Direct confrontation with the Brady Campaign

The Brady Campaign has now directly engaged us on the bigotry meme I started pushing several years ago.

Sebastian has addressed most of their points but I would like to pile on as well.

They say:

The truth, of course, is that guns and gun carrying are obviously not immutable characteristics of people, and that the whole cultural framework around the issue of gun violence prevention is a sham. (Brady Center Vice-President Dennis Henigan has exposed this most recently here and here.)

“Immutable characteristics” is a straw man argument I addressed in an update to the post that got their attention as follows:

By that logic banning interracial couples, Catholics or Muslims from Starbucks or Woolworths wouldn’t be bigotry either. I’ve got news for the Brady Campaign Staff–they’re wrong and I think they know it.

As long as they held on to the falsehood that the 2nd Amendment did not protect an individual right they might have made a thin case for that. But as soon as the right to keep and bear arms was on the same level as the freedom of association and freedom of religion they lost that crutch. Via D.C. v. Heller we have, and the Brady Campaign acknowledges, a specific, constitutionally protected, right to keep and bear arms. With that decision they became a gentler version of the KKK. No white sheets or burning crosses in our yards but they still attempt to segregate us and ban us from parks, buildings, and businesses. The only difference between them and the KKK is the KKK was sometimes willing to take the law into their own hands. The Brady Campaign attempts to get the government, Amtrack, and Starbucks to do the yucky work of infringing on the rights of others for them. They are now on a slippery slope into obscurity and revulsion and they are grasping at straws with their denial of bigotry.

And their advocacy for public bans of us exercising that right is more than just bigotry. It is just a hairs breadth away from a felony:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

I addressed the claim that the cultural framework is a sham here using a paper published in the Journal of Criminal Justice. In that same post I pointed out that Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign admits in his book that causation between higher rates of gun ownership and crime are, at best, “difficult to show”. I also pointed out they no longer insist the 2nd Amendment is not an individual right.

So if it isn’t bigotry just what does the Brady Campaign claim as a basis for their continued insistence that the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms be infringed? From their post they claim, “It has everything to do with public safety, public health and common sense.”

Ahh… I see.

But they already admitted that public safety and health correlating negatively with gun ownership rates are at best “difficult to show”. So all we have left is “common sense”.

So tell me–Is that the same “common sense” used by whites that didn’t want their children in the same swimming pool with black children unless it was cleaned afterward? Or maybe the same “common sense” used by some to insist their white daughters not be near black men or enter into interracial marriages. No. I’m sure that’s not it–that would be bigotry. How about the “common sense” and documentary films that claim Jews are the vermin of the human race? Oh, that would be bigotry too? Then just what is this “common sense” justification for infringing upon this right and how does it differ from these obvious examples of bigotry?

Perhaps they haven’t seen the definition of “bigot” recently. Here is the Merriam-Webster definition: “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”.

I have a challenge for Brady Campaign supporters–What evidence would it take for you to change your mind in regards to gun ownership and the public carry of firearms? Tell me and I’ll give serious consideration to dropping the bigotry meme.


8 thoughts on “Direct confrontation with the Brady Campaign

  1. You can spin it all you like Joe, but it doesn’t work. Requesting gun owners to leave thier guns home and not carry them into a crowded public place is akin to asking the tree worker to leave his chainsaw home. That’s a much closer comparison than the ones you keep pushing. You are the personification of grandiose victimism, eskpecially since you take credit for having started pushing the meme several years ago.

    One question, did you invent it or did you get it from the NRA?

  2. @Mikey – I’d be willing to leave my firearm at home just as soon as you convince the criminals to leave theirs. I’ve trained to use mine. Have they?

  3. So how is it that you know “it doesn’t work”? You have admitted you do not know how to determine truth from falsity. What you are doing now is proposing a “proof by vigorous assertion” of the correctness of your position. You make no effort to refute the fact that infringing on a specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms changes the situation.

    I cannot take credit for “inventing” it. The first person that I know of to make the observation was Don Kates in 1994.

    I cannot recall anyone representing the NRA ever use the term bigot or anything related.

  4. Alrighty, Mikey, our gracious host answered your simple little question, with a rather comprehensive and in-depth post, no less. It seems only fair, appropriate, and polite that you answer his question, namely:

    What evidence would it take for you to change your mind in regards to gun ownership and the public carry of firearms?

    So, do, tell us what would be compelling evidence for you to abandon your bigotry? And, yes, it is bigotry – to clear up any confusion, I will kindly provide the definition of that word, since it is very clear that we are not operating on the same page:

    one who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ

    That little definition, simple though it may be, more than adequately describes the differences between the pro-freedom and anti-freedom camps. The former actively, intentionally, consciously, and continuously seeks out new information, data, studies, statistics, and so forth to expand their understanding of the world around them, and if that information conflicts with pre-conceived notions, it is weighed against the history of information before it, integrated into the whole, and those preconceived notions are changed accordingly. Some people are better at this than others, and some do not do it at all, admittedly, but the majority do. This is, of course, in stark contrast with the anti-freedom crowd, who thrive on ignorance, fear, emotional responses, and bought-and-paid-for “studies” that are based on nothing more than personal feelings.

    The rights protected by the Second Amendment are as much civil rights as those protected by the First, Fourteenth, and other Amendments – claiming otherwise either indicates a massive personal cognitive dissonance, or the belief that some rights are somehow better than others. Is that what you believe? And, if so, how do you make the determination as to which rights are “better”?

  5. Linoge, You and Joe are too strong for me. By that I mean a great compliment. Your knowledge of the subject is too great for me to compete with. I’ve said this to Kevin a while back. Yet, as prolix and fact-laden as you guys are, I don’t find the argument convincing. I honestly read what you write, but I cannot answer your first question about what it would take to convince me. Sorry.

    Let me ask you this? Couldn’t your definition of “a bigot” apply to yourself? I know you already answered that in the next paragraph, but if you could for one moment step back and try to be objective, couldn’t it work both ways? Couldn’t the word “obstinate” be applied to you? How about “intolerantly devoted?” “Strongly partial to one’s own group,” defines you to a tee.

    That nonsense about the Second Amendment being a civil right is just that, nonsense. I know you can drown me with facts and arguments to the contrary, but I have read enough to come to the conclusion that 2nd Amendment idea of the 1790s has nothing to do with today’s society. But through the twisting and manipulating of the courts and the tireless repeating of its supporters, the 2nd Amendment has experienced an apotheosis of sorts. It’s become the magical aegis under which you march to battle. March on, my friend. But don’t expect me to be convinced.

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