Friday, 19 March 2010

The Brady Campaign

I have decided to look at an anti gun group called the Brady Campaign. The link to the website is below:

The campaign was founded in 1974 by Mark Borinsky who was robbed and almost killed by a gunman. The group was known then as the National Council to Control Handguns. The name was changed three more times in 1980, 1983, and 1989. In 2001 the group settled on the Brady Campaign this was in dedication to Sarah and James Brady who lobbied for safer gun control. James Brady was press Secretary for President Reagan and was shot in the head during the attempt on his life. He survived, but was paralysed. The groups aim is to improve and introduce sensible gun laws. They also seek to prevent ‘dangerous’ people from gaining access to guns. Their mission statement states,

We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

The Brady Campaign works within the political field to achieve these goals,

The Brady Campaign works to pass and enforce sensible federal and state gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots activism, electing public officials who support common sense, gun laws, and increasing public awareness of gun violence.

The group does not just lobby for change it also helps the victims of gun crime and represents victims on court. Although the Brady Campaign is pro gun control it does not advocate a complete ban on all guns,

Brady believes that a safer America can be achieved without banning guns. We believe that law-abiding citizens should be able and keep firearms… we believe that those who do own guns ought to be held to the highest standards of safety. They should be well trained in the use of their weapons and they should be required to keep weapons secure, so that neither innocent children nor prohibited persons can get hold of them.

The group uses many shocking facts to highlight the problems with guns in America. In one section they list how many people have been killed by gun crime across the world,

In 2006, Guns murdered

18 in Austria

27 in Australia

59 in England and Wales

60 in Spain

190 in Canada

194 in Germany

10,177 in the United States

They also have a box at the top of the website that states how many American have been shot this year the number is currently, 23,204. The number shot today is already 104.

I feel the Brady Campaign is taking the right approach to getting America to support gun control. America is never going to support a ban on guns as they feel it is their right to own and use one, due to the Second Amendment. The group is left wing, but not so much so that it repels American in the middle of the political spectrum. Therefore by not advocating a ban on guns the group does not isolate itself. Many American support gun control, but would not be happy with a complete ban on firearms. With gun control being such a key, controversial, and highly debated issue and many gun cases appearing every day, see link below:

The Brady campaign still has a lot to lobby and campaign for, but has a good platform to do it from.

1 comment:

  1. Great pick Annie. Especially as Jim Brady was Press Secretary to Republican Reagan and gun control is a campaign associated with a liberal ethos.

    I remember the 1981 attack by John Hinckley on Ronald Reagan and also the gun control legislation which Brady's campaign was instrumental in enacting. Before 'Brady's Law' (1994) was passed under Bill Clinton, there were no checks on prospective gun owners. Personal details were required but legal checks weren't. Result? The baddies lied.

    Also, the example of gun crime reported on Fox (as we know, a famous supporter of the conservative ethos) is a good example of a case which suggests to liberals that gun control is necessary to prevent such crime. However, to conservatives, it suggests the opposite as it's the fear of this kind of gun crime which encourages the law-abiding to believe that gun-ownership is necessary in order to defend themselves.

    They don't trust the government to disarm gun-wielding criminals... and there is some substance to their argument as legislating against gun ownership will disarm the law-abiding innocent but not the law-breaking guilty. The genie is already out of the lamp as there are so many guns in circulation in the USA now that it's difficult to know how the guilty can be disarmed.

    As you say, the 2nd Amendment is the premise which supports such widespread gun ownership but it's meaning is disputed so, maybe in the future. opinion will move from the current conservative emphasis on the third and fourth clauses, toward the more liberal interpretation suggested by clauses one and two:

    'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'


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