United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- One of the biggest obstacles that Second Amendment supporters face when wanting to repeal the legislation that anti-Second Amendment extremists have passed is the inevitable question, “If we repeal [this anti-Second Amendment policy], what’s your alternative?”
The three words, “what’s your alternative” are an opportunity that gets blown all too often.
Usually, when you have someone asking that question (unless they are an anti-Second Amendment extremist), they are saying, “You’ve convinced me that we have a bad system in place. But what do you propose to do instead?”
In an ideal world, the next step would be to completely repeal such a system, often relying on the “text, history, and traditions” surrounding the Second Amendment, not to mention “original intent.” But we’re not in an ideal world. Much of this is due to the fact that there have been (and will be) horrific crimes and acts of madness that come from those who misuse firearms, and such acts will be used by anti-Second Amendment extremists.
So, in the real world, Second Amendment supporters will have to have some sort of alternative to the bad option. In too many cases, answering “nothing” can turn that person who has an open mind about dumping something like the licensing and registration schemes in states like New Jersey, New York, and elsewhere into someone who ends up using their First Amendment rights to urge their state legislators to keep said scheme in place in the best of circumstances.
This is true, whether you are a grassroots activist trying to persuade a fellow American or an attorney arguing before a judge. The latter might sound odd, but when discussing strict scrutiny, it matters. Take a look at Cornell University’s definition of the term.
The two-pronged test is very simple:
- The law in question must advance a “compelling governmental interest.”
- Said law has to be narrowly tailored.
For a classic case in point, look at the journey Texas took from being a “non-issue” state to constitutional carry. It was a tough “shall issue” law in 1995, but bit by bit, the various restrictions were whittled away until we got to the Second Amendment being rightfully recognized as the only carry permit someone needed.
This also applies to legislation from anti-Second Amendment extremists. Once someone asks you “What’s the alternative?”, you’ve won half the battle. Presenting a counter-proposal that is tailored towards actual misuse of our Second Amendment rights could be the difference. Sometimes, defeating anti-Second Amendment extremists via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels can be as simple as having an alternative ready to propose.
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.