Supporters Like You
The amazing impact of people like you
Read about supporters who are helping to save lives from the epidemic of gun violence.
I was on the sideline for many years…then came Sandy Hook. After that tragedy, I decided to get more involved and made my first contribution to Brady.
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I looked at that story and how horrible it was — how so many innocent lives were lost and how easily the killer was able to get his hands on his mother’s guns, and it made me sick. It could have been prevented. That was when I decided to get involved, to take a stand and support Brady’s efforts to enact stronger gun legislation.
The refusal of national-level politicians to pass any legislation to improve the gun regulations infuriates me. There have been state-level advances, but much remains to be done to change the gun culture in this country. We need improvement in the ways guns are sold and who can buy them; also, programs are needed to help keep weapons out of the hands of those people at risk of harming themselves or others.
It was uplifting to include Brady in my bequests. I feel like I’m doing the right thing. I know that my estate and our family’s estate is going for something that will make a difference. When I was doing estate planning, I wanted to include charities and organizations that I felt were effective and that would be around a long time- Brady is an organization which is effective now, and has had staying power. Even after I’m gone, I’ll still be making a difference in the fight for change.
If you believe that the country needs changes to the ways that guns are purchased and controlled, then giving to Brady is one of the most effective ways to do that by virtue of its experience, effectiveness and size.
We’re in the fight right now, we’re going to be in it five years from now and we may even be in it after I pass away, which hopefully won’t be for another 25 years. I’d prefer to see us win before then!
There are some charities where one’s money goes directly to helping people, like the Salvation Army or Feed America. Then, there’s Brady, where the money is used to pass legislation and change the country at its core. This feels just as important to me as feeding the hungry or saving an endangered species; it will also make America a better and safer place to live.
Gary Sackett is, like many of us, understandably frustrated. A strong advocate and supporter of Brady and the gun violence prevention movement for nearly 40 years, he is filled with passion, knowledge, conviction, and he’s never giving up despite the obstacles that we face.
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Gary, a former mathematics professor-turned-attorney, joined Brady in the 1980s when our organization was called Handgun Control Inc. While in Washington, D.C., on business working as counsel for an interstate pipeline company, Gary met with then-Brady Chairman Pete Shields to discuss the state of the gun violence prevention movement and the fight to pass the Brady Background Check Bill. Soon thereafter, Gary became an unofficial spokesman for Brady in Utah, where there were few citizens willing to speak publicly for gun violence prevention measures.
Because of its history of success and leadership, Gary sees Brady as the beacon for the gun violence prevention movement with a proven track record of creating effective and meaningful change. In addition to his support of Brady, he is also proud to support other gun violence prevention organizations, including one that focuses on gun-violence research. Regarding how he first got involved in the movement, Gary says: “It made me angry that even back in the 1980s, it just seemed preposterous that we didn’t have a better control over such lethal methods for killing one another.”
Soon after getting involved in the movement, Gary helped form Utahns Against Gun Violence with Ron and Norma Molen, who lost their son to firearm homicide at Indiana University in 1992, and he continues to serve on the board of its successor organization, the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah. Despite living in Utah, where the state legislature recently approved a resolution declaring its support for establishing Utah as a so-called “Second Amendment sanctuary state,” Gary, his neighbors, and co-workers still manage to co-exist peaceably.
As he looks at the current landscape of gun violence prevention, Gary sees a difficult path forward at the federal level, but he was pleased to see President Biden announce his executive orders relating to gun violence, including a ban on “ghost guns” for which Brady led the push on. Gary is also encouraged by young people who are organizing and speaking out about gun violence. He hopes that their voices don’t fall on deaf ears, as he believes we must act now to address this public health crisis in spite of the political division we face.
Like Brady, Gary knows what it takes to be bold; he’s been a pilot for 50 years and is a proud member of the United Flying Octogenarians. As the pandemic winds down, Gary, who is mostly retired, looks forward to traveling again with his wife, Toni, flying to visit friends and family in Oregon, California, and Montana. Gary and Toni will also embark on a trip to Costa Rica before the end of the year.
“I know that my estate and our family’s estate is going for something that will make a difference.”
-Lester Nathan, Brady Supporter and Legacy Society Member
Jack Lowe has done a lot over his 81 years. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and the former CEO of TD Industries for twenty-five years, Jack has consistently demonstrated a passion for giving back, especially in his community of Dallas, Texas.
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TD Industries, founded by Jack’s father Jack Lowe Sr., has been recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the “Best Places to Work” repeatedly because of the company’s use of the servant-leadership model. A past-president of the Dallas School Board, Jack has served on the boards of the Dallas Citizens Council, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, and the Dallas Zoological Society – just to name a few! He’s also served on the corporate boards of three different publicly-traded companies.
Jack and Mary, his wife of 35 years, have been Brady supporters for ten years, drawn to an organization that leads with common-sense solutions that unite gun owners and non-gun owners alike. A former gun-owner and hunter, Jack knows that certain guns – like the AR-15 – don’t belong in civilian hands: “There’s no reason anybody should have one of those or a large-capacity magazine.” Jack believes that Brady is the gun violence prevention organization that regularly has the most impact – including the landmark passage of the Brady Background Checks Bill.
At Rice University, Jack studied Electrical Engineering, and he’s a self-described “science-oriented” person who thinks gun violence needs to be studied as a public health crisis using science and data. Jack said, “If we pay attention to the science, I know we can get to the bottom of this problem and cut gun deaths.” Jack sees a lot of similarities between gun violence and car-related deaths prior to the 1970s. Once the public addressed the problem and studied its solutions, smart reforms like seatbelts and airbags were implemented to limit the number of deaths deriving from car accidents. Jack believes a similar approach should be taken for gun violence.
Jack is also passionate about Brady’s End Family Fire campaign that seeks to educate gun owners around safe storage especially as it pertains to firearm suicide. Jack notes that having a gun in the home drastically increases the risk of suicide. Jack knows the pain of firearm suicide all too well, having lost a close family member just last year.
While Jack gets frustrated with the lack of action from policy-makers, he knows that there is momentum behind the issue of gun violence prevention: “I know there’s a lot of things people can agree on, and this should be one of them.” Overall, Jack remains hopeful that we, as a country, are on the right track, and he is proud to support Brady — the proven thought leader in this work.
Still serving on a few boards, but mostly retired, you can now find Jack caring for Mary, having fun with his kids and grandkids, enjoying a social distancing happy hour with his sister and daughters in his cul-de-sac, and hopefully soon back to playing poker with his buddies and blackjack in a casino.
My grandfather started supporting Brady in 1981, right around the time of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. At first, my family renewed those grants to continue the tradition. My family met Jim Brady a few times at events and through mutual friends. We continued to renew the grants to Brady yearly after my grandfather passed away to honor his memory and his wishes.
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However, as a mother, I became so concerned about my children being able to go to school and come back alive, this issue became personal to me. Making sure my kids are safe is the priority. I’m also married to a Marine veteran, who is a gun owner and a master firearms expert. He understands gun safety and responsibility. He stores all his guns with fingerprint technology. I appreciate the End Family Fire program, which spreads the message about how important it is that gun owners secure and take care of their guns to ensure the safety of all our children. For me, gun reform isn’t about taking guns away, it’s about creating a safer society with responsible gun ownership. People view it as black and white, as if these things are mutually exclusive, but they are not.
It is heartening to support Brady’s End Family Fire program, which raises awareness about gun safety in a way that embraces the idea that gun reform and gun ownership can coexist. It is frustrating to speak with people who see this issue as black and white and who are determined to stymie progress towards creating a safer world for their children and grandchildren. When I am frustrated, though, I only have to look to the young people, who are working so hard to raise their voices. They understand the world is changing daily, and I know they will create a better society for all of us.
It is also necessary to address the problem of daily gun violence that plagues too many communities. Too many lives and families are torn apart by everyday gun violence. Along with issues of poverty and extreme inequity, we must address these issues systemically to reduce this heartbreaking violence.
While I don’t have much time for hobbies right now, given my commitments to work and family, I love taking care of my family and our dogs. We adopted a Dutch Shepherd puppy and we have a senior German Shepherd, too!
“If we pay attention to the science, I know we can get to the bottom of this problem and cut gun deaths.”
Jack Lowe, Brady Supporter
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