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Former Reagan press secretary and long-time gun control advocate James Brady, whose shooting during a 1981 assassination attempt spawned the eponymous Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence, died today at age 73 of what his family’s statement called “a series of health issues.” NBC News had the family’s full statement via Twitter (after the jump). Comments that violate TTAG’s policy and give aid and comfort to those who stand with the late Mr. Brady on the subject of civilian disarmament will be deleted . . .

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191 Responses to BREAKING: James Brady Dead at Age 73

    • I don’t have anything nice to say so I’m not going to say anything at all.

      Except this, to suggest that I have some not-nice things I’d like to say but won’t.

    • I’ll be civil to Mr. Brady.

      May you rest in peace. Peace, mind you, hard-fought and won by those using the very tools your wife was relentless in denying the (supposed to be) free people of the United States.

      I am utterly sickened and heart-broken the way she and all her ilk to this very day take advantage of a disabled, brain-damaged man.

      Rest in peace, Mr.Brady.

      May your wife and all others of her sick and twisted ideology get cancer and die a very slow and painful death.

      Was that civil enough Kyle in CT?

        • The assassination attempt was a tragedy and terrible thing for James Brady and his family. As a human being I offer sympathies to the family at the death of James Brady.

          There are things that need to be said however. The crop being “reaped” is bumper crop of resentment for the decades of anti-gun, and anti-gun owner, propaganda, and laws, lies and attacks, manipulative exploitation of tragedy and foolish empty promises. A simple search will show the comments made that have been used to attack anyone opposed to their goals. They are not nice, and were more than happy to criticize anyone that opposed them. They have demanded their way and wielded their tragedy to coerce everything and anything they could get. Sugar coating it now is to distort history and make no mistake, James Brady’s death is being used not to remember him as a person but rather to reinvigorate the assassination and anti-gun history. To make him some sort of idol or saintly martyr to their cause.

          James Brady seems to have been a fine person and there was much good said of him. “the affable, witty press secretary” , “was honest…. When he didn’t know, he said so,” I am not criticizing the man that had such terrible things happen to him, it is the actions that surrounded his life afterward and the injustices perpetrated in his name. Honestly though I cannot say that any of them knew what they were doing, or the injustice of it. I would allow that they thought they were doing the right thing thought the results show differently.

          After the atrocity perpetrated by John W. Hinckley Jr., James Bradey’s life was dedicated to being the “poster child” for the self righteous and morally superior to attack law abiding gun owners and became the leverage to push whatever gun control scheme, and law they could. Regardless of if it would do anything to improve the conditions that spurred it on. And regardless of the cost to freedom or the paucity of the return it making a better or safer society. The amassing of anti gun laws has done nothing to stop the deranged from perpetrating crimes, just hindered and impeded and at times harmed those who would not cause crimes, ever.

          The tragedy of Hinckley’s assassination has been a years long fuel for the Handgun Control Inc, (now Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence), and other gun control institutions. It is a blood of tragedy run machine and all the laws they have passed with the empty promise of on a “violence free” society have been for naught. But each time a severely mental ill person, that showed over a long period of time deranged and dangerous behaviors (in Hinkley’s case he had stalked President Carter from state to state, before Regan was elected). It should not take much to come to the realization that the individual is the cause of the terrible crimes and not the misused instrument whether it be a knife, gun, car, gasoline poison or club. And if all guns were to disappear from Earth right now, those same individuals would still be able to murder and kill as they have and will with any number of other methods. Take a look at the mass murders occurring in China where gasoline and knives figure heavily.

          So no, I don’t think that this deserves silence or some delayed response. They are reaping the harvest they have sown.

      • “May your wife and all others of her sick and twisted ideology get cancer and die a very slow and painful death.”

        I second this.

        I wish pancreatic cancer upon them and that their children grow up immoral and confused.

        • Please …two wrongs don’t make a right. I like it a lot better when we can show that the ‘anti-gunners for non-violence’ are the ones making all the mean, angry comments. We should do our best to avoid expressing such ugly attitudes like wishing someone who doesn’t agree with our viewpoints would suffer painful, terrible deaths. (We don’t want to be like them, right?)

    • James Brady was very pro-2A right up until his wife took over his thinking after he was brain damaged. Similar to another previously government figure we are also dealing with today. While he was whole, he was very much on our side. Rest in peace, James Brady.

    • Some of these comments remind me of the admonishment by G-d to the Israelites who celebrated the destruction of Pharaoh’s army as they fled Egypt via the parting of the Red Sea:

      REJOICE NOT, FOR THESE ARE MY CHILDREN, TOO.

      Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord your G-d.

      I am not overly religious, but some of these comments make me wonder about the moral character of people I would like to think of as brothers-in-arms.

    • Probably, remember the words of wisdom of the great philosopher Thumper – “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all. ”

    • Kevin L, I always thought that James Brady was on the wrong side, but I never thought he was a reprehensible person like so many others in the anti-rights movement. His wife, OTOH . . . .

      • Indeed. At least one could argue he had a VERY good reason to be an anti.

        Shannon Watts, on the other hand…hired PR hack with no skin in the game? Working to deny rights based on lies and phoniness? Fits my definition of reprehensible.

        Godspeed on your journey, James.

        • “Indeed. At least one could argue he had a VERY good reason to be an anti.

          Shannon Watts, on the other hand…hired PR hack with no skin in the game? Working to deny rights based on lies and phoniness? Fits my definition of reprehensible.”

          THIS.

      • Ralph has the idea of it. James Brady has always been to Sarah Brady what Gabby Giffords is to Mark Kelly. Sarah has been the real force behind hardcore gun control activists since her husband was shot.

        • And, I am sure, has profited handsomely from it, and will not even slow down in her pursuit of riches no matter what, now that he is gone.

        • I think Gabby and James are sort of puppets being operated by Mark and Sarah. To some degree, I really do think that Gabby and Jim do know what is going on so I am not making absolution for them. Mark and Sarah are evil and deserve condemnation eternal.

        • Mr Gabby is just a misguided tool. Ole Sarah is truly Machiavellian in her single minded pursuit (and perhaps keeping a lifestyle).

    • Yep, and it would also be expected from a scumbag reader of this site. Please get colon cancer then shoot yourself in the head.

    • Now now, let’s save the lewd, shrewd, offensive, dirty, celebratory energy for when BloomDoom and Di Fi kick the bucket. When that happens, there will be no cordial good bye, but a celebration to rival the most insane motley Crüe party.

  1. I saw this on Fox News where he was described as an ‘advocate for gun control rights’. I’ve never personally considered gun control a right.

      • Not in George Orwell NewSpeak. Gun control truly is a collective right. I think the UN has gun control as a right.

      • As much as most of the people on Fox get right, they’re still a bunch of New Yorkers, most of whom have probably never even seen a real gun.

  2. I’m at least grateful his decades long suffering is over. Nobody should have to survive like that, and call it living.
    As for everything else, well, he wont be sitting at my table in Valhalla, that much I know.

      • A “crazy” Democrat shot Ronald Reagan (Brady first), Gabby Giffords, those people in the CO movie theater, etc., etc.,

        They will always have another, or make another…

  3. as a son of the south i’ve been taught never to say anything negative about the dead so on that note may god rest his soul and my sympathy to the family

  4. “Comments that violate TTAGs policy and give aid and comfort to those who stand with the late Mr. Brady will be deleted”

    Wait, what? Are you saying that if I posted R.I.P Mr. Brady or wish his family condolences will be deleted? I think that’s poor form. We gun rights guys are better than that.

      • I’d like to point out that this sounds unbelievably bad. If that isn’t what you mean I’d sincerely suggest the post be altered. It reads any comment offering condolences will be deleted.

      • “Comments that violate TTAG’s policy and give aid and comfort to those who stand with the late Mr. Brady on the subject of civilian disarmament will be deleted . . .”

        WHUT

        “That word… I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    • No, he means don’t be an inhuman d*** to his family and give ammunition to those who would love to paint us as extremist crazies.

    • Yes, I took this sentence the wrong way on first reading as well. It sounded far more draconian than what you meant.

    • I think it’s pretty obvious from the context that he’s referring to being an asshat in such a way that a gun-control supporter can say, “look at how these gun owners treated Jim Brady”.

  5. Let’s all agree that being shot (and having big health problems) while working/ serving your country is something that no one deserves. His family suffered through a lot due to one insane person’s actions. Rest in peace.

    • Being wounded or killed in service to one’s country is an Honor.
      He took that honor and twisted it. Or, more accurately, his wife twisted it. Sarah Brady is the one that pushed the Anti-Gun agenda. A gun didn’t shoot Brady, Hinkley did. If he didn’t have a gun, he’d have tried using a knife or a bomb or a vehicle.

  6. While I cannot support the organization that bears his name I cannot help but have compassion for the suffering he endured much of the past 33 years. May God rest his soul and comfort his family that he is in a better place.

  7. I respect him for overcoming his injury , but not for being used as a tool by anti-gun activists lead by his wife who shamelessly exploited him

  8. You’re reading that wrong. They would draw aid and comfort from gun guys trash talking their fallen patriarch, becuase then their hatred of us is justified.

    • Communication is only half what you say. The other half is the message the person listening to you took from what you said.

  9. Respect for the man, for working through his accident, and dedicating his life to a cause he believed in.

    Disagreeing with that cause does no disrespect to him, in fact it honors him as an American, in this great republic, where ideas matter, as do ideals, and the democratic process, and the rule of law.

    • “Accident”? Are you kidding? I have never been certain he did not deliberately get between that gun and Pres Reagan, but either way, it was no accident. And after that he believed in nothing, he was mostly vegetable, like Gabby Giffords. Don’t blame his wife’s actions on him, he wasn’t home for the past 33 years.

      • I dont understand what you are implying. Do you believe deliberately moved to shield President Reagan?

        If so I’d honor his memory as a brave man, here.

        As to his mental capacity, numerous sources say he regained a lot, if not complete. If you have personal knowledge otherwise, it might be an interesting conversation for later. And the part about his wife, too.

        • If he shielded Ronnie Raygun, one of the most notorious gun-grabbers (not to mention wreckers of our economy) for the last 40 years, I have serious issues captioning him a hero. Neither of them deserved anything but minimum wage jobs where they could not do any real damage to The Constitution.

          St. Bonzo was never our friend, and was one of the greatest scourges on our Great Nation in the last century.

      • Well if he deliberately got in the way of a bullet meant for the president
        he is a hero and may he R.I.P.

        If he was just an innocent bystander then R.I.P.

        Those that used his injuries and altered state of mind after the shooting
        to push their agenda well using his name deserve to go to the hot place.

  10. I feel for his friends and family during this difficult time… he/they didn’t have the easiest life, after all.

  11. He possibly meant well; but like they say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” May he find the peace he probably didn’t find in this one.

  12. Although I don’t support verbally (or typographically) abusing any person, I don’t think that this man is deserving of sympathy solely because he has now passed. He’ll be remembered not for his death but the way he chose to live the last three decades of his life. Because of it, some will remember him favorably and others not. I don’t think there’s much to talk about here. Let the people who loved and appreciated him mourn, and let those who disagreed with his ideology respectfully disagree.

    • “…any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

    • In the past 33 years, how many times did you hear him say a single word advocating gun control. Or commenting on anything else, for that matter. He had no idea what was being said and done in his name.

  13. Jesus, Dan, posting this is the worst bait to me. There’s so much I want to say, and so much that would be used to vilify the people of this blog. I’ll suffice to say,”RIP, and good riddance. It’s because of you that I can’t buy the handgun I need for competition. Thanks for adding 3 painful years of waiting to my life because you had the narcissistic belief that your pain was worth more than the rights of the people.”

  14. A friend of mine who worked with him on the John Connally campaign said he was a really nice guy. It’s a terrible thing that he was shot. I’m sorry that because of the shooting he went over to the other side. Was the anti-gun activism all the doing of his wife? I have no idea, but it’s just an unfortunate situation all around.

    • After he was shot e was as active as a donut hole. His wife did all the activity. And made a small fortune doing it. Sadly, he wasn’t even able to be a spectator.

      RIP.

  15. Rest easy sir, to those who would spread nastiness about somebody after their death are not needed and are not welcome in my home. I may never ever agree with some(most) of the tail end of this mans life and his politics but I can give him his final respects and hope hi soul has a safe journey to where ever it ends up.

    • I don’t think the danger is in the journey, just in one of its two possible destinations.

      And to others who think they know he’s going to hell (or heaven): how do you pretend to know that? Only God knows a man’s heart, and by his heart is he judged, at the end of his days.

      • Who said any such thing? I haven’t seen it! So let me start-he’s going in the ground, that’s all there is.

  16. As much as I loathe his ideals and efforts, it’s still someone’s dad, someones husband, someone’s brother. Even if he was the Don Corleone of gun grabbing. RIP.

  17. A brilliant man and another victim of a nut job. We looked at life differently but we agreed on “Killer Trees”!

  18. RIP James Brady.
    is it cynical of me to think we’re going to see pushes for gun control solely based on the argument that it would honor his memory?

  19. Beware!
    Like Ted Kennedy, legislation could be passed in his honor.

    May the family have peace and privacy.

    • Finally, thank you Model66.

      Exactly; expect a big PR push to ‘do something’ in Mr Brady’s honor from the usual suspects.

  20. He’ll be forever known most for his work for those opposed to personal liberty and civil rights instead of the positive things he’s ever done with his life (which, for the life of me, I don’t have a clue what they might be).

    That’s not a place in history I’d ever want to occupy.

    John

  21. I always wondered what he actually thought about gun control and if it was just his wife exploiting what happened to him. Regardless, the guy didn’t deserve what happened to him. They should’ve hanged Hinckley. Maybe that would’ve given his family some peace.

    • Reagan is gone, Brady is gone after spending 33 years in a wheelchair and Officer Tom Delahanty has permanent nerve damage to his left arm. Only Secret Service man Tim McCarthy, who took one in the guts for his President, made it all the way back.

      Meanwhile, John Hinckley now spends 17 days per month in his mom’s home, and he has a driver’s license too so he can get around unsupervised. What a country.

  22. Rest in peace Mr. Brady. My condolences to your family and loved ones.

    For those who might not be aware, Clayton Cramer, one of our greatest contemporary 2A scholars and defenders, could use our prayers right now. He suffered a heart attack and stroke over the weekend. We are all deeply in his debt. God’s speed Clayton for a rapid and full recovery.

    • Had Cramer not exposed Michael A. Bellesiles for the liar, fraud and con man that he is, Heller might have been decided differently. Yes, Clayton Cramer is that important.

  23. I have nothing but respect for the man. At least he came by his beliefs honestly. I may not agree with him but I still respect him. I hope he is in a better place.

    My condolences to his family and friends. May their grief fade quickly and leave behind only happy memories.

  24. No man who has suffered as long as he has. Should have anything negative said about him at this point in time.

    RIp. James

  25. I’ll probably get deleted for this, but this is why in the long term we’ll lose. He’s on of the greatest icons of the gun control movement, yet gun owners still think he’s a great guy just because he worked for the government.

    Praising your enemies doesn’t win battles. In the name of being politically correct, gun owners are more than eager to tie a noose around their necks and patiently wait at the gallows. It’s insane that you think you can win a culture war by promoting your enemy to the public.

    • I see your point, but I didn’t see anyone here praising him for working for the government. Perhaps I missed it though. My friend liked him because he was kind to her back when she was a little nobody. When someone dies, it’s possible to recognize his essential character and humanity without promoting his cause. Or at least it used to be.

      • “When someone dies, it’s possible to recognize his essential character and humanity without promoting his cause.”

        The man spent half of his adult life trying to take away the civil rights of an entire nation. That tells you a lot about his “essential character” and “humanity”.

        • “The man‘s wife spent half of his adult life trying to take away the civil rights of an entire nation.”

          FIFY Go soak your head.

        • Hey, Billy – whatever you have to tell yourself to justify pro-gun people singing this guy’s praises.

  26. Lost is the irony that his situation and his activism is responsible for the fed background check which was supposed to stop these kind of gun crimes. Yet, today, we still strugle with the mentally ill, which is what shot him, and what peforms the majority of mass shootings.

  27. His wife is mark kelly to gabby giffords. I can quote Sam Francis from memory on James Brady ‘a pathetic human houseplant that his wife exploits for her own power and ambition.’ You hear something like that, it sticks with you

  28. Why delete comments from the anti side? Isn’t that what the MOM’s would do? Or was this sentence in the post just worded ambiguously:

    “Comments that violate TTAG’s policy and give aid and comfort to those who stand with the late Mr. Brady on the subject of civilian disarmament will be deleted…

    Why not let them speak, allowing us to rebut?

  29. I don’t have much respect for him, but please don’t intentionally choose unflattering photos of people for headlines. It’s kinda tacky.

  30. His career prior to his wife taking over Gun Control Inc. (that was really their name), consisted of being a political operative with various campaigns/elected officals for some 19 years.
    His being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn’t turn being a life-long DC insider into “serving your country”.

    Following the shooting he suffered a lot of physical, emotional and neurological problems.
    That’s rough.

    However, according to his doctors he evetually was able to “walk and has regained almost all of his prior speech and cognitive ability”.

    Now, he’s passed away at the age of 73.

    For the last 30+ years, he and his wife have done tremendous harm to the cause of liberty and have betrayed all those who knowingly sacrficed to protect that cause.

    So, yeah, don’t say anything in poor taste.

    But equally, cut it out with the undue cannonization of this guy.

    • “Nobody is canonizing the guy around here.”

      Clearly you’re not reading the majority of the comments. Seriously, I don’t think we could find this many people to praise Gaston Glock when he dies.

    • I agreed with your last comment to pubilous. And then you have to go and say something like go ahead and leave to alpo. It’s never a question of if you’ll be patronizing and antagonistic. It’s a question of when. Try to represent your faith a little bit better, Rev.

      • “And then you have to go and say something like go ahead and leave to alpo.”

        I never told anyone to go ahead and leave. You’re confusing two different people here.

    • While it is right to respect the enemy (and his heirs and assigns), it is also right to remember that he (and his heirs and assigns) are the enemy.

  31. An old man’s suffering is over. I can’t imagine what he’s gone through the past 33 years.
    He’s finally free from that horrible woman.

  32. Does anyone REALLY know how Brady felt? I hope Gabby knows how much damage her and major tom are doing…

  33. Unfortunately the Brady’s fell into the logical trap of blaming the tool and not the person.

    Just watch for the rush of memorial legislation to continue the legacy.

  34. I had absolutely no idea he worked “to improve the lives of Americans with disabilities.” Pity that aspect of his life was not better publicized.

  35. Every time I watch that film of the President being shot, I am stunned at the number of LEOs watching Reagan and not the perimeter. If everyone had been doing their job, neither the President nor Brady would most likely have been wounded, and John Hinckley Jr. would be warming his toes in Hades. On such frail reeds our freedoms sometimes hang…

  36. Instead of a Bill in Brady’s name…..
    2013 – 21 million background checks…..
    2014 – 100 democrats in Congress voted out….

  37. If it were a hero from the NRA, the left and gun grabbers would be throwing every piece of slander…today those same people would date question our integrity for throwing the slightest insult at this man. This man’s efforts helped to take away and infringe upon the right of self defense from millions of innocent people. How many assaults, beatings, murders, rapes, and other crimes have been allowed against these innocent defenseless people. Criminals today cry for their saint has gone to his grave.

  38. What happened to James Brady was a tragedy. His efforts would have been better spent dealing with mental health issues, instead of crusading against law abiding citizens.

  39. I’m watching Brady speak to congress as I type this. He is very verbal, eloquent and easy to understand. HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING. That’s all I have to say.

    • He at least could speak better than what some people think. I have seen him in interviews on TV. He could respond to questions.

  40. Nothing wrong with James Brady. It’s the people who used him like an inanimate object for political gain that I despise.

  41. I never met the man in person so all I can really say about his passing is Goodbye and Godspeed.

  42. Politics aside for a moment. He left behind a wife and children. I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now, so a moment of silence in respect is necessary. May they find peace in this terrible time.

  43. As a guy who makes ongoing contributions to the Brady Center, and provides clicks to this website, what are you afraid of Mr. Zimmerman? I enjoy the discourse, civil and uncivil, that TTAG provides and don’t think you should need to censor anyone.

    Over the past few years my opinions have evolved on abortion, the “marriage debate,” and identity politics. Maybe one day I’ll join you and hold a “Guns don’t kill people” banner, but if the Pro-Gun community can’t trust itself, why should I?

    • An anti-gunner talking about censoring. Now that’s a laugh riot. I defy you to find one, just one, anti-gun site that doesn’t immediately delete opposing viewpoints.

  44. Apparently the bullet which hit Mr. Brady was the only one that “exploded”. The ammo was cyanide based bullet which was suppose to explode on impact. I have never heard of this type of ammo, but oops there ya are. I do not know much about Mr. Brady other than his wife was a real B..ch.

  45. He was the victim of a lunatic leftist pursuing the Progressive Fantasy that if the perp could just kill enough People he would get the sexual favors of a 2 dimensional celluloid creature

  46. Almost 200 comments and only a smattering of twisted, hateful language from a handful of truly broken individuals. I believe TTAG readers have shown themselves to be a fine bunch of people in general.

    • When did it become twisted to celebrate the passing of fascists and enemies of freedom? Bet you would’ve been popular in the 40s.

  47. I think that whether it was Brady’s own idea or his wife’s idea to work against our second amendment rights, the real issue in this case was elite organized crime networks’ program of using conveniently insane assassins. It would be much more just and a better use of one’s time to address that issue. Please read about the very, very strange associations of the deranged John Hinckly Jr.

  48. I am not a malicious man by nature. I can honestly say I have never wished death on another human being.

    But I will say, that on occasion, I read the obituaries with a certain sense of satisfaction.

    Good bye, James Brady, and good riddance.

  49. We missed the responsibility of fulfilling our duty as American Citizens by allowing this man to die without violence.

  50. did you know that Direct TV’s On Demand service lets you watch Taxi Driver and other films involving Jodie Foster? Make it a marathon night.

  51. The only good fascist is a dead fascist. Good riddance, and even though I’m agnostic, it’s people like Brady and his ilk that make it a little more comforting to believe that there’s a Hell waiting for them. I hope your wife follows you soon.

    I have nothing but contempt for those who would rob others of their natural freedoms. They’re lower than insects and to mourn their passing would be equivalent to mourning the passing of a disease.

    I’ll instead take a moment of silence today to remember the scores of people who have died due to being disarmed by the government and unable to defend themselves thanks to fascists like Brady.

  52. Proving once again you gun nuts are SLIMEBALLS!!!!!Please let Mr. Brady rest in peace.Even pro-Second Amendment Mr. Reagan came to Mr. Brady’s thinking re. guns.However,the Tea Party Troglodytes gutted ANY,EVERY AND ALL guncontrol initiatives,and more of you Yankees are shooting each other to death than EVER!!!!!Glad I’m-SO FAR-on the CIVILIZED side of the U.S.A.-Canada border in Windsor,Ont.I’m thinking of moving Stateside,but I’m afraid I’d be gunned down within six months of my arrival.

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