To former Brady head: wake up and smell the coffee...
Richard Aborn, former Brady Center president, has an op=ed in my local paper, and likely elsewhere.
Hmmm.... pro-gun groups outspent antigun ones by 11 to 1 (not sure where he gets those figures--the pro gun one is way too low). NRA has succeeded in arguing that any gun control is a step toward prohibition, and rallying members in a way the antigun movement has not. The antigun movement must forge links with gun owners by arguing that "the movement behind gun control does not seek to limit a law-abiding person's ability to get a gun."
Richard, there is one small difficulty with that plan.
Nobody believes you. To be more precise, nobody has any reason to believe you. For starters, in DC v, Heller, your group filed an amicus brief in support of DC's position -- that complete prohibition of handgun ownership was justifiable -- and that argued "I. THE SECOND AMENDMENT GUARANTEES NO RIGHT TO POSSESS FIREARMS UNLESS IN CONNECTION WITH SERVICE IN A STATE-REGULATED MILITIA." In McDonald v. Chicago, it filed an amicus that argued
"gun possession poses grave risks to the gun’s possessor, his or her family, and the public. A handgun kept in the home for self-defense is all too often used by a child to shoot himself or another child unintentionally, turned against a partner in a domestic dispute, used to end the life of a depressed teenager or adult with (often fleeting) suicidal thoughts, or obtained by criminals."
In other words, Brady was arguing that guns are a public menace even in the hands of the law abiding, since they might commit suicide, have an accident, or have their gun stolen by a criminal.
And then there's Brady's support for lawsuits aimed at bankrupting gun manufacturers, its name change from "Handgun Control, Inc." after it discovered a new issue of "assault rifles," etc.. The purpose was there from the beginning. Back in the 1970s, Pete Shields (for all practical purposes, the founder of the organization) told the New Yorker that he would not be content until all guns were prohibited, even for law enforcement use, but in the meantime he'd have to take half a loaf rather than none.
Aborn's statement hints at a world where, if a company wants to get people to believe their detergent or auto or insurance is better than others, they just spend on advertising in the confidence people can be convinced of that non-fact. He doesn't realize he's dealing with a far more serious subject -- and with far more experienced people.
UPDATE: reader Jim D. emails:
Richard Aborn, in the Huffington Post while running for Manhattan DA penned a blog entry titled "An Anti-Endorsement I'm Thrilled to Have":
"Our campaign for Manhattan DA has received many endorsements -- like Congressman Jerry Nadler, the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, to name a few -- but today it's an anti-endorsement I'm particularly proud to receive. Specifically, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, the official NRA-affiliated State Association in New York, urged its members yesterday to vote against me in the race for DA. And I couldn't be prouder."
It's going to take a lot more sucking up than he can get through propaganda to change people's minds after "proudly" accepting rejections like this.