United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- What we are about to talk about is something that may annoy some of our loyal readers here at Ammoland. Well, ignoring this potential situation is something that is not in the best interests of securing out Second Amendment rights in the future. In fact, not discussing what to do in this situation is one of the biggest helps we can give to the likes of Michael Bloomberg.
What is the situation we potentially face? Well, it’s one where the circumstances and/or landscape are worse than our present situation. To review, we have lost the House, and Jerrold Nadler is leading attacks on our rights in the House Judiciary Committee. Thankfully, we have a pro-Second Amendment Senate and a pro-Second Amendment president, so we do not face the prospect of legislation passing.
That may not always be the case. A little over a quarter-century ago, we faced a different prospect. Anti-Second Amendment forces controlled the House, Senate, and White House. The push was for the Brady Bill and a semi-auto ban. The balance as to how bad it would be rested on nominal Second Amendment supporters in both parties who faced difficult balancing acts.
For some, it was how to support the Second Amendment in a way that would not cause them to lose to an anti-Second Amendment extremist in the next general election. For others, it was how to support the Second Amendment, and not be primaried by an anti-Second Amendment extremist. So, to do this involved coming up with something that was less onerous than what might pass if Second Amendment supporters just said, “No.”
The result, in 1993, was the passage of NICS. Now, it could have been even less onerous had the NRA succeeded in getting NICS to override all state and local waiting periods and licensing schemes, but the fact was, the intent was to create a permanent, federal waiting period, and that didn’t happen. This is not to say NICS doesn’t need fixes and improvements, but when you think about the whole scam of waiting periods, NICS largely short-circuits the arguments for them.
A quarter-century prior to Bill Clinton’s first year in office, the NRA faced a similar situation. Lyndon Baines Johnson wanted a federal licensing and registration scheme, which is the keystone for what made the confiscation laws passed by New Zealand and Australia workable. In 1968, the NRA worked to make sure the legislation that would pass in the wake of the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. did not have that, and succeeded.
In essence, the “second problem” HCI activist Nelson Pete Shields described in 1976 would have been solved if not for the NRA’s successful efforts to limit the damage in 1968. When Franklin Orth said the bill “could be lived with,” he wasn’t endorsing it. He was saying, “We did what we could to keep this bill from getting too bad.” Similarly, look at Lyndon Johnson’s statements as he signed the bill and hailed its passage. You think he was happy that licensing and registration weren’t in the bill? He knew that he’d been beaten in the long game.
The other benefit damage control can have is that it could prompt anti-Second Amendment extremists to kill a bill. This happened 20 years ago in the wake of the Columbine shooting. After the NRA’s damage-control bill became the preferred version in the House, anti-Second Amendment extremists voted it down, teaming up with “no compromise” Second Amendment supporters.
If we are to truly see the Second Amendment prevail, Second Amendment supporters must recognize that there is a time for a stand, a time to go into damage control mode, and times to let the tactical and strategic differences between NRA and GOA work in synergy to achieve victories, whether it is passage of pro-Second Amendment legislation, or defeating a bill that would punish law-abiding gun owners for crimes and mass shootings they didn’t commit.
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.