For years, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ("Brady"), more accurately known as the Brady Campaign to Ban All Guns, has waged a war against honest, law-abiding Americans who choose to own and lawfully use firearms for sporting and self-defense purposes. In so doing, Brady has not felt constrained by the truth, but this is hardly front-page news. Brady's weapons of choice have been outright lies, half truths and deception to promote it's ultimate goal of depriving Americans of the ability to own and use firearms. So the fact that Brady would lie about a new grassroots student organization comes as no surprise, but it is reprehensible nonetheless.
Concealed Handgun License Statutes Have Been Hugely Successful
The passage of a state-wide, uniform concealed weapons law in Florida in 1987 was a watershed event for the entire nation. The obvious success of Florida's law prompted many other states to enact their own concealed handgun statutes. Currently, thirty-nine states have so-called "shall issue" laws that require states to issue concealed carry licenses to any applicant who meets all statutory requirements, including background checks. Nine states have "may issue" laws that allow state authorities to deny licenses on an arbitrary basis, but only two states deny their citizens the ability to defend themselves against murderous attacks.
The rapid expansion of concealed carry statutes throughout the country did not occur in a vacuum. State by state, legislatures adopted programs modeled after successful ones, often in neighboring states. As time passed, concealed handgun licensees proved themselves to be the most honest, law-abiding segment of the population. This prompted many states, including Texas, to gradually remove locations from the "off-limits" list that were part of the initial legislation. Currently, Texas has relatively few places "off-limits" to its concealed handgun licensees, known as CHLs. In spite of the overwhelming success of concealed handgun license programs throughout the Nation, the Brady Campaign continues spreading lies in a futile attempt to undermine the right of honest citizens to protect themselves from violent attack.
School Shootings and the Needless Death Toll
As noted in the TexasCHLblog article How High Must the Body-Count Go, murderers choose to work their evil at schools and other "gun free zones" because they know their victims will be unarmed and defenseless. They will have a target-rich environment until law enforcement arrives to count the bodies. Whether Brady likes it or not, we have learned a very expensive and tragic lesson; barring concealed handgun licensees from campus doesn't save lives, it costs lives. In truth, "gun free zones" have been an experiment that has proven the Brady mantra to be an abject failure.
The outcry against the failed policy of "gun free zones" has been deafening and it is growing louder by the day. Parents, students and elected officials demand that concealed handgun licensees be allowed to carry defensive handguns on campus. How much lower would the death toll had been at Virginia Tech, if Seung-Hui Cho had not been able to kill thirty-two students and faculty and wound seventeen more with impunity? We will never know the answer to that question, but a grassroots student organization is working hard to make sure college and university campuses are no longer killing fields for mass murders. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is an organization created by college students who are also concealed handgun licensees. Their membership is growing rapidly and their roster boasts not only students, but faculty and parents as well. SCCC's message is simple; concealed handgun licensees are trusted to carry their defensive handguns elsewhere in their respective states and they should be allowed to carry their guns in what have become free-fire zones for mass murders.
The Brady Campaign has suffered staggering defeat after defeat at both the federal level and the state level. To compound its problem, the Brady Campaign is faced with a rapidly growing student organization with a clear and compelling message that strikes at the core of Brady's campaign of lies. So how has the Brady Campaign chosen to respond to this organization; why, it lies about SCCC, of course!
Peter Hamm, a Brady Campaign spokesman, gave an interview to Anna Hipsley of Australia’s ABC News radio on February 19, 2008. During the interview, he falsely claimed the following:
"We know very clearly that they were organized and they are funded by the gun industry, by the companies that are selling the guns. This is not some spontaneous, grassroots organization."
Not so fast Mr. Hamm. Did you think SCCC was going to take that lie laying down? W. Scott Lewis, a spokesman for SCCC, responded by quickly denying Brady’s lie about the origin of his organization and offering to make SCCC’s financial records public, if the Brady Campaign would do likewise. As Mr. Lewis said:
"In the name of full disclosure, SCCC is willing to make all of its financial records available to the media if the Brady Campaign will do the same. . . . After building SCCC on a foundation of our own sweat equity and financial sacrifices, our members are incensed that the Brady Campaign is accusing us of being well paid pawns.”
But the Brady Campaign tactics are not limited to lies about people and organizations it views as enemies. Making light of legitimate concerns about student safety is apparently another tool Brady’s Mr. Hamm feels is appropriate. During an interview with Foxnew.com, Mr. Hamm dismissed student concerns about mass murders on campus by stating,
“You don't like the fact that you can't have a gun on your college campus? Drop out of school[.]"
Now that’s a thought Mr. Hamm; if a student doesn't want to be a helpless victim in a “gun free victim zone,” then they should forget about getting a college education. What arrogance! To make such a callus statement only six months after thirty-two Virginia Tech students and faculty died at the hands of mass-murderer Seung-Hui Cho is despicable. If that is indicative of the intellectual honesty and value with which human life is held at the Brady Campaign, then no one should be surprised that Brady would lie about SCCC, a grassroots student organization it views as a powerful voice for change.
How long Messrs. Hamm and Helmke will the Brady Campaign insult Americans' intelligence by endless lies, half-truths and deception? One would think they deserve more respect -- I certainly do.