The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

A briefer reply to Orin Kerr


Replying to my recent post, Orin Kerr writes:

But I read Dave as also saying that criticizing the NRA for its positions and influence in gun control debates is somehow equal to the belief that it's okay to murder groups of people for their religious beliefs. If that's what Dave is saying, that claim strikes me as so completely preposterous and outrageous that there's some benefit in saying so publicly.

How Orin "read" my post, which he did not quote, strikes me as preposterous.

For the record, I debated a NRA representative at an event hosted by the Mountain States Legal Foundation. I advocated for Red Flag laws that have proper due process, whereas the NRA representative opposed them. I support of my view, I have testified before U.S.  the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on March 26, 2019, and before the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution on April 28, 2022. So no, I don't think that disagreeing with the NRA is the same as murdering Jews.

In my view, as stated in the post, it is always and every evil to falsely accuse people of being murderers, and it is always and everywhere evil to libel people based on twisted theories of guilt by imagined association.

Outside the NRA Annual Meeting at the Houston Convention, while some of the protesters held up signs reasonably expressing their views on gun policy, some others screamed in hatred at people entering or leaving the convention building, calling people "murderer" or yelling that an elderly man in a wheelchair was a "piece of shit." I don't retract my strong criticism of the latter sort of conduct. Over the course of human history, there have been many different ways that people have wallowed in anti-rational group hatred. In my view, the details always change but the most basic source of such evil behavior remains the same.