Who says the First Amendment isn’t inextricably tied to the Second? If the Los Angeles City Council has its way, freedom of speech and freedom of association will be things of the past for anyone who wants to do business with the city.
The city council last week held the first reading of a proposed city ordinance that would require those competing for city contracts to reveal any contracts or sponsorships it has with the NRA.
If you think that sounds like discrimination, consider that Councilman Mitch O’Farrell added to the credibility of that assertion by claiming the NRA is a white supremacist group that “peddles in gun violence and extremism.”
So, any California contractors who want to work for the city of Los Angeles would—if the council isn’t challenged—have to choose between their right to associate with a lawful group and their right to do business with the city.
Sounds kind of un-American—like blackballing contractors just for supporting gun rights. It smacks of McCarthyism, pure and simple. And the scary thing is that the first reading basically went unchallenged—passing unanimously.
They’re basically telling people with a different ideological view that they can’t do business with the city of Los Angeles. They’re of the opinion that it’s acceptable to use tax money to do this. So, it’s no wonder there are already murmurs about the legality of such a proposal.
"Politicians are free to disagree with the NRA’s pro-freedom, firearm safety and self-reliance message, but they aren’t free to censor—as this would do when NRA supporters drop their NRA memberships for fear of losing their livelihood from being on this blacklist” NRA lawyer Chuck Michel said in The Los Angeles Times.
And here’s another thing. Much like Pittsburgh city politicians did—when they ignored legal advice to avoid doing an end-run around that state’s preemption law—the Los Angeles City Council ignored an NRA letter sent last October (when the notion of screening contractors was first raised) questioning the constitutionality of such of proposal.
Yet another case of those in power thinking they’re above the law.