Remembering Jim Brady (1940-2014)
A Tribute by Dan Gross
Jim never gave up fighting and never lost his trademark wit, despite suffering a traumatic brain injury after being shot in 1981 by a mentally unstable young man attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Since then, he and his wife, Sarah, have worked tirelessly to pass legislation that makes it harder for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns.
Because of Jim’s hard work and the policy that bears his name—the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act—an estimated 2 million gun sales to criminals, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people have been blocked. As a result, countless lives have been saved. In fact, there are few Americans in history who are as directly responsible for saving as many lives as Jim.
Known to many as “Bear,” Jim inspired millions with his strength, courage, perseverance, and legendary sense of humor. He was also a great personal inspiration to me and my family. When my brother suffered a traumatic brain injury after a shooting at the Empire State Building, Jim and Sarah demonstrated that it was possible to turn a terrible tragedy into real change and were a big part of the reason I chose to dedicate my own life to preventing gun violence.
I am deeply proud to have called Jim Brady a friend. He will be missed dearly by everyone at our organization, which proudly bears his name, and by a nation that has been made better by his life.
Jim will always remain one of our greatest inspirations as this organization continues to lead the fight for a safer America.
Dan Gross is president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.