Washington, DC – -(AmmoLand.com)- Right now, in some ways, Second Amendment supporters should be feeling very good. We have seen two very strong pro-Second Amendment justices on the Supreme Court, making Chief Justice John Roberts – who voted to strike down the handgun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C., the swing vote. We have a pro-Second Amendment president who is nominating more pro-Second Amendment judges, and a Senate that is confirming them.
But what happens when there is an anti-Second Amendment president in office after Trump? That is not unthinkable. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama won two terms while attacking our right to keep and bear arms. Their judicial appointments are generally hostile to the Second Amendment – the three justices appointed by Clinton and Obama (Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor) who heard the McDonald case voted to uphold Chicago’s handgun ban.
Ideally, the anti-Second Amendment president loses the election and never takes office. We can ensure that by securing Second Amendment support in the suburbs, promoting it in urban areas, and to also overcome language barriers. But we all know that despite the best efforts of Second Amendment supporters, that isn't what happens.
So, what do we do should an anti-Second Amendment president take office? The time to plan is now – before the moment hits. If we fail to plan to protect our Second Amendment rights in those difficult times, we’re planning to fail to protect our Second Amendment rights.
So, what should our plan be? The first step is to leverage what we do have: To wit, use a pro-Second Amendment president and United States Senate to confirm pro-Second Amendment judges. This provides a firewall that can declare gun bans unconstitutional. But firewalls can be breached. This is the last line of defense against an anti-gun president.
The next step is to work to elect a strong pro-Second Amendment bench: State lawmakers, local officials, state’s attorney, even the school board. This is where many governors, attorneys general, Congressmen, and Senators get their start. And while President Trump is an exception, most presidents have once been governors or Senators in the past.
This farm team also has its uses. If you elect enough of these lower-level officials, you can literally block an anti-Second Amendment president or governor from pushing through that agenda. In 1999, a GOP Congress killed Bill Clinton’s post-Littleton gun-control agenda. In 2013, a Republican House was a bulwark against Obama’s efforts to reinstate an arbitrary semi-auto ban after Newtown. Think of this as another firewall, the third-best defense against an anti-gun president.
Now, we come to the second-best defense against an anti-Second Amendment president: You boot him (or her as the case may be) out after one term. To do this, you need that solid farm team to produce a contender. This can work out reasonably well, but that anti-Second Amendment president still has four years’ worth of time to wield regulatory power and the bully pulpit.
When all is said and done, the best defense for an anti-Second Amendment president is to make sure one isn’t elected in the first place. But it is foolish to place our rights in that basket. We need to make sure that we have adequate plans to withstand the next president who will try to deprive us of our rights.
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.