12 June 2008

Brady Campaign Predicts Loss On Heller

"We've lost the battle on what the Second Amendment means," campaign president Paul Helmke told ABC News. "Seventy-five percent of the public thinks it's an individual right. Why are we arguing a theory anymore? We are concerned about what we can do practically."'

I don't think the Heller decision will be a slam dunk when the U.S. Supreme Court rules this month. The 2A will be viewed as an individual right. But the Court will, sadly, reserve the right for government to have some oversight and regulation on firearms. And everyone knows that will open up a floodgate of additional lawsuits for the next decade or more on "just exactly what the opinion means."

Nevertheless, to hear Paul Helmke talking to ABC News with such a defeatist position is mind-boggling. Remember, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) has been happily spewing half-truths for more than a decade. Much of the legacy media has happily carried the Bradys' water, never questioning their bizarre sound bytes and quotes designed to frighten an uninformed public.

But in the wake of 9/11, crime in our cities, the growth of concealed carry laws around the nation, and acceptance of the shooting sports as one of the safest outdoor sports anyone can take part in (check out the new CDC stats on what is MOST dangerous), a vast majority of Americans have come to the conclusion that the Second Amendment is, indeed, an individual right.

There is a curious side to Mr. Helmke, however. Never one to shy away, as I said above, from an over-the-top sound byte, he added this:

"Universal background checks don't affect the right of self-defense in the home. Banning a super dangerous class of weapons, like assault weapons, also would not adversely affect the right of self-defense in the home," said Henigan. "Curbing large volume sales doesn't affect self-defense in the home."

What is a "universal" background check? Every American being background checked on a weekly, monthly or annual basis? Large volume sales? Curbing them? Will he advocate curbing fleet sales of automobiles to corporate purchasers also? Remember, cars kill every day.

But mostly, I am intrigued by his reference to "a super dangerous class of weapons, like assaults weapons . . . " Super dangerous? As opposed to only moderately dangerous, or partially dangerous?

Isn't dangerous . . . dangerous? In my journalism days we used to laugh at TV reporters who would refer to a home as "completely destroyed." I mean, think about it . . . destroyed is destroyed. And nothing can be "partially destroyed," for the same reason. Destroyed is. . . well, gone, vanished, erased.

So, with Helmke's new focus on "super dangerous weapons," I would suggest the following. That he remember that if the only firearm you have in your home is a competition rifle, perhaps because you compete with it, or inherited it, or it was a gift . . . and you use it for self defense, you never give it up. It becomes your de facto self defense tool, no matter what color or shape or design it comes in.

THAT will be the next argument.

I once was asked in a public hearing by a local lawmaker, "why would anyone want to own one of these 'weapons.' " I replied, "for all lawful purposes." Not my original thinking, but a suggestion of a colleague and pretty smart guy.

The antis had no response. So the next time you hear someone else complaining about "super dangerous weapons," ask what they mean. Then when the conversation ultimately comes around to why you would want to own one, give them that answer: "for all lawful purposes."

See what happens. And remember how Mr. Helmke and the Brady's today, while appearing to throw in the towel, are in fact, going to try to change the language being used . . . and change the argument away from the 2A in order to talk about "super dangerous" firearms.

The bottom line: No matter what the Brady Campaign says about conceding, they are in this fight for the long term. And self defense advocates have to do the same. This is no time to become complacent.


Anonymous said...

Here's a site with a very good essay on just what these supposed "evil assault weapons" really are all about.


MACpistol.com said...

The establishment TALKS to it's friends. Why all of a sudden do the gun ban groups seem to know with interesting confidence what the ruling will be? Why are they so CONFIDENT in specifics? Because they've been tipped off. Most people forget that rulings are NOT decided the day before they are released. The supreme court decided weeks ago how it was going to rule. They've been ironing out the wording as the establishment (which controls the court from behind the scenes) seeks to minimize the scope of the inevitable pro gun ruling. NRA tried to kill this case (as everyone in the gun community already knows) because nra is deeply corrupted by the establishment and doesn't WANT a good court ruling that could end parts of the endless and exhausting debate. Pointless and endless debate is how nra gets contributions (through over hyped and overly emotional mailings that swamp your mailbox). Proof that nra is corrupted by the establishment is everywhere. From nra's past and current support for the 1934 ban, the 1968 ban, the 1986 ban, the lautenberg ban, and nra's LACK of support for 2nd amendment carry (often called "vermont/alaska carry"). If nra wanted 20 million more members inside a year, it could take the gloves off, actually HELP companies abused by the BATFE such as KT Ordnance, Reds Trading Post, and Cavalry Arms (by paying legal fees and GIVING PUBLICITY, WHICH NRA REFUSES TO DO!) and/or lower the cost of membership. The establishment wants a CONTROLLABLE and DOCILE pro gun group though. When we celebrate this victory, just remember that nra tried to stop it.

Mike M said...

Wrote on this same story on my blog this morning. The assault weapon question is the same as the handgun question - "is it OK to ban books but not okay to ban newspapers"? I think the Brady campaign has a long tough road ahead, and with the fundamental plank of their argument gone, they're playing damage control.