It's that time of year again -- the time when the Brady Campaign releases its annual scores and rankings, lavishing praise on state governments that infringe upon the rights of their citizens and scorn on those that respect the Constitution. This year, the occasion was met with about as much enthusiasm as that other spring ritual, the income tax filing deadline. If this is the first you're hearing of the new rankings, let's hope that's because the mainstream media has finally come to its senses about this annual publicity stunt.
As it has since 1997, the Brady Campaign's grading system works by assigning points to a state based on whether it has adopted a specific type of gun control law. The Brady Campaign then assigns each state a grade -- now measured in "stars," undoubtedly because percentage grades would show that the group has been unable to prevent most states from failing its test. Most states receive fewer than 10 points and no stars.
The group does not try to measure the effectiveness of any of these laws when assigning points and grades, instead implying that simply having laws restricting the right to keep and bear arms somehow makes a state better and safer. This, of course, is a false premise. Measuring restrictive laws simply for the sake of having restrictive laws only assesses a state government's lack of respect for the rights of its citizenry.
This "more is better" gun law fallacy is evidenced when the Brady Campaign gives states points for restricting the Right to Carry and punishes with "demerits" (negative points) those states that don't require permits. Today, 37 states have "shall issue" permit systems and as of July 1, 2011 three of those states will also allow for permitless carry (as does
When studying individual state rankings, the Brady Campaign's delusions prove even more foolish. In a press release accompanying the rankings,
Times must be tough for the Brady Campaign, which acknowledges cribbing the information used for the state scorecard from its fellow gun control group, the Legal Community Against Violence. With an inability to conduct its own research, it is no wonder the information Brady supplies to the public and the press often proves misleading or false. Or perhaps the Brady Campaign deems such research irrelevant, as its main tactic remains the exploitation of tragedy.