Those who revere President Ronald Reagan’s legacy should support common-sense gun control legislation, writes Sarah Brady, whose husband, Reagan aide James Brady, was severely injured during an assassination attempt on the president 30 years ago today.
“Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since a mentally ill man tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan because of a romantic figment of his imagination,” Brady writes in an Op-Ed piece in The Washington Post. “On March 30, 1981, a gunman was able to fire six shots from a .22-caliber pistol, wounding the president, a Secret Service agent, a police officer — and seriously injuring my husband, with a gunshot to the head.”
The chairwoman of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence noted that her husband, Reagan’s press secretary at the time, was partially paralyzed and is confined to a wheel chair. The legislation that bears his name, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, took seven years to pass, and had Reagan’s support.
“It’s hard to believe that despite this success, some conservatives who claim to revere Ronald Reagan still reject the common-sense gun reforms he backed,” she writes. “Reagan, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, believed in the Brady bill and the 1994 assault weapons ban, which helped stem the flow of those weapons of war to American streets.”
It was “excruciating to watch history repeat itself outside Tucson in January,” she wrote of the incident in which Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head and six other killed. “It’s hard to believe that any American would sully his credibility by suggesting that a 32-round assault clip has a legitimate use in our society. Time and time again we have seen this weaponry used only to kill human beings in masses and mounds.”
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