The Most Surprising Speaker At The 2A Rally

If you had told me that a former president of the Brady Campaign was going to speak at the 2A Rally Saturday, I would have wondered what substances you had ingested.

Dan Gross, former president of the Brady Campaign, was an unannounced speaker at the 2A Rally. What he said took a lot of people by surprise including me. You can listen to his short speech below:

Since then he has done a few interviews. The first probably was with John Crump who writes for Ammoland. His full candid interview is here. One thing Gross said really stood out in my opinion.

I think there are people on the “gun control or gun safety” side that have too loud of voice that really believe that there’s no place for guns in our country. Those are the people that lead to a lot of exhaustion that leads me to where I am now.

While Gross believes in background checks, he said he had no problem with someone selling a firearm to a friend without such a check. He also said it was wrong to focus on an assault weapons ban.

Given the tweets from Brady today, I can see why Gross has moved on. What they are calling for in the way of “gun violence prevention” will really have no impact. It is the mag bans, the “assault weapon” (sic) bans, and other such “gun safety” (sic) proposals.

Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation also interviewed Gross for Liberty Park Press. As he notes in his piece on it, they had a 50-minute phone conversation. Gross stressed that there is a common ground and government doesn’t have to be involved.

Gross acknowledged his apprehensions about appearing at the rally and speaking to a crowd of Second Amendment activists. His fears dissipated when it became evident that people who attended are interested in the same things he’s interested in, which boil down to safer homes and safer families.

“We still disagree on some things I am sure,” he emphasized, “but we can’t let that get in the way of a real opportunity to accomplish some things.”

Some of those things are keeping firearms secured from young children and getting more training. I can agree with that.

Gross said that he and Rob Pincus have been working together for the past year on creating a Center for Gun Rights and Responsibilities. It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

Hmmm. Very Interesting. Trouble In (Gun Control) Paradise?

There is that old saying that says keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

In that spirit, I read with interest that Dan Gross has stepped down as the president of the Brady Campaign. He was the ad executive brought in to replace Paul Helmke as president back in early 2012 after a long search. Gross will be replaced by Co-Presidents Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner.

Historically, the presidents of the Brady Campaign have been men since its formation in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns. Sarah Brady’s role was as chair of the organization from 1989 until her death in 2015.

I wonder if the switch to female co-presidents has something to do with what seems to be the female centric nature of the gun prohibitionists. Even beyond Moms Demand Action, any rally, protest, gathering, etc. seems to be composed primarily of women. I don’t know but it seems to have some logic to it.

Here is the press release from the Brady Campaign announcing the changes.

Board of The Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence Appoints Two Internal Executives to Lead Organization

Board Chair says “Mission to cut gun deaths has never been more urgent.”

WASHINGTON, DC – September 6, 2017 — The Board of Trustees of The Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced today it has appointed Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner, as Co-Presidents of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit.

“The Brady Campaign and Center’s mission to cut gun deaths in half by 2025 has never been more urgent,” said Kevin Quinn, Chairman of the Board. “Brady has a focused strategy to prevent gun violence, and we need strong leaders with exceptional strategic and operational skills to achieve our goals. We have those leaders in Kristin and Avery. We are confident in the appointment of these two executives to lead this great community of Brady advocates and our organization.”

Brown and Gardiner will lead the organization from Washington, with a renewed focus on Brady’s three strategic campaigns to: (i) expand Brady background checks to all gun sales; (ii) change the cultural perception that a gun in the home makes you safer; and (iii) shut down or reform the small number of bad apple gun dealers that supply the vast majority of our nation’s crime guns. The new leadership brings extensive experience in law, policy, and public health, all of which are critical to leading these three campaigns, which have a core focus in each of those areas.

Kristin Brown was previously the Brady Campaign’s Chief Strategy Officer. She began her tenure at Brady as the National Policy Director and has a corporate, policy and legal background, having worked on Capitol Hill for more than 8 years where violence prevention and public health were two of her chief policy issues. Brown served for many years as a member of the Executive Management Board and Chief Legal Officer to a global logistics/airline services company based in Switzerland and, prior to that, represented companies in complex litigation and restructuring cases at the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Avery Gardiner was previously the Brady Center’s Chief Legal Officer. She has been responsible for shaping and driving the organization’s legal strategy, as well as providing legal advice to all of the organization’s departments. She brings extensive litigation and strategic experience to the Brady Center, having litigated and provided strategic advice as a lawyer for a Fortune 15 telecommunications company and at the United States Department of Justice in addition to past roles at major national law firms.

Both Brown and Gardiner already served on Brady’s Executive Management Team.

The Board accepted the resignation of Brady’s immediate past president, Dan Gross, who will remain with the organization to assist with the transition. According to the Chair of the Board, “Mr. Gross has been an important and influential leader in the gun violence prevention movement for many years, has led Brady, and leaves the organization poised for even greater success. We are grateful for Mr. Gross’s service to this issue and organization and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

The appointment is effective immediately.

CCRKBA Responds To Brady’s “Not About 2nd Amendment”

Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign, said yesterday after Biden’s meeting with him and other gun prohibitionists that it wasn’t a debate about the Second Amendment. Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms took great exception to that and issued this today.

Thursday, January 10th, 2013 .
BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today issued a bristling response to Brady Campaign President Dan Gross, who insisted as he left the White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden that the current push for more gun control “is not a debate around the Second Amendment.”.
“The hell it’s not,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb declared. “The right to keep and bear arms is at the core of this anti-gun campaign, and Dan Gross knows it.”.
The Brady Campaign is one of several so-called “gun safety” organizations that have already met with Vice President Biden and his gun control task force. Gottlieb challenged that definition..
“The Brady Campaign and other such organizations are all about gun prohibition, not safety,” he said. “They’re not interested in safety when all they want is to disarm law-abiding Americans and taking the best means of self-defense away from crime victims while doing nothing to disarm criminals..
“The White House calling the gun prohibition lobby a ‘gun safety’ group is tantamount to suggesting that Ted Bundy was an advocate for battered women,” he said.

In comments to reporters, Gross insisted that “Words like ‘comprehensive’ and ‘broad’ don’t mean taking guns away from law-abiding citizens.”

“That statement is so demonstrably untrue it’s ridiculous that he expects anyone to believe it,” Gottlieb said. “Banning an entire class of firearms based primarily on cosmetics is taking them away from people. Imposing extremist regulations on the exercise of a civil right amounts to taking that right away and treating gun ownership like a privilege.

“Among gun prohibitionists,” he concluded, “the definition of safety is disarmament. Sure they’re not debating ‘around the Second Amendment,’ they’re trying to erode it and ultimately erase it from the Bill of Rights. We’re not going to let them get away with it.”

Oh, Just Like A Sex Offender Registry

CBS ran a story this weekend on the growth in concealed carry permits in El Paso County, Colorado. Sheriff Terry Maketa says he believes in them and signs an average of 85 permits a week. El Paso County has the highest percentage of CCWs per capita in the state of Colorado.

Of course in the interest of providing balance, CBS’s Jeff Glor had to interview Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign. Gross’s comments were interesting.

Forty nine states, every one except Illinois, have some form of concealed carry but not all require permits, including Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming. There is no national database on who has the weapons, something Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, thinks needs to change.

“I am willing to accept that the majority of concealed carry permit holders are law-abiding citizens,” said Gross. “That’s not where this debate or conversation needs to be. It needs to be on the percentage that are not.”

So Dan Gross believes that there should be a national database of concealed carry holders which is publicly accessible. Hmm, that sounds just like the databases of convicted sex offenders. Will CCW holders be required to notify their neighbors that they hold a permit? Will you be able to go online and pull up all CCW holders within a certain distance from your home? Will permit holders need to get the permission of authorities if they want to change their residences? Will permit holders by banned through zoning of residing in certain areas of a town because it is too close to a school?

I’m sure the Brady Campaign would deny that they want concealed carry permit holders to be treated just the same as convicted sex offenders. Nonetheless, a public, national registry would have a similar impact and that would make the gun prohibitionists very happy.

Brady Campaign Shills For Eric Holder

In the latest missive from the Brady Campaign, their new president Dan Gross shows his true colors. It is obvious that he cares more about protecting Attorney General Eric Holder than in discovering the truth about Operation Fast and Furious. As I said yesterday, to these people a few dead Mexicans (or even hundreds) are worth it if they can get more gun control out of the operation.

“A strong whiff of hypocrisy rises from the letter sent today to Attorney General Holder by the House leadership. Speaker Boehner and his colleagues pretend to be concerned about the harm operation Fast & Furious has done to our relationship to Mexico, but they cannot explain why the House of Representatives, under their leadership, has done nothing to respond to the Mexican government’s desperate pleas for the Congress to strengthen American gun laws to stop gun trafficking from American gun shops to the Mexican drug cartels.

The House Republican leadership decries the failure of U.S. authorities to prevent illegal guns from crossing the border, yet the House recently voted to block an Obama Administration effort to give the authorities a vital (sic) additional tool to fight trafficking of assault rifles to Mexico.

Speaker Boehner pretends concern for gun violence victims, but on the recent fifth anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, he could not find the time to meet with a group of victims, despite finding time, some weeks before, to travel to Florida to meet with the leaders of the gun industry.

Earth to Dan – the bulk of the guns that the narco-terrorists are getting are not from Ranger Bob’s Gun and Bait Shop in Laredo, Texas but from either deserters from the Mexican Army or are being smuggled across Mexico’s southern border. As to the ATF requiring the reporting of multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles, that is hardly a “vital” tool and is of dubious legality to boot.

The only hypocrisy that I see here is from the Brady Campaign who are showing themselves to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Obama Administration. I guess sending out missives like this is what it takes to get gun control under the radar.

The Bradys – The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight

The Brady Bunch aka the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (sic) is confused. They don’t seem to know who leads their organization.

On February 6th, they announced with great fanfare that Dan Gross had been “elected” President of the Brady Campaign.

Washington, D.C. – The Board of Trustees of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center today announced that Dan Gross, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (formerly PAX), has been elected the new President of the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organizations….

Dan Gross replaces Paul Helmke, a lawyer and former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who stepped down July 10, 2011. Dennis Henigan, Vice President for Law and Policy at Brady, served as acting president in the interim.

They even got USA Today to buy into Gross being elected as opposed to hired and Paul Helmke stepping down as opposed to the reality of not having his contract renewed.

Youth anti-violence advocate Daniel Gross has been elected to head the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center, the Washington-based organization promoting gun control plans to announce Monday…

Gross is cofounder and executive director of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence and was elected to the Brady post by the organization’s board of trustees. He replaces former Brady president Paul Helmke, former mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind., who announced in June he would step down on July 10. Helmke’s resignation followed a five-year commitment he’d made to serve the organization starting in 2006.

So it was interesting to read the February 16th press release where the Brady Campaign announced their 2011 state-by-state “scorecard” which ranks states on the degree of oppressiveness of their gun control regime. It had this tidbit in it.

“Guns don’t fall from the sky into the hands of criminals,” said Brady Acting President Dennis Henigan. “All too often, crime guns come from gun dealers in the states that stubbornly refuse to enact common sense, lifesaving gun laws. Every day, a river of illegal guns flows out of the states with weak gun laws, victimizing families in states that are doing their best to protect their residents. It is no accident that the states with the weakest gun laws are the exporters of death and injury.”

Has Dan Gross said to himself after being on the job 10 days “Omigod! I can’t take any more of these losers! It is worse than I expected and I wasn’t expecting much.” Or is it that the memo that the Bradys have a new president just not get out to all their PR staffers? Regardless, I’m glad they remain the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

About That Seminal Event In Dan Gross’ Life

Dan Gross, the newly hired president of the Brady Campaign, counts the shooting of his brother Matt in 1997 at the Empire State Building as a seminal event in in his life. He may not call it that but he left a high paying partnership at JWT (formerly known as J. Walter Thompson Advertising) to start what eventually became the Center to Prevent Youth Violence.

From his bio at the Brady Campaign:

Dan founded CPYV after his brother was severely wounded in a shooting at the Empire State Building in February 1997.

Prior to co-founding and directing the Center to Prevent Youth Violence, Dan was the youngest-ever partner at the JWT advertising agency, managing accounts such as Kodak, Lipton, and Warner Lambert.

In an article that Gross wrote for the Huffington Post in the days after the shootings in Tucson in January 2011:

I know about headline-grabbing tragedies. My younger brother was shot in the head on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in 1997. The incident inspired me to resign as an advertising executive to start PAX, an organization dedicated to preventing gun violence.

From an article two months after the shooting in the New York Times:

Calling the violence wrought by guns a public health epidemic and identifying stricter gun control laws as the cure to its spread, the brother of a young musician who was shot and critically wounded atop the Empire State Building lashed out yesterday at politicians and lobbyists who stand in the way of such measures.

”Could you imagine if there were actually a cure for AIDS or cancer or, at the time, polio, and there were people so motivated by politics that they were trying to prevent it?” said Daniel Gross, the older brother of Matthew Gross, one of six people injured in the shootings on Feb. 23. A seventh, Chris Burmeister, a friend and bandmate of Matthew Gross, was killed.

”Our government is essentially doing nothing to prevent a deadly epidemic, even while they hold the cure in their hands,” Daniel Gross told hundreds of people who gathered in a church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for an annual remembrance of victims of crime. ”As an American, I find it embarrassing and sobering, and as a victim of the epidemic, I find it heartbreaking.”

 In that same article, Gross goes on to call the NRA “immoral”:

Daniel Gross, 30, homed in on the National Rifle Association and called the politicians who accept its support and do its bidding ”immoral.”

”There is an element to the gun violence epidemic that is far more insidious than any medical epidemic,” Mr. Gross an advertising executive, said. ”It may sound like a bad movie, but there are actually evil people working to spread the virus, including people in our government.

”They generate a smokescreen of flawed and deceptive arguments to hide their true concern, which is not the physical health of the American people but the financial health of the gun and ammunition industry.”

So lets look at what actually happened that day on the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building.

On February 23, 1997, Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a 69 year-old Palestinian and former English teacher from Gaza, killed one man and wounded six others including Matthew Gross before taking his own life. He was armed with a Beretta .380 pistol that he had purchased in Florida. According to stories at the time, he had two identical letters – one in Arabic and one in English – in a pouch around his neck that blamed the U.S., England, and France for oppressing the Palestinians, expressed his hatred for Zionism, and against two business partners.

The pistol that Abu Kamal used was purchased at Oaks Trading Post in Florida. It should be remembered that the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act had already been enacted by this time and Abu Kamal’s purchase went through a NICS check. Of course, this didn’t stop either Dan Gross or then New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani from blaming Florida’s gun laws.

The story put out at the time was that Abu Kamal had been ruined financially and was depressed over it. From CNN:

In the Gaza Strip, relatives of Kamal prepared Monday for a wake at the home of his daughter and son-in-law. His family said he had come to he United States for a business opportunity, and had been cheated out of his savings.

His son-in-law, Marwan Abu Samra, said Kamal was despondent after losing his life savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars. And his daughter, Marfat Abu Kamal, suggested that he was unable to return home after losing his money. We don’t know until now, she said.

Because of this story, the police in 1997 attributed the shooting to a deranged individual working alone. We later come to find out the story of Abu Kamal being suicidal over the loss of money was a cover story that the family put out at the insistence of the Palestinian Authority.

But in a stunning admission, Kamal’s 48-year-old daughter Linda told the Daily News that her dad wanted to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel – and revealed her mom’s 1997 account was a cover story crafted by the Palestinian Authority. “A Palestinian Authority official advised us to say the attack was not for political reasons because that would harm the peace agreement with Israel,” she told The News on Friday. “We didn’t know that he was martyred for patriotic motivations, so we repeated what we were told to do.”

But three days after the shootings, Kamal’s family got a copy of a letter that was found on his body, they said. The letter said he planned the violence as a political statement, his daughter said. “When we wanted to clarify that to the media, nobody listened to us,” she said. “His goal was patriotic. He wanted to take revenge from the Americans, the British, the French and the Israelis.”

She said the family became certain that he carried out the attack for political reasons after reading his diary. “He wrote that after he raised his children and made sure that his family was all right he decided to avenge in the highest building in America to make sure they get his message,” said Linda, who works for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. She said her mom burned the diary, fearing that it would cause the family trouble.

If one re-reads the story from 1997 about Abu Kamal in the New York Times, you get inklings that he was more than just a suicidal investor despondent over his losses. While he was in Florida, the story says,

Ms. Gregory said that he was polite and stayed in his room a lot, occasionally going for a walk down the street, except when a young foreigner periodically came and picked him up. At night, he sometimes went to pray at a nearby religious center, the Islamic Society of Brevard.

He was also in contact with an old friend who worked for the Saudi Arabian Mission to the United Nations which may mean nothing but with the number of contacts between Saudis and jihadis I find it interesting.

To sum up, you have an angry Palestinian intent on jihad who had friends in both New York and Florida that committed a terrorist act in New York City. It is incredibly naive to believe that someone like Abu Kamal could not have obtained a firearm, legally or illegally, given his intent and resources. His young Islamic friend in Florida or his connected Saudi friend in NYC could have helped him obtain a gun one way or another. To blame gun laws is to ignore the reality of the situation which is that it is hard to stop any “lone wolf” terrorist intent on killing, who has allies, and who doesn’t care if he lives or not.

Unfortunately, the reality of these shootings will be continued to be ignored while the media pays homage to the new head of the Brady Campaign.