Know the Difference Between the Achievable and the Ideal

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Know the Difference Between the Achievable and the Ideal

New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- If there is one issue that tends to cause the most divisions amongst Second Amendment supporters, it is disagreement over the tactics and strategy used to defend our right to keep and bear arms. The NRA takes one approach, GOA takes another, we see still others from the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, and the pro-Second Amendment groups at the state level.

Why is this? Because while Second Amendment supporters generally are in agreement about the ideal situation they’d like to see regarding our rights, there is often a fight over what is actually achievable at a given point in time. One group might want to push for sweeping changes, while another would prefer a more incremental approach. They may even disagree on what the priority should be – one group may want to roll back oppressive legislation on carrying guns, another would ask lawmakers to address the threat of financial blacklisting.

Take, for instance, the Gun Control Act of 1968. The problem was, at the time, with the relatively recent assassinations of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by a pair of evil individuals, something was going to pass. President Lyndon Baines Johnson was pushing for a licensing and registration scheme.

We’ve seen in places like England and Australia how licensing and registration became the building blocks for confiscation. That was obvious also to many back then, including the NRA, which had opposed restrictive legislation, albeit on a more ad hoc basis than it did after the Revolt in Cincinnati. What happened was the NRA used its relationships on Capitol Hill to make sure that the licensing and registration didn’t pass.

When Franklin Orth said that the 1968 law was something sportsmen could live with, it was not because they liked seeing restrictions imposed on them for misdeeds they had nothing to do with. It was because it was far less onerous than what LBJ wanted to inflict upon them. And LBJ was very unhappy about the fact he didn’t get licensing and registration.

Ideally, whatever laws had been passed would not have placed any limits on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. But the ideal was not achievable. What can be achieved over the medium term? A great reduction in the controls, leaving in place laws that punish the misuse of Second Amendment rights.

Similarly, many would argue that the ideal situation for carrying firearms for personal protection is constitutional carry in all 50 states. In terms of carrying firearms for personal protection, we’ve gotten much closer to that ideal than we were years ago. It’s been a process of slicing away at the infringements, piece by piece, but the progress is undeniable.

Similarly, most Second Amendment supporters don’t think a constitutional right should be subject to things like getting a license, going through a background check, or some arbitrary waiting period. However, the present situation is far from it. But what can we realistically expect to achieve in this regard?

Here is the hard truth for some: Until January of 2021, there isn’t much that can be done to address the licensing schemes of states like New Jersey, California, and New York. On that day there may be pro-Second Amendment majorities in the House and Senate that could introduce legislation to have NICS override those schemes, to hopefully be signed by a re-elected President Trump. Yeah, NICS is not a good option, but such a change would have made a huge difference to someone like Carol Bowne, and many others who have their Second Amendment rights impacted by the clearly unconstitutional licensing schemes.

Even if we get the ideal laws and court ruling, Second Amendment supports may have to address new threats. These will come from not from politicians, but from corporate boardrooms and cubicles in Silicon Valley. Those will require new strategies and tactics.

Second Amendment supporters face a balancing act. We must try to achieve the ultimate objective, one that creates the ideal situation with regards to our Second Amendment right. At the same time, we need to be realistic, and get what we can in the climate we have today. This is not compromising or being a “Fudd,” it’s about getting the best possible result we can today, while striving for a better tomorrow.


Harold Hu, chison

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.

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Qui Bono?
Qui Bono?
1 year ago

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” – Socrates

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 year ago

“Pitchforks and Torches” That’s the path to getting the best result we can today and ensuring a better tomorrow Harold.

Xaun Loc
Xaun Loc
1 year ago

YAWN…. Just another waste of bandwidth devoted to justifying the NRA’s consistently anti-RKBA record.

Would anyone care to tell us which anti-RKBA zealot it was that testified before Congress, saying “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”

Qui Bono?
Qui Bono?
1 year ago

Trump won’t be re-elected. There won’t be a Civil War. Some forms of additional restrictions will pass. And all of you mud-slinging armchair-warrior absolutists will be to blame. Yes, I’m trolling you, Trolls. Crawl back under your mossy rocks whence you came and and try not to shoot yourselves in the dark.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Qui Bono?

, My three year old great nephew’s guess is as good as this troll. He does not even know who Trump is.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

, Trolls or nephews?

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

@wjd, Here is what I think that I know about paid trolls: The Hillary Clinton campaign was the first to admit that they paid people to invade conservative websites to argue and quibble about any subject and push daily talking points. There theory was to make conservatives feel isolated in their opinions so as to not pass on conservative ideas, on the web or in person. I guess that someone in the Clinton campaign realized that speech control is mind control. Then, several of us got on a particular troll and got him to admit being a paid troll, and… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

, Yes a fungi. Sorry about the response delay. I had to get some sleep.

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 year ago
Reply to  Qui Bono?

Cui Bono? Bonum commune hominis.

I suggest you acquaint yourself with what a HANSOB is.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
1 year ago
Reply to  Ansel Hazen

@AH, You have to help me out, please. What might a HANSOB be?

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
1 year ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Heavily Armed Noncompliant Sons Of Bitches,

Queer Bono is right in a way. There will be no “Civil War”. More likely it will be HANSOB’s. The local solution to a National problem.

Quatermain
Quatermain
1 year ago

Is that what is achievable before or after the civil war, num b nuts? No more infringements!

HoundDogDave
HoundDogDave
1 year ago

Ideally, Harold Hacksupsome would FOAD and take his surrender tactics with him, but barring that, I guess we will have to settle for pointing out what a POS, yellow coward he really is, that he is part of the problem and should not be taken seriously.

JIAZ
JIAZ
1 year ago

“This is life…Not a peace treaty, not an idealistic dream, but a grim dance of death and survival. The strong live on while the weak–the ones too small or too foolish to fight back–die in agony and blood.”

Dan Wells

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
1 year ago

Ahhh, here we go again with Harold’s rant about strategery & tactics. He talks about this sh!t like he read about it in a book. Harold, JUST GO AWAY, your compromise koolaid is neither wanted or needed here!! NO, we’re NOT joining/helping/donating to the NRA (aka Whiny LaPee-yew)’s wardrobe fund! Harold, you suggest that giving up a slice of the pie to keep the rest is a viable strategy. WRONG!!!!!!!! You give up a slice, and they come back again and again for more!! You keep giving up slices and eventually you end up with NOTHING!!!!!!!! This is the losing… Read more »

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
1 year ago
Reply to  Will Flatt

I think he gets his talking points directly from Whiny LaPee-yew.

tomcat
tomcat
1 year ago

Harold’s idea is that if we lose just a little that is ok as long as they don’t take too much. How much is too much, even a little is too much and has been over the years. We can give it away but we will have to fight to get it back so we might as well fight to keep it in the first place. Nothing good would ever come from compromising with leftists.

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
1 year ago
Reply to  tomcat

It’s compromisers like Harold that has put the 2A against the ropes as we are now. That specifically includes the fudds at NRA.

Operator Z
Operator Z
1 year ago

No thanks Harold. I’m not settling for what you girly men think is achievable. Real men fight for what they believe in. We did serve better than the NRA and the crumbs from the table of the crown. I’ll aim for ideal but that’s just me.

JPM
JPM
1 year ago

Some people just don’t get it, especially when it comes to the Bill of Rights which enumerates (lists) our God given rights. As written over the door to the Marine Corps Sniper School, “Compromise is Failure”. ANY compromise, limitation, restriction or regulations of any of the Amendments listed in the Bill of Rights is illegal (unconstitutional) and a failure (loss) for the citizens of the United States.

BigJim
BigJim
1 year ago

I read the title and instantly knew this was a Harold “piece”.

TexDad
TexDad
1 year ago
Reply to  BigJim

Haha! Thought the same thing.

option31
option31
1 year ago

A great part of the problem is many still hang their hat wrongly on “Constitutional rights”. This has been pounded into our heads in school and by friend and foe alike and many of us accpet it as fact. Their are NO Constitutional rights, just where in the Constitution does it say the government grants us a right? Article and Section#. The Constitution is the governments rule book to follow not mine, not yours. By saying Constitutional right we are bestowing upon government/politicians the decision on what we will be allowed to do. Read the Bill of Rights. The amendments… Read more »

nrringlee
nrringlee
1 year ago
Reply to  option31

Litigation lizards no longer refer to the Constitution. They refer to case law. Lost in that maze is the foundation of liberty: The Law of Nature and Nature’s God. Natural law is the foundation of our nation and the source of our liberty. The Bill of Rights only enumerates those liberties to specifically task government with defending them in specific terms. The Progressive and Positivist movements of the late 19th Century rejected that under the premise that the vast majority of Americans are too stupid to be free hence natural rights are moot. Our problem now is the dichotomy of… Read more »

option31
option31
1 year ago
Reply to  option31

I do have one possible error – the 9th clearly states that just because a right is not enumerated does not mean it does not exist. 9th “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” But again it reinforces the fact that we had rights long before the Constitution or government were established. The ruling class does not like the 9th and therefore has ignored it in schools and state it is fuzzy on what it means and then again if you bring it up now the… Read more »

Knute
Knute
1 year ago

I’ve been right there with what I think is constructive criticism of these same attitudes earlier, but to give him credit, this is much better. The point he seems to be making here is to take whatever seems to be possible, and I’m all for that. I’d even be willing to give in on some small issues, even if they are infringements, so long as I GET something in return. For example, who wouldn’t be in favor of a fix NICS type of bill, so long as all it does is actually plug the real holes, like force the military… Read more »

HoundDogDave
HoundDogDave
1 year ago
Reply to  Knute

The problem here with Harold’s argument is that, Just as Harold pointed out, not all the pro 2A are fighting for the same thing all at once. Each group has found a cause that they feel they have the expertise and resources to fight and win, so in Harold’s weak little mind, if you are not fighting for something, you must be against it. That could not be further from the truth. We are under attack from many angles and this requires us to fight on many different fronts.We’re all in the same boat and no one is pulling patches… Read more »

Knute
Knute
1 year ago
Reply to  HoundDogDave

Yes, and I’ve been critical of Harold’s: “lets just all surrender already” tactics since I came to this site. I just think that this particular article is less egregious than Harold’s usual, is all. Nobody sane would trade off the right to acquire property for a hunk of plastic with a spring in it either. That would be a trade all right, like trading off a brand new caddy for an old beat up farm truck (like mine 🙂 ). OTOH, I’d take more NICS if I could get something useful in return, like the horrible NFA to be extinct.… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
1 year ago

The NRA isn’t for constitutional carry in all 50 states, because it would cut off its income that mandatory training creates. The NRA wrote itself into the statutes of many states to be the sole authority for mandatory training. If we want constitutional carry in all 50 states, we have to dump the NRA. Case closed! The NRA has repeatedly negotiated or rights away! We never got anything in return. We just got to keep a little of our original rights, until the next time. “Until January of 2021, there isn’t much that can be done to address the licensing… Read more »

Sisu
Sisu
1 year ago

Instead of pursuing preservation of “the best we can get gun rights”, let’s: i) change the discussion and demand that “our” government respect and enforce the absolute restrictions placed on it by virtue of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments; ii) get “our” elected representatives to admit and act on the premise that if an individual cannot be trusted to possess a firearm, they should not be allowed in public without supervision, nor should they enjoy any other individual enumerated or unenumerated rights. … Yes, there’s a lot of work for politicians and bureaucrats “decriminalizing” all those administrative and “quality of… Read more »

Donttreadonme
1 year ago

If you settle for acrumb, the left will fight for 3/4 of that crumb. We need to fight for the entire damn cake, and if we are lucky we might get a crumb with people like McConnell controlling the senate.