United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- If there is one event that tends to bolster anti-Second Amendment extremists, it’s a mass shooting. The media coverage goes wall-to-wall and with it comes the mass outrage from not just reporters, but from anti-Second Amendment extremists across the country. There are major pushes for anti-Second Amendment laws, and those who support freedom are on the defensive.
It’s never a good situation. Even when anti-Second Amendment legislation is fended off, it seems that there are a lot of new supporters for anti-Second Amendment legislation. For instance, it used to be that an Australia-style gun confiscation proposal was unthinkable in America – but then some of those running for president put that front-and-center. Their campaigns fizzled out. In this election, at least. Who can say for sure what will happen in the future?
Here is one simple fact: Mass shootings are a significant strategic vulnerability when it comes to protecting our Second Amendment rights for the reasons mentioned. Therefore, Second Amendment supporters should be working to find ways to prevent them with solutions that are Second Amendment-compliant.
It should not be necessary to say this, but recently, it seems important to do so: Acknowledging this vulnerability and working to address it does not make a Second Amendment supporter a “Fudd.” Such a course of action does not make them an appeaser, either. Claims that this is about “capitulating” to anti-Second Amendment extremists are phonier than Michael Bloomberg’s claims that he has respect for the Second Amendment.
Let’s lay it out clearly: If there is a vulnerability that those who seek to wrongfully deprive us of our rights are going to use, it should be addressed. This is no different than the simple precaution of locking your doors at night. Addressing something that gives anti-Second Amendment extremists an opening to attack our rights is no different than making it harder for someone to break into your home.
So how do we deal with mass shooters? In some cases, these mass shooters have multiple interactions with law enforcement. The person who carried out the 1989 Stockton shooting had a criminal record – including charges of drug dealing and clearly had at least twice been caught with a firearm while apparently being a prohibited person under 18 USC 922(g).
That statute went unused, and this killer, even after being evaluated as a danger to himself and others, was allowed to roam free until he used a modern multi-purpose semi-automatic rifle to gun down five kids, a mass shooting that led to the first state-level semiauto bans in California and New Jersey. Thirty years later, anti-Second Amendment extremists now openly talk about Australia-style gun confiscation. Mass shootings fuel those calls. And now, we have anti-Second Amendment extremists in political office making horrific incidents more likely.
What can be done? While Second Amendment supporters debate the merits of Emergency Response Prevention Orders (aka “red flag” laws), there is also discussion of civil commitment laws, which have been on the books for years. Perhaps there needs to be more use of civil commitment before some of these mass shootings. Second Amendment supporters should be looking to come up with ideas that will not affect our rights – or they will be constantly on the defense.
Many Second Amendment supporters are wise to point out that these horrific events often take place in “gun-free” zones – which become shooting galleries. The Crime Prevention Research Center has plenty of material on that. Or, perhaps, we should leverage the emotional stories of Nikki Goeser and Susanna Gratia Hupp.
Some of these places are “gun-free” by law, others by policy set by property owners. The latter can be the easiest to overturn or they can be the hardest to overturn, especially with the right approach and mindfulness of how we come across. They are easy because they just require a property owner to make a decision to end the “gun-free” zone. That being said, if that property owner has come across poorly thought-out Second Amendment advocacy, then convincing that property owner to change policy will be extremely hard.
The fact is, we take steps to keep ourselves and our homes safe. This includes identifying vulnerabilities and addressing them. If the locks don’t work on the door of our house, we get them fixed. We should be doing the same with our rights. It’s just common sense.
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.