Dissecting a Brady Campaign Propaganda Email

The Brady Campaign, which is one of the leading anti gun rights groups, often uses misinformation and fear mongering.  This is true of both its own statements about guns, as well as statements made by its subsidiaries.  A recent email sent by the Brady Campaign to its members demonstrates this point quite well:

Imagine … loaded, hidden handguns being carried nearly anywhere and everywhere, by anyone regardless of the law in your state.

That’s what 22 U.S. Senators are pushing. Their legislation would force states, like your state, to allow dangerous people to carry hidden guns in public.
And look who’s sponsoring the bill:
  • Senator Tom Coburn, who forced through outrageous “guns in parks” legislation as an amendment to the popular credit card bill in May;
  • Senator John Ensign, whose personal crusade is to gut Washington, DC’s gun laws; and
  • other A-rated NRA legislators who seek to weaken our country’s gun laws in the name of “rights” and “freedom” with no reference to “responsibility.”

These are the gun lobby’s henchmen — and we need your help to stop them.

Donate now to support the Brady Campaign’s all-out opposition to national concealed carry legislation.
If this legislation passes, it could dramatically increase the number of individuals who carry concealed handguns in public in your state … even if your state legally bars these particular individuals from possessing guns.
Out-of-state residents who would never qualify for New York or California concealed carry permits would now be able to legally “pack heat” in your community. It reduces gun laws in all states to the “lowest common denominator” of those states with weakest gun laws.
This is madness. Please, in the name of common sense gun laws and public safety, donate to the Brady Campaign now.
We don’t need more people carrying concealed handguns — on neighborhood streets, on buses, at sporting events, in public parks, or anywhere.
Please help us stop this legislation ASAP. Give your support to the Brady Campaign today. Thank you.

Sarah's Signature [image]
Sarah Brady, Chair

Starting with the first sentence, this Brady Campaign refers to the lawful carrying of a concealed firearm for self defense, pursuant to a state’s licensing procedures, as “hidden handguns being carried nearly anywhere and everywhere.”  First, the use of the word “hidden” is a subtle attempt to make concealed carry seem somehow wrongful, when it is instead a right of law abiding people in most states.  Criminals “hide” their drugs.  Embezzlers “hide” their ill-gotten funds.  But law abiding citizens who are carrying a gun for self defense, as the law allows them to do, are not “hiding” their gun.  Instead, they are concealing it for self defense purposes, so that they are able to save their own lives from violent criminal attack.

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The Brady Campaign also suggests that reciprocity in concealed carry between states is somehow a bad thing.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Firstly, most states already recognize concealed carry permits from other states, to various degrees.  The proposed federal law, which the Brady Campaign is maligning, would simply harmonize this sort of recognition of permits from one state to another.  Under the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, and other laws, states already recognize each other’s driver’s licenses, license plates, birth certificates, marriage certificates, court judgments, etc.  It only makes sense to similarly recognize concealed carry between the states, as failing to do so just creates a myriad of intricate legal requirements that hamper self defense, while failing to deter law breaking criminals.

Next, the Brady Campaign continues on its fear mongering approach by saying that the proposed legislation would “allow dangerous people to carry hidden guns in public.”  The fact i that criminals who want to carry a gun already do so.  It is not as though rapists, murderers, and gang bangers are just waiting for this law to pass before picking up their gun (which they are already banned from having).  Instead, this law will allow concealed carry permit holders to lawfully carry their self defense guns.  Since the statistics make clear  that concealed carry permit holders are ultra law abiding, it is simply unreasonable and dishonest for the Brady Campaign to characterize such people as “dangerous.”

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This propaganda email then goes on to mention by name a couple of pro gun rights senators, and bills they have supported.  In particular, it mentions Senator Tom Coburn, who introduced legislation to restore the right to concealed carry in national parks that was granted during the waning days of the Bush administration, only to die during the early days of the Obama administration.  While the Brady Campaign likes to characterize concealed carry rights in national parks as “outrageous,” the facts show it to be a prudently granted right.  To recap, many criminals take advantage of the seclusion of national parks in order to prey on park going victims.  Denying park visitors concealed carry simply means that the law abiding victims are defenseless against the still armed criminals who attack them in the isolated expanses of our national parks.

Further down, the Brady Campaign’s propaganda email refers to the proposed gun rights law as “madness,” and calls for “common sense” restrictions on gun rights.  Such phrases, especially “common sense,” are trademark phrases for gun control advocates.  Rather than being “common sense,” their knee-jerk gun restrictions are poorly thought out and have no effect upon criminals.  Instead, they only hamper the gun rights and self defense abilities of law abiding citizens, while failing to disarm the very criminals against whom such law abiding citizens need to defend themselves.  Calling a gun restriction “common sense” or “reasonable” doesn’t make it so, no matter how many times such words are uttered.

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Although there are many other anti gun aspects of this email that I could critique, in the interest of time I’m going to mention just one more thing: The Brady Campaign’s repeated request for money.  No fewer than three times did the email request donations, often right after engaging in the unfounded fear mongering that I discussed above.  Sadly, I’m quite sure that many of the Brady Campaign’s email subscribers bought their scare tactics and donated money to help fight against gun and self defense rights.  In the hopes of countering these donations, I would like to encourage everyone to join the NRA, or give a gift membership if you are already an NRA member yourself.

For anyone who can’t think of a good recipient for a gift NRA membership, I suggest Sarah Brady, who is Chair of the Brady Campaign and author of the above anti gun propaganda email.  Sarah Brady’s office address is:
1225 Eye Street, NW, Suite 1100,
Washington, DC 20005

My thanks to Anders for pointing out this Brady Campaign propaganda email.