Statement by the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden on the Passing of James Brady

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Office of the Vice President



August 4, 2014


Statement by the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden on the Passing of James Brady

Jill and I are saddened to hear of the loss of James Brady, our dear friend and one of the country’s finest public servants.  Our friendship goes back to the days when Jim was the press secretary to my former colleague, Republican Senator Bill Roth of Delaware. Even then, I valued what Presidents of both parties and the American people would later come to value in Jim: his honesty, humor, decency, and absolute courage.

It’s been three decades since he nearly lost his life to an assassin’s bullet fired at President Reagan from a gun bought with no background check. But through his paralysis and daily physical struggle, Jim and his wife Sarah showed a dignity, grace, and fierce determination to turn tragedy into action.  Still healing himself, Jim would reach out to survivors of gun violence and other tragedies with a message of encouragement and hope on their own road to recovery. I was proud to have worked with Jim and Sarah in the 1980s and 1990s as they persevered privately to publicly lead the bipartisan consensus for commonsense efforts to keep guns out the hands of those who would use them to harm themselves or others. And I am grateful for their ongoing, rational, and heartfelt guidance as our nation continues to experience devastating gun violence tragedies, like the one at Newtown and in towns and cities across America.

Because of the Bradys leadership and the gun violence prevention law named in Jim’s honor, sensible background checks to date have kept 2 million guns out of the wrong hands. Because of them, countless lives have been saved. And because of what became the cause of their lives, countless more can be saved—in our school and on our streets—if we carry forward the legacy of Jim Brady that turned personal tragedy into service to country and to each other.

Our deepest condolences to Sarah, son Scott and daughter Melissa, the entire Brady family, the dedicated staff at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and all those who were fortunate to call him a friend, colleague, mentor, and role model.  He was a good man.



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