We Can Leave the Brady Campaign Alone Now

I’m absolutely baffled right now. The Brady Campaign appears to be going in circles with their messaging strategy surrounding this non-White House non-beer summit.

Yesterday, they were highlighting how horrible the NRA is for not participating and reminding their followers that the NRA was the only party the media was talking about coming to the table for a policy discussion. Today’s post seemingly takes the other strategy of highlighting their participation as though it meant more than the NRA’s attendance.

The Brady-written post sounds like they are taking a serious leadership role in advancing policy. It describes the meeting as though Paul put out the plans for reform and the administration just wondered how to make it happen.

I began the discussion by listing basic measures that the Brady Campaign, and others, felt could make a difference. The list included: a strong background check system, with good and complete records of dangerous and irresponsible people, applicable to all commercial gun sales; more tools for law enforcement to stop trafficking in illegal guns; increasing the number and type of military-style weapons, including “assault clips,” that should not be readily available to civilians, like machine-guns and fully automatic weapons. Administration officials then asked questions.

But the Paul Helmke quote to another outlet sounds like they weren’t even sure what was going to come out of the non-summit and that the gun control groups were the ones trying to figure out just what they can possibly take from the debate.

“We asked a lot of questions, and they indicated they don’t have any particular policies that they’re pushing or any particular legislation that they’re pushing, right now they’re basically out gathering pieces of information,” Helmke said.

More importantly, they are publicly refuted on most of the policy issues Paul named in today’s official Brady post.

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reported that administration officials are exploring potential changes to gun laws which can be secured through executive action alone.

The outside sources also highlight that the policies officials were willing to consider were focused on data-sharing and background checks, not gun or magazine bans.

I really don’t understand what the Brady message is in all of this. The posts from their internal staff seem to have conflicting key messages, and their own statements to outside media don’t match what’s coming from the rest of the Brady communications efforts. At the rate they are contradicting themselves, we can just sit back and enjoy the show.

P.S. Anyone else amused by Helmke’s measure of success being that he met with staffers at an agency for a whooping 90 minutes? Even the cop from Cambridge got 40 minutes at the White House and a beer with the President himself.

18 thoughts on “We Can Leave the Brady Campaign Alone Now”

  1. “Irresponsible people” shouldn’t be able to pass background checks?

    How would the government know who is “responsible?”

  2. I just want to know where I can purchase an “assault clip”. It sounds downright fun!

    I’m familiar with magazines for semi-automatic rifles…could this be the “assault clip” they’re referring to?

    Or maybe its the 8-rd enbloc clips from my Garand that was used in the “assault” on Normandy….yeah, thats GOT to be it!

  3. “P.S. Anyone else amused by Helmke’s measure of success being that he met with staffers at an agency for a whooping 90 minutes?”

    Yes. I thought it was a hoot. It might be convincing to old ladies who never worked in a corporate or government office. I might be way off, but I bet the Obama administration spent far more man-hours in meetings planning this meeting than they did attending it.

  4. Its sad that MAIG seems to have more pull with Obama than the Bradys. I think that’s what they are really upset about. MAIG is the new opposition when it comes to legislative battles. Bradys are just an annoyance in the media.

  5. Its sad that MAIG seems to have more pull with Obama than the Bradys.

    MAIG has a better strategy and is far more dangerous. The problem with the MAIG strategy is that you can’t easily fundraise off it. If you can’t fundraise off it, it’s not really viable for keeping an organization going without a rich asshole to fund it.

  6. It’s a prestige thing, nothing more. Anytime someone gets an invitation from the White House to attend a policy workgroup it makes the recipient look important.

    1. But from a PR perspective, you want to have one or two key messages in everything you discuss surrounding that meeting. You certainly don’t want those messages to contradict one another. They may think they look important, but they can’t stay on target. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a complaint. I like it when our opponents are stuck resorting to a PR plan that consists of “throw it on the wall and see if any of it sticks.”

  7. Is a 33 round magazine really the equivalent to an automatic weapon? Jesus Christ, these people are really jacked. Fricken “assault clips”. you gotta be kidding me.

  8. I think their only message is: White House invites gun control advocates to attend meeting. What the meeting was about doesn’t matter.

  9. ROFL they’re actually using the term ‘assault clips’? I thought that was a joke, this’ll be good.

  10. “ROFL they’re actually using the term ‘assault clips’? I thought that was a joke, this’ll be good.”

    I think we should quietly let them keep using that term. I’m not sure what benefit we derive by helping them craft better language. And if they say silly things like that, maybe even the Fudds won’t take them seriously.

  11. I wouldn’t harrass him about meeting with agency folks. Granted, it’s not as optically powerful as the president, but from the perspective of getting stuff done: agency staff know what they can accomplish and you dont have the problem of political concerns keeping Obama in line (if Obama were there, he owns any resulting policy. now, he can blame the beauracrats) and so 90 minutes with them has the capacity to really accomplish a lot.

    I know I’d be be more thrilled – from an “accomplishing my goals” perspective to have spent 90 minutes with staff who can get things done than hanging with the president (which is cool and all but outside some very few issues doesnt accomplish much other then sending signals).

  12. I can appreciate working with the staff who actually get things done, but it just seems like a very odd thing to highlight in a mainstream outlet. Most people don’t understand how DC works so it really doesn’t carry much weight for grassroots (or donor) communications.

  13. The real story here is that Helmke must have the inside scoop on a new collaboration between Magpul and Cold Steel…

    I’m imagining they will soon reveal a true “Assault Clip” that lets you mount a blade to your Pmag!

    Wouldn’t that be something?

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