In a turn of events that should have surprised exactly no one, Los Angeles is now the second major California city to back down from their plans to stop doing official business with contractors who are members of the NRA. The first one, naturally, was San Francisco, when the city’s Board of Supervisors finally had someone explain to them that no, that cute little plan of theirs actually violates their citizens’ First Amendment rights. But what’s interesting about this turn of events isn’t that these ordinances didn’t survive legal challenges from the NRA—even a dyed-in-the-wool gun-hater could see that those ordinances violated the First Amendment. No, what’s interesting is that those cities passed the ordinances in the first place. Why?
We’ll start with what the NRA had to say on the matter:
The Los Angeles City Council today voted to formally repeal a controversial city ordinance requiring contractors seeking to do business with the city to disclose ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The decision is another legal victory for the Association, which argued that the ordinance violated its First Amendment right to free speech and won an injunction blocking the law.
You’ll note that the NRA describes this as a “legal victory” for them, and the reason why is that the organization sued both cities—San Francisco and Los Angeles—to get these unconstitutional and eerily Orwellian ordinances reversed. It’s a national shame that two lawsuits were required to make that happen, but in this writer’s opinion, there’s much more to the cities’ initial attempts to suppress the First Amendment rights of pro-gun contractors than simple gun-hating. This was a planned, coordinated attack designed to create as much anti-Constitutional hay as possible while the “sun was shining.”
And what “sun was shining” at that time? Well, both cities’ ordinances were created during the NRA’s anno horribilis. Last year, America’s oldest and largest civil-rights organization was wracked by a series of financial scandals in the midst of an even larger lawsuit (and countersuit) against the State of New York. The year 2019 wasn’t exactly sunny for the Second Amendment organization, and it definitely appears that this was a coordinated attack, from both coasts, to bleed the NRA dry of resources (and, hopefully, damage its credibility in the process) just as the 2020 election cycle ramps up.
The fact that both L.A. and San Fran have been forced to retreat from their blatantly anti-Constitutional ordinances is definitely good news. Even better news is that the NRA doesn’t seem to be in a very forgiving mood (I personally get rather irritated when someone attempts to kick me when I’m down). Here’s what they had to say about their future plans:
“Despite the City Council’s decision to repeal the ordinance, the NRA intends to continue to pursue all available remedies. Facing a trial where they’ll have to account for the unconstitutional ordinance, city officials are trying to mitigate the consequences of their illegal misbehavior,” says Chuck Michel, California counsel to the NRA. ‘This is another decisive victory for the NRA, which stood and fought for its members’ rights’.”
Will this latest legal victory mark the end of bizarrely McCarthyist attempts to force gun owners and gun rights organizations out of business? Almost certainly not; after all, the gun-grabbers do tend to take a very long time to learn from their mistakes. Their modus operandi appears to be something along the lines of “the principle cannot be wrong; we must keep doing what we’re doing, only harder.” It’s also pretty clear that they’re aware that the NRA’s pockets are only so deep, and that repeated legal battles may eventually bleed the organization dry.
My prediction is that the next city to attempt this “Are you now, or have you ever been, an NRA member?” tactic will be Portland, Oregon. What’s yours? Tell us in the comments!