Political Editors / Aug. 4, 2017

Brady Campaign Leaves Victims Out to Dry

The anti-gun group egged on a grieving couple, causing them to lose a fortune on a lost-cause lawsuit.

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” said Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in 2009, borrowing the concept from leftist political rabble-rouser Saul Alinsky and his “Rules for Radicals.” In fact, one could argue that this idea spurs on leftist activism. The unvarnished truth is that it’s simply a devious way to take advantage of people when they’re at their most vulnerable for the express purpose of furthering an agenda.

Such is the case in the sad story of the Philips family. In 2012, their daughter, Jessica Ghawi, was one of 12 people murdered in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater by James Holmes. Experiencing this horrible tragedy would have many a grieving parent questioning laws and demanding answers. And following Emanuel’s maxim, the anti-Second Amendment Brady Campaign didn’t let a crisis go to waste. The Brady Campaign gave misleading advice to the Philips and encouraged them to file a lawsuit against Lucky Gunner, the gun store from which Holmes legally purchased his ammunition. We say misleading because the Brady Campaign was well aware of the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was expressly designed to protect firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held responsible for the criminal actions of a third party.

After selling their home and belongings, the Philips lived in a camper and traveled the country advocating for the Brady Campaign’s gun control measures. Essentially, they sold everything for the cause. Then the Philips experienced another personal and financial blow — the judge hearing the case threw it out, declaring their lawsuit frivolous, and he ordered that they pay Lucky Gunner’s legal fees, a sum of over $200,000. That may seem harsh, but it’s just and fair. The man to blame for the Philips’ daughter’s death is Holmes and Holmes alone, not the gun store, which processed its transactions legally.

The decent thing for the Brady Campaign to do would be to at least pay the Philips’ legal fees. But that would be allowing another “crisis go to waste.” Far better to promote the tragic story of a legal system bankrupting grieving parents, who were simply seeking justice for their daughter. Will the Brady Campaign, which took in $25 million in revenue in 2014-2015, do the right thing and fix a problem it created by exploiting this couple’s grief and pain? Don’t count on it.

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