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« July 2014 | Main | September 2014 »

"Brady Bill" Namesake James Brady Dies at Age 73

National Media Glorifies Him But Gets Story Wrong

Attacks on the Civil Right to Arms to Continue Unabated

Criminal acts still cleverly used as leverage to disarm the innocent

Sarah, not Jim, the real force behind the anti-rights movement

by Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
Aug. 6, 2014

"There's no way to tell if you're on
the Brady rights-denied list, (the "NICS Index")
and attempting to buy a firearm
if you're on the government list is a felony.
Attempting to find out if you're on the list is a crime."

James Brady, the White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan has died. He was 73. He is being credited with "stunning successes" in the "gun-control" efforts in America.

Brady had been shot in the head with a .22 caliber revolver during an assassination attempt on president Reagan in 1981, and was severely incapacitated by the injury. Confined to a wheel chair for the balance of his life, in constant pain and speaking only with extreme difficulty, his ambitious and attractive young wife Sarah was understandably horrified and reportedly turned bitter by the life-changing tragedy. Their world had turned upside down. 

Continuing a long tradition of spinning gun-related news to fit a set of beliefs instead of conformance with the facts, the "news" media is portraying James Brady as the moving force behind what is now the Brady Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence, formerly the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, formerly the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence Allied with The Million Moms March, formerly the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, formerly Handgun Control, Inc., formerly the National Council to Ban Handguns.

Jim Brady Never Ran The Brady Group

His wife Sarah however was the public face and driving force of the anti-gun-rights movement the entire time, which is common knowledge to everyone in the field. Husband Jim was wheeled out infrequently at selected events, often to thunderous applause, where he would wave weakly, occasionally say a few garbled words, and leave the rest of the activity to his wife and others. He was incapable of much else due to the unfortunate tragedy he endured.

The Brady Bill, technically The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, eventually took control of every firearm sold at retail in America, not just handguns as originally promoted, thanks to a little noticed portion that took effect automatically in 1998 -- five years after Congress voted to pass the bill in 1993. Delayed passage of unexpected, controversial or unpopular provisions of law is a questionable practice, according to leading experts. It caught most gun owners by complete surprise.

Five-Day "Cooling Off" Period Was Promo, Not Real

The much vaunted five-day waiting (or "cooling off") period, promoted by the "news" media as the reason for passing the bill, was never a significant part of even the handgun law, never part of the all-firearms bill, and is not part of the bill now.

It was basically used as feel-good leverage to pass the bill for those who didn't read it, and for media promotion. Many people still believe there is a five-day waiting period in the law, even though there isn't now and effectively never was. The "news" media has done little or nothing to clarify the point, leaving the public with the same false impression, 21 years later. But it feels good, according to some with inside knowledge of the situation.

Some states have enacted their own waiting periods of differing lengths and conditions. The 'holy grail' of waiting periods, a long sought after goal of anti-gun-rights activists, has been largely abandoned, left on the dust heap of history. It eventually became obvious, even to die-hard activists, that it was illogical to sell guns to the furiously angry, and then hope they remain calm for the rest of their lives after a five-day wait to get armed.

Rights Denied With No Due Process

Although "news" reports are literally promoting a factoid, presented with no corroboration, that the Brady bill has prevented two million gun transfers from taking place, there is no evidence that the bill has prevented any criminals from arming themselves. Disarming criminals is the stated goal of the bill.

In fact, gangs and criminals in America are known to be heavily armed despite every law on the books banning such activity. In that sense, the Brady bill is an abject failure, but at least it is enormously expensive, diverts scarce resources from other desperately needed uses, impacts every innocent person who shops for firearms, and provides massive employment for law-enforcement officials and the NICS background-check center in West Virginia. None of these points made any "news" reports.

What the two-million figure actually represents, assuming the number is correct, is people denied their fundamental civil and human right to obtain firearms -- without due process, a court hearing, submission of evidence, representation of counsel, or a decent appeals process. In fairness though, there is an administrative process that leads to frequent reversals due to bad records, name similarities and plain old government snafus, unmentioned in "news" accounts. How many should truly be denied firearms for cause is unknown, uninvestigated and unquestioned, except here.

In other words, the public's "specific, enumerated right" (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 628 n.27 (2008) to keep and bear arms, gets banned under the Brady bill by bureaucrats and a computer terminal, without immediate or easy redress.

There is no way to tell if you are on the Brady gun-rights-denied list, (technically, the "NICS Index") and attempting to exercise your rights and buy a firearm if you are on the government list is a felony. Attempting to find out if you're on the list is a crime. The Brady system is, by design, tyrannical.

The alternative BIDS system, at 90% less cost, would accomplish the same Brady-like purpose of preventing criminals from buying firearms at retail and paying sales tax, yet would not infringe on the innocent, but has gotten a cold shoulder from officials, for reasons that were unclear at press time.

Using the BIDS approach (Blind Identification System), the list of prohibited possessors is made available, encrypted and password protected, to federally licensed dealers, who can look up prospective buyers, similar to wanted posters, to prevent sales to undesirables, while keeping the names of the innocent out of government hands. The need for huge federal employee banks and overhead is eliminated entirely.

How many of the two million prevented transfers were real criminals trying to buy guns who should be arrested for it? That's been studied. Virtually none, at astronomical cost, it's easily googled (a NICS stop is insufficient grounds to dispatch law enforcement, and virtually never "grounds for successful prosecution,"Translation: a hard-enough crime has not been committed). This is the "success" the media splashes in our faces. For shame.

Brady Gave FBI Centralized Control Over The Public

The main tangible result of the Brady bill was to authorize more than $250 million initially, with unknown subsequent funding, for the FBI to build its long-desired centralized computer center in Clarksburg, W. Va., from which it could check out any American from a single location. With funding unavailable for years, the furor over "gun control" provided the final impetus to construct the huge campus that houses the NICS center that performs background checks on every new gun sold in America. Its other uses are a closely guarded secret.

The FBI's NICS center is the largest retail-control system of any kind in the world, keeping tabs, in real time, of sales nationwide of a consumer product. It now handles an average of more than a million requests a month. See a diagram of how it works here:

The system is capable of turning off gun sales nationally -- or regionally -- at the flip of a switch, and has done so repeatedly, on "a trial basis," for "scheduled maintenance," and "unexpected outages," even during busy holiday-buying seasons, or during weekend gun shows, sometimes for days at a time. System up time has improved over the years.

National Gun Registration System Can't Be Confirmed

Although the Brady system isn't supposed to maintain a list of gun buyers, which is banned by federal law (FOPA, 1986, and the Brady bill itself), public confidence in this is low. When originally built, Janet Reno, the attorney general under whose authority it was constructed, claimed at the time the computer was incapable of deleting records, to the shock of many observers. She later recanted, and said it would be rebuilt to delete records within six months.

She recanted again, after Congressional outrage, and said records would be deleted quickly, as if her edicts could simply supplant statute (which required destruction). Ten sets of backups are deleted in sequence, according to an FBI spokesperson contacted at the SHOT Show, to protect the integrity of the system. The results of record checks performed outside the system, to foreign sources, are unclear. No audit trail is known, and the FBI, which runs the system, assures Congress and the public that it runs the system within the confines of the law. An insider has assured me this is true. The FBI had previously stated publicly that it keeps the records.

Operational Style Generated Endless Criticism

The Brady organization itself has been responsible for some of the most vicious and tasteless campaigns against the fundamental human right to self defense, and the civil right to keep and bear arms, in the history of the United States. Relying on "Rahm's Rule," named after Rahm Emanuel, now the mayor of Chicago, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

The group never fails to use criminal actions for leverage in its endless attempts to disarm everyone who had nothing to do with the evil acts. It has become their trademark tactic, lapped up by a cooperative media that, based solely on a review of the coverage they give, largely shares their anti-gun-rights views.

The Brady group has been characterized by the late civil-rights champion Neal Knox as always "dancing in the blood of victims." When a deranged individual or prescription-drug crazed madman commits an atrocity, gun owners prepare themselves for an assault, invariably led by the Bradys and their allies, lasting for days on end, aimed at everyone who had nothing to do with the event.

Even a single murderous attack seemingly anywhere in the nation, is now broadcast repeatedly thousands of miles away, and often years later, thanks to the group's tremendous influence, and used as an argument for reducing the public's right to keep and bear arms. Pictures of the evil perpetrator, which ought to be downplayed, are instead beamed into American homes, prompting some to cynically refer to the group as the Brady Center for the Promotion of Gun Violence.

In contrast, the good that guns do, saving lives, preventing crime, keeping America free, and as a sport significantly bigger than golf, gets extremely little attention in what passes for news these days. Thirteen scholarly studies show between 700,000 and 2.5 million defensive gun uses every year, but you would hardly know it if the Brady group was your source of information.

Sarah Brady was not reached for comment. As she has aged, and the group has matured, her activity with the organization has reportedly decreased.

Alan Korwin, the author of this and countless similar articles about monkey business in media coverage of firearms issues, simply asks that you click this link, look at the books and DVDs he and his associates have produced, and get something good for yourself to help keep you safe, informed, and so he can continue his work. Do you have the gun laws for your state? Have you read up on gun-fight tactics or gun policies lately? Could you be a more effective advocate for your rights? Do you want to DO something already?

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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