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Brady Campaign Continues Slide Into Irrelevancy

Friday, March 19, 2010

The notion that lemmings deliberately hasten their demise by rushing into the sea may be a myth, but the anti-Second Amendment group and its spokesmen really are scurrying through a series of blunders that may hasten their steady march to irrelevancy.

In 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the group's two theories about the Second Amendment were rejected by the Supreme Court, one of them by five justices and the other by all nine. In 2009, they tried, with no success, to frighten America about tourists carrying guns for protection in national parks.

This year, they've insulted their most powerful ally, President Obama, for not setting aside the economy, the war, and his social agenda to push for gun control legislation Congress does not support. They've given the states their worst "Brady grades" ever, even though violent crime continues to decrease. And, they've badgered the Starbucks coffee company for allowing customers to legally carry firearms in its stores.

This week, though, Brady lawyer Dennis Henigan—the world's most prolific advocate of the legal theories the Supreme Court sent to the shredder two years ago—further diminished the group's credibility by claiming "The evidence is overwhelming that the 'shall-issue' concealed carry laws have been a disaster for public safety. . . . [T]he scholarly research shows that the laws generally have been 'associated with uniform increases in crime.'"

If he had just pushed himself away from the computer after his first four words, he would have been much better off. There's "evidence," all right, and it's certainly "overwhelming." Today, there are 36 states with "shall issue" laws—an all-time high. Sixty-three percent of Americans live in "shall issue" states, five million Americans have carry permits, and two states don't even require a permit to carry concealed.

"Uniform increases in crime"? The nation's violent crime rate is at a 35-year low.

Since adopting "shall issue" laws, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia have had decreases in violent crime ranging from 26 to 53 percent.

Henigan also claimed to have 33,000 signatures on his anti-Starbucks online petition, which can be signed by anyone with a computer anywhere in the world. But in a country of five million carry permit holders, up to 80 million gun owners, and 300 million people, Brady's petition and $1.70 will get you …

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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.