Follow-up On Brady-Lowy Split

This is a follow-up on the departure of Jonathan Lowy from Brady United for Global Action on Gun Violence which I wrote about last week. As many have speculated, Brady United did not want to be viewed as a foreign agent according to a story in Politico. While I had asked Lowy himself many of these questions in an email, I never got a response.

Brady United COO Susan Lavington said they were reluctant to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

From Politico:

Brady, for its part, was hesitant to dive into work that would fall under the foreign influence law, its Chief Operating Officer Susan Lavington said. Lavington added that the group would remain “laser focused on America’s gun violence,” and did not plan to collaborate with or provide any funding for Lowy’s group.

Lowy, by contrast, wanted to go international in the fight for more gun control including lobbying for new laws.

In an interview, Lowy emphasized that he departed from the legacy nonprofit “amicably.” He said he views gun control as a means to address issues with cross-border drug trafficking and migration and plans to work with countries or others “affected by U.S. gun industry practices.”

“The guns that are trafficked across the border, is like the venom in the cartel,” he said. “That is the venom that makes them dangerous.”…

Lowy explained that the goal was to go beyond litigation, suggesting that the group would lobby around legislation and regulation of gun companies on behalf of foreign governments or people outside the U.S.

He declined to provide details about the group’s funding or its advisory committee at this point. But according to a filing with the Department of Justice, its board will include Dennis Henigan, another lawyer and Brady alum, and Malcolm Ruby, a lawyer who has worked with Brady on a lawsuit against the firearm manufacturer Smith & Wesson on behalf of victims of a Toronto shooting.

Forgive me for being skeptical about Lowy’s contention that more gun control, whether in the US or other places in the world, will stop either drug trafficking or illegal border crossing. It will not.

As for his latest lawsuit on behalf of the Mexican government against Arizona gun dealers, I seem to remember a little episode in the not too distant past. You may remember it. It was run by BATFE and DOJ during the Obama Administration. It was called Operation Fast and Furious. Or, as David Codrea and others have called it, Project Gunwalker where the BATFE “encouraged” Arizona dealers to sell to known straw purchasers so that the weapons would cross the border. Their goal was use that as the pretext for more gun control when traced back to the US from crime scenes. So sorry about the two Federal law enforcement officers killed along with untold numbers of innocent Mexican nationals.

If Lowy is interested in suing anyone on behalf of Mexico, perhaps he should start with former BATFE officials and former Attorney General Eric Holder. Since we don’t know who is funding Lowy’s new organization – though we can make some educated guesses – it is impossible to say how his financial backers might respond to that. More than likely, very negatively.

H/T: Rob R.

Brady United And Jonathan Lowy Parts Ways

Jonathan Lowy and Brady United have parted ways. Lowy was formerly the Chief Counsel and VP Legal for Brady United. He headed their Legal Action Project and had been an attorney with them in various capacities for 25 years. Lowy’s biography has been removed from the Brady Legal section and no mention is made of him in their history section.

Lowy is now the President and Founder of Global Action on Gun Violence. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in the District of Columbia. According to Lowy’s LinkedIn profile, this parting of ways took place in September.

The lawsuit filed Monday by the Government of Mexico against five Arizona gun stores was what tipped me to the change. Lowy was listed under that attorneys representing Mexico in this lawsuit along with a firm from Arizona and another firm from Austin, Texas. Unlike past lawsuits in which he was listed as being part of Brady, this lawsuit has his affiliation listed as the new Global Action on Gun Violence.

Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Lowy and his new organization had to register with the US Department of Justice as foreign agents representing Mexico. As his organization doesn’t yet have a website, the registration filing (see below) provides the best clues about it.

The first name that pops out is Dennis Henigan who was the former Chief Counsel and one-time Acting President at Brady. He is now the VP for Legal and Regulatory Affairs at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Henigan is a member of the Board of Directors for Global Action on Gun Violence. He is joined on the board by a Josh Levy (chair) and Malcolm Ruby who is a Canadian attorney with a background on trans-border disputes.

Rounding out the team is Elizabeth Burke, COO, who was an attorney with Brady, and Lisa Proctor, CFO. Burke often served as co-counsel with Lowy on lawsuits brought by Brady.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what triggered the split. Was it because Lowy wanted to represent foreign governments in their lawsuits against the firearms industry? Or was Lowy being pushed out by Kris Brown as she did to former co-president Avery Gardiner?

Regardless, Global Action on Gun Violence now goes on the watch list. Since the fight for protecting the Second Amendment doesn’t have NFL refs ready to throw the penalty flag, we are on our own to prevent getting blindsided.


Against Guns, Against Self-Defense, or Both?

There was a shooting at the Greenwood Park Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana area on Sunday. Reportedly, the killer had hidden in the bathroom adjacent to the food court with a number of firearms in his backpack. As the mall was preparing to close, he entered the food court and killed three individuals as well as wounding two others. He might have killed more but he was stopped by 22 y.o. Elisjsha Dicken who was legally armed. Mr. Dicken was legally carrying concealed without a permit as was his right under Indiana’s recently passed permitless carry bill.

While the mall was posted as a so-called gun free zone, they have no force of law in Indiana. It would only be an offense if the carrier was asked to leave and refused. In that case, the concealed carrier could be arrested for criminal trespass.

Even though the mall was posted against carry by its owners the Simon Property Group, they had this to say about Mr. Dicken.

We are grateful for the strong response of the first responders, including the heroic actions of the Good Samaritan who stopped the suspect.

Contrast this dignified response with that of two of the leaders of the gun prohibition industry: Shannon Watts and Kris Brown.

First, Mrs. Watts who resided in the Indy area for many years until she left for more progressive pastures in the People’s Republic of Boulder and thence to California. She later deleted it.

And now Kris Brown, president of Brady United, who referred to Mr. Dicken as a “vigilante”.

Many on the progressive Left believe that government should hold the monopoly on violence. In other words, self-defense on behalf of yourself or others would be against the law and that any defense of a person should come from agents of the state, i.e., the police. If you respond like Mr. Dicken, then you are just as culpable in the eyes of the law as the killer.

Michael Bane discussed this at length in his MBTV On The Radio podcast last week. His example was that of the bodega worker who was being charged with first degree murder for protecting himself against a felon out on parole. This episode is well worth a listen.

We know that Mrs. Watts and Ms. Brown are anti-gun. It also appears that they are against self-defense. I am of the belief that as elitists, they fear firearms in the hands of the great unwashed. In other words, thee and me. They want the monopoly of violence – and the tools with which to secure it – to be in the hands of the state. This fits in directly with what Chairman Mao’s speech to the Chinese Communist Party said in 1938.

Every Communist must grasp the truth, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Our principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party… All things grow out of the barrel of a gun.

The founders of the United States, by contrast, were greatly influenced by the works of English philosopher John Locke. He was a proponent of natural law. One tenet of natural law is that you have a natural right to life and you have a right to defend this life.

From Locke’s Second Treatise on Government, Chapter II, Section 16:

 it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.

Most countries of the world, whether they be communist, socialist, capitalist, authoritarian, democratic, or some other variant, do not recognize the individual’s right to self-defense. It doesn’t matter whether you are in China or Canada, the monopoly of violence remains in the hands of the state.

The United States, however, does recognize an individual’s right to self-defense. Whether by common law or codified law, it is a right recognized in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. This is true even in the most progressive of states.

That Mrs. Watts and Ms. Brown reject the right of self-defense puts them, not us, outside the mainstream. It is a right that must be defended at all costs because without it we are slaves.

Tweet Of The Day

It seems that Everytown Law and the Brady United are trying to get the Federal Trade Commission to come down on Smith & Wesson for false advertising. You can read their letter here.

However, as Rob Romano of the Firearms Policy Coalition points out, their argument might backfire on them elsewhere. That said, neither Everytown nor Brady have any problem with hypocrisy.

It’s Called The Constitution

The Orange County Chapter of Brady United has their panties in a wad because Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC11) had a firearm in his carry-on when going through TSA security and wasn’t arrested. He asked them to hold the firearm for him until he returned and they did. If you read the whole story, you will see this happened to others and they were not arrested either.

One reason that Rep. Cawthorn was not arrested is called the US Constitution. Specifically, Article I, Sec. 6.

It states, part:

The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

I guess it is no surprise that a chapter of Brady United is ignorant about Article I of the Constitution given their intentional ignorance of the meaning of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

In full disclosure, Madison Cawthorn is my representative and I have given him a campaign contribution. It wasn’t much but I did get a personal call from him thanking me for it.

H/T Sean S.

Roy Cooper, Brady PAC, And Systematic Racism

I just listened in on a public Zoom webinar with Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) hosted by the Brady PAC and the Democratic Governors Association. It featured Cooper, Wendi Wallace of the DGA, Brian Lemak of Brady PAC, and Kris Brown, president of Brady United.

I should note off the bat that the chat function and any way to ask questions was disabled. I imagine that was to prevent any awkward questions from being raised by the audience.

It started with Wendi Wallace who is the Deputy Executive Director of the DGA. She came to them from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year. She was praising the efforts of the governors of Nevada and New Mexico to bring more gun control to those states.

The conversation then switched to Brian Lemak and Kris Brown. Among the things they said is they are hoping that with Roy Cooper that they can make North Carolina into the next Virginia. In other words, to impose gun control from on high upon the people of North Carolina. They said they are making North Carolina one of their highest priorities at all levels – Federal, state, and even county commissions.

Finally they allowed Cooper to speak. He welcomed this opportunity to talk about “gun safety”. Cooper then started out by saying the usual boilerplate of I grew up on a farm, I am a gun owner, and I support the Second Amendment. He then segued into his support for “responsible gun laws” and talked about the campus shooting at UNC-Charlotte.

Cooper then went to talk about how Obama carried North Carolina in 2008 but that there was a Republican “backlash” in 2010 which allowed them to take both houses of the General Assembly. Not only that but those Republicans had the temerity to gerrymander the state to keep their seats. This led to the state “going backwards on gun laws”.

He said when he was elected in 2016 that the Republicans still held a super-majority in the General Assembly. Cooper said he had three tools with which to stop “bad legislation”: the bully pulpit, the veto, and executive orders. This is where he noted his veto of HB 652 saying guns didn’t belong in schools. I’m not going into that here with the exception of noting that the bill only applied to schools attached to churches and that no firearm were allowed during school hours including during extracurricular events.

As to executive orders, Cooper said he ordered the State Bureau of Investigation to send over 200,000 more names to the NICS system after it was discovered a number of convictions had not been reported. What he didn’t say and didn’t want the listeners to know is that for most of his tenure as Attorney General of North Carolina (2000-2016), the SBI was under his control. It was only moved from the Department of Justice to the Department of Public Safety in 2014.

Cooper moved on to existing laws including the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law. He said he wanted to expand that law to include “assault weapons”. He thought honest and responsible gun owners would go along with that. Cooper also mentioned his support for red flag laws.

The discussion then moved into more political matters such as mail-in ballots, how the Brady PAC planned to focus on not only Cooper’s race but the race for Lt. Governor, the pandemic, etc. Then Cooper said how he said the fight against “systemic racism” need to be a priority.

This is where I exploded.

What more obvious an example of systematic racism exists than a law specifically passed to prevent African-Americans from having access to handguns, other concealable weapons, and pump shotguns! Historian Clayton Cramer found in his research that the impact of the law was “to grant discretion to local white officials to use their discretion to disarm nearly all blacks and some disreputable whites of deadly weapons.”

All four on the webinar today would have denied that gun control had its origins in keeping African-Americans disarmed. However, the record is what it is and it’s legacy is systematic racism that progressives say they abhor.

As to the rest of the webinar, I couldn’t take any more and turned it off.