebastian said” I actually feel bad for them.

    Sebastian, you are a sweetheart … and that’s a good thing. My sympathy for them is greatly tempered from having experience in the Chicago area … where the same laws and ordinances they have attempted to push on the nation are still in force.

    And I have learned that those laws accomplish nothing in the way of what they justify them on … they are truly onerous, bigoted, and humiliating … in addition to being unconstitutional and illegal. With a simple change of location within these United States, I went from perfectly upstanding and law-abiding (in Texas) to being a criminal (in Illinois). Nothing about me had changed, yet suddenly I was scared, second-guessing everything, and wondering why it was that way.

    I experienced firsthand the effects of what they push, and I have seen those effects on others. What they push is simply wrong.

    Because of that, I am not sympathetic of them being down on the ground. And because of that, I don’t want to let up on them now. I want them done. Gone. Extinct.

  7. What Joe H said.
    One can feel sorry for a sick rabid animal, and say, “there, but for the Grace of God, go I.”

    But at the same time, one must keep the greater society safe and free from as much infection as possible. And to do that, one must remove and destroy (or is it destroy and remove?) the diseased parts, including that once-lovable now-rabid animal.

  8. I have a little empathy for the Bradyites. About the same amount of empathy I have for someone who paints themself into a corner and then whines about it. I am happy that many of their minions have turned from the dark side and at least acknowledge that while they may not want guns around them, they realized that they have no right to force draconian bans and such on society at large.

    Also, keep in mind that the Brady’s positions are unworkable at best and at worst get honest people killed when they can’t defend themselves. The segregationists hurt people as they clung on to a sick and wrong moral philosophy.

Comments are closed.