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The 73 year old James Brady, former press secretary and former chair of the Brady Campaign to Reduce Gun Violence (re-named from the more accurate “Handgun Control, Inc.”), died earlier this week. Mr. Brady became a vocal advocate for forced civilian disarmament after being shot in an assassination attempt while serving as press secretary to President Ronald Reagan. Now, thirty-three years after the incident, James Brady has died and the medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide.

From CNN:

Brady was shot in the head and partly paralyzed, spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair and advocating against gun violence.

His family said in a statement that he died from health issues at 73. But a Virginia medical examiner has ruled the case a homicide, prompting a new investigation, Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Gwen Crump said.

It isn’t exactly clear whether the medical examiner is considering the 33 year old gunshot injury the cause of death or if there is other foul play afoot, but it’s definitely an unexpected twist. If the old gunshot wound is indeed the source of the medical examiner’s determination, I wonder if Moms Demand Action will start listing every person who died after being shot (no matter how insignificant the injury or ancient the wound) as “victims of gun violence.” I definitely wouldn’t put it past them . . .

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  1. Anyone who dies of natural causes or cancer or any disease possibly induced by lifestyle will be listed as suicide, with resultant problems for many trying to collect insurance?

    • Suicide exemption is only contestable for two years for most companies. After that they cannot choose to not pay based on the circumstances unless it is found they deliberately lied about material information relating to eligibility for coverage.

    • Suicide requires intent. Accidentally killing yourself isn’t suicide. If this determination is really related to the shooting, then it’s quite a stretch. If they can definitively link it to injuries from from the gunshot…

  2. I thought I was reading a headline from the Onion at first. Guess not.

    What’s next? Learning to fire a gun will fall under conspiracy for attempted murder in the future?

  3. If they list every person ever shot as a homicide victim, they will seem like absolute nuts. So I say go ahead, just another way for people to start seeing their lies for what they are.

    • The anti are using this as a test case to see just how far they can push their AGENDA. A conviction here will further push the credulity of our already lawless just-us system further into the land of OZ.

  4. If it is attributed to the gunshot, then will this be applied to other situations? When Stephen King finally dies, will that be vehicular homicide?

  5. from what I’m reading around places, the medical examiner ruled that his death was directly attributed to the 1981 gunshot wound, and they’re going to re-open John Hinckley Jr.’s case and charge him with murder.

      • Being born is the ultimate cause of death for everyone in that case, everything else is quibbling over details.

        • I’ve noticed that, without exception, every person who ever died had a drink of water not too long beforehand. In many cases they did so just minutes before.

          That’s just likely his cause of his death as a 33 year old gunshot wound which he survived.

    • Hinckley 30yr overdue for a date with a blindfold and wall. He was nuts? NO kidding shot the greatest president of the 20th Century.

      Or perhaps Sarah had a pillow and trying to frame the lad.

        • You are correct to question whether Reagan was the greatest president of the century. He wasn’t. He was the greatest President this country has EVER had. I include Washington and Lincoln in the list after him.

    • That seems to be the consensus from what I’ve read, as well.

      Given that the life expectancy of males in the US is currently about 77 years, with a standard deviation of about 15 years, that means that Brady lived to within 1/3 of a standard deviation of the average life expectancy of a US male. So, there’s no possible way that the government would be able to argue successfully and without a reasonable doubt that Brady died as a result of a gunshot wound sustained 33 years prior.

      There’s a reason that the “year and a day” rule exists, at least colloquially, if not statutorily – not to mention, Hinckley was already determined by a jury of his peers to be mentally insane at the time he shot Brady, which would absolve him of any legal liability for a “murder” that took 33 years to come to fruition.

      (Note: I couldn’t care less about Hinckley; but the precedents and unintended consequences of trying to pursue a murder conviction against him are frightening.)

    • Really? It is “routine” to list the cause of death a homicide as a result of a gunshot wound sustained 33 years prior to death?

      Is your name Dr. Bao or Dr. Rao, by chance?

      • It does make sense medically. After it was explained, it does to me as it was my first thought. I do agree with your earlier statement that for something this long after the actions to hold up criminally would be unsettling, I don’t think that the criminal aspect of this medical determination will go anywhere. However, politically it might be very useful for the antis. We have medical, criminal, civil, and political. They don’t all align in definition and ramification, IMHO. I also wouldn’t classify this as “non-news.” However, a detailed explanation by a pathologist in the TTAG article would’ve been helpful and prudent.

        • When you separate disciplines in your reasoning, it might make more sense to you. I didn’t do that the first time around and mushed medical, political, and legal when trying to reason the story out. They don’t always mix so well.

        • It does make sense medically. After it was explained, it does to me.

          I could buy it, if it were like the example given earlier (or below?) – or if, say, Brady died of a stroke three years after he was shot.

          But we’re talking about three decades, and a 73-year-old man. I think that’s an awfully large stretch to state definitively that Brady’s “many health issues” were all caused by/related to his gunshot wound and resultant paralysis. I suppose it could be possible, but everyone seems to be mum about the specific nature of his “many health issues”, as well as the actual cause of death.

        • Admittedly, I’m operating off of a big assumption that the medical examiner found direct linkage. For example, shot in the right kidney, had no history prior, had reoccurring kidney issues for decades after, died of renal failure. IDK if HIPPA (or whatnot) would allow for the medical examiner’s notes to be made public. (I wonder if Sarah Brady would make them public. A trial should though.) But if they were public then that should clear things up. Without my assumption about the medical examiner’s findings, I haven’t anything other than a guess as good as most anyone else’s. It’s a “good faith” based guess but still only speculation. I do get where you’re coming from though. I had the same reaction and it’s not a baseless one.

      • “No. He’s not. He’s doing his job correctly. He has to address cause and manner of death.”
        He was 73 and not in the best health…..moron.

        • He died before his life expectancy.
          Even if he outlived his life expectancy, if the cause of death was linked to the initial injury, the injury becomes a murder under the law.
          Don’t call people morons when you don’t know basic facts….or the character, education and philosophical and political positions of those people (ESPECIALLY when they know more than you)

        • It still makes no sense. A death as a result of complications from an old gunshot wound does not equate to homicide. There is no way to determine how that wound occurred. It may have been accidental, self-inflicted, or purposely inflicted by another person. Seems like taking liberties to include old headlines in the assessment.

        • Don’t call people morons when you don’t know basic facts….or the character, education and philosophical and political positions of those people (ESPECIALLY when they know more than you)

          Right, because anonymous people on the internet who use the moniker “Doctor Wine” are inherently believable, and are clearly actual, real-life doctors.

          The common-law standard is a year and a day. That common-law standard has case-law precedent in the US. A death that occurs 33 years after a sustained gunshot wound cannot in any way whatsoever – legally or logically – be directly attributed to that injury.

        • There has been a pretense that he consciously supported the work of HCI/Brady campaign for 33 years, during which time he has actually been little more than a vegetable, perhaps a trained seal. As such, he has been unable to care for himself properly, and his wife has been too busy establishing herself as a great thinker on firearms. As a result, he has acquired a number of easily preventable health conditions which finally added up to cause his death. Hinckley is responsible because 1) he caused Brady’s inability to care for himself, and 2) he gave Brady’s wife the idea she was a great mind, could not be bothered with taking care of her husband. So, obviously, his death is all Hinckley’s fault. It’s common sense! For the children! It’s been documented!

      • Most liberals and progressives die because the government tricks the majority of them into giving up their souls. So by your reasoning, both you, I, and every tax paying American is an accomplice to murder.

        That doesn’t set well with me. I’d like to stop paying taxes.

  6. Common law has held responsibility for death connected to criminal action as a year and a day, not 33 years later.

    This would be interesting as the shooting took place in DC, although the death took place VA, so I wouldn’t know whose statute controls. Most likely DC’s.

    • If he’d lived a hundred years after being shot and died of causes tied to having been shot it will still be homicide. Re-heck the literature.

      • Exactly. Doesn’t matter when the victim dies – what caused injury is key

        And now that Hinkley is semi-free, watch him start babbling and acting weird. Again

      • I don’t know the standards for medical examiners, but the law in most states is a year and one day for prosecution of a murder.

        • What?!? You’re so off-base it’s not even funny. At least in the US most states do not have a statute of limitations for murder, much less a year-long one!

        • What?!? You’re so off-base it’s not even funny.

          He’s referring to the year-and-a-day rule, that has English common-law roots and legal precedent in the US. It applies to the elapsed time between the cause of death, and actual death. If applied, a person who shoots another, who lives more than a year and a day after sustaining the gunshot injury, cannot be prosecuted for murder as a result of the gun shot.

  7. wait till his wife,oops widow, starts sueing for reparations and damages.
    this has been her cash cow for over 30 years.
    hard for her to get off the tit.

  8. I’ll direct attention to the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).

    A past federal employee who
    injured on the job in the line of duty, therefore he drew from that fund every 28 days of his life. Since he was married, the compensation rate was 75% of his last salary with annual COLA applied each March.

    My point would be this: according to the cause of death, either natural or ft on the on the jib accepted injury, would mean a difference in income his survivors.

    • A past federal employee who [was] injured on the job in the line of duty…

      So according to this, regardless of his status as dead or alive, it appears that the good Mrs. Brady will continue to feed at the Federal trough, albeit at a slightly reduced rate. Which is a separate issue from the cause of death question.

  9. OK, first time posting, but since I have some expertise in this matter, figured I’d chime in. I’m a retired forensic pathologist who did my fellowship in New Mexico. A medicolegal death investigation attempts to answer several questions including the cause and manner of death.

    Cause of death is just that: what killed the individual. It can be divided into the immediate and underlying cause(s) of death. The immediate cause of death is the illness or injury that leads to death. The underlying cause of death is the illness or injury that started the chain of events that leads to death. So long as that chain is unbroken, there is no time limit. The underlying cause of death may have occured days, weeks, months, or decades, but as long as the chain is unbroken, it doesn’t matter. For example, someone who falls off a ladder and breaks his neck, thus becoming a quadriplegic, will usually suffer from chronic complication of that injury such as aspiration pneumonia, chronic urinary tract infections which can lead to renal failure, etc. If he eventually dies from one of these complications, the immediate cause of death may be aspiration pneumonia (for example), but the underlying cause of death is blunt force trauma due to the fall. Since aspiration pneumonia is a common complication of quadripegia it is reasonable to conclude that his death was initiated by his injury and since he never recovered from that injury, the chain remains intact even if the time between his initial injury and death is years apart. Now, if he had died from something not related, such as prostate cancer, then the cause of death would simply be prostate cancer.

    Manner of death is simply a classification of death, and is divided into natural, homicide, suicide, and accident. If the manner is unclear or unresolved, it remains undetermined. Note that this classification has no legal bearing in court. It is quite possible for the medical examiner and the court to reach different conclusions in terms of manner of death. Also, homicide in terms of classification by the medical examiner, is a neutral term and covers culpable and non-culpable homicide.

    So in my example above, the manner of death would be accident since the initiating event was a fall from a height. Or if it was an intentional jump, it would be classified as suicide. If he was pushed, then it would be a homicide. So in the case of Mr. Brady, if the immediate cause of death was a complication that resulted from his gunshot wound, then the death would correctly be classified as a homcide.

    • Thanks for the thorough explanation. My initial reaction was a very, very, very simplified line of similar reasoning but homicide just seemed too politically convenient. My emotions overran my reason by the time I made my first post.

    • Thanks for this informed explanation, Charles! Very interesting and it clarified several questions I had. Congratulations on a great first post!

    • Another pathologist here…I was about to type the same explanation that you did, so thanks for saving me the time. The usage of manner of death terms often elicits these reactions from people, simply b/c they aren’t used to the forensic pathology use of homicide as a manner, rather than a courtroom definition. Thanks for helping diffuse the conspiracy talk people are floating out there. This is, assuming the ultimate cause was attributable to his gunshot wound/paralysis, absolutely the correct manner.

    • That may be the case in New Mexico, but the finding was made in Virginia and pertained to a crime that took place in DC.

      In other words, pass the popcorn – this is going to get interesting.

      • Actually the state is irrelevant. Dr. Lee was just citing the accepted practice of forensic pathology regardless of location.

      • This is a universal standard. Having studied medicine in Europe and practiced in 4 states, I can tell you that this is the standard throughout the world.
        Diabetes is the same in Somalia as it is in Sacramento. And these categorizations of manner and cause are also universal all over the globe.

      • If you would refrain from being hypersensitive for just a moment and re-read what I wrote, you might notice that I was referring to the question of which jurisdiction would mount a potential prosecution. Please read all the words. They convey meaning.

        Thank you. I accept your collective apologies.

        And I maintain that this will become interesting to watch. See the comments below. Got any butter for the popcorn?

    • Dear Dr. Lee et al,

      I am sure your answer is accurate, based on professional training and personal experience. I am also confident that none of us can come close to your scope of knowledge and can not possibly add any additional meaningful input. Nevertheless we will by necessity continue to ramble on, post totally inaccurate statements, argue, conjecture in total disregard to the information you provided and in extreme situations post messages in capital letters even though we have no idea what we are talking about. Please bear with us and please bear arms. Welcome.

    • I would think that it would be difficult to make a solid determination
      without knowing the complete medical history particularly after
      several decades. Wouldn’t the number of variables that could
      cause complications or even similar but unrelated symptoms
      would possibly limit the ability to make a definite call?
      Not necessarily anything to do with the Brady case, just asking.

      • Those are valid points, and it can be quite complex. Not knowing the particulars of this death, it’s hard to know for sure. However, as was pointed out by Dr. Lee, there are certain potential medical consequences of the injuries suffered by brady d/t the gunshot wound, that would be relatively easily connected to this injury. If one of these causes his death, then it is the correct call to rule the manner of death homicide. Again, this has no direct bearing on any criminal charges. It’s just the most correct of the choices for manner (homicide, suicide, accident, natural or undetermined) assuming there’s a link as stated. The bottom line here though is that this is just not a conspiracy situation.

    • The immediate cause of death is the illness or injury that leads to death. The underlying cause of death is the illness or injury that started the chain of events that leads to death. So long as that chain is unbroken, there is no time limit.

      33 years is a long time to maintain such a chain of events.

      Brady was a 73-year-old man, suffering from a “series of health issues”. I am highly skeptical that every single one of those health issues could be directly attributed back to the gunshot sustained 33 years prior, and not to stochastic causes.

      It is far more likely that designating the cause of death as a homicide was politically motivated.

    • Just out of curiosity…is it possible that the chain was indeed broken, but a similar symptom developed independently? If so, is there any way to detect the discontinuity?

  10. Maybe the autopsy discovered “someone” has been keeping him in that altered state all these years (a-la Misery) –you never know 😉

    Color me curious as to whether the death was from gunshot complications, or an old man having a stroke/other brain issue. Does this mean they’re gonna try Hinkley again, or just claim Brady as a gun violence statistic THIS YEAR?


  11. Imagine if MDA used this against all the military vets that eventually died after being shot, even if said death occurred years later. MDA may used this as a homicide stat in whatever jurisdiction the veteran died in.

    • That is how the Japanese government counts deaths from the two atomic bombings. Basically, when a Hiroshima or Nagasaki survivor dies they go into the death by nuke bin.

  12. Took them longer than I thought it would to come up with this idea. So did President Reagan die of a gunshot wound too?

    • It is not simply whether someone was shot, it is whether the injury caused complication that can be connected to the death. In President Reagan’s case, he appeared to have completely recovered from his gunshot wound. Plus, if I recall, he died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Since there is no direct medical connection between a gunshot wound and Alzheimers, the gunshot wound would not be a cause or significant contributing factor in his death.

      Keep in mind that determining the cause and manner of death is a complex topic. Entire chapters can be written on the subject. Entire chapters HAVE been written on the subject in the various forensic pathology textbooks, so it’s not going to be possible to fully explain it all in such a short post.

  13. Lookjng forward to the presser from Brady, MDA, and CSGV addressing root causes, behavior of the mentally ill, failure of Feds to help those crazy folks, rather than regulate the law abiding and the tool used…(crickets,..)

  14. A thought experiment going through my mind here…

    If a malicious criminal intentionally infects a victim with HIV, I imagine that a prosecutor would bring on an attempted murder charge to this malicious criminal.

    And, if and when years later, the victim dies indeed due to AIDS as a result, I imagine that the victim’s death would be classified as a homicide and the charge would be elevated to a murder.


    • There was a case of intentional HIV infection not too long ago, and one in NYC a while ago. I think one charge was aggravated assault, but I can’t remember. So there is precedent of sorts.

    • Most states hold HIV positive individuals criminally responsible for knowing transmitting the disease to an a person who is not informed of his HIV status. The gay lobby is trying to get those laws repealed because HIV is no longer a death sentence.

    • I see, mmm… it is more complex than I thought.

      I’m learning that the differences between attempted-murder and aggravated assault charges revolve around the question concerning… the degree of intent to cause death while knowingly infecting victim. (If resulting in death, then it seems to elevated on murder charge, nevertheless of initially filed charge)

      Such that differences in:
      A deranged individual with a syringe containing HIV-ridden blood injecting other people. (Harming victim is the primary motive)
      a HIV-positive person knowingly having unprotected sex with others without disclosing his/her illness. (Harming victim may not be the primary motive)

      “HIV-Positive Man Charged with Aggravated Assault for Spitting on Police Officers”… because his saliva is considered a deadly weapon. (Actually, there are many similar cases of precedents involving officers on receiving end of HIV saliva spitting, says the article)

      Facts: Infection from saliva is theoretically possible, but the viral load to cause infection is statistically insignificant. CDC makes an explicit point of saying that there are no known cases of HIV being spread through saliva.


      Alright, I give up here. (I ain’t a lawyer…)

  15. Which propaganda sounds better to initiate (ram through) new gun restricting legislation:
    Old man dies of poor health related to paralysis and being wheelchair bound for 30+ years

    And, yes, I get that his condition was induced by that attack. But do you really they’re going to “let a good crisis go to waste?”

  16. Call me conspiratorial/paranoid but does anyone here
    believe the Brady bunch et al wouldn’t link his death to
    guns, regardless of actual causes. It’s definitely going
    to be interesting to read the actual medical report (if
    it ever comes to light).

    As Charles Lee notes above, there is justification to
    calling it a homicide if the bullet injuries are to blame.
    Unfortunately, given the atmosphere surrounding the
    antis lately, I wouldn’t put it past a ‘sympathetic’ doctor to
    make such a conclusion in order to cement a legacy. Sad,
    but with seeing the willingness of the antis in government
    and the MSM to openly and blatantly lie I can’t readily
    discount such an idea.

  17. If he can be charged for murder of Mr. Brady, They could also charge him for the murder of Pres. Reagan. Because the bullet that hit him, even though it was a ricochet fragment could be the cause of death.

  18. Under the Common Law (which most states have now moved away from) a victim would have to die within one year and one day from the act that caused the injury. As Lord Edward Coke defined murder in the 17th Century:: “When a man of sound memory and of the age of discretion unlawfully kills any reasonably creature in being and under the King’s Peace, with malice aforethought , either express or implied in the law, the death taking place within a year and a day.” Generally now, most state are guided by their statute of limitations which, in Alabama is limitlessness for Murder. The problem the State has is to prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) a causal connection between the death (let’s say pneumonia cause by partial paralysis) and the criminal act. I once presided over a horrible rape trial in which the victim was later murdered possibly by the defendant) and the act was 7 or 8 years old. The State was able (with my brilliant rulings) to convict this serial rapist without the victim present, though admissions of the victim made to medical personal and some other “close call” rulings. He is serving 3 life sentences, consecutive.

    • Well that COULD have been an issue had his cause of death be a blood clot to the heat and the autopsy concluded it was caused by a bullet fragment from Hinkley’s shot. But, Hinkley has ben tried for attempted murder and found NGRI which means at the time of the offense he was not legally responsible for his actions. Because he has since become competent doesn’t mean he can now be tried for murder because a court has found as a matter of law when he pulled the trigger he was insane. Most states have a definition akin to: “if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.” The federal govt, changed its law after the Hinkley trial to shift the burden to the defense to prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant was insane.

      I have tried over 500 felony jury trial and only seen the insanity defense work once, and the State agreed to it. When contested I have never seen it work.

  19. I suggest we go to the root of the problem:

    As we all know, life is a sexually transmitted disease with a mortality rate of 100%. Therefore, ban sex, ban life, no more death.

    See, problem solved. (sarcasm implicit)

    P.S. Of course, all parents should be put in jail: by making children, they practically convicted them to death. Therefore, Brady’s mother and father should be thrown in jail! They are criminals! It’s for the children!

  20. If they want to get the case prosecuted as a homicide in Dc he would have to have died within one year of the shooting or all bets are off. Good luck with that. Or was he actually shot in VA???

  21. I really dislike his kind of people. They get shot or grazed once and then they suddenly know all.

    I know a girl who survived the Utøya massacre in Norway. She tried to use the fact that a bullet grazed her as political leverage (youth parties and not the fun kind either). Didn’t work since most people from the Balkans over the age of 40 can’t pass a metal detector due to shrapnel and bullets. It was sorta fun to see her getting outdone.

    Her: “a bullet hit me, I could have died”.
    Average guy in the room: “So? I still haven’t dug out the bullets in my arm and the shrapnel in my knee”.

    She just stood in silence.


    “I think it (the medical examiner’s ruling) will mean nothing,” long-time Hinckley attorney Barry Levine said. “No prosecutors will bring such a case. The notion that this could be a successful prosecution is far-fetched. There is no legal basis to pursue this.”

    Tung Yin, a professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, said Friday that it’s rare that the act that could be considered the cause of a murder occurred so long ago.

    “It seems a little bit unprecedented,” Yin said of the Virginia medical examiner’s ruling. He said such cases more likely involve a person in a coma who dies some time later.

    He said bringing such a case could cause problems for prosecutors, because Hinckley was found was found not guilty by reason of insanity.


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