So Sarah Brady is gone now.
Anti-violence activist Sarah Brady dead at 73
No big deal, really. She stopped being relevant years ago. Only thing is that I have to object to her being labeled an "anti-violence activist" because that's never what she was. She was a gun-contol demagogue, plain and simple. She didn't care about violence per se and did nothing to oppose domestic violence or criminals who injured or killed people. She just wanted everyone in America barred from owning guns, period. It didn't matter if you were a collector, a target shooter, or someone who wanted the option for self-defense--Sarah Brady wanted to deny you that ability, at least as far as handguns (and later, so-called "assault weapons") were concerned. That's why she formed a group intially called "Handgun Control, Incorporated". She just wanted to remove every single handgun from society, with the exception of those carried by the police, the military, and of course her armed bodyguards.
I still remember fondly the day that Sarah Brady came to speak at the undergraduate university that I was attending back in the early 90s. Some liberal student group ponied up for her speaking fee and reserved a leture hall for her. They then advertised around campus that she was coming in to speak on gun control and that tickets could be obtained free of charge through the student union office. I was just a mere college student back then, working 40+ hours a week to pay for my classes, but this rankled me enough that I went over and got four tickets, which was the most any one person could get. Then I went back later when someone else was on the desk and got four more. And four more a while after that. Then I started asking other people that I knew to get me tickets. Then I took to standing in the hall and asking random students passing by to get me tickets. And then, after they'd gotten wise to that trick, I even paid several of the homeless bums that panhandle around campus to go in and get me tickets.
The lecture hall seated 300 people. Of the three hundred available tickets, I managed to get hold of nearly half of them. Then I called in to a local conservative AM radio host who was a serious pro-gunner. He interviewed me on the air and I told him what I'd done, then gave the tickets away to his listeners.
Needless to say, when Sarah Brady came to speak, expecting the typical friendly and supportive liberal student audience, she got a big surprise.
Apparently word had gotten back to her that something was in the mix because she refused to open the floor to any questions, instead making anyone with a question write it down on a 3x5 card and hand it to an assistant of hers who vetted them. It was almost comical to watch her flip through the cards, one after the other, frantically trying to find just one softball that she could give Brady. She did find a couple, but the bias was so obvious that people began to simply stand up and ask their questions, which caused Sarah Brady and her handlers to immediately declare the lecture over and depart just half an hour into the planned nintey-minute event. It was epic, and it was educational to say the least to see how the left could stifle opposition and shape the dialogue simply by exercising control over who could and could not ask questions. I learned a lot that day, and I met some great pro-gun people who helped me get established as a conservative student activist, a role which I assumed frequently from then on until I graduated. One of my later events caused such an uproar among the usual leftist suspects that they bused in fellow travelers from two states away to try to counter it. Campus public safety had to cancel their days off because it was looking like it was going to get hot, and acting on intelligence that they had concerning possible large-scale protests, they actually broke out their riot control gear for the first time since the end of the Vietnam war. (They didn't get to use it though--the event went off with only minimal disruptions from the black bloc types and most everyone else had a great time.)
But that little encounter with Sarah Brady was literally my first foray into the public arena, and I found it so energizing and rewarding that I kept at it for years, actually turning it into full-time employment before I was offered a much-better-paying professional position that was incompatible with public activism. And but for Sarah Brady, it never would have happened, and my life for years afterwards would have been much less interesting. So for that anyway, I would like to thank her...and then go: "Nyah, nyah! Still got my guns!"