The Syracuse Post-Standard: James Brady died Monday, 33 years after he took a bullet meant for President Ronald Reagan. Brady had been White House press secretary for 86 days when he and three others, including the president, were wounded by gunman John Hinckley.
Brady was the most seriously hurt; his head wound resulted in physical and cognitive impairments that lasted the rest of his life.
Brady — deprived of life as he knew it by a $29 pawn shop special in the hands of a mentally ill man — channeled his depression and anger into activism. He pressed for legislation requiring waiting periods and background checks for gun buyers, and for renewal of a federal ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004.
He associated his name with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and in recent years spoke out after every mass shooting.
By remaining bravely in the public eye, Brady reminded Americans that freely available guns exact a cost. He paid it for 33 years.