United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- I hate to say I told you so, but hidden in all of the celebration of the sweeping 6-3 ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen is a new danger to our ability to defend the Second Amendment. The ruling was a best-case scenario – Thomas authored it, and John Roberts wisely exercised the better part of “valor.”
However, news broke that Kirkland and Ellis gave Paul Clement a choice: Stay with the Second Amendment or stay with us. Clement and Erin Murphy walked, just as Clement did when King & Spalding demanded he not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011.
Why Kirkland and Ellis laid down that ultimatum is something we may never know for certain. But many of these big firms have corporate clients, and these days, with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) becoming a factor in corporate decision-making, it’s not a bad assumption that corporate clients decided to boost their ESG by giving Kirkland and Ellis an ultimatum of their own about Clement and Murphy’s advocacy.
For a big law firm, the loss of major corporate clients is a threat they have to take seriously. Opposing the Second Amendment is one easy way for the C-suite types to boost ESG scores and also avoid the bad PR that Bloomberg can create with his billions. But when I said we needed a post-NYSRPA v. Bruen strategy, corporate gun control was one of the reasons why. It wasn’t as dramatic as my piece this last December envisioned, but it is arguably a far more insidious threat that will be much harder to deal with.
Between Bruen, Canigula v. Storm, Caetano v. Massachusetts, McDonald, and Heller, the red flag bill that was just signed into law is a nothingburger. They can set up “red flag” laws, but due process has to be there. But for that, you need lawyers willing to take Second Amendment cases.
Being a lawyer is expensive, both in the education and in actually running the law firm. Those student loans for college and law school don’t pay themselves. That same truth applies to the rent for the office, the utilities, the equipment for a decent office, the support staff (including paralegals, office staff, and private investigators).
What will it take to beat this new threat? The first step is going to have to be the recognition that a LOT of the best pro-Second Amendment legal talent will have to go to pro-Second Amendment organizations. These are entities which will not have to sweat corporations’ ESG scores. The National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, and Firearms Policy Coalition, as well as your state-level gun-rights groups will need the funding to have good lawyers on staff.
The next step will be to put in a lot of hard work. We’re behind the curve and heavily outgunned in protecting the Second Amendment in the corporate boardroom at the present time. We will need a long-term strategy to push back on this front, including getting pro-Second Amendment views in corporate boardrooms and in the top positions of our biggest companies. Finally, Second Amendment supporters will need to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels.
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.