There are moments when a shot is heard around the world and lions are born. On March 30, 1980, James Brady became one of those lions. Not by choice, but by destiny. He didn't volunteer for this mission, but after the shot, he made a choice to stand up and roar so that someday, maybe, someone else might not have to.
Whether you agree with Mr. Brady's politics, agenda or approach, I think most can appreciate the enormity of what it takes to look fate head-on and chart a new path. Spark a new conversation. It takes an inner strength that few of us have, and few of us could personally comprehend, before being put into a climactic situation.
These lion-inducing moments in our society, inadvertently, give birth to people who try to marshal public sentiment behind their beliefs to initiate permanent changes to society. People like Mr. Brady push previously sensitive topics into our kitchen tables, and right to the forefront of our national dialogue.
Just as accidental lions are thrust onto the stage, we as a society are also unwantingly forced to have conversations that we generally don't like to have. Whether these conversations are about safety, responsibility, laws, personal rights, human kindness or empathy, every one of us are all pulled into the vortex of human drama. Confronting issues and opinions that may or may not be simpatico with our own beliefs.
I started an organization called Evolve, the sole purpose of which is to promote culture change around gun safety and responsibility and more innovative ways to get more people to think about it. Using the 'tools' of creative and media. To some, that seemed too superficial, with not enough 'teeth.' To others it prompted the tired 'false flag' statement. I respectfully disagree, because we know that fresh ways of communicating can be some of the most powerful antidotes to the most intractable problems.
To agree or disagree with the politics of lions is not the point. I believe both sides can have conversations about how we can do better. How we might present new ways to get people to think harder about personal responsibility. How we can be safer. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Mr. Brady found the will to force us all to debate, consider and often reconsider the climactic consequences of a breech in national or personal security.
I never met Mr. Brady, but I respect how hard it is to be a lion. No matter which Pride you represent.