James Brady Passes Away

News is breaking today that James Brady died at 73 years old. As most of you know, he’s the man that the Brady Campaign is named after.

I honestly don’t have much to add since I don’t remember the assassination attempt (I was only 3 months old), and that’s interesting to consider when you look at the Brady Campaign branding. For many of their post-Newtown followers, today’s news articles may be the first time they are hearing about the context of the name.

27 thoughts on “James Brady Passes Away”

  1. Post ‘Newtown’? I would put it at post ‘Columbine’. Seriously, it’s like watching reruns of Murphy Brown. The eternal question is ‘Who?’

  2. I often wonder… after his shooting, was James Brady even cognizant of his actions? Or was he just a puppet?

    1. He could and did talk about gun control. He would attend events in his wheelchair.

      I think he knew what he was saying. He had speech problems and of course motor control issues but I’m pretty sure most of the rest of brain was working reasonably well.

  3. I remember the assassination attempt on Reagan. Reagan injuries were more dangerous than suspected. He took it in good humor and whether the injury well. Brady was shot in the head and he was lucky to survive. He lived a longer life than expected with an injury like that. Most of the push for gun control was his wife who had to live with consequences of the gunshot.

  4. Had heard that James had a Class III FFL and owned a full-auto Thompson. Guns for me but not for thee. Rumor?

    1. Remember that, at the time, the “Brady Campaign” was Handgun Control Inc. Back then NFA was little known and not really on the gun control radar, neither were “assault weapons”, a term invented almost 8 years after the Reagan assassination attempt. HCI didn’t formally change the name to Brady until years later when handgun control failed to get public support.

      The big push was *handgun* bans, justified as necessary to control street crime by restricting “Saturday Night Specials”, like the Rohm .22 Chapman used.

      1. like the Rohm .22 Chapman used.

        It was JOHN HINCKLEY, JR. who did the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, not Mark David Chapman. John Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman, and Chapman used a .38 revolver, not a .22 revolver. I think Chapman’s .38 revolver was also made by Charter Arms too, but I am unsure whether it would have met the criteria for a “Saturday Night Special” though.

  5. God bless.

    I don’t agree with how his tragedy became political fodder for the left, but the fact is this guy took a shot to the head meant for a US President and lived long after. He was a fighter and deserves a glass held high.

    His wife?


    1. Yes he was a fighter, but IIRC he was onboard the gun control wagon. That makes a difference to me. Being wounded does not make him a saint; many people have been wounded (or suffered loss of family/friends) and chose to blame the person responsible – not the tool.


      1. Yes! Just because someone was wounded by a firearm does not give them any moral authority to take away my Second Amendment rights.

        Colin Goddard, James Brady, Gabby Giffords, and others trample on the Constitution. They have my pity, but not my respect.

        The sad fact that they were a victim of violence has no bearing on my lawful ownership of firearms. One role for my firearms is so that I do not end up like them, or dead. That is the lesson.

  6. Well I am old, so I remember the day Reagan was shot. I was in the school cafeteria and many people were crowded into the lounge area watching the TV broadcast of the news. It was packed with most people sitting on the floor to watch.

    I looked around the room, and everyone was focused on the TV and had troubled or at worst neutral expressions. Well almost everyone. Two guys sitting next to each other were actually smiling as they watched. And to be politically incorrect, they didn’t look like natives either, perhaps Arabic or Persian.

    I scowled at them from across the room. Eventually they saw me and left the room together.

    1. Make you feel better, I graduated HS in 1980, heard it on the evening news when I got home from work….

  7. I was 11 at the time. My only memory of it is the press conference a few days after, or maybe just Reagan leaving the hospital, and what he said to the press was something like “I guess I forgot to duck!”

    If only Sarah Brady had been so steadfast.

    It wasn’t until many years later that it was revealed just how close to death Reagan had come.

  8. RIP Mr Brady. Taking a bullet intended for a sitting president, intentionally or not, makes you person to respect.

    I only with that you and your spouse had decided to make your case for Mental Illness Awareness; who knows what tragedies might have been spared with an alternative vision.

    1. I dunno. There’s a difference between heroically diving in front of another to take a bullet, and just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One is a hero due to their voluntary, courageous action. The other is just an unfortunate victim.

      As I understand this incident, Brady was a “wrong place/wrong time” sort of victim. In contrast, a local LEO turned to try and protect the president and got hit, a Secret Service guy jumped into the line of fire to push Reagan into a vehicle, and another SS guy took a bullet while protecting Reagan with his body as a human shield.

  9. I was in high school at the time, and remember that nobody expected it to happen. I recall the film footage of the attempt, particularly the Secret Service agent taking a shot to the adomomen. I sometimes thought the way he was brought before anti- gun groups- as some kind of visual aid- seemed undignified. Sarah Brady seemed to be taking out her rage on American gun owners, and America at large….

  10. I saw the replays of the incident right after it happened. Be leave it or not. My first thought was the shot was aimed at Mr. Brady and that he had broken protocol for a shooting of the president. Tough thinking but still true.

  11. I’ve always been annoyed at people who thought the Brady’s were special people. They were hangers-on, people who clung to the coattails of those in power. Those types always forget that people in positions of power tend to be targets, and that is the potential price they have to accept if they want to hang around them. Bullets, bombs, poisons, crashes, and just plain accidents are all higher chances if you are one of those peripheral people. Goes with the territory, and crying about it later makes you a lesser person.

  12. I watched NBC Nightly News last night. The lead story was the passing of James Brady. Brian Williams was the anchorman during this broadcast, and I distinctly remember him referring to James Brady becoming a leading advocate for “gun safety” in the years following his recovery from bullet wounds he suffered during the assassination attempt on President Reagan. See what Brian Williams did there? Now it’s “gun safety” all of a sudden.

    I was around during the 1980’s – liberals like Brian Williams talked about the need for “gun control” laws back in those days. The only people who talked about “gun safety” back in the 1980’s were those of us who were on the pro-gun side, and we were talking about actual safety practices too, like keeping the muzzle of a firearm always pointing down range, as opposed to any type of civilian disarmament schemes. The liberals have apparently now co-opted the phrase “gun safety” to further confuse the low-information voter crowd.

  13. DC enacted its gun ban in 1976 so this shooting did have an effect on gun laws. It was Saturday Night Specials that they were targeting then. Funny how the target for guns bans move. Then they had no chance on rifles. Then in 1984 it was the black scary rifle. So first it was handguns , then rifle. Now magazines and ban loaning and transfers between private people. They never get enough.

  14. I was in High School and remember 2 things about the shooting.

    Tim McCarthy – a Secret Service Agent, may be the bravest guy ever. He literally stepped between the President and the shooter (without any body armor) spread himself out and absorbed bullets. Watch in slow motion – amazing.

    I also remember another Agent producing a full-sized Uzi with an extended magazine out of… thin air it seems.


  15. If not for one thing, the Reagan assassination attempt makes me think about just how much the dynamic of presidential security has changed since our founding. I think most would agree that now you wouldn’t be able to come that close to a sitting President carrying anything. With all the security, technology, and firepower the Secret Service packs on a routine basis it almost seems like you would need a brigade-sized tactical assault on the President’s position to have a chance.

    Then I read about the attempt on Andrew Jackson where Richard Lawrence was basically able to step out from behind a pillar like something out of a comic book and fire two separate guns at Old Hickory (both misfiring) before beating beaten severely by the President with a cane. Man, you just gotta love the gumption of our earlier Presidents compared to the laughingstock we deal with today.

  16. I have done a lot of shooting on a farm in Crawford a few miles from Bush’s ranch. While I never had any interaction with them I know a lot of folks with Texas CHL’s who got to talk to them and visit with them eating in restaurants and taking walks and there never seemed to be any anxiety on the part of the secret service about them carrying.

    At the same time it was a nutty Texas kid that shot Reagan and another nutty Texas guy who shot JFK so I guess when a person is president there is always the risk that some nut might try to do the unspeakable and shoot him.

    I pray that we will never see that happen again and I have meet and visited with some really fine secret service agents who do a very difficult job, day in and day out with very little recognition when everything works right.

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