The Changing Face of Gun
GOA Director of Communications
(July, 2001) -- This month marks an important 25-year milestone for the
nation's leading gun control organization.
It was 25 years ago this month that Pete Shields, the founder of Handgun
Control, Inc. (HCI), laid out his three-step agenda for banning the private
possession of handguns. Yes, he wanted to make handguns totally illegal in this
country, including the ones in your home.
Many people erroneously think that Sarah Brady has always been the top boss
at HCI. But until his death a few years ago, Pete Shields was the founder and
head of the organization which last month changed its name to the Brady Campaign
to Prevent Gun Violence.
New name. Same goals.
It was in a July 26, 1976 interview with The New Yorker magazine that
Pete Shields outlined his very ambitious goals for banning handguns in this
country -- a three-step plan that Sarah Brady has followed quite well.
1. "The first problem," Shields said, "is to slow down the
increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country."
Sounds logical, doesn't it? If you want to ban handguns, then you've got to
slow down the production and sale of all new ones. Well, have Shield's henchmen
tried to do this over the last 25 years?
Oh boy, have they ever.
The Brady Bunch has helped many city and local governments to launch
frivolous lawsuits against gun makers in an effort to financially cripple them.
Sarah Brady has supported legislation, such as the crime bill that President
Clinton signed in 1994, which has helped the feds to shut down more than 200,000
gun dealers nationwide. ]
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg, and more examples could be given.
But you get the picture. The Brady Bunch has done its best to curtail the sale
and production of all kinds of guns. So what's next?
2. According to Brady's boss, Pete Shields: "The second problem is to
get handguns registered."
The term registration is taboo these days, since so many voters oppose
it as an invasion of privacy. So Brady-backed politicians, such as presidential
candidate Al Gore, usually talk about licensing instead -- a true
distinction without a difference.
Gore's platform in 2000 called for licensing handgun owners, a position which
ultimately cost him the election as pro-gun states such as Florida, Arkansas,
West Virginia and Tennessee (his home state) defected to the Republican side of
Why, you ask, would the Brady Bunch want to register and license handgun
Well, historically, registration has been the first step towards
confiscation. And perhaps that is what Pete Shields had in mind because his push
for registration would be helpful in accomplishing his third and final goal.
3. Shields wanted a handgun-free America: "Our ultimate goal . . . is to
make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition -- except for the
military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and
licensed gun collectors -- totally illegal."
In other words, he wanted to completely ban the handguns in your home.
When pressed, HCI staff will hesitate to affirm they are still pursuing this
goal. But the facts speak loud and clear. Consider the draconian gun ban in
Since 1976, authorities in the nation's capital have made it virtually
impossible for law-abiding citizens to legally own any kind of firearm. Sarah
Brady's organization supports this law.
Oh sure, their spinmeisters like to say they just want to get the guns out of
the wrong hands. But what they really mean is that EVERYONE'S hands are the
I debated an HCI spokesman this year and encouraged his organization to work
with us at Gun Owners of America to repeal the DC gun ban since, obviously, the
city bans guns from EVERYONE'S hands, not just the "wrong hands" as
Sarah Brady likes to say.
No way. Their spokesman would not agree to help us repeal the gun ban.
But why should he? That would take HCI away from the goals Sarah Brady and
her organization have worked so hard towards for the past 25 years.
Remember that the next time you hear a reference to the "new" Brady
Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The truth is, their campaign to eradicate
"gun violence" starts with you--by controlling the guns in your home.
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.
GOA is a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members located at 8001 Forbes
Place, Springfield, VA 22151 and at http://www.gunowners.org
on the web.
KABA NOTE 1 -- During the Clinton Administration,
the BATF and other assorted Constitution Violaters closed down approximately 74%
of the licensed gun dealers in America. It is important for people to understand
that the records of all transactions conducted by those gun dealers was handed
over to the BATF, assuring the full registration of each and every gun owner.
KABA NOTE 2 -- HCI also supported a complete
handgun ban in an Illinois town recently, further identifying their true,
original agenda. Their new partner, the so-called "Million Mom March",
was also in strong support of that same gun ban. The ban failed, but they