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Monday, April 4, 2011

Anti-gun Editors Use Anniversary of Reagan Shooting to Promote Bradys

March 30th was the 30th anniversary of the attempt on the life of President Reagan outside of a Washington D.C. hotel as he left a lunch speaking engagement.  The Christian Science Monitor  used the opportunity to write a profile and promote the activities of two people impacted by that event as much, if not more that the target of the shooting - Jim and Sarah Brady, and the Miami Herald noted that 30 years after the shooting, prospects for tighter gun control is dim.

It started with this Washington Post Op/Ed pinned by Sarah Brady, marking the 30th anniversary that left her husband partially paralyzed.  But it is not just a recounting of the struggles they faced in their personal lives, it is an opportunity to take twist history a little to fit the narrative that she wishes to paint.
Reagan, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, believed in the Brady bill and the 1994 assault weapons ban, which helped stem the flow of those weapons of war to American streets. After the ban was allowed to expire in 2004, law enforcement reported a dramatic increase in seizures of guns using large-capacity assault magazines. It’s hard to believe that people who worship Reagan’s legacy would oppose policies he rightly understood would help save lives and dreams from the death and destruction of gun violence.
Yes, Ronald Reagan expressed support for the "Brady Bill" in 1991 when marking the 10th anniversary of the attempt on his life, and in 1994 he signed a letter along with Clinton and Former President Jimmy Carter in support of the so-called "assault weapons" ban.  But you would think the way the anti-rights groups cling to these two examples, that these two acts, done after he had left office, and just before he left the public eye, makes him a lifelong champion of gun control.

It is interesting that while he was still in office, and had a considerable amount of support from the American people, he never once pushed for such measures to be passed in Congress.  In fact, he told those assembled in Phoenix for the NRA Annual Meeting just two years after being shot that:

It's a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun control laws. I happen to know this from personal experience.
That's right - gun control laws have no impact on criminals.  Reagan also praised the NRA and it's members for standing by their principles in supporting their rights.  But most importantly, he noted that the NRA is the true "gun safety" organization in America.  Anti-rights media types and politicians refer to the Brady Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns as "gun safety" groups, even though they have not one "safety" program among them other than to restrict the purchase of firearms.  This is what Reagan said about the NRA and gun safety:
No group does more to promote gun safety and respect for the laws of this land than the NRA, and I thank you. Still, we've both heard the charge that supporting gun-owners rights encourages a violent, shoot-em-up society. But just a minute. Don't they understand that most violent crimes are not committed by decent, law-abiding citizens? They're committed by career criminals. Guns don't make criminals. Hard-core criminals use guns. And locking them up, the hard-core criminals up, and throwing away the key is the best gun-control law we could ever have.
Anti-rights groups have had little success using this year's shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords  and others, to their advantage.  We now see them trying to use the anniversary of the Reagan shooting to push their agenda.

While anti-rights groups will use the two instances late in his life to try and paint Reagan has having a big impact for advancing gun control, looking at the whole of his political carrier, he was a true champion of the right to keep and bear arms.  Reagan was the first, and to date, only, sitting president to speak at an NRA Annual Meeting, and his remarks clearly illustrated his core support of the Second Amendment. He owned a firearm for personal protection, and even came to the aide of a woman once, without having to fire a shot (he later admitted he had no ammo so it was lucky the bluff worked).

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