The hand-wringers at the Brady Campaign must have figured out what the rest of us have known for quite some time. Having been rendered all but entirely irrelevant, at least for the time being, the group is resorting to weird publicity stunts, in a vain attempt to again be taken seriously by its former not-so-secret admirers in the national anti-gun news media.
Last month, the group gave President Obama an “F” for “failed leadership” on gun control, accusing him of “squandering” the opportunity to push for tighter gun control laws. Now it’s attacking Starbucks for allowing people to carry firearms in its stores as provided for by state law.
Get this doozie: “It’s everyone’s right to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop with their families without intimidation or fear of guns,” the Brady Campaign says, in its modern rendition of FDR’s famous “freedom from fear” quote.
Not surprisingly, while the Brady Campaign easily fabricates a “right” to feel free from fear, it angrily scoffs at the right to self-protection by encouraging its minions to sign a petition demanding that Starbucks establish a gun policy more restrictive than state law. “I demand that Starbucks stand up for the safety of its customers and prohibit guns in your [sic] retail establishments,” the petition reads.
A call to Starbucks has confirmed what was pretty obvious on its face. The company is in the business to sell coffee, not jump in the middle of a Brady-generated squabble that state law has already resolved in favor of the right to carry firearms, in certain circumstances. Starbucks also isn’t in business to help Brady get its name in the paper.
The Brady Campaign’s resorting to this kind of silliness is understandable. It was once the most influential anti-gun group in town, able to claim some of the “credit” for the temporary imposition of the federal handgun waiting period between 1994 and 1998 and the federal “assault weapon” ban between 1994 and 2004.
But in recent years it has experienced the longest losing streak in gun control history. The waiting period has expired in favor of the instant check system. The 1994 gun ban has expired. The number of Right-to-Carry states has continued to rise. The list goes on, at the federal, state and local level. And the group’s core arguments about the Second Amendment were rejected entirely by the Supreme Court in the Heller case. President Obama even signed bills into law which included provisions allowing the carrying of firearms in national parks according to state law, and protecting the sale of surplus military ammunition components to the private sector.
And today, the media’s gun control darling is not the Brady Campaign’s leader, former Fort Wayne, Indiana mayor Paul Helmke, who spends his time blogging about gun control on the Huffington Post website, where members on the fringe gather to rant about mainstream America. Today, the leader of the gun control movement is billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who spends his time (and money) as mayor of America’s most influential city.
Gun owners who like coffee ought to drop Starbucks a line and respectfully encourage the company to stay above the fray into which anti-gun activists are trying to drag them. Click here to do so. As for the Brady Campaign, let’s hope things continue at the present rate. If they do, before too long we’ll have to explain who the group was, before it was forced to close its doors for lack of interest.