Our View: Strange reaction to Durbin’s letter
Aug 22, 2013 | 3018 views |  0 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Durbin
Dick Durbin
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Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) may have gotten more blowback than anticipated from a letter sent earlier this month to the Alabama Policy Institute, a state conservative think tank. Durbin asked API to disclose its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national conservative think tank, and declare whether API supported “stand your ground” model legislation.

“Stand Your Ground” laws have been passed in a number of states, including Alabama, which are supposed to protect the right of law-abiding people to use deadly force in self-defense if they reasonably believe their lives are being threatened.

Durbin and others at the national level think that type of law is too broad and threatens public safety. He’s attempting to focus attention on the laws and their supporters as part of his strategy to change them.

API sees his request as intimidation, and compares it to the state of Alabama’s demand for NAACP membership rolls in the 1950s.

But Durbin’s request was just that — a request. It’s part of his effort to change policy in the country. Whether one agrees with his position or not, we think the senator has a right to make the request.

Yesterday the API and Strange jointly issued a release defending API’s freedom of association and denouncing the letter as political intimidation.

Strange says his office is “prepared to defend the laws of our state from any unconstitutional federal intrusion” on Alabamians’ rights to keep and bear arms. That’s fine, but we’re not quite clear what unconstitutional intrusion took place.

To borrow from Shakespeare, it seems the AG doth protest too much.