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The Brady Campaign – the also-ran of gun control groups these days – tried to revitalize their name, reputation and fundraising ability with a nationally-publicized rally Saturday right here in Illinois. It was billed as a rally against America’s gun stores, and they singled out Chuck’s, a gun store and indoor range located just outside of Chicago in Riverdale, IL. It didn’t go so well for them . . .

First off, their permit to hold an event was denied by Riverdale. Oops. Seems that city’s leaders wanted the Brady Campaign in front of a successful, taxpaying business as much as they wanted the Klan or the Westboro Baptist Church bunch to visit. Why was that significant? It meant the Brady clowns were forced to keep their rally on the sidewalk and to keep moving in front of the business without an electronic PA. Even worse, their rallying point has isolated itself almost a block from the store, not near the front of the establishment.

Sticking to the sidewalk wasn’t really much of an issue as the Brady’s turned out about fifty people, or about one bus load of folks from inside Chicago. It was actually a pretty paltry turn-out.

Those present each got a free t-shirt, donuts and there was some talk overheard of financial compensation on the way home (“When do we get paid again?” one woman was heard asking her friend as they went went through the motions walking in front of Chuck’s).

We told you it was Astroturf for the most part.

astroturf (Urban Dictionary) -Creating the impression of public support by paying people in the public to pretend to be supportive.

Worse than the event organizer’s problems with the police in Riverdale were the one hundred-plus gun owners who turned out to counter-demonstrate. Both Guns Save Life and the Illinois State Rifle Association put the word out to members to show up. Scores did, taking time away from loved ones and other activities to drive their own cars, trucks and motorcycles to spend the morning promoting freedom, liberty and our civil rights.

It was looking like the pro-gun folks were going to badly outnumber the Brady astroturf folks until Chicago’s activist priest, Father Michael Pfleger showed up with another fifty or so in a bus from his St. Sabina’s parish.

Oh yes, and the media was there, eating up the Brady drivel like the lap-dogs they are. They had no problems getting in close, given the weak attendance of the red-shirted rent-a-mob.

Meanwhile, over in front of Chuck’s Guns, controlling the real estate that matters, were the pro-gun folks.

We made sure the Brady folks knew Illinois gun owners weren’t going to sit idly by as out-of-towners come in and gin up momentum to attack America’s gun stores and take away our gun rights.

Yes, Brady gun-control fanatics came from across the nation – from Washington State to Washington, D.C. to try to make hay in Chicago.

The Brady campaign’s diminutive leader Dan Gross, who must stand about 5′ 4″, came from D.C. to lead the event.

Remember how we said the PA system was off-limits, per the police? They tried to overcome that challenge by using a bullhorn for their rally speakers. They pointed it straight up while trying to talk into the microphone. It was a sad spectacle.

And little Danny Gross? He should have brought a peach crate to stand on. See below.

How did it go?

The event went well for civil rights advocates. We took away a public relations freebie from the Brady Campaign. With the Brady’s PA system sidelined, their “talkers” were quite vulnerable to heckling from the pro-gun side. One remark, shouted from yours truly on the pro-gun side, left a very pregnant pause from the Brady troupe.


You could have heard a pin drop for a moment – on both sides. (Thank you to The Truth About Guns commenter who suggested a similar slogan.) It was as if the pro-gun people were thinking, “I can’t believe you just said that!” and the Brady Campaign event coordinators were speechless – while their overwhelmingly black protesters seemed a little uncomfortable.

There was also some discomfort when it was pointed out how out-of-towners were coming to Chicagoland to take away people’s rights – with an SUV with Washington State license plates offered up as exhibit #1.

When someone on the Brady camp asked a rhetorical question, “Why are we here?”, the pro-gun side began chanting “Why are you here?” repeatedly, drowning out the Brady’s speaker. Several of the gun folks heckled the Brady bunch relentlessly, including two African-American women, interrupting each and every speaker the Brady clan put on. One in particular was telling the event’s out-of-town organizers to “go home!”

The rental group paraded in a giant circle in front of Chuck’s, chanting half-heartedly, while some of their members utilized improvised “drums” to keep the beat.

It was after the event was officially over that some of the discourse became rather heated. Here’s what passes for civilized discourse from the Brady camp and Pfleger’s mafia:

Here’s some more of the paid cast of characters at the event:

Who is this guy?

This guy was present. He looked very out of place.

He was close to Father Pfleger, but he didn’t seem like a bodyguard. Was he a speaker? An interested party? A Bloomberg shill?

Educational tidbit: If you have an Illinois Concealed Carry License, you probably already know that carry is prohibited at events that have a demonstration permit issued. Did you know that if you’re counter-demonstrating against a permitted event, you can carry to your heart’s content?


This post originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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  1. This ought to trouble us, given our commitment to Constitutional liberties:
    “First off, their permit to hold an event was denied by Riverdale. Oops. Seems that city’s leaders wanted the Brady Campaign in front of a successful, taxpaying business as much as they wanted the Klan or the Westboro Baptist Church bunch to visit.”
    Wanting to protect a business isn’t a good reason to deny people their First Amendment rights peaceably to assemble. Bravo to the counter-demonstrators, but we shouldn’t revel in the other side being denied their rights.

    • The purpose of the permit is to allow the amplified speech, an ability to remain in place on public right-of-ways, and so forth.

      Poster above nailed it. They were denied the ability to make themselves big pains in the ass instead of little ones.


    • As others have stated, the permit would allowed both amplification and blocking passage. They can assemble without the permit, they can make statements, they can walk on the sidewalk, but they can’t block traffic or block people from entering the business.
      Freedom of Speech doesn’t entitle you to keep me from entering a place of business.
      Now, sometimes a street needs to be blocked off for a parade, or a large gathering, but that is not what this was, so the denial of the permit was correct.
      Nobody’s rights were infringed.

  2. I thought the media coverage was ok for LSM standards. Interviews with pro gun black folks. As I wrote the other day everyone blames the completely legal gun sellers-never the lowlife straw purchasers or people who let their guns be stolen. But then the brady bunch wants no one to have a gun. +10000 John Boch

  3. The references to “little Danny Gross” short stature are inappropriate, irrelevant, and immature.

    Stick to the pertinent facts, John. Making fun of short people just undermines your credibility.

    • Agreed.

      Poking fun at just about anything about a person that they were born with should be pretty low by anyone’s standards – especially in this type of context.

    • I empathize with the desire to chastise Dan Gross. When you have an organization like The Brady, etc, etc (formerly Handgun Control Inc formerly the National Council to Control Handguns), quick rhetorical jibes too easily come to mind. Better to shed light on the nature of the person, in Dan Gross’s case there are 2 pertinent facts I think. 1. His brother was shot in the Empire State Building shooting of 1997. A tragic event was initially categorized as that of “a deranged individual working alone”, 10 years later it was revealed by the shooters family that “His goal was patriotic. He wanted to take revenge from the Americans, the British, the French and the Israelis”.


      The tragedy of having a brother shot and permanently brain damaged make me feel immense sympathy for Dan Gross and his family, however that does not forgive the damage his organization is perpetrating on our civil rights, rights that we use to protect ourselves and rights we use. It does not forgive the misplaces insults we suffer from the hate speech that the Brady organization has dished out on us for the crimes of terrorist, mass murderers and assassins.

      The second pertinent fact about Dan Gross quit as a partner of JWT Advertising Agency to pursue gun control. JWT’s “manifesto” is “JWT. WE INVENT PIONEERING IDEAS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN AND SPEND TIME WITH.” Yet another player with a background in convincing people to buy a product they don’t need or want. Marketing and Propaganda at it’s “best”.


    • Seriously. Bad parents come in all shapes and sizes. Being unwed doesn’t make you a bad parent. Being a bad parent makes you a bad parent.

    • :eyebrow: To pretend that the destruction of the black family has no bearing on the predominance of black youth engaged in illegal and violent activities nationwide is politically correct and completely stupid.

      Kids raised in a two parent home are more likely to be successful. It’s a question of resources. Two adults combining their income and time to raise a family will have a greater likelihood of raising successful children.

      Hint: Successful kids are unlikely to turn to thuggin’ and druggin’.
      [ ]

      “The 1987 “Survey of Youth in Custody” found that 70% did not grow up with both parents. Another 1994 study of Wisconsin juveniles was even more stark: only 13% grew up with their married parents. Here’s the conclusion of Cynthia Harper and Sara McLanahan, the doyenne of researchers about single parenthood: “[C]ontrolling for income and all other factors, youths in father-absent families (mother only, mother-stepfather, and relatives/other) still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those from mother-father families.”
      The bottom line is that there is a large body of literature showing that children of single mothers are more likely to commit crimes than children who grow up with their married parents. This is true not just in the United States, but wherever the issue has been researched. Few experts, including Cohen, dispute this. Studies cannot prove conclusively that fatherlessness—or any other factor—actually causes people to commit crimes. For that, you’d have to do the impossible: take a large group of infants and raise each of them simultaneously in two precisely equivalent households—except one would be headed by a father and mother and the other by a lone mother. But by comparing criminals of the same race, education, income, and mother’s education whose primary observable difference is family structure, social scientists have come as close as they can to making the causal case with the methodological tools available.”

      Before the ad hominem attacks and allegations of racism, I’d like to point out that there are plenty of unwed mothers and single parents who do the best they can to care for their kids, and sometimes it’s not their fault that they’re a single parent. It takes guts to try and raise a kid in those circumstances. Pretending that this is a optimal and risk free way to raise a child, however, is lunacy.

      • All good points, but still, the way that sign was worded made me think “WTF” when I saw it. It seems to be blaming all unwed mothers for this, instead of the circumstances. Something about “Broken families” might not have sounded so bad.

      • AS much as I dislike him, the POTUS was raised by a single mother. He didn’t do too bad given the circumstances. However, I think the issue about crime always points towards race as the cause rather than other factors. For example, yes, single moms are more likely to raise criminals, but is that a function of how they raise their children or is it a reflection of an over-liberalized society where religion, social norms, traditional gender roles, self-help, morality, personal pride and respect, extended families and a sense of community are frowned upon as “antiquated”?

        What about the major disparity in criminal sentencing for drug crimes (crack vs powder)? Not saying go soft on crime in the least, but if the view of one sentence is punishment and the leniency of another is rehabilitation, that has an effect as well.

        We can’t leave good old fashioned racism out of this (comments on the board prove my point). It doesn’t have to be so overt, either. White flight not because of anything other than someone different than you moving onto your block has decimated more than one city (ie, Ferguson, MO). Hell, when I moved to my current home (the biggest on the block), as the movers were moving us in, a few “neighbors” strolled up. They didn’t introduce themselves or welcome us to the neighborhood – they flat out asked what I did for a living. Answering honestly about being an attorney and where I was employed, they just said “oh” and walked off. I guess we were acceptable enough that they didn’t immediately put for sale signs up (although, I deliberately bought only half the house I could afford and am sure I make more than double any of them in a bad year) . . . but I digress. . . .

        Finally, what about tax policy and the role of government? Not just welfare, but disability, food stamps, WIC, S-CHIP, and other “benefits” that are abused, over relied upon, and quite frankly, breeding contempt and cynicism. . . . both from recipients and those taxed to support programs originally conceived with noble purposes but morphed into all things government: SNAFU

        • Our Communist-in-Chief was raised by his Communist Grand Parents, not his POS Trash of a mother.

  4. About seven pics didn’t show starting from Danny Gross “See below” to where the woman is looking back over her right shoulder. Would like to see all of them.

  5. “And little Danny Gross? He should have brought a peach crate to stand on.” Very low blow, but optics do need to be considered.

    • Sometimes “facts” can be embarrassing. Looks like this whole Brady endeavor was an embarrassment for them.

      I wonder if they’ve figured that out yet.

      Probably not if they can successfully hide behind media protection.

      • They’ll make that decision after discovering whether their donations go up or down, nothing else matters. Follow the money.

    • This ain’t no comic book Riverdale. Very crappy poor rundown place. Chuck’s is one of the few bright spots.

  6. I don’t think it befits TTAG to be making personal insults about people (such as the leader of the Brady Campaign being very short). What if a major gun rights guy was super short? And the antis were making fun of him, saying he must need a gun to make up for how short he is, etc…we should be above that kind of stuff.

      • You don’t win in the court of public approval by mocking the other person’s looks. You do so by making your own side have the better looking people.

        That way you still win on appearance but make it look like you took the high road.

      • You can win it, John, if enough of us write checks to GSL. Take the insulted short people out of that equation and the likelihood of “winning it” becomes smaller.

        Honestly, it’s embarrassing to be associated with a group that uses such childish tactics. Today it’s short men. Maybe tomorrow it’s fat women? The next day, black guys?

        So I’ll maybe write a check to the NRA or SAF and leave you and GSL out of it.

        Ridicule their ideas. Ridicule their tactics. Ridicule their efforts. Leave heritable traits of personal appearance alone.

        • Curtis,

          That would have a lot more influence on me if you showed me a GSL membership card.

          Like those people who emailed JPFO in recent weeks claiming they were “just about to” send in a life membership, talk is cheap.


        • Fair enough, Mr. Boch. My sincere promise is that GSL will get my dues dollars when they elect better leadership, or the current leadership acknowledges his errors and cleans up his act. I do believe in redemption.

          You can take to heart the seven people besides myself in this thread who have suggested that your remarks were out of line. Or not. Your call. My money.

        • Mockery can work when you have leftists doing it with a leftist media to cover them, but for gun rights people, it only makes us look bad and unprofessional. And Sarah Palin fueled much of that mockery herself with her not knowing anything.

    • can we point out that he needs to have a chat with the tailor at his haberdasher? The break on his pants is atrocious. . . .

  7. when will those t-shirts be up on Ebay? I would love to gather up a bunch and ship them out to a Syrian charity . . . makes it easier for the drones to spot.

  8. Glad to see the permit denied; taking away their ability to block access to a business and their ability to use amps does not take away their freedom of speech. In my view there is nothing more obnoxious than an asshole with a bull horn no matter what he is shouting about.

  9. Sort of a little microcosm of American politics. The oppressors deliver a false message filled with lies and pay off the public to support them (entitlements, and so on). Freedom loving people stand up to them but, unfortunately, are ever on the defensive and never on the offensive (why aren’t gun owners demonstrating in front of Brady’s and MDA’s HQs?) The media only pays attention to the oppressors.

    If only the numbers were this skewed in real politics.

  10. I especially like the photo of the black woman with the sign, “Ban criminals, not our guns.” It reminded me of a story on Yahoo yesterday about a black high school girl beaten up by another black girl for being “too white”. The comments on Yahoo were enlightening. Most came from black people who had suffered similar treatment from other blacks. Consistently, their comments were well written with correct grammar and spelling. Clearly, they were decent, well educated, civilized human beings.


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