Op-Ed By Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman
Following the dismissal of a second lawsuit against the District of Columbia by Dick Anthony Heller in U.S. District Court (his first lawsuit resulted in the 2008 Heller ruling), the Brady Campaign for the Prevention of Gun Violence was a little too quick on the trigger in its press release applauding Judge Ricardo M. Urbina’s decision.
Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke, who has garnered quite a bit of self-created publicity lately in his war against Starbucks Coffee, admitted quite by accident that his organization still believes in banning entire classes of firearms, despite the 2008 Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller that such bans would not pass constitutional muster.
But that doesn’t matter to the Brady Bunch. Their agenda has always been one of gun prohibition, not control. The kinds of controls they consider “common sense” are so Draconian in nature that they actually discourage firearms ownership, and lower the civil right to keep and bear arms to the level of a highly-regulated privilege.
Helmke admonished politicians and legislatures “at all levels” to “stop using the Second Amendment as an excuse for inaction” against what the anti-gun lobby has cleverly dubbed “gun violence.” (After all, what is the difference between “gun violence” and any other kind of criminal violence that results in someone being injured or killed? Is someone any less dead if they are stabbed, strangled, burned or bludgeoned? Helmke’s crew has never explained that, but evidently they think there is a difference.)
Millions of Americans understand that the Second Amendment is not “an excuse” for anything. Law-abiding citizens are not “hiding behind” a constitutional guarantee when they oppose the imposition of extremist regulations like those adopted in the District of Columbia, which Helmke finds so reasonable. These regulations include an onerous registration process requiring a ballistics check of the handgun, a written test and proof of good eyesight.
District regulations also ban so-called “assault weapons,” the definition of which has become so nebulous over the years that just about any firearm someone does not like could fall within its scope, particularly if it is a semiautomatic. The Brady group is just fine with that; they think it is a grand idea. Helmke says the aforementioned politicians and legislatures “should follow the District’s example and pass the strong, common sense gun laws Americans need and demand to protect their communities.”
The Brady Campaign has been disingenuous at best over the years. It was on the losing side in the Heller case, but subsequently turned around and claimed that since there is an individual right to keep and bear arms, and the door has been left open to “reasonable regulation,” then it is reasonable, in their opinion, to essentially regulate gun ownership into extinction. The right would still exist, but exercising it would become a regulatory nightmare.
The Brady Campaign is not now, nor has it ever been, to “prevent gun violence.” Their campaign has always been to prevent gun ownership.
Alan Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. Dave Workman is senior editor of Gun Week. They are co-authors of ‘Assault on Weapons: The Campaign to Eliminate Your Guns.’