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A Tough Year for Gun Control’s Brady Campaign

Gun rights advanced across the country, and Brady's own statistics undermined their cause.

by
Howard Nemerov

Bio

December 30, 2011 - 2:01 pm
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Savvy analysts will rightfully note the above correlations aren’t necessarily significant, and that’s the point: Brady claims that guns cause violence, yet they are unable to cite one comprehensive, significant dataset to corroborate their claims. Instead, they select factoids to support their propaganda, all rendered invalid upon examining the entire source data.

This is why the Brady Campaign is losing credibility, influence, and revenues. By the end of 2009 — the latest year for which data are publicly available — Brady’s total net assets were negative $564,123. Between 2006 and 2009, Brady’s total revenues dropped from $4,636,210 to $4,004,014, including investment income and royalties.

Brady began listing membership income as a separate line item in 2009. Mailing list company Consumerbase sells a Brady list currently containing 123,562 names, and reports that the average donation is $40. Collating these numbers with Brady’s tax return indicates they have about 32,000 members, plus 68,000 other contributors. (These numbers include the Million Mom March, which is now part of the Brady Campaign.)

By comparison, the Texas State Rifle Association has 40,000 members, and the National Rifle Association has “nearly four million members.”

Meanwhile, the Second Amendment continued experiencing a gradual recovery across America, as can be seen in the following examples:

  • Wisconsin became shall-issue concealed carry, after completely banning legal carry for many years. (Qualified law-abiding residents who apply must be issued a license to carry a concealed handgun.) Within six weeks of the law’s November 1 effective date, the Wisconsin Department of Justice received 56,000 permit applications, with “fewer than two dozen” being rejected because of criminal or mental health history. Another article notes: “It appears gun sales are on the increase.”
  • Wyoming became the fourth state to pass Second Amendment concealed carry (no license necessary).
  • Iowa moved from a sheriff-discretionary licensing system to shall-issue on January 1. The number of Iowans seeking carry permits has increased 170 percent (nearly tripled).
  • Paul Valone of Grass Roots North Carolina says: “Our new Castle Doctrine law allows victims to use deadly force in cases of forceful and unlawful entry into a home, vehicle or workplace. The law also removes victims’ duty to retreat prior to using deadly force, and extends concealed carry into state and municipal parks.”

Local stories indicate the sea change that rarely garners national attention:

  • In Wisconsin, a group of men openly carrying guns last year accepted a settlement over their civil rights lawsuit with the city of Madison. The Madison Police Department chose to arrest these men, despite Wisconsin’s longstanding open carry law, but then dropped all charges and changed their policy.
  • The Wichita, Kansas city council voted to allow guns in 111 city buildings.

Founder James Madison wrote:

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

For 2012, the most important criteria in determining a candidate’s legitimacy: how comfortable is the candidate with the concept of armed citizens?

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Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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