Sarah Brady (1942-2015)
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, writes: "Join me in mourning the loss of Sarah Brady and share your note of tribute with us."
"I come before you today as not just another pretty face, but out of sheer talent."by Ken
-- Jim Brady, to a press corps aware that First Lady-to-be
Nancy Reagan had wanted a Ken doll as press secretary
"Neurosurgeon Arthur I. Kobrine later recalled telling the president's personal physician about Mr. Brady: 'It's a terrible injury. I don't think he has a chance. I don't think he's going to make it, but I think we should try.' "
-- from Jon Thurber's Washington Post obituary
"The bullies have succeeded too often. They have made cowardly lions out of too many members of Congress. . . .
"I implore our president and our Congress: Take a risk. Re-direct your moral compass. Plow new ground in your consciousness. Say 'no' to those who won't retreat from an ideology that is fixated on weapons of war that are turned on babies and grandmothers alike. An ideology that helps assassinate dreamers and the dreams they hold dear. That litters across our fruited plains the bloodstains of innocents. That has kept us from forming that more perfect union, and pistol-whipped us into a seemingly endless cycle of wounding, maiming and murdering one another."
-- Sarah Brady, in a January 2011 CNN Opinion piece,
"Sarah Brady to Obama: Lead on gun control"
The above quotes are lifted straight from my post of Aug. 4, 2014, on the passing, after his many years of struggles, of Ronald Reagan's first White House press secretary, shot in the line of duty, Jim Brady.
This evening I thought I was just about to escape from the office for the weekend when I noticed the following e-mail that had slipped into my inbox:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you of the passing of our Chairperson, Sarah Brady. Our deepest condolences go to her family as we mourn her loss.
Together with her husband Jim “Bear” Brady, Sarah was the heart and soul of this organization. In the history of our nation, there are few people, if any, who are directly responsible for saving as many lives as Sarah and Jim. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (The “Brady Law”) has prevented more than 2.4 million sales of firearms to criminals and other dangerous people and remains, by far, the most significant achievement in the history of the gun violence prevention movement.
All Americans are safer today because of Sarah Brady’s resilience, compassion and what she always said she enjoyed the most: her hard work in the trenches with this organization, which she continued right up to the very end.
Today our nation has lost a great hero, and I have lost a dear friend. I am certain that Sarah would want nothing more than to know we are carrying on her and Jim’s legacy with the same passion and dedication that made her so remarkable.
President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
JUST RECENTLY, I WROTE ABOUT NORMAN LEAR --
in a March 20th post called "If Norman Lear isn't an 'Iconic Character of Comedy,' who is? (And a mensch besides)," happily not a post-mortem piece -- that with the creation of People for the American Way "he did as much as any one person can do to take the curse off the term ["liberal"] and fight back against right-wing propaganda to promote good solid American liberal values." In fact, at the ensuing celebration of Norman thrown by the Museum of the Moving Image and the Comedy Hall of Fame, the 93-year-old guest of honor insisted that he's so imbued with those traditional American values that he thinks of himself as a conservative!
Well, you could equally well say about both Jim and Sarah Brady, both imbued with those good traditional American values, that no one could have done more than each of them did to push back against the gun insanity besetting the country.
This was the opening paragraph of my August piece:
I hope it isn't necessary to explain the significance and sadness of the news of the death of Ronald Reagan's first presidential press secretary, Jim Brady. He didn't ask to become a hero, and certainly wouldn't have chosen the circumstances that led him to it, but I don't know that there's a better word for the role that he, his wife Sarah, and the rest of the family took on in the wake of the calamitous events of March 30, 1981.
But then this was the second paragraph:
I worry, though, that over the decades, as the cloud of gun-happy insanity has enshrouded the land, the heroic efforts of the Bradys to bring some measure of sanity to national gun policy have already been forgotten -- thanks to the coalition forged by the country's violence-for-profit merchants of mayhem and death with rank-and-file U.S. gun-worshippers in the death grip of Tiny Penis Syndrome.
There was a third paragraph, before I turned the floor over to the Washington Post's Jon Thurber for a proper obituary of Jim B, and it seems relevant too:
Even before that calamitous day, Jim Brady had established himself as a decent guy, setting himself apart from the general run of Reagan appointees and from the general run of presidential press secretaries. The class he and Sarah showed when they were put to such an extreme test set them way above most of us mere mortals. It would be nice if Jim's death inspired some revived respect for the work the Bradys tried so hard to do via the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Well, um, it would be nice now if Sarah's death inspired some revived respect for the work the Bradys tried so hard to do.
Thank you again, Jim, and thank you, Sarah.