Brady Campaign Boosts Obama Campaign With Its Seal of Disapproval


The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gives Barack Obama, who the NRA warned us would be "the most anti-gun president in American history," an F for a "first-year record on gun violence prevention" that "has been an abject failure." The group's report (PDF) argues, pretty persuasively, that the president himself (unlike some of his underlings) has dodged the gun issue at almost every opportunity, quietly signing legislation that expanded gun rights, declining to call for gun control after conspicuous acts of violence (or anniversaries thereof), and failing to pursue policies he theoretically supports, such as restoring the federal "assault weapon" ban and imposing a background check requirement on private firearm exchanges.

Although both Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have paid lip service to the former goal, the administration's official line is similar to the NRA's position: that we should be "working to enforce the laws that are on our books" (as White House spokesman Robert Gibbs put it in April) instead of passing new laws. At a February 25 press conference focusing on violence related to the Mexican drug trade, Holder called for reinstating the "assault weapon" ban. A month later, an apparently chastened Holder said he just wanted to "enforce the laws on the books." When CBS news anchor Katie Couric asked about him whether the administration was avoiding the issue so as not to "get the NRA riled up," Holder said, "I look forward to working with the NRA to come up with ways in which we can use common sense approaches to reduce the level of violence that we see."

The Brady Campaign seems to think aggressively pushing gun control would not hurt Obama politically, noting that "Obama won 11 out of 13 states where the NRA ran attack ads on TV against him." But the last thing a Democrat pushing a long list of contentious policies needs is to make a high priority of an issue that has been a big loser for the party's presidential and congressional candidates. In fact, the Obama re-election campaign would be well-advised to highlight the president's F from the Brady Campaign in some parts of the country.

Me on Obama's gun control positions here and here, on Mexico's prohibition-related violence here, and on the electoral lessons Democrats have learned about gun control here. Last January, Brian Doherty concluded that "the Second Amendment is safe under President Obama—for now."

NEXT: Obama Follows in Bush's Footsteps on Climate Change

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  1. “Raaaaacist!!”

  2. One acronym: FOID

    He’s be screwing with guns if he could, but first you must make the people dependent on you. Then you disarm them.

  3. Well the dude fighting to hang on here. Functionally useless but politically pricey crap like the Assault Weapons ban is a very unwise use of already strained political resources.

  4. I’m still thinking of buying an AR.

    1. (not to use against anyone, just to be clear)

      1. Not even bears?

      2. Too late, the FBI is en route to your location. Say goodbye to your dog now.

    2. They’re much cheaper than last year.
      If Obama and Congress steer clear prices should fall lower than before the election.If the unemployment rate continues or rises ARs are gonna be dirt cheap on the secondary market.

  5. FOID makes me nervours just looking at the “application” form. I’m kind of all about the “….shall not be infringed” and all that.

  6. It makes me “nervous”, too, and then I can’t type…

  7. I’m very relieved. I’m getting a conceal-and-carry license and a revolver for my 21st birthday. It’s good to know I’ll still be able to do that.

    And yes, I’ll probably wait until the day AFTER my birthday to get completely wasted

  8. Obama doesn’t need new GC laws to accomplish his GC objectives. In fact the BATF has demonstrated that it can direct compliance with any regulation that it pleases without enabling legislation.


    Here the BATF directs individuals at a gun show to transfer ownership through a licensed federal firearms dealer. This is despite the law that exempts individuals “not engaged in the business” of dealing firearms from such regulatory requirements.

    According to the show’s sponsor, the Austin police were directed by the BATF to deliver an ultimatum to impose this requirement on attendees.

    The success of this move effectively eliminates the need for legislation to close the so-called “gun show loophole”. A gun show is essentially a swap meet for firearms enthusiasts. By imposing the costs of background checks and the inconvenience of waiting periods on transactions between individuals, Obama’s BATF has begun to eradicate such events despite a clear exemption under the law.

    If BATF already had this authority, why did Rep McCarthy of NY introduce the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2009 and Sen Lautenberg introduce the Gun Show Background Check Act?

    The fact is that Obama’s BATF doesn’t need no steeenking laws to accomplish his objectives.

    That’s Change You Can Believe In!

    1. Wow, that just happened this weekend. That’s going to start some shit.

  9. Obama wanted to make his mark on history. Well, he’s set at least two marks so far.

    1. First African-American elected to the presidency.

    2. First American president to be “F” rated by the NRA and the Brady Campaign at the same time.

    Not exactly “One small step for man…” but not too shabby either. 😉

  10. You gotta love the Bradyites just a little bit. They are like a doomsday cult that keeps predicting doom even though every prediction is a spectacular non-event.

    Repent gun-owners, the end is near!!!

    1. Plus one thousand!

  11. The Brady Campaign seems to think aggressively pushing gun control would not hurt Obama politically, noting that “Obama won 11 out of 13 states where the NRA ran attack ads on TV against him.”

    Brady still thinks the NRA is the enemy. Candidate Obama didn’t run on the “I believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right” plank because he was afraid of the NRA, or courting it. He wasn’t getting those votes anyway. He knew a lot of Democrats, and a hell of a lot of independents own guns and don’t want them messed with. Brady may not understand that.

    The other Brady misapprehension is that Obama went looking for the pro-gun legislation he has signed. In fact, he was presented with those bills because a third of the Democrats in Congress have been elected from pro-gun states, and are voting pro-gun because their constituencies demand it. That’s a change you can believe in.

    I’m still thinking of buying an AR.

    You won’t be alone. When the AW ban passed in 1994 sport rifles were relatively rare, owned mostly by National Match shooters and hunters who used them for feral hogs and such. By the time the law expired in 2004 they were much more popular. In the six years since then ownership has exploded, primarily because folks have learned that they are light, handy, low recoil, durable, relatively accurate, versatile, and in a lot of other ways really fun to shoot.

    During the height of the Obama panic some of the companies making sport rifles were tens of thousands of units behind in meeting the popular demand. An AW ban now would be a lot more unpopular than the one in ’94.

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