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An Open Letter to Sarah Brady

from Rabbi Dovid Bendory, Rabbinic Director,
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.
Copyright 2011 JPFO

Dear Mrs Brady:

Rabbi BendoryI well remember learning of the tragic shooting of your husband by lunatic “lone gunman” John Hinckley in 1981. As a rabbi, I have deep sympathy for any family who suffers what you have suffered, and I have tremendous respect for anyone who transforms the sorrow of personal tragedy into an impetus to do good in the world. I have no doubt that this is what you set out to do when you first established the Brady Center.

I am therefore writing to ask that you help the family of a U.S. Border Patrol agent who was killed in the line of duty, murdered by criminals with guns provided to them by one of the worst rings of gun smugglers in recent memory. According to CBS News, over the past five years or so, this smuggling ring purchased more than 2500 guns via “straw purchases” near the Mexican border – with knowledge and intention that these guns would wind up in the hand of murderous drug cartels south of the border. And yet the Obama Justice Department has stonewalled on investigating this smuggling ring, even refusing to answer Congressional inquiries into the matter.

There have been an unknown number of lives lost to such senseless violence. Why do I ask specifically that you help this family rather than any of the others impacted?

I ask that you contact this family out of concern that the Brady Center has completely lost its moral compass – if it ever had one.

During the last few years, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has shamelessly coddled up to what is perhaps the most corrupt and unlawful rogue Federal agency in this nation’s recent history. I refer of course to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), an agency for whom you have lobbied for substantial budget increases. Let me refresh your memory regarding this brilliant gem of federal “law enforcement” and its recent “Project Gunrunner.”

BATFE deployed some 220 agents (not counting inspectors and support personnel) to our Mexican border to stem the smuggling of guns to the Mexican “Drug Cartels”. BATFE’s clever technique? Work with legal gun shops near the border to allow (not intercept) “straw sales” to known gun smugglers – some 2500 or more such sales, according to CBS News.

When responsible gun dealers balked at selling weapons, including AK-47s and .50 caliber sniper rifles, to suspicious people, they were told by BATFE agents to go through with the sales. BATFE then let the guns “walk” from the stores and purchasers across the border into Mexico, supposedly in an effort to track the gun traffickers and shut them down.

There was just one minor problem with this clever little operation: the BATFE lost track of the guns. The guns then made their way into the hands of Mexican criminals and murderers. At least two of these guns were found at the scene of a shootout in which US border agent Brian Terry was killed – guns smuggled to the Mexican drug cartels by the BATFE’s operatives and with the BATFE’s blessings.

Mrs. Brady, your stated goal at the Brady Center is that we have to keep guns out of the hands of people who would commit such crimes. From your website:

“We believe it is too easy for dangerous people to obtain dangerous weapons in this country. There are things we can do. We should make it harder for convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and others like them to get guns in the first place.

We can do this by exposing corrupt gun dealers who feed the illegal gun market. Our Brady Center legal staff works to hold those dealers accountable in court and to protect common sense gun laws when they are attacked in court. We work to strengthen law enforcement’s efforts to stop the illegal gun market. We also educate the public about gun violence through grassroots mobilization and outreach to affected communities.”

Since you have not officially come out against the blatant illegality and immorality of BATFE’s “Project Gunrunner”, I can’t help but wonder: what do these clichéd homilies, in reality, mean to you?

Lest the world recognize – as I have – that you are drenched in hypocrisy, I suggest some prompt and serious directional changes in your public policy regarding the BATFE:

  • The Brady Center says it is “too easy for dangerous people to obtain dangerous weapons.” So therefore I expect that the Brady Center will condemn the BATFE for their foolish (and no doubt unlawful) Gunrunner operation – which has, under color of law, clearly enabled Mexican drug smugglers and murderers access to thousands of weapons. Agreed?
  • The Brady Center aims to “expose corrupt gun dealers who feed the illegal gun market.” I assume the BATFE Gunrunner program itself qualifies as a “corrupt” means of “feeding the illegal gun market” and that we’ll hear the Brady Center’s condemnation of BATFE imminently?
  • Finally, the Brady Center can be expected to “educate the public” about the outrageous behavior of BATFE and to “hold [them] accountable in court.” How soon will you be pressing for criminal investigations into BATFE?

BATFE now stands under an unblinking spotlight, revealed in all their authoritarian arrogance. Mrs. Brady, can you sleep at night knowing that your support for this utterly corrupt federal agency has created an illegal supply of guns into Mexico that is being used to murder the innocent and attack our U.S. border control personnel? Or are you so blinded by your anti-gun campaign that you can’t understand that have lost your moral compass?

Unfortunately, Mrs. Brady, none of us realistically expect you and your people to ever do the right thing regarding the lie you call “gun control”. For three decades you have amply demonstrated that what you want is not about guns, but control. You want to control the lives of the millions of innocent, law-abiding gun owners who defy your foolish calls for self-imposed victim disarmament. You want to control those who recognize that your “gun-free zones” are in fact “disarmed victims here, criminals welcome” zones. You want to control those who uphold the G-d-given right to self-defense using the best modern defensive tool at our disposal, the handgun. The tactics of the Brady Center may be soaked in sentimentality and theatrical empathy, but its “gun control” strategies actually mimic the ruthless disarmament tactics of the Lenins, Stalins, Hitlers, Maos and Pol Pots of this world.

“Gun control” is a horrific lie. Will you continue the lie? Or will we see you do the right thing and apply your supposed policies to the BATFE?


Rabbi Dovid Bendory
Rabbinic Director
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

Rabbi Bendory is an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor.

The Rabbi's Archive page.

♦♦ We now also have a handbill to support this letter.

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