Is It Time To Start Suing Anti-Second Amendment Extremists?
Article first appeared on Ammoland.com
United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Second Amendment supporters are rightly concerned about the likely return of Operation Choke Point and the financial blacklisting that it causes. In addition, we’re seeing Letitia James try to dissolve the National Rifle Association for the “crime” of opposing the anti-Second Amendment agenda over the years.
But what can be done about it?
New York is very solidly left-wing, and voting out James, even with her excesses, is a long shot. Furthermore, Operation Choke Point is carried out by the threat of bureaucrats acting – something that has long been a problem. Yet, there may be a way to force them to back off – and the strategy comes from a source many Second Amendment supporters haven’t given much thought to.
For a long time in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and the first part of the 1990s, the Church of Scientology was in a lengthy battle with the IRS over whether or not it should have tax-exempt status. The fight got nasty – with Scientologists carrying out a number of dubious actions in the process. But the decisive action wasn’t dubious, it was perfectly legal hardball: According to the Tampa Bay Times, the turning point came when the IRS was hit with over 2,300 lawsuits. It got so expensive, the IRS threw in the towel and granted the exemption.
Regardless of what you think of the Church of Scientology, this is a tactic that was – to an extent – already used against our rights by big-city mayors, then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo, and the Brady Campaign. In fact, Joe Biden wants to repeal the law that ended that back-door assault on our rights. So, the question isn’t whether or not such hardball should be used – our enemies are using this tactic. The question is whether this legal arms race wouldn’t be better if two sides were involved.
But let’s put this another way. Anyone who has exercised their First Amendment rights in response to the NRA’s email alerts has a good case to claim they were slandered by Letitia James when she called the NRA a domestic terrorist organization. If Dominion can sue Fox News for defamation, why can’t NRA members return the favor to James? They arguably would have an even stronger case than Dominion has against Fox, given their actions are well within those protected by the First Amendment.
On a similar basis, a fair number of the tens of thousands of Federal Firearms Licensees could have similar grounds to hit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the FDIC, and arguably the big banks (like Bank of America and Citigroup) and payment processors (like Stripe) with litigation citing restraint of trade and tortious interference, especially if they can show compliance with the many federal and state laws. The case of Intuit’s treatment of Gunsite could be an example here.
The fact is, the lies anti-Second Amendment extremists are telling have a major impact on us.
They have even created an existential threat to not only exercising our Second Amendment rights but the ability to use our First Amendment rights in defense of the Second Amendment. It was unthinkable 15 years ago that Second Amendment advocacy or even the lawful exercise of our Second Amendment rights could be targeted in this manner. Defeating this threat may require us to embrace tactics we once thought of as unthinkable in response.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.