First off, I am a NRA Life Member. You will also find a recruiting button for the NRA on the sidebar of this blog. That said, for Chris Cox and the NRA to claim credit for the win in McDonald v. Chicago is just plain tacky. To not even mention the role of the Alan Gura and the Second Amendment Foundation just compounds it.
In terms of strategic Second Amendment litigation, Alan Gura is a master. He picks his plaintiffs with care and he crafts the case to have a narrow – but winnable – focus. One need only compare his follow-on Chicago case, Ezell v. Chicago, with that sponsored by the NRA, Benson v. Chicago. Ezell is focused solely on the gun range issue. Benson takes more of a scatter gun approach and has already been amended once.
In an ideal world, the NRA would focus on the legislative arena where they are really, really good and leave litigation to the Second Amendment Foundation and Alan Gura. The legislative arena calls for an organization that can be the 800-pound gorilla who must sometimes resort to steamroller tactics. Civil rights litigation requires a deft, strategic approach as the courts are not meant for steamroller tactics. With his wins in the Heller and McDonald cases, Alan Gura and – by extension – the Second Amendment Foundation have shown their great ability in Second Amendment litigation. The NRA is the heavy armored division to the SAF/Gura’s Special Forces A-Team. Both are needed to win the war but each should be employed where they will do the most good.