These days, conservatives have grown quite used to their “leaders” caving and kneeling for the left, and it appears that lately, the National Rifle Association is no exception. Revolver News regrets to inform you, dear reader, that the National Rifle Association has seemingly gone “woke” in a bid to appease the left.
Fittingly for 2020 America, the story began with a case of Boomer incompetence. A retired judge, Richard Neville, was serving as an arbitrator in a case between the NRA and an unidentified other party. Like countless Americans, Neville has a group of friends he shares articles and news stories with. On June 20th, Neville shared an article, supposedly from the Baltimore Sun and entitled “The Black Dilemma.”
It turns out that this article was not published in the Baltimore Sun, and was actually published on the controversial website American Renaissance in 2014.
While sharing the article with his friends, he mistakenly CC’d Svetlana Eisenberg, an attorney representing the NRA.
And there the story could have ended, with Eisenberg deleting the wayward email and everyone moving on with their lives. Instead, she replied with an affected scolding worthy of David French.
“I have no idea why Judge Neville included me in this highly offensive and disturbing email chain,” Eisenberg said. “I am obliged to state that they reflect views which are abhorrent, indecent and at odds with core values of mine and my firm. It is shocking that anyone—let alone a former member of the judiciary—would disseminate this material or invite others to consider it as containing ‘facts’ warranting consideration and debate.”
Once again, the story could have ended there. Instead, the NRA seems to have naively concluded that it can score a political victory by playing along with the left’s woke politics. This week, the group filed a lawsuit against its arbitration service, JAMS, and against its opposing legal counsel in the arbitration, Winston and Strawn, a top Chicago law firm. The lawsuit leverages accusations of “racism” in an attempt to extract concessions from Winston and JAMS.
In the lawsuit, the NRA resorts to rhetoric befitting a press release by the Southern Poverty Law Center (in fact, the suit cites the SPLC directly). For example:
“In response, several members of Neville’s email group rushed to the defense of Neville—and white supremacy.” (Nobody in Neville’s group advocated white supremacy. In fact, the messages mostly seem to defend open debate, a concept increasingly stigmatized in today’s media environment — and, apparently, at the NRA)
“The NRA does not believe the facts or truth of the Arbitration, or any case should be adjudicated by an arbitrator who . . . questions Black Americans’ coexistence with others in the United States.”
Back in 2017, the Wall Street Journal highlighted the “insidious influence” of the SPLC, and concluded that their work “arguably contributes to the climate of hate it abhors.” In an explosive twitter thread, U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler recently concluded that they have “no credibility.”
— Washington Post Opinions (@PostOpinions) June 22, 2018
Powerful & personal story by a woman who exposes a REAL hate group in America, the so-called "Southern Poverty Law Center," which she documents is a total scam to make $$ for the leaders, not ppl in poverty. Maybe the DOJ will investigate SPLC for fraud. https://t.co/JiUu0DMn5L
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 19, 2019
Why on earth would the NRA would choose to rely on such a failed and discredited left-wing organization?
At one point, the NRA directly copies from the toxic “cancel culture” of the left. The lawsuit states that “private citizens are free to entertain whatever distasteful views they wish,” then immediately tars an opposing lawyer simply for being a recipient of Neville’s email.
The lawyer himself didn’t say anything at all, but for the NRA, guilt by association is enough. He is a member of a “white supremacist email group,” and must be destroyed.
For good measure, even though some material is redacted, the lawsuit includes the un-redacted names of every other recipient of Neville’s email, even those who have nothing to do with the NRA’s lawsuit, exposing them to harassment and professional ruin as well.
It is utterly unclear what the NRA hopes to gain from this stunt, but we can surmise that it seems to be an effort to win plaudits from the left. If that’s the case, it won’t work.
The left has already made it clear what they think of the NRA, and of gun rights: They want the NRA gone, and guns confiscated from their law-abiding owners. An over-the-top endorsement of cancel culture and the left’s racial politics will do nothing to change that.
The NRA is one of the most important political organizations in America. It has become a powerful and trusted institution on the right precisely because, for years, it refused to fall into the same traps other “conservative” organizations did. The group stayed absolutely committed to its core agenda, protecting Americans’ gun rights, and didn’t allow its enemies to dictate what it was allowed to believe, and what it was allowed to think.
Even after incidents like the Sandy Hook shooting, the NRA didn’t let itself get bullied into fake concessions like an “assault weapons ban” that were clearly just stepping stones to large-scale gun bans. And so, the NRA thrived, and when the left tried to destroy them with underhanded tactics like labeling them a “terrorist” group, they failed.
The NRA has long been a litigious organization, but its past efforts have been worthwhile attacks on financial censorship or draconian lockdowns (and of course, the group played a central role in 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision expanding gun rights).
Sadly, the NRA appears to be making the same mistakes that have turned countless other “conservative” groups into the left’s designated losers. In the past month, they have completely failed to stand up for Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis homeowners who brandished firearms to protect themselves and their home from a dangerous mob.
Instead, the NRA is only alienating its core base of normal, middle-class Americans. Why is a gun rights organization running around calling people racists for sharing an article, or simply for being on an email list? Does the NRA still care about gun rights, and protecting ordinary Americans from tyranny? Or, like so many other “conservative” groups, do they care most about having the left like them?
The NRA had better begin purging “woke” scolds from their organization, and get back to the business of defending America. Our freedom to bear arms depends on it.
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