U.S.A. –(AmmoLand.com)- The good news on the Second Amendment is that the courts have been shifting in a pro-Second Amendment direction. With the Heller and McDonald rulings, the Supreme Court has formally ruled what we all knew was the truth: The Second Amendment is an individual right. However, the bad news is that there is an ongoing effort to stigmatize that right.
We saw glimpses back in the Clinton years when Eric Holder called for “brainwashing” people against guns. Well, in the years since Holder made that call, that has been going on. In addition, the brainwashers have been leveraging power in corporate America.
In essence, while Second Amendment supporters largely won the legislative battle in the wake of the shooting at Parkland, Florida, the opponents of our right to keep and bear arms made major strides in the stigmatization of the Second Amendment. The companies that pulled out from affinity discounts from the NRA (admittedly, some did so under pressure from the likes of Andrew Cuomo) didn’t just represent a discount lost, they represented a successful “othering” of Second Amendment supporters.
Why does this matter? After all, most of you reading this never joined the NRA for its discounts. You probably never even knew you had those discounts. You joined to protect the Second Amendment. That is all well and good but getting those affinity deals mattered beyond just your pocketbook. It was something more. In one sense, it was a sign that the nation’s foremost defender of the Second Amendment was well in the mainstream of society.
Furthermore, when those companies sought the business of those who defended the Second Amendment, it meant that they believed that our opposition to onerous and unworkable gun laws did not make us complicit in the horrific acts of criminals, terrorists, and madmen. That is starting to change, and that is becoming an existential threat. To understand why, it is important to understand the objective behind all the Second Amendment shaming.
One of the objectives of this shaming campaign isn’t to get you to change your mind. It’s to get you to shut up. To hide your support for the Second Amendment in order to preserve your professional, economic, and/or social standing. Speak out, and you become a target. They will drag your reputation in the mud. There is another objective, one that works in the long term. By making the Second Amendment a subject of shame, it will dry up the support in future generations, making it easier to turn it into a dead letter, and then repeal it.
What can be done about this? As much as we want to take this head-on, this is where we need to fight smart – because this is a step-by-step process. The first step is to know the facts about the issues surrounding our Second Amendment rights. Knowledge is power – and this will be crucial in defeating the prejudice-based shaming campaign – and pass that knowledge on to your family.
The second step – something that can be done in conjunction with the first step – is to build relationships with your neighbors and friends. Have your family known as the people who can help the elderly shovel their sidewalks when the snow hits, who help out when others are sick, or who are among the upstanding members of the community. This does two things: This marks you as someone who is concerned about your community, but it also serves as a bulwark when the inevitable attacks come for you publicly defending the Second Amendment.
The third step is to reach out to your local news outlets. This has both short-term and long-term benefits. In the short-term, providing the local reporters feedback on how they cover Second Amendment issues will make their reporting better. Many local reporters are always looking for story ideas and showing them some of the many ways our Second Amendment rights are exercised responsibly not only educates them but their viewers.
Finally, we must be willing to confront the anti-Second Amendment prejudice when it emerges forcefully, with facts, but in a civil manner. This will be the hard part – because even with all the work you have done, the anti-Second Amendment types could win. But the odds will be much more in your favor. This is a serious threat, but it can be overcome. In the meantime, join the NRA, and support both NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF!
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.