Democrats Should Fear the 'Brady Effect'

As legions of Barack Obama's supporters (both inside and outside the mainstream media) wait with giddy anticipation to celebrate victory on November 5, they can't seem to block creeping doubt from their minds.  What if the outcome doesn't all fall neatly into place like their polls project?  How can such a scenario be explained? 

Their answer is an old canard:  Latent racism in America.  Liberals can't fathom voters not supporting their candidate because of something so trivial as policy positions.  As they see it, only a bigot would vote against an African-American Democrat. 

Thus, in preparation for a potential Obama loss, Democrats have dusted-off the old "Bradley Effect" charge, which originated when African-American Tom Bradley lost the California gubernatorial race to George Deukmejian in 1982.  Polls had shown a small, though somewhat consistent, lead for Bradley up until Election Day.  Nevertheless, Bradley lost a close election and Democrats have been crying "racism" ever since. 

The facts, however tell a different story.  It isn't the "Bradley effect" Democrats should fear, but something else.  Call it the "Brady effect," named after the one of the radical gun-ban lobbies in America, The Brady Campaign.

In 1982, gun-banners were successful in placing an initiative on the California ballot dubbed "Proposition 15," which would have essentially banned handgun sales and mandated gun registration statewide.  Bradley supported the handgun ban and his opponent, George Deukmejian, opposed it.  Polls showed that Prop 15 enjoyed early support in the campaign season.  But that wouldn't last.

The National Rifle Association, in partnership with California state and local gun rights groups and grassroots activists, sprang into action, educating voters about the dangers of Prop 15 and how their Second Amendment rights hung in the balance.

By Election Day, Prop 15 had gone from having majority support to being radioactive.  Not only did Republicans oppose it, but so did Reagan Democrats and an overwhelming majority of the state's law enforcement community.  As Bill Saracino, who was executive director of Gun Owners of California at the time, recalls:  "Because of Proposition 15, turnout in rural areas was unprecedented, reaching 85 percent to 90 percent in some Central Valley and Sierra foothill counties. Deukmejian's campaign was savvy enough to ride that tide."

And what a tide it was.  Proposition 15 lost by a whopping 63 percent to 37 percent, and polls after the election showed that a clear majority of Californians who voted "no" on Prop 15 also voted against Tom Bradley in favor of George Deukmejian.

While many politicians and pundits of varying political persuasions have come to learn that the power of gun owners, hunters, sportsmen and freedom advocates cannot be ignored on Election Day - hardcore Liberals have a more difficult time facing reality.  It is much easier for them to cry "racism" than swallow the truth. 

The truth for them this time around is that Barack Obama is the most rabid anti-Second Amendment candidate to ever run for the U.S. presidency.  Obama is not only opposed to right-to-carry permits for law-abiding gun owners, but has also endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership. 

As a U.S. Senator, Obama voted to ban most rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.  As a State Senator, he voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of citizens and homeowners who use a gun in self-defense.  Also as a State Senator, he endorsed raising the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition 500 percent.  And Obama supports gun registration - which history has shown is the first step to gun confiscation.

If Obama's legislative record on the Second Amendment isn't clear enough, he infamously reminded voters in Pennsylvania earlier this year of his disdain for gun owners, calling them bitter xenophobes who use the Bill of Rights, which protects gun ownership, and religion as a crutch. 

The other inconvenient truth facing Obama supporters is that gun ownership is strong in the U.S.  Roughly half of all American households own at least one gun, and according to an ATI-News/Zogby poll of likely voters, gun owners favor McCain over Obama by a more than 2 - 1 margin - 62 to 29 percent.

The Second Amendment is just one of many critical issues at the heart of the upcoming presidential election.  The mythical "Bradley effect" may be some comfort for those who can't admit their political positions are unpopular.  But Obama supporters and gun-banners should not be surprised if the very real "Brady effect" eats into their numbers on Election Day.

Brad O'Leary is author of The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama's War on American Values.  To learn more about Obama's position on the issues, go to barackobamatest.com.
As legions of Barack Obama's supporters (both inside and outside the mainstream media) wait with giddy anticipation to celebrate victory on November 5, they can't seem to block creeping doubt from their minds.  What if the outcome doesn't all fall neatly into place like their polls project?  How can such a scenario be explained? 

Their answer is an old canard:  Latent racism in America.  Liberals can't fathom voters not supporting their candidate because of something so trivial as policy positions.  As they see it, only a bigot would vote against an African-American Democrat. 

Thus, in preparation for a potential Obama loss, Democrats have dusted-off the old "Bradley Effect" charge, which originated when African-American Tom Bradley lost the California gubernatorial race to George Deukmejian in 1982.  Polls had shown a small, though somewhat consistent, lead for Bradley up until Election Day.  Nevertheless, Bradley lost a close election and Democrats have been crying "racism" ever since. 

The facts, however tell a different story.  It isn't the "Bradley effect" Democrats should fear, but something else.  Call it the "Brady effect," named after the one of the radical gun-ban lobbies in America, The Brady Campaign.

In 1982, gun-banners were successful in placing an initiative on the California ballot dubbed "Proposition 15," which would have essentially banned handgun sales and mandated gun registration statewide.  Bradley supported the handgun ban and his opponent, George Deukmejian, opposed it.  Polls showed that Prop 15 enjoyed early support in the campaign season.  But that wouldn't last.

The National Rifle Association, in partnership with California state and local gun rights groups and grassroots activists, sprang into action, educating voters about the dangers of Prop 15 and how their Second Amendment rights hung in the balance.

By Election Day, Prop 15 had gone from having majority support to being radioactive.  Not only did Republicans oppose it, but so did Reagan Democrats and an overwhelming majority of the state's law enforcement community.  As Bill Saracino, who was executive director of Gun Owners of California at the time, recalls:  "Because of Proposition 15, turnout in rural areas was unprecedented, reaching 85 percent to 90 percent in some Central Valley and Sierra foothill counties. Deukmejian's campaign was savvy enough to ride that tide."

And what a tide it was.  Proposition 15 lost by a whopping 63 percent to 37 percent, and polls after the election showed that a clear majority of Californians who voted "no" on Prop 15 also voted against Tom Bradley in favor of George Deukmejian.

While many politicians and pundits of varying political persuasions have come to learn that the power of gun owners, hunters, sportsmen and freedom advocates cannot be ignored on Election Day - hardcore Liberals have a more difficult time facing reality.  It is much easier for them to cry "racism" than swallow the truth. 

The truth for them this time around is that Barack Obama is the most rabid anti-Second Amendment candidate to ever run for the U.S. presidency.  Obama is not only opposed to right-to-carry permits for law-abiding gun owners, but has also endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership. 

As a U.S. Senator, Obama voted to ban most rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.  As a State Senator, he voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of citizens and homeowners who use a gun in self-defense.  Also as a State Senator, he endorsed raising the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition 500 percent.  And Obama supports gun registration - which history has shown is the first step to gun confiscation.

If Obama's legislative record on the Second Amendment isn't clear enough, he infamously reminded voters in Pennsylvania earlier this year of his disdain for gun owners, calling them bitter xenophobes who use the Bill of Rights, which protects gun ownership, and religion as a crutch. 

The other inconvenient truth facing Obama supporters is that gun ownership is strong in the U.S.  Roughly half of all American households own at least one gun, and according to an ATI-News/Zogby poll of likely voters, gun owners favor McCain over Obama by a more than 2 - 1 margin - 62 to 29 percent.

The Second Amendment is just one of many critical issues at the heart of the upcoming presidential election.  The mythical "Bradley effect" may be some comfort for those who can't admit their political positions are unpopular.  But Obama supporters and gun-banners should not be surprised if the very real "Brady effect" eats into their numbers on Election Day.

Brad O'Leary is author of The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama's War on American Values.  To learn more about Obama's position on the issues, go to barackobamatest.com.