In the words of past NRA president John Sigler: They don’t hate your guns. They hate you.
On September 11, 2001, America learned first-hand what it was like to be targeted by terrorists; 18 years later, the City of San Francisco decided that the NRA is pretty much the same thing as Al-Qaeda. It’s the sort of development that none of us could have envisioned on the day the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon cracked–that someday a U.S. government entity would announce on the record and without a hint of irony that the act of advocating for a Constitutionally protected freedom is the same as hijacking four planes and murdering thousands of Americans. It’s so ludicrous that it’s very tempting to dismiss as “just another crackpot San Fran thing,” but make no mistake…this was very deliberate, and only the beginning.
Generally, terrorism is defined as the act of demanding a government do a specific thing on pain of having its citizens killed. So how did the San Francisco Board of Supervisors manage to twist that definition to cover the activities of the NRA? Let’s recap exactly what San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani said in the resolution she submitted:
“The National Rifle Association spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence,” the resolution states. “The National Rifle Association through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism.”
For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that’s true. Let’s pretend that the NRA really does spread propaganda, aim to deceive the public, and give aid and succour to America’s enemies. Even by that provably untrue hypothetical, Stefani’s parallel fails miserably. As we all know, spreading propaganda isn’t terrorism–if it were, the entire mainstream news media would currently be vacationing in Guantanamo Bay. Deceiving the public about the dangers of gun violence isn’t terrorism, either…if it were, the entire mainstream news media would be at an undisclosed location experiencing enhanced interrogation techniques. Because the New York Times is still publishing, we’re going to have to assume that the First Amendment still continues to protect anti-gunners’ God-given right to be wrong as hell.
Speaking of which, the First Amendment is the grounds on which the NRA is suing San Francisco. They currently have a lawsuit against the State of New York for something very similar–Gov. Cuomo’s threats to banks and insurance companies for daring to do business with the NRA. Both lawsuits are essentially slam-dunks, barring any unforeseen legal speedbumps, because the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, of assembly, and of petition for redress of grievances absolutely forbids government entities from doing what New York State and San Francisco have done. They had to have known this. So why did they do it at all?
The easy answer is “to virtue signal,” and if these were private entities like Dick’s or Levi’s I might buy it. But these are government bodies, meaning that they’re throwing away the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars it will cost them to lose their cases. That’s why I posit that this is more “testing the waters” than anything else. They’re banking on the fact that it’s been 18 years since September 11, and that memories of what real terrorism looks like are beginning to fade (or never got made). They’re hoping that what seems ludicrous and insane on its face–even to left-leaning organizations like the ACLU–will, over time, start to seem normal. This is the camel’s nose in the tent, and the rest of that big bastard is going to try to come in out of the rain soon.
Eighteen years ago, over 3,000 Americans died for no reason other than that they were American. To equate a legal advocacy group with the murderers who committed that act of true terrorism is vile, but to use that lie try to limit Americans’ freedoms is even worse.
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