Is New York's AG going to be the biggest NRA fundraiser ever?
On Thursday, New York's attorney general, Letitia James, proudly announced that she had filed suit to "dissolve" the National Rifle Association. She also sued four NRA executives for damages. The basis for the suit is her claim that the NRA has been mismanaging donor funds. She was able to attack the NRA because the organization is registered in New York, where it was first chartered in 1871.
James got a lot of attention with her announcement, but it might not have been what she was expecting. Forward-looking Democrats demanded to know whether she was trying to help get Trump elected. Meanwhile, the NRA, which has been gaining 1,000 new members a day since the "defund the police" movement began, immediately filed a lawsuit against James, accusing her of defamation and seeking to squelch the organization's right to free speech.
In a ponderous press conference, James announced that she had filed suit based upon her contention that the NRA has for years been guilty of self-dealing and other illegal conduct:
It's no secret why James is going after the NRA. First, it was one of her campaign promises when she ran for attorney general. In an October 2018 pre-election interview with Ebony magazine she attacked the NRA — which protects Americans' Second Amendment rights — as a "terrorist organization" (emphasis added):
What is the most important issue you've have heard from prospective voters?
President Donald Trump and the threat to our democracy and our values. The fact that his policies have reversed all the progress that we made under President Barack Obama and others. There's an issue of public corruption in New York state; I will seek to restore confidence and integrity in public service. The foreclosure crisis is not behind us, students debt is a major issue, health care is a challenge since they repealed the individual mandate, people are having a difficult time with premiums that have increased and are often times deciding to go without medicine because of the costs, resulting in premature death and gun violence. The NRA holds [itself] out as a charitable organization, but in fact, [it] really [is] a terrorist organization.
The NRA immediately struck back. Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's CEO and EVP issued a statement:
(1/2) Statement from NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre:— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
“The NYAG’s actions are an affront to democracy and freedom. This is an unconstitutional, premeditated attack aiming to dismantle and destroy the NRA – the fiercest defender of America’s freedom at the ballot box for decades.
(2/2) The NRA is well governed, financially solvent, and committed to good governance. We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on.”— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
The NRA also issued a statement separate from LaPierre's:
(1/3) NRA PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO NY AG:— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend. You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as...
(2/3)...we move into the 2020 election cycle. It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta.— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
(3/3) Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
As evidenced by the lawsuit filed by the NRA today against the NY AG, we not only will not shrink from this fight – we will confront it and prevail.
Additionally, the NRA filed a defamation suit against James for calling the NRA a "criminal enterprise" and "terrorist organization." It also accused James of violating the NRA's First Amendment rights.
The reason behind the lawsuit's timing is obvious. The NRA, recognizing the threat a hard-left Biden administration poses to the Second Amendment, vowed to spend tens of millions of dollars to help Trump win battleground states. With his usual pithy flair, Trump spelled out what would happen if James's suit were to succeed:
Just like Radical Left New York is trying to destroy the NRA, if Biden becomes President your GREAT SECOND AMENDMENT doesn’t have a chance. Your guns will be taken away, immediately and without notice. No police, no guns!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2020
Thanks to the fundraising boost the Black Lives Matter movement created, the NRA's coffers are well set for the fight. Additionally, if Twitter is any measure of general opinion, while leftists applaud the suit, those who cherish the Second Amendment are planning to show their approval by digging into their pocketbooks and sending money to the NRA.
Meanwhile, savvy Democrats looking ahead to November were horrified by what James had done. Thus, Pennsylvania politicos panicked:
Politico reporter Holly Otterbein said on Thursday after the suit was filed that several Democrats in Pennsylvania, a battleground state President Trump flipped red in 2016, are "panicked" the lawsuit may be interpreted as a Democratic attack on gun rights and the Second Amendment.
Ari Fleischer predicted that James made a bad "mistake during an election year," because the lawsuit will inevitably "energize gun owners across the country." Noting that gun-owners already worry what Democrats will do if they gain the White House, he said, "Wait until the Democrats now try to get rid of the organization that represents gun owners."
The year 2020 is proving to be a giant crescendo of every leftist value, attitude, and action. From using the virus to create a police state to trying to destroy the actual police who help create a civil society to engaging in race warfare, Democrats are giving their all. Fortunately, Americans seem more dismayed than charmed by Democrats red of tooth and claw.
Image: YouTube screen grab.