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article imageJames S. Brady, symbolized the fight for gun control, dies at 73 Special

By John Presta     Aug 4, 2014 in Politics
Chicago - James Brady, the former Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan, passed away today at the age of 73. Brady retained the title of Press Secretary throughout the eight years of the Reagan Presidency, after he was shot in the head on March 30, 1981.
James Brady was shot by John Hinckley Jr. that fateful day, along with three others including President Reagan, Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy and District of Columbia police officer Thomas Delahanty. James Brady was nurtured back from the trauma by his loving wife, Sarah Brady, and both spent that time forward on the issue of gun control reform and legislation. The Bradys became a symbol of the "gun control" movement and continue the fight to this day, taking on the so-called "gun rights" interests, most especially, the National Rifle Association (NRA).
James Brady and his wife Sarah Brady, spent their time in recent years with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Because of their inspiration, more gun advocate groups have popped up, including Moms Demand Action financed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and led by Shannon Watts.
"My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to Sarah and the entire Brady family today. Jim dedicated his life to ensuring that American families would be protected from experiencing the torment his family went through as a result of gun violence, an epidemic that continues to plague our country," said Shannon Watts in a statement. "Much work remains to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are protected from gun violence, but there's no doubt that countless women and children are safer today because of James Brady's courageous stand against the gun lobby."
Congresswoman Robin Kelly of the 2nd Illinois' Congressional district, was inspired by James and Sarah Brady, in her campaign to win the seat vacated by former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. In a crowded field of candidates in the Democratic primary, Rep. Kelly won decisively on the issue of "gun reform" legislation, and in opposing the NRA and its stranglehold on the gun issue.
Contacted by the Digital Journal, Rep. Kelly said, "I am saddened to learn of the passing of James Brady. For more than 30 years, Jim was a tireless advocate for preventing gun violence. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which marked its 20th anniversary this year, has saved untold lives and is the blueprint for common sense gun reform."
Rep. Kelly added, "Jim’s legacy of leadership in gun violence prevention is unparalleled. His death is a great loss for Illinois and for the nation he served so honorably. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sarah, his family and friends, as well as my friends at the Brady Campaign.”
Back at the White House, Josh Earnest, the current Press Secretary said, ""He is somebody who I think really revolutionized this job. He leaves the kind of legacy that I think that certainly this press secretary and all future press secretary will aspire to live up to."
President Obama also issued a statement:
Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the family of former White House Press Secretary James Brady on his passing. Jim is a legend at the White House for his warmth and professionalism as press secretary for President Reagan; for the strength he brought to bear in recovering from the shooting that nearly killed him 33 years ago; and for turning the events of that terrible afternoon into a remarkable legacy of service through the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Since 1993, the law that bears Jim’s name has kept guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.
Every day, reporters and White House staffers walk past a plaque marking the day in 2000 that the White House Briefing Room was renamed the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. It reads, “May his courage and dedication continue to inspire all who work in this room and beyond.” Those words will endure, as will his legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s wife Sarah, who has been Jim’s steadfast partner in advocacy, and their children Scott and Melissa.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, another strong "gun control" advocate, said in a statement issued by his office, "Today the City of Chicago joins all Americans in mourning the passing of James Brady. Jim lived a remarkable life of courage and resilience in the face of adversity. He turned his personal pain into a public crusade to end gun violence in America."
Emanuel added, "I was proud to know Jim and to work with him during the Clinton Administration to pass the historic gun control legislation named in his honor. His name will forever be synonymous with the cause of commonsense gun control and we are a better nation because of his strength and courage. Our thoughts and prayers are with his beloved wife Sarah and the rest of his family during this difficult time."
In an unusual move, the following statement was issued by the current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and former Press Secretaries Jay Carney, Robert Gibbs, Dana Perino, Ari Fleischer, Jake Siewert, Joe Lockhart, Mike McCurry, Dee Dee Myers, and Marlin Fitzwater on the passing of James Brady:
Jim Brady defined the role of the modern White House Press Secretary. With his passing we lost a friend and mentor, and the country lost a selfless public servant who dedicated his life to service, even in the face of tragedy. Jim always did his job with the highest integrity. He had a true affection and respect for the press, relished a good sparring with the front row, and was an unfailing defender of the President and the value of a free press. Jim set the model and standard for the rest of us to follow. It's been a genuine honor for each of us to stand at the podium in the briefing room that will always bear his name. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s wife Sarah and his children Scott and Melissa.
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