The case against the NRA must be politically bulletproof

The case against the NRA must be politically bulletproof

New York State Attorney General Letitia James adjusts her glasses as she announces that the state is suing the National Rifle Association during a press conference, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in New York. The announcement that the attorney general of New York has filed suit against the National Rifle Association and looking to shut it down raises potentially serious constitutional concerns. I am no fan of the NRA. Politically, I think it wields too much influence against reasonable gun control, which I support as consistent with the Second Amendment. It is too closely connected with the profitability of gun manufacturers. It advocates positions and supports candidates, even if indirectly, that I believe undercut our safety. I will never contribute to the NRA and I will generally vote against candidates it supports. But to paraphrase Voltaire, I will strongly defend its right to be wrong. The NRA is entitled under the First Amendment, to advocate these views and to petition the government for what it regards as a redress of grievances under the Second Amendment. To be sure, the attorney general has the legitimate authority to investigate all eleemosynary, that is charitable, organizations that operate in New York. The key word is all . If the attorney general is applying precisely the same standards of investigation to the NRA as it applies to all other charitable groups that advocate controversial positions, including liberal and radical ones, then I could not complain about unequal application of the law. But has she […]

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