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The Brady Campaign, and NBC`s Katie Couric, Try to Re-write History

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Exploiting tragedy for political gain is nothing new for the media and the Brady Campaign, but this morning’s appearance on NBC’s Today Show reached a new low. Katie Couric and Sarah Brady used the tragic occasion of President Reagan’s passing to shamelessly forward the gun-ban agenda with deliberate misinformation. Led by carefully crafted questions from Couric, Sarah Brady claimed that President Reagan wasn’t actually an NRA member, and that he "worked hard" for passage of the so-called "assault weapons" ban.

In fact, President Reagan, the owner of an AR-15, was a strong and consistent supporter of the Second Amendment and the NRA. He was a long time member who actively courted the NRA’s endorsement in both of his presidential campaigns, and was the first presidential candidate in history to receive that endorsement. He appeared on the cover of NRA magazines four times. In 1983 he was offered, and accepted, an NRA Honorary Life Membership, the highest honor bestowed by the NRA.

He was the first, and to date, only, sitting president to speak at our Annual Meetings, saying, in part, "The NRA believes America’s laws were made to be obeyed and that our constitutional liberties are just as important today as 200 years ago. And by the way, the Constitution does not say Government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution says ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’" In 1986, President Reagan signed the landmark Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA), and he never blamed law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals.

Don’t allow these offensive lies to go unchallenged! Please immediately contact Tom Touchet, Executive Producer of the "Today Show," to express your outrage and demand that equal time be given for a rebuttal. Mr. Touchet can be reached by phone at (212) 664-3222, or by e-mail at tom.touchet@NBC.com.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.