Did the Brady Campaign Explain the Risks? Why Aren’t They Paying Up?

Mother Jones has an article about the Phillips suit against Lucky Gunner, et al over selling the Aurora killer ammunition. Mrs. Phillips notes:

Working for the Brady Campaign became a flurry of media appearances and meetings with politicians, police, and survivors. The Brady leadership also encouraged Lonnie and me to sue Lucky Gunner, the dealer that sold the stockpile of ammo to Jessi’s killer. We agreed that dealers should have to take some responsibility. Shouldn’t they have to vet a buyer of military-grade weaponry? Or a buyer of bullets en masse? The primary goal of our lawsuit was to make the gun dealer change its business practices—at a minimum, to ask for proof of identity and do a background check.

The PLCAA does not exempt suits for negligence per se, which means that if Lucky Gunner violated the law, they can be liable despite the PLCAA protections. This is exactly the kind of lawsuit PLCAA was meant to stop: roughly the equivalent of suing a gas station that sold a tank of gas to a drunk. Lucky Gunner broke no law. They did not have any idea what the killer intended, just as no gas station could possibly know someone filling up is a drunk who might later that day get tanked and plough into a van with kids. The Aurora killer was not a prohibited person, because despite being out of his gourd, he never came in contact with the mental health system to become prohibited. He purchased his firearm legally after passing a background check.

Today, after nearly five years of activism, Lonnie and I continue to struggle. We filed for Chapter 11 protection in January because we could not afford to pay the legal fees for Lucky Gunner.

I’ll assume here that she means Chapter 13 protection, because that would be the typical filing for this kind of personal bankruptcy. But I think it’s terrible that she’s having to apply for personal bankruptcy when it’s the Brady Campaign that encouraged her and her husband to file a frivolous that was doomed the failure, and where the statute allows recovery of attorneys fees for such suits deemed frivolous. They should have warned them, and been ready to pay up when the inevitable happened. Sounds to me like they might have a pretty good case against the Brady Campaign and its lawyers!

Is The Brady Campaign Abandoning “Assault Weapons” Issue?

Says Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign:

“There is a very specific type of gun that we want banned – none of them,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign. “All we are trying to do is keep guns out of the hands of people we all agree that shouldn’t have them. Whether you love or hate guns, you agree that a convicted violent criminal, domestic abuser, someone who is dangerously mentally ill, or a would-be terrorist should not be able to get their hands on guns.”

Could have fooled me, Dan. Yep, not for bans at all. I have no idea how anyone could think otherwise. I get that Gross is a serial liar on par with Hillary Clinton, but this really stretches credulity. They are absolutely supportive of banning specific types of guns. If the Brady Campaign wished to change its stripes, it would have removed any reference to these pages. All gun control organizations favor banning any gun they have the political power to ban. Assault Weapons were just convenient targets after the movement to ban handguns went nowhere. It has nothing to do with crime control.

Massachusetts only had two crimes committed with “Assault Weapons” in the past five years, yet their Attorney General still chose by fiat to grossly expand the ban. The only proponent of gun control who’s been willing to be honest about what a farce this issue is has been Professor Adam Winkler. In some ways, this issue has been beneficial to gun rights activists because it motivates our coalition to action. As I’ve said before, I’d hate to be dealing with a gun control movement that was very careful to not overreach.

Kicking the Brady Campaign Where it Hurts

Bloomberg is signing up vapid celebrities like there’s no tomorrow. This used to be Brady’s big schtick. The Brady Gala is still around, but it used to be star studded. This year they are featuring the Mayor of Los Angeles and his wife. Ooh. Who is the Mayor of LA? I seriously don’t even know. In 2013 the Brady Gala headlined Tony Bennett. Yeah, I didn’t think he was still alive either. Even Piers Morgan, who at the time was only mostly reviled, instead of being thoroughly reviled as he is today, managed to show up at the 2013 gala. Maybe they’ll luck out and he’ll show up in 2015.

It’s probably pretty rough to be working at the Brady Campaign these days, and to watch Bloomberg sweep in with all his money, and snatch away the few last crumbs on their plates. When you’ve lost Alec Baldwin…

Brady Campaign Backs Down from Promises to Anti-Gun Pols

It would seem that the Brady Campaign staffers were making funding promises to Pennsylvania officials that they may have had no intention of keeping.

Back when Pennsylvania municipalities were regularly passing gun control ordinances, several cities only went through with the measures that violated state preemption laws because the Brady Campaign/Center promised, via MAIG and CeasefirePA representatives, to pay for the defense of those ordinances if the cities were sued.

Well, now the threat of lawsuits is looming and the Brady Campaign is telling the media that they never made such promises by claiming that the person who made the promises wasn’t really speaking for them.

While the local Fox affiliate dug up city records from Lancaster and Erie that showed they made those promises, we recalled another instance in Radnor. Except, Radnor lawmakers demanded the promise in writing. From Sebastian’s 2010 report on that meeting:

Commissioners seemed skeptical when CeaseFirePA mentioned that the Brady Campaign would pick up the tab for any lawsuits against the ordinance, and indicated they’d want it in writing. It’s my opinion the Bradys will be very reluctant to put anything into writing, so I think that’s a strategy to use going forward. Get your local politicians to demand that. If the Bradys don’t deliver, that’s another point, and it may start the politicians wondering whether the promise is worth anything.

It seems that now we have the proof that the Brady promises on this issue really were worthless.

In Lancaster, the pledge came from Max Nacheman who represented MAIG and Brady at the time and would later represent CeasefirePA. In Radnor, it appears that Commissioner Elaine Schaefer called the Brady Campaign herself and got the pledge that the group would defend the town. So the Brady Campaign is now trying to claim that the exact same promise made in at least 3 different cities via at least 2 different people, was really just some random miscommunication?

Yeah, that’s totally believable.

It would seem that town officials are now learning what we’ve been trying to tell them for years – you can’t believe the false promises the anti-gunners tell you when they are trying to get their agenda passed. They need something to call a “win,” and if your budgets take a beating due to legal expenses because they told you to do something illegal, they don’t care. It’s still a “win” for their agenda even as taxpayers lose.

Brady Campaign Loses Bid to Trigger NJ Smart Gun Law

There’s going to be some Sad Pandas at the Brady Campaign today. The NJ Attorney General has ruled: the Armatix iP1 smart gun just isn’t smart enough:






After careful consideration of the iP1’s design, we have determined that it does not satisfy the statutory definition because, as a matter of design, the pistol may be fired by a person who is not an authorized or recognized user. That is, as long as the pistol is situated within 10 inches of the enabling wristwatch, it may be fired by anyone – the authorized user or any other person who is able to pull the trigger. While the system does incorporate a PIN code or a timer to disable the handgun, when the weapon is enabled, there is nothing in the technology which automatically limits its operational use so that it may only be fired by an authorized or recognized user (so long as the pistol is within a 10-inch proximity to the wristwatch component).

Situations may readily be envisioned in which an unauthorized individual gains access to the pistol in close enough proximity to the wristwatch component (by either maintaining possession of the pistol within 10 inches of the authorized user’s wrist on which he or she is wearing the watch, or by forcibly taking possession of the wristwatch), and therefore would be able to fire the weapon, despite the limiting technology. Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that the iP1 design meets all the elements of New Jersey’s statutory definition of a personalized handgun under N.J.S.2C:39-1(dd), and therefore its availability for retail sales purposes will not trigger the operation of N.J.S.2C:58-2.4 (requiring the promulgation of a list of personalized handguns) and N.J.S.2C:58-2.5 (prohibiting the sale of non-personalized handguns).

Some might smell a rat, and perhaps a rat was intended, but this seriously raises the bar on triggering the NJ smart gun law, and is probably a good thing for gun owners behind enemy lines. Complying with this standard will be exceedingly difficult for those who wish to impose smart guns on us, whether we want them or not.

I’ve always been of the opinion that Smart Gun technology should rise or fail depending on what the market wants, but our opponents would never allow that. As soon as the technology becomes available (In the case of New Jersey, even before!), they will do their level best to mandate it, as the Bradys have attempted here. This ruling doesn’t mean we should stop fighting Armatix. Because the antis have shown their hand, no good can come of allowing this to come to market.

Brady Campaign Continues to Deny Reality

The Brady Campaign and LCAGV continue to live in an alternate reality where recalling not just one, but three Colorado politicians doesn’t really mean anything.

“There’s been disproportionate attention paid to the Colorado recall, where the corporate gun lobby was able to create the perfect circumstances for a handful of extremists to carry the day,” said Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign.

What I really don’t understand about their “logic” here is whether NRA did it, or it was largely spontaneous grassroots organizing, three enemies of the Second Amendment still lost their seats by voting for gun control. At the end of the day, I think that reality matters more than who really deserves credit. Gross is trying to spin his way out of the fact that the Colorado recall efforts likely spooked the Democrats into being a lot more skeptical of the bridge he’s and his allies are trying to sell them.

The New York Times a Tool of the Brady Campaign

Sorry for the late start this morning. Insomnia can be a harsh mistress. Emily Miller notes that the New York Times is a tool of the Brady Campaign, with a leading story that drags up cases from the early 2000s that show the industry doesn’t care about curbing the use of guns in crime. Much like Ford and Toyota don’t care about drunk drivers, because they make and sell cars.

Bloomberg Expose About the Brady Campaign

To me, this is more proof our real enemy is Bloomberg and Obama, and whatever Brady and CSGV do is just a side show:

“The thing that really addresses gun violence is the thing that Brady was set up to do, and that is federal legislation,” said Michael Wolkowitz, a New York filmmaker who was on Brady’s board of directors for 10 years until he left last July. “Brady’s people knew policy like no one else.”

Yet so many years of congressional inaction led to a decline in the group’s ability to raise money, Wolkowitz said, which is why the board wanted a new, less policy-focused mission. “It’s borderline Kafka,” he said.

And now you realize what I mean when I said that offering victory, any victory, to our opponents screws us politically. It is part of why we can’t have any rational conversation on this issue, because even to give a little would enable our opponents to regroup, come back, and take more, and there can be no doubt what many want, at this point, because it’s confiscation. There is no possibility that anyone can credibly argue now that this is not the case.

Read the whole article, it goes into more detail about the Brady decline:

Brady’s 2011 tax documents show it raised $5.8 million, about half its haul a decade earlier. The staff on I Street had dwindled to 30 — though Wolkowitz estimates the roster is now in the teens. Debra DeShong Reed, a spokeswoman for Brady, declined to say how many people work there.

Of course, that also cuts both ways. Gun owners have been in a long slumber that Obama is waking our people out of, though NRA has always had a broader based of members from which to raise funds than the Brady folks could ever dream of.


Brady Campaign Raises 5 Million

Well, for a while they were running out of money. This is about double what they made in all of 2010. Once people start thinking gun control isn’t a lost cause, they are more willing to send checks. We’re in this for the long haul.

The Brady Campaign Drinking Game Conference Call

For anyone who follows the Brady Campaign on social media sites, they know that the Brady camp has been pushing a conference call for supporters for several days now. As tempting as it was to make it a drinking game, I decided to instead tune in while I made dinner. Both Sebastian and I are happy with that decision since a) dinner smells delicious, and b) we’d both be drunk beyond comprehension if we took a shot each time that a Brady staffer repeated the slogan of “we are better than this.”*

That said, there were a few things to learn what the other side is focusing on at the moment. Here are the things I thought were worth reporting:

  1. While they repeatedly discussed an effort to ban semi-automatic firearms and magazines, their real focus was clearly on background checks/gun show loophole/private sales bans. Every single Brady staffer & recruit mentioned this and made this the focus of their speech. I suspect that this means they are going to go the Illinois-style of trying to get everything they can possibly get, but will fall back on so-called background check legislation if they don’t get the gun bans they want.**
  2. Anyone who said that just because Joe Biden is involved in the White House’s public relations effort meant that we could not take the White House threat seriously, you’re very shortsighted. Dan Gross told everyone that the point person at the White House is actually Valerie Jarrett. I think we’ve seen enough stories out the kinds of plans the White House has, so people shouldn’t be thinking that the mere mention of Biden means it’s all a big joke.
  3. They are extremely concerned about acting now and acting quickly. They acknowledge that the farther they get away from the 24/7 media coverage of dead people, they lose start to lose support for blaming guns. They begged people to set up meetings in the district offices of their Congressmen and Senators who are back in the district right now. They told their supporters not to wait on any specific bills that might be moving forward, but just to write, call, and demand any form of gun control.

*They totally knew we were on the call since they said that NRA members were on it. Maybe they didn’t know that the bloggers were listening, but they definitely knew that many folks would be tuning in from the pro-gun side to see what they are up to.

**I call this so-called background check legislation because we have seen that their version of gun show loophole has very little to do with background checks, but seeks to shut down gun shows.

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