Getting “Slices” Today for a Stronger Second Amendment Tomorrow


Right to Carry by State Map Updated for 2018
Right to Carry by State Map Updated for 2018

United States of America – -( We’ve discussed both the need for an honest evaluation of the present political situation of the Second Amendment as well as the need to use the right tactics and strategies for a given job. Now, we will delve a little into the tactical/strategic area some more, this time by looking at a tactic that was advocated a long time ago by an anti-Second Amendment zealot – and how it can be used to regain our rights because it already has worked to do so.

In 1976, Nelson “Pete” Shields, who after his son’s death went to work for what eventually became the Brady Campaign, stated in an interview with the New Yorker, “Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time.”

Thankfully, Shields, who turned to anti-Second Amendment advocacy after his son was murdered, was wrong about his timetable – we are over three decades from the end point of the seven-to-ten-year timeline he estimated it would take to get a handgun ban. 32 years after that interview, the Supreme Court ruled handgun bans unconstitutional in the Heller decision and ruled the Second Amendment was binding on the states in the McDonald case two years after that.

But there is something we can learn from this anti-Second Amendment extremist from long ago:

We can see how the other side has been far more effective in a tactical and strategic sense than many Second Amendment supporters who have been highly critical of NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre [read my History of the NRA Executive Vice President]. What many of them may not want you to know is that under LaPierre’s tenure as Executive Director of NRA-ILA and NRA Executive Vice President, which ran from 1986 to the present, has seen significant gains for our Second Amendment rights.

Right to Carry by State 1986
Right to Carry by State 1986, IMG

One of the most conspicuous has been the expansion of concealed carry. In 1986, only nine states had either shall-issue or constitutional carry. By 2017, that number reached 42. This happened over thirty years – and the changes were done slowly. While we are still far from constitutional carry in all 50 states, it is just undeniable that the landscape has changed in favor of the Second Amendment on this issue.

But it didn’t go from “no issue” to “constitutional carry” overnight. It was a long process.

Often the biggest hurdle was getting to a “shall issue” permit system with training requirements. Even then, bit by bit, the NRA worked to lower the requirements, lengthen the time the permits were good, and to reduce the application fees.

The lesson from this is that tactics and strategy are tools, much like firearms. Just because those who seek to take our constitutional rights away use these tactics doesn’t mean the tactics themselves are wrong or should not be used. Furthermore, long-term thinking is something that needs to be adopted.

When dealing with legislation like “red flag” laws, this approach may be a chance to start chipping away at them. Working to add due process and penalties for false accusations would be a start, especially after tragedies surrounding those laws like the one in Maryland. Those laws can be further weakened by narrowing the scope of who can seek them. It should also provide a requirement that firearms be returned once someone is deemed to no longer be a threat.

It will take time, it will not be easy, and the anti-Second Amendment extremists will fight it all the way. That said, “no compromise” should be the phrase we use when it comes to our ultimate objective of restoring our Second Amendment rights. As for the tactics and strategies used to reach that objective… well, if all we can get today is a slice or two of our liberties back, let’s view that as the first steps on the journey.

Harold Hu, chison
Harold Hutchison

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,, and other national websites.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Many of your points seem to stem from a misunderstanding of the Second Ammendment. To quote, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The 2A makes it quite clear that the right to keep and beat arms does not exist independently from a well regulated militia used for national security. Any American who is proud of our armed forces will recognize that the army ensures our national security, therefor nullifying the 2A for the time being. That does not mean… Read more »

Evan Wallace

You have a high school sophomore’s underestimating of the second amendment. At the time 2A was written, “militia meant all able-bodied men.

No Filter

AR-15=”hunting implement”. Get an effing clue. Did you get paid to post here? But honestly sir, l don’t hunt. MY CHOICE! If l did it would be coyotes or hogs and my AR plus l’d carry a semi-auto pistol just for snakes-in-the-grass!

I’m sure the Founders weren’t interested in statistics but in FREEDOM and how to keep it!


Guess who’s The Militia?

Take note of section (b) paragraph (2).

Roughly a million DGUs each year.
The deterrent effectiveness of a firearm is not measured by the number of dead burglars piled up in the living room.

Finally, there are about 90,000,000 gun owners in the US.
About 20,000 will commit suicide with a gun.


Put another way: 99.9997% of gun owners will NOT commit suicide in any given year.

William Wells

The phrase “A well regulated Militia” is frequently misunderstood by those who are ignorant of what the founding fathers meant. “Well regulated” means to be in proper functioning order, and nothing else. You have to look to the past as to what the words meant in historical context, and NOT by today’s meaning of well regulated. A common phrase of the day back then was “a well regulated constitution” which meant your digestive tract was working properly. “Militia” back then was any able bodied person. Educate yourself. A little light reading for you… “I ask who are the militia? They… Read more »

call 911? you can't be serious

C-Patriot You said- “Any American who is proud of our armed forces will recognize that the army ensures our national security, therefor nullifying the 2A for the time being. Bucko…. “National Security” is not “personal security”. When someone is breaking into, or is already IN my house, I’ll ensure my family’s security. Are you saying that the illegal guns which criminals procure will be confiscated? If you are, you’re a complete fool. Criminals do not care about gun laws and will continue to get guns from the many illegal outlets they now use. Those illegal guns whereabouts are unknown. Why… Read more »

Mark Fusco

You are completely out of your realm


I’m disgusted with the gun control crowd somehow commandering the moral high ground, as if anyone who legally owns a gun is a criminal. Yet, some the most vocal 2A critics are surrounded by bodyguards carrying, yes, guns. Then it’s ok. This country’s 2A is sacrosanct. Period. It cannot be rescinded, modified, taken away, or trampled on. Yet, people are scared to death to say anything because of the rampant PC culture. If we don’t stand up and protect our rights, no one will. If the left wants to try to void 2A, then let’s void some of their favorites,… Read more »

Mark Gander

I live in TN. I carry concealed always and never leave house without weapon. I travel north to NY often for family visits. My major gripe is reciprocity I can’t understand why I can’t carry in some states I and many others are law abiding folks. This should not be allowed to occur

James Jackson

What I don’t understand is how any of these laws pass and don’t get shot down with simply ex post facto. Those three words have been a cornerstone of our laws and it is written in the constitution. Quite simply they can’t pass a law that will make you a criminal for something you’re already done or purchased in the past when it was legal (at least that’s how I basically understood it) and charge you for it also. Nor can I figure out how the 2nd got relegated to a “second tier” right that can be manipulated and chiseled… Read more »

Joel Bennett

The Second Amendment is more important than any other Amendment. In DC, and I’m sure in your home States Senate and legislature, politicians are afraid of armed constituents and often comes up when funding for paramilitary police equipment is decided upon. The Second Amendment is the amendment used to protect all other amendments. Without this second Amendment, everything else is just words on a page that can ignore at will.


That is one of the most straight forward simple as could be FACTS I’ve ever read! Well written my friend!


Ex Post Facto
Latin for “from a thing done afterward.”

Ex post facto is most typically used to refer to a criminal statute that punishes actions retroactively, thereby criminalizing conduct that was legal when originally performed. Two clauses in the United States Constitution prohibit ex post facto laws:
1.Art 1, § 91.This prohibits Congress from passing any laws which apply ex post facto.

2.Art. 1 § 10. 1.This prohibits the states from passing any laws which apply ex post facto.

The Revelator

@Harold Hutchison Tactics…. Playing chess and thinking of the long game, you may think about how you are going to win in 30 moves(30 years out). Unfortunately, if you continue to give up pieces as part of your “Grand Strategy”, you will not win on your 30th move if your opponent has put you in checkmate on his 12th. You continue to recycle and reprint the same arguments over and over Harold, but it is not converting anyone, and it is not changing anyone’s minds. The left is not playing by yours or the NRA’s strategy. They are luring you… Read more »

The Revelator

getting real tired of autofill changing words.

No Filter

@Rev, l turned mine off and l proofread like an mf’r but l digress. The slice of bread tactic is working well for the anti-gunners. We supply the dough and they incrementally get the slice they want. The tactic of sending snowflake infiltrators in among us seems to be in effect, too, Harry.


I have become somewhat put out with the NRA after not standing strong against the illegal bump stock ban. It goes way beyond bump stocks, it allows a new foothold for the anti gunners to change definitions and therefore bypass congress on a political whim.. Our commander in Chief ( who ran as a pro 2nd candidate ) threw us under the bus as the NRA stood idly by. Waynes 5 million he took a few years back would be better spent in the fight. That said, i think they have done a lot over the years, i will grudgingly… Read more »

Jeff W

100% correct!


To expand on that, it would be more effective against them to frame arguments in terms as they see the world, not trying to convince them the pro gun position is correct in the terms that pro gun advocates see it. They are never going to care how pro gun advocates see it, they will only care if they are made to see being anti gun as being wrong in their own way of seeing the world. For example, I have been framing it in terms of a “war on legitimate gun ownership” as being fundamentally immoral and fatally flawed… Read more »

Get Out

IMOA take any and all support to the pro gun organization that will do the most for gun owners, if the one you’re backing now sides with more gun control measures write them why you won’t be renewing your membership. The pro gun actions of the gun organization protecting our rights will be getting my support. We also need to write the elected representatives no matter who they are and let them know your stance on the current gun grab schemes.

Anti-gunners are rejoicing at the infighting being done now.


I think there is one very valuable function the NRA perform for us these days. They serve as a target for much of the anti-gun hate going on in this country. Every time the Bloomburgs, Mad Mamas, Pugliugly, DieFie, UpChuckie Shooooomer, start screaming about more gun restrictions, they whinge and rail on about how “If it weren’t for that GUN LOBBY the NRA, i’d have had the votes, and Mr and Mrs America would have already turned them all in and we’d finally be SAFE…… makes them feel good, gives a target to hate on that is identifiable, and really… Read more »


I’m a gun owner in NYS. The NRA gave us the stiff arm. Cuomo’s SAFE Act was foisted upon us years ago…with not a peep from the NRA. And we languish, still, with NO interest from the NRA. BUT–they keep asking me for more money!

Ron Riley

NY city Anti-gun is SUPPORTED by Bloomsburg a BILLIONAIRE, The NRA CAN’T BEAT HIM Financially in court. So the NRA must Pick It’s Battles. In most cases, they must TRY to get these anti-gun laws resolved or over thrown by the Supreme Court. Which in most cases takes Years before they can even get it to the Supreme Court. I’ve been an NRA member since 1989. YES, they DO PISS ME OFF, now & again. BUT, when you have 150 MILLION gun owners in the USA, and ONLY about 6 Million NRA members, because they are either too cheap or… Read more »

David Bradford

ENOUGH !!!!!! It’s sickening to see these repeated attempts to claim the NRA has been our savior from the anti-gun activists. Regardless of any help they may claim to have been in the past, They are currently, materially working against our better interest. This constant barrage of “You’re stupid if you say bad things about the NRA” and “The NRA is the best thing to ever happen to gun owners” BS is insulting and disingenuous.
Harold Hutchison, you offend me and I wish you would just SHUT THE F@$&K UP and go away!


When the NRA added or hired Oliver North to their staff, that’s when I said No More NRA for me!

Heartland Patriot

Seem to be a LOT of anti-NRA comments supposedly coming from pro-2A people on here. However, one thing the America-hating anti-2A leftwingers are good at doing is pretending to be something they are not online. They constantly run disinformation campaigns. “Oh, I have a thousand guns, shoot every day, and I hate the NRA cause they’re a buncha sellouts!”. And other people believe them, and jump on the bandwagon. The ONLY 2A-rights organization that the Democrats ever seem to vilify, that they ever call out by name, is the NRA. Now, I’m not saying that GOA or SAF haven’t done… Read more »


I never understand the logciic of trying to move someone to you’re movement by trying to insult them first. And yes, the Democrats have mentioned the GOA and other organizations, in fact there’s a pretty good quote out there that went along the lines of “as bad as the NRA is the GOA is worse.” The first step in your plan seems to be to quit calling people standing up for our rights leftist trolls. You may be fine with bump stock bans and red flag laws, some of us are not, and will not support or take the BS… Read more »

Ron Riley

What you say is True. BUT IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE 144 MILLION USA GUN OWNERS THAT ARE NONE NRA MEMBERS. Then SHUT UP, because YOUR NOT PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS. There are 150 million gun owners in the USA, and ONLY 6 million NRA Members. That are trying to fight every Democrat Gun Restriction Law, that they can think up. Both in the Federal & ALL 50 STATES. Every time they have to go to court to challenge the latest crap anti 2A “law”, to save just one child. It costs the NRA tens of… Read more »


Well said and to the point !


You got to say one thing for Hutchinson, no matter how beat up he gets trying to convince us the NRA is our safest place he keeps coming back with more. I guess the hierarchy tells him what to say next and he trudges out and does it.

Wild Bill

@Tcat, Harold gets paid. That will be the ultimate determiner … money. If there is profit in guns, then politicians, bureaucrats, and judges will embrace them, and even the MSM will love them. Just now, many big money sources are putting money into hating guns.


These people keep showing Maryland is a “may issue” state. The TRUTH of the matter is, Maryland is a “may – NOT – issue” state. Even IF you get a “carry permit” – which is anti-Constitutional – there are SOOOooo many RESTRICTIONS it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for a LEGAL LAW ABIDING Maryland Citizen to obtain a “permit”.


Most of these posts are dumb and outright lies.

Douglas Kuykendall

You know the nra has fucked up,but they also have helped.So I don’t know what you do here.Hell I have read what gun owners have said an I’m sitting here shaking my head wondering what the hell I just read from a gun owner or was just bashing the nra

r s

The NRA helped to defeat the GOP Representative from Vermont over a gun voting issue – and by doing so, boosted Bernie Sanders to the Congress, then to the Senate, and so forth. Thanks NRA.

Bill N.

Doug, I understand how you feel. All we have to do is replace the head shed with people that have a good heads on their shoulders and the NRA will be once again the organization it once was. I feel we’re better off with it than without. It’s up to us, the gun owners to make it float again.

William Flatt

Bah! The NRA and its shills ONCE AGAIN LIE – FALSELY CLAIMING THAT THEY, AND THEY ALONE, are responsible for ALL THE GAINS that gun rights activists have achieved. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!!! Gun rights activists achieved this IN SPITE OF THE NRA. NRA TAKES THE CREDIT OF OTHER GUN GROUPS. NRA IS NO BETTER THAN THE FRAUDULENT EMAIL SCAM GROUP KNOWN AS NAGR; THEY TAKE YOUR MONEY AND OFFER NO ADDED VALUE IN RETURN!! Gun Owners of America, founded in 1975, provided a significant amount of the heavy lifting over the years. They may have been small compared to the… Read more »


You are just another one of those “Gun’s kill people” lefty lunatics that suck on the teets of Hillary and Nancy.


Yup. NRA is their controlled opposition. Except maybe Ted.


I am tired of being assaulted over and over by the Left. The Left tries some anti-2nd Amendment garbage, and it gets shot down, but then they come back later and try something else. There needs to be some prison time for the Left when they try to deny our Constitutional Rights. Nothing happens to them now. We need to punch back hard every time some anti-gunner tries something.


It is not just our constitutional right but our human law biding citizen right to carry and be gun owners to protect our family from criminals from foreign and domestic anti American idiolologies which include criminal government which include crooked police, and there is quite alot on both sides.

rich z

Ignorant PEOPLE seem to vote for IGNORANT people who vote for people who wish to enslave YOU.


Just like here in Florida where they outlawed 18 to 21-year-olds they also outlawed the binary trigger in the middle of the night without anybody knowing about it /imagine that leftist communists
snuck in while were sleeping ,and voted for that 1776 Is today

Bill N.


Dave in Fairfax

I’m having a problem following your argument. You’re saying that the NRA has “won back” some of the rights that we were guaranteed under the Constitution, and for that we should be grateful. These are rights that should never have been lost. Had the NRA filed an amicus curae brief in the initial anti-NFA case, those 2 moonshiners would have gone free and the NFA would have been overturned. Instead they let the court hear only one side of the argument and make a flawed decision, the results of which we’ve had to live with. they then compounded the error… Read more »

Scar Stigr

The NRA actually fought against us here in Idaho when we went constitutional carry. But let’s give them the credit. Trying to pretend that they aren’t the fudds is ridiculous. The NRA is in hot water but somehow it’s us that needs to change not they who need to stand up and fight for the second amendment they claim to love.

Joseph P Martin

Just because people are fed up with the wrong stances of the NRA on 2nd Amendment issues and the blatant abuses of funds by life-long executives with obscene salaries and bonuses and perks and are vocal about it doesn’t mean that they are anti-2nd Amendment or hate the NRA. It just means that it’s time for a change within the NRA for the better. It’s not unlike the saying, “I love my country, but I hate my government”.

Robert Bennett



You have to go back to the time that all this was happening and the mood of the country. Now imagine where your 2nd amendment rights would be currently without the NRA. fighting the fight in the states and courts. All the anger toward the NRA should be refocused on the left and democrats who continually try to disarm the citizens. Infighting will get us nothing but more restriction.

Michael West

For all you people who complain that the NRA don’t do enough or sold out. Then what have you personally have done to ensure your right and freedom , How many lawsuits have you won. How many of you have a governor call you out and say its his job to bankrupt the organization to destroy it because people who believe in the right to bear arms are to extreme to be New Yonkers and not wanted here. There are many part to the NRA mission .


While you are lauding the NRA for its great work you are totally ignoring the losses.

Automatic weapons, or assault weapons, are illegal or highly regulated and will dissappear over time as new ones are not allowed. California and a couple other states continue to tighten the screws on semis under the rubric of “assault weapons.”

Owning hunting, sporting, and self defence weapons are certainly part of the 2nd, BUT, weapons equivalent to the military was and is the real meat of the 2nd.

How about those grenade, mortars, rocket launchers, directed energy weapons…

Peter Scarborough

You people who spend all your time bashing the NRA are part of the problem.


Yes indeed, I remember when concealed carry first came up in Virginia and the NRA was approached to help with a Bill in the Legislature. I remember their exact words, “Virginia isn’t ready for concealed carry”. The Virginia Citizens Defense League told them to take a hike and had it passed the next year WITHOUT any help from the NRA.


Yes indeedy is correct Vanns40, so many have forgotten this tidbit of fact. Being a third generation life member, I’m amazed when newbies maul me because I exercise my right to critique an organization I have financially supported for years. I enjoy reading your contributions Vanns, we must continue to educate and instruct the newbies in our midst.


Where’s the like button? I’m getting sick and tired of the NRA bashers on gun boards. Just give your money to another group and shut the ef up! NRA bashers are doing nothing but encouraging gun grabbers.

Bill N.

556SBR, Just ignore them. I’m a member also GOA JFPO and a couple more organizations, I’m on a fixed income so when they beg for Mo ‘Money I have to ignore them. They should just be glad I’m a paid member.

The Revelator

@Bill N. Good Reply @556SBR Well, tell you what, those of us you are labeling “Bashers”, to shut us up all you have to do is one thing and one thing only. Get the NRA off our backs and keep them from coming onto these boards to put up Articles calling us traitors for supporting other groups instead of the NRA. Simple. If you don’t like us being honest and standing up for ourselves, go somewhere else or don’t worry about responding. Do as Bill stated and Ignore us. We are sick and tired of being badmouthed and putting up… Read more »


You ignorant people who blindly support the NRA as they push for laws that allow government agents to enter your home and take away your firearms are part of the problem.

The people who are against that are not.


So we fully support the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment, but we’re “part of the problem” for criticizing the NRA for supporting unconstitutional laws? It seems like you’re more of the problem for blindly supporting the organization while they’re doing it!

Richard Thornton

I am a member of the NRA and I bash them all the time. I get call to renew my membership even though I have a 3 year membership. They started calling with-in 6 months of my taking out a 3 year membership. I get call asking for money all the time. They have sued few time and then did not follow up the fight. My 2nd amendment right are two precious for me not to be a member but I don’t like the NRA. Join GOA (Gun Owners of America) they care and they sue for our rights. MORE… Read more »


The 1986 map is wrong Connecticut has never been a shall issue state it is always been a May issue state. Connecticut as always required three letters of recommendations fill out a form at your local police department who does a background check on you and depending on the town and the power of the police chief if the police chief does not want you to have a permit you will not get one whether you meet the requirements or not. Once you obtain a local permit then you apply to the state police for a state permit then the… Read more »

Thomas J

We are past a political solution, that ship has sailed with the nra’s help, i hope the sky falls, i hope they outright ban everything, then maybe people will start taking this seriously and start fighting back, we are living inder tyrannous government RIGHT NOW.

Thomas J

And the comments section needs an edit button lol

Walter Suita

The answer to your question is in the article above. Where would we be with out the NRA ? Read the article again.
Be Strong
Be of good courage
God Bless America
Long Live the Republic

Mike Baker

Oregon is attempting to bi-pass the second amendment by severely restricting ammunition purchases to 20 rounds per month, and to outlaw guns with magazine larger than 5 rounds. Oregon SB 501 introduced by Portland legislator. This would effectively make criminals out of thousands of Oregonians who have never committed a crime. The state has a democratically controlled senate so a bill we would never have thought would see the light of day is here. The legislator said he did not believe it had much chance of success.


@ Mike Baker. Funny that sh_t should roll uphill from californicate!


And yet the NRA endorsed ban on handgun ownership for a quarter of the population still stands. Want to tell me they’re the second amendment’s best defense?

Ron Riley

Please explain EXACTLY WHICH 25 percent of the population is banned from handgun ownership, which is supported by the NRA. AND Exactly WHICH LAW banning handgun ownership your talking about. Since there is an estimated 150 million gun owners in the USA. While ONLY 6 Million of them ARE NRA Members. My math says about 1/2 of the total population are GUN OWNERS. IF YOUR TAKING ABOUT Restrictive gun laws in LARGE CITIES. That’s THE DEMOCRATS FAULT, they HAVE BEEN RUNNING EVERY LARGE CITY IN THE COUNTRY FOR DECADES. If you live in a large city, and your a democrat… Read more »