RIP Jim Brady
He may have been on the other side, but by all accounts was a nice guy. I met him briefly in the Supreme Court elevator, coming back from the argument in Sheriffs Pritz & Mack v. U.S., and with some effort he managed a smiling "hello."
I was in D.C. on the day when Hinkley shot him and President Reagan, and heard all the sirens going off, back 33 years ago.
UPDATE: I'm too much of a historian to relish myth, and some of the descriptions coming out are pure myth. Understand, Brady was not just confined to a wheelchair; when I saw him he was in one of those crosses between a wheelchair and a gurney, and he could manage to utter one word. A description of him at a later rally said that he managed with effort to say "fight ... fiercely." But this editorial says that he "personally called the then-state [CT] attorney general [Blumenthal] to encourage his efforts," with Blumenthal saying they "maintained a working relationship for nearly 20 years as Blumenthal became a Democratic senator from Connecticut." It adds that "Blumenthal said Brady was also active on the state level..."
One thing I find a bit irksome is that the history, dare I say revisionist history, of the Brady Campaign entirely omits the person who made it into a powerful organization: Nelson "Pete" Shields, who started in when it was a miniscule group called the National Council to Control Handguns, and turned it into a much larger group known at Handgun Control, Inc., recruited the Bradys, and ultimately turned it over to them. And within a year or two he became at most a footnote in its history. I wouldn't be surprised if the organization is smaller, and certainly it's less powerful, than when Shields finished building it up.
I doubt that Shields and Harlon Carter ever met, but they were counterparts, individuals who formed the opposing organizations, largely from the ground up (NRA had been around since 1871, but in the mid-70s was considering abandoning politics entirely). NRA has a bronze bust of Harlon in its HQ, and recognizes his leadership; Brady has made its real founder almost a non-person.