Brady's latest ad ultimately works against them if you dig a bit

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Gun control groups exist primarily to advocate for gun control, obviously. We all know that’s their mission and we expect them to do so.

Yet there are times when a group like Giffords or Brady does something that you know they had to think was a great idea, but clearly didn’t spend much time actually thinking it through.

After all, those who were going to be driven by emotion have likely already thrown in with the gun control crowd. If they want to convince the rest, they have to provide more. They need to provide facts.

Further, any emotion being used at least needs to be completely relevant to your goal. No one should be able to dig a bit on Wikipedia and discredit literally everything you’re trying to sell.

Well, Brady doesn’t seem to understand that.

A gun safety group has created a provocative new ad campaign calling for the renewal of a federal assault weapons ban, in the wake of several devastating mass shootings across the US that involved the use of military-style rifles.

The ad, released on Thursday by the gun safety group Brady and shared exclusively with the Guardian, features a US navy veteran of the Vietnam war reading a chilling account of coming under gunfire and being struck by a bullet.

“I remember someone picking me up as they ran. They put me down on the floor and covered me with blankets,” the veteran says in the ad. “Someone was screaming – took me a moment to realize it was me. But I survived.”

The veteran then reveals that the writer of those words was not a fellow service member but a man who was six years old when a mass shooter attacked his Jewish community center in 1999. The ad ends with the message, “Assault weapons belong in war zones, not our communities. Ban assault weapons.”

The campaign also includes images showing a casket draped in an American flag, an honor given to soldiers killed in battle, in everyday places that have been the site of mass shootings, such as schools and grocery stores.

Oh, well, I guess they showed us, right?

Except, of course, they did no such thing.

What the little boy experienced was beyond awful. No one is going to disagree with that. However, it’s also not relevant to the Second Amendment debate.

“Sure it is! People need to understand what these guns can do!”

Do you really think he would have been better off–and understood it at the time–if he’d been shot with a .38 revolver? Of course not. That account is useful for a number of things, but it’s not useful in discussing whether or not gun control is needed.

What is relevant, however, are the facts surrounding the shooting in question, and none of those seem to work out well for Brady, really.

For example, that shooting back in 1999 was in Los Angeles, which was “protected” by some of the toughest gun laws in the nation at that time.

Nor does it depict the fact that the shooter used an Uzi submachine gun. That’s an NFA item, among the most heavily regulated in the nation. Despite that, the shooter got one and used it in his anti-Semitic attack.

We should also remember that concealed carry was practically non-existent in Los Angeles. There was zero chance of there being someone on the premises capable of protecting the people there. Were it not for Bruen, it would still be virtually impossible to carry.

If Brady’s goal is to try and push for any of the gun control laws currently up for consideration, this wasn’t the way to do it. The shooting in question happened in spite of mountains of gun control laws using one of the most tightly restricted categories of firearms in the country.

If anything, their own advertisement is predicated on gun control doing exactly what we’ve always said it would do. It failed.