I pulled out just a couple of minutes of quotes from the Brady Center event yesterday featuring retired SCOTUS Justice Stevens that focus on the Brady future.
First, you have Dan Gross assuring people that they aren’t embracing any kind of newfangled change on their issue, but going back to the old ways of Brady. What kinds of things does that really mean?
Well, you have the pre-name change days when they were calling for complete bans on handguns and ammunition. The pre-name change period was also the last time you had a non-politician running the organization. (Paul Helmke [2006-2011] was a mayor and Michael Barnes [2000-2006] was a former Congressman.) Obviously, the Brady Campaign has come full circle on that front by hiring a non-politician who has no experience working on any serious policy front and his entire background was only in one very anti-gun city where he never had to worry about concerns of law-abiding gun owners whose rights may be trampled.
Based on the remarks of his new legal top dog, Jonathan Lowy, that return to the old ways that made them great seems to be advocating for repeal of Heller. I mean, come on, “…the Supreme Court had the audacity to hold, over Justice Stevens’ dissent with three of his colleagues, that the Second Amendment recognizes a right to have handguns in the home…”? That was a not an opinion that was outside of the mainstream of American society. It really sounds like they want to go back to pre-Heller days in their advocacy strategy as opposed to taking the Helmke talking point that confiscation was off the table and now they could still talk “controls” as opposed to “bans.”
I also included the announcement of their “new” legal project. It’s basically an effort to round up names of lawyers willing to do pro bono work for them. In other words, finding people to do take their cases – and those of anti-gun governments – for free. Now, I realize that the pro-gun side has utilized pro bono work on many of the Second Amendment cases, and its so incredibly useful because there are some damn talented attorneys out there practicing law in other areas to pay the mortgage. However, I just wonder if the Brady Center had to formally establish this as a “new” concept and formal program a) in order to have something positive to say in their annual report, and b) because it’s a free way to find more workers given their recent financial concerns.