The government can’t go after the NRA or immigrant-rights groups directly. But it can try to silence them indirectly, by making it impossible for them to conduct their affairs. At bottom, there are only a few ways to change other people’s behavior: persuasion, coercion, and force. The freest societies rely chiefly on persuasion; the most tyrannical rely strictly on force. Coercion lies in the nebulous middle. Increasingly, it seems that those who find a given idea objectionable are no longer willing to fight it with persuasion alone. Which raises the question: How far down the scale toward force are they willing to go?
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