New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- Let’s face it, Second Amendment supporters know what we want in the end: Our right to keep and bear arms respected by the federal government, and by all fifty states, in all American territories, and in the District of Columbia. We know where we are right now – in a situation where it is not respected. But how do we get to where we want to be from where we are? The answer, of course, is strategy and tactics.
Tactics are the short-term actions that can help us either gain ground, avoid losing ground, or minimize the damage to our rights. Their success depends on how well they are executed. When Second Amendment supporters write letters, call their elected officials, or send e-mails, those are just one set of tactics. Tactical decisions can also include what legislation that pro-Second Amendment groups push to pass, or how to defeat or mitigate the impact of anti-Second Amendment legislation.
Smart tactics can set up huge gains for the long term. In the wake of Columbine, the National Rifle Association’s tactics not only stopped any federal legislation from passing, it eventually led to a pro-Second Amendment president who appointed two of the five justices that made up the pro-Second Amendment majorities in the Heller and McDonald cases.
Now, well-meaning Second Amendment supporters can disagree on tactics. The NRA has one approach, Gun Owners of America has another, and so do other pro-Second Amendment groups, whether national or state-level. But one thing should be kept in mind – the tactics need to advance a strategy to achieve the ultimate objective.
They aren’t done in a vacuum. Anti-Second Amendment extremists are working to advance their agenda – with all the negative effects on our rights that come with it. So, we have to adjust the tactics to fit the circumstances. What works when people are calm and rational will not work in the aftermath of a mass shooting. The ideal is not always achievable right away.
Even with strategy, there are legitimate differences. Do you go for the whole thing and fail but get an idea of where you stand? Or do you take slices out of laws, make them less onerous, as was done with concealed carry, but show fellow citizens that contrary to claims by anti-Second Amendment extremists, the world doesn’t descend into the Wild West when gun laws are rolled back?
Each of these choices has pros and cons. The former course of action promises more gains in the short term, but the backlash could erase the gains. The latter takes time and patience, the latter of which a number of Second Amendment supporters lack, but the gains tend to last, and the chance to discredit anti-Second Amendment extremists helps make future gains possible.
Weighing the pros and cons of each possible strategy is not easy. It depends, among other things, on how many elected officials are Second Amendment supporters in a given lawmaking body. That could very well determine the priorities for a given legislative session. So can outside events, whether it is a horrific mass shooting, or if it is some new trick anti-Second Amendment extremists have come up with, like cities suing gun manufacturers.
This also leads to the last point, and why strategy is necessary. Michael Bloomberg will not just roll over – even if New York State Rifle and Pistol Association vs. City of New York, New York goes completely our way. While it will shift the landscape in our favor, anti-Second Amendment extremists will shift their fight to the boardrooms of corporate America and the cubicles of Silicon Valley, which will require different strategies than the ones used in the legislative and political battles we are currently fighting. If anything, strategy will be even more important that just fighting hard in those battles.
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.