Resources for Teachers and Students on Sarah and James Brady

Prepare: The Brady family's activism on the issue of gun violence was precipitated by wounds James Brady received during the Regan assassination attempt. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, located in Washington, D.C., is the largest non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to creating an America free of gun violence. The center provides biographies of Jim Brady and Sarah Brady.

Read: Sarah Brady wrote an original essay for the Architects of Peace project. In it, she outlines the rationale that led to her involvement in the gun-control movement.

Explore: The gun-control debate in the United States often becomes such a partisan, emotion-laden issue that it is difficult to identify impartial statistics regarding the true problem of gun violence. One of the better sources of such information is the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice. Their most current statistics regarding the use of firearms in the commission of crimes can be found on their website.

Write: The key rhetorical element of Sarah Brady's Architects of Peace essay is the statement: "If guns made us safer, as the powerful gun lobby likes to argue, then we'd already be the safest country in the world." How should concerns regarding safety be related to the process of seeking peace? Does disarmament play a different role in international relations than in intra-national relations? Write a two-to-three page reflection paper dealing with these questions.

Extend: The publicizes a list of celebrities and organizations who are on an alleged "blacklist" of anti-gun advocates maintained by the National Rifle Association. Celebrities reportedly included on this list include Jerry Seinfeld, Britney Spears, Julia Child, Oprah Winfrey and Mary Tyler Moore. Agencies include the NAACP, the American Medical Association, and the League of Women Voters. People wanting to "join" this list can do so at the NRA website. The actual NRA fact sheet can also be viewed online.

Additional Resource: According to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control, a greater number of gun deaths that occur in the United States each year are suicides, rather than homicides. To find the most recent statistics in this regard, please visit their website and search under "firearm mortality."

Biography of Sarah and James Brady