Is This Question The Biggest Obstacle To Restoring The Second Amendment?

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United States – -( 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.

The laws in question can be narrowed down more and more each session. If the Supreme Court rules certain ways in not just NYSRPA v. Bruen, but in other cases percolating through the court system,

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,, and other national websites.Harold Hutchison

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@Harold – You missed answering your own question. If someone asks you the alternative you need to actually offer them an alternative. Can be as simple as showing damage and deaths likely caused by existing or proposed laws or regulations – and compare to expectations without that rule. Suggest alternatives to prevent future violence and crime. From better use of pre-attack indicators to hardening targets. Provide statistics on accidents or attacks in schools with armed teachers versus those without if you need to support effectiveness of hardening techniques. Simply saying “but the laws say” is to accept all the left’s… Read more »

Wild Bill

He is getting better!!!

Henry Bowman

I concur.


teach gun safety in first to 12th grade, archery too, shop class make tools and learn to use them


That’s the way it used to be. It should be again.

Once the government decided to start busing kids out of their neighborhoods the schools made radical changes of what was taught and the public school system has become a joke, a financial albatross around the necks of Liberty loving Americans.

Roland T. Gunner

Start with grades K-12, teaching them SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!


Too late to begin teaching “gun safety”. When they are old enough to begin taking interest in things besides filling their tummy, they should be exposed to guns and what they are and how to handle them. I know kids as young as four and five who know how to safely handle guns, and shooting them at that age as well. If they’re old enough to ride a tiny bike they’re old enough to learn about guns. Both can harm, both can be used and be great fun. And useful into the bargain.


The bottom line is that the traditional methods of gun control are rapidly becoming obsolete. They depend primarily on restricting who is allowed to make a firearm, and who is allowed to own one. The gun controllers know this and that is the primary reason they’re freaking out about so called ghost guns. And as the technology used to make a functional firearm becomes more and more widely available, the gun controllers’ position can only get worse.

Who knows, they might even get hard up enough to consider “criminal control.”


traditional methods of gun control are rapidly becoming obsolete. they never were rational nor effective. Obsolete right out of the gate. The issue, once more, is never the hardware. Nope Always the software. I have loved David Codreea’s line for years, since I first heard it. Frommy memory: ‘”if a man can’t be trusted in public with a gun, why is he trusted without a custodian? ” ANyone bent upon doing harm to another will not leave off his intention just cause he can’t find a cheap gun “on the streets”. Nope. Skateboard,s baseball bts, kitchen knives, brick,s rocks, cars,… Read more »

Wild Bill

Well said, Too!

Joe R.

3 word alternative to them not doing away with infringing legislation?

How about [the alternative is . . . ]

“I kill you”

Wild Bill

Most humorous!




Dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. .

Joe R.

Make sure you mean “Liberty” and not “Freedom”.

Liberty is Freedom earned. And earning it sometimes takes ultimate and capital sacrifices.

Wild Bill

I checked the dictionary definitions of, both, liberty and freedom. Neither definition contains an earned versus unearned distinction.
Although it is an interesting thought.

Wild Bill

I think that you mean statute, Harold, not law. When legislatures pass a bill it becomes a statute. If that statute offends the Constitution then that statute is not law, was not law, and never will be law.
Thus the statute in question must advance a compelling governmental interest; and must be narrowly tailored (to hopefully avoid unintended consequences).
Sloppy verbiage leads to sloppy thinking or intentional deception, Harold.

Arizona Don

Interesting enough the general public regardless of political affiliation is beginning to understand restrictive gun laws do nothing to reduce crime especially gun crime and that is a provable fact for they never have. As a matter of fact the opposite may be true. If that opposite were not fact why would certain areas with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation have the highest rate of gun crime? Chicago, Baltimore, NYC, LA and many others way to numerous to mention here are just a few examples. However, reducing crime is not the goal of those who write those laws, confiscation is!  For… Read more »

Henry Bowman

Harold once again taking away all doubt he is a fool, talking down to Ammoland readers while avoiding his own question. What’s the alternative?? One word. FREEDOM! We ought not play the word game with gun-haters. It legitimizes their stake in 2nd Amendment policy. In short, NO means NO. NO INFRINGEMENT. NO DENIAL, NOT EVEN DELAY. For those on the fence, ask them this: “You’re 5 seconds away from being assaulted by a criminal, and this assault will either seriously injure and maim you for life, or even kill you. Now would you rather face that attacker with empty hands,… Read more »


Does the law punish criminals or the law-abiding public? Does the law prevent crime? Does it do what it is intended to do? Does the law violate the Constitution? Does the law hold people accountable for their actions, or attempt to prevent people from even accessing a tool? Does the law make exercising your right more difficult? These are all easy questions, Harold.

Wild Bill

Yes, the people have a Right to substantive due process. In other words, did the legislature have an ulterior motive when they crafted the statute in question. For example: the Gun Control Act. Congress purported to control interstate commerce. Really? Then why is it called the GUN CONTROL act? Congress, clearly, had the ulterior motive of putting limits on the peoples’ Second Amendment Rights. And still does!
The Supreme Court could find the GCA unconstitutional for want of substantive due process, but the S. Ct. doesn’t. I wonder why.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wild Bill

When you cut out a tumor you don’t replace it with anything.


It’s purely an enforcement problem. Gun laws only punish the law abiding, any misuse of guns is already illegal, so what good are they? Punish criminals for what they do, not good citizens for what they own. Ask what crimes have gun laws prevented, and give examples of crimes committed in spite of the law.
Laws against giving guns the severely mentally ill, or known violent criminals, have existed for a very long time. Those make sense, but they should be passed locally, not federally.


The Second Amendment doesn’t need to be “restored”, it just needs to be used for its intended purpose. To right a foundering govt.


“The law in question must advance a “compelling governmental interest.” ALL laws advance a “compelling governmental interest”. That being chains and slavery. The way to test a “law” is extremely simple Harold. If a violation of the law would create a VICTIM, then the law is legitimate. IF NOT, then the “law” is tyranny and slavery. PERIOD. There are no “gray areas”. NO VICTIM, NO CRIME. NO CRIME. NOT GUILTY. End of governmental interference. To judge the LAW as well as the FACTS was the ORIGINAL INTENTION of the founding Fathers by putting the jury system in place. Oh, but… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by CourageousLion

Here are the key components of sound alternatives. Personal responsibility. Personal accountability. Real criminal accountability. Liberty. Questions?

Joe R.

2nd Amendment argument is always blown trying to use the 2nd Amendment as a basis for anything. The Constitution was only written to attempt to set forth how we’d all get what we demand of/by/for/and from each other under The Declaration of Independence, and it was their 3rd attempt [1) The Articles of Confederation 1777; 2) The Constitution 1787; and 3) [The Constitution with] The Bill of Rights Amendments (ratified during the ratification of the Constitution 1787-1788)]. Further, the Constitution can be further amended or wholly re-written, and it won’t come anywhere near touching the effectivity of The Declaration of… Read more »


I think the biggest problem we have in restoring not only the second amendment, but the entire Constitution of our country as the law of the land, is the complacency the American people have seemingly resigned themselves to. Thereby making it easier for the lawlessness of politicians and their donors along with the lamestream media that sides with the criminal element, to gain the power and the wealth they are stealing from this country, to use against us to destroy us as a nation.

Complacency, has always been a destroyer of freedom.

Wild Bill

Yes, and corruption, too

Roland T. Gunner

God takes a very dim view of “good men” who do nothing.


a “good man” will never sit and do nothing when he is faced wiht evil. A GOOD man will always do what he can to deal with that evil.

to quote the scripture: if you see someone in need, and have the means to meet that need, and withhold, you have STOLEN that from him”.

Joe R.

Pin your fortune on GOD alone. Even David, who slew the Philistine, Goliath, did not do so for himself, or Israel, but to answer a slander against Saul’s [Israel’s] Army of the Living GOD. David was initially only there to bring bread and cheese to his brothers who were members of Saul’s army.

When GOD is offended, nothing stands in the way of HIS Hand, or who or what HE choses to take-up in response to the offense.

Joe R.

I agree with the sentiment, but Abraham is allowed to argue GOD down to 1 righteous man in the protection of a city, Lot is spared outside of Sodom and Gomorrah without rebuke from GOD’s angels that Lot did not attempt to even ‘fix’ the situation before GOD wiped them off the face of the earth, and GOD’s Angels even spare an additional city (Zoar) when Lot says he doesn’t believe he can reach “minimum safe distance” from Sodom and Gomorrah [Genesis 19.15-25]. I think we have to have shrinking awe “Fear of The LORD”, and say, Your Will Be… Read more »


can you think of a harder target than one where EVERYONE IS armed??


Nope. That’s what boht Hirohito and Hitler firgured out. The ONLY reason we were not physically invaded back in the 1940’s.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tionico

The only answer, as close as it can come, is to get the people who commit crimes with guns off the street.

Wild Bill

Or even commit crimes without guns.


Re: “But what do you propose to do instead?” You could start by enforcing the laws already on the books and insist empathetic judges and DAs quit allowing people who use or possess a gun illegally to plea bargain away the illegal firearms offense. The feds are one of the worst offenders when it comes to enforcing laws. Straw purchases and lying on the 4473 form you have to fill out for a background check to purchase a firearm is a felony punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine – yet in 2010 76142 people failed the… Read more »

Wild Bill

But … but … possessing a firearm offenses should not be offenses. Nor should their be a form 4473.
Why not jus go back to execution for first time murder convictions, gun or not. Isn’t murder by baseball bat, knife or nicely formed rock just as heinous as murder by gun? And why wait for recidivism.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wild Bill

THIS is the biblican answer to the issue of “gun violence” Those who use a gun as a tool to perpetrate harm on another need to suffer the full consequances of that harm nothing to do with the tool chosen for the act. The biblican punishment for murder is… execution. The biblican punishment for theft is to repay FOUR TIES what was stolen or destroyed. For assault, the perp must suffer the same damage done to his victim. Restore something like that and watch crime drop to insignificance. Our refusal to do this or something close, is like the guy… Read more »

Wild Bill

Yeah, I like the biblical answer.And an interesting parable.


Re: ” Nor should their be a form 4473″

Probably not – but good luck trying to get rid of it

Re: ” And why wait for recidivism”

Because the truth about what happened in an individual incident is not always knowable or obvious and judges and juries can make mistakes. But if a person has a history of violent crime it lends credibility to an argument about a person’s intentions or guilt

Wild Bill

A history of past crimes can not be used to prove a current accusation of a crime in American courts. Please see Rules of Evidence.


Re: “A history of past crimes can not be used to prove a current accusation”

But it can be considered in the sentencing phase – at least in some cases like DUI

Wild Bill

I thought that we were talking about knowing the truth about what happened in an individual incident. The truth is supposed to get known during the trial, which comes before sentencing.


Re: “The truth is supposed to get known during the trial”

That’s correct. And juries and defense attorneys can make mistakes which is why I believe the death penalty should apply automatically only to violent criminal recidivists during the sentencing phase

Roland T. Gunner

There should be no “illegal `firearms’ offenses”, only “illegal offenses”.


you continue to focus on the inanimate object that is misused, not on the one misusing it. I don’t care HOW someone kills me, I DO care that he did. Same for anyone else. STOP this insane focus on the one article that has no causative action in the situation. It is always a softeare issue, never the hardware. WHY is that form 4473 set up the way it is? The new marinuana question is a travesty in itself. Far tooo many cases are prosecuted as “straw purchases” that are no such ithing. Hah, they even tried getting Kyle’s friend… Read more »


Re: “you continue to focus on the inanimate object that is misused” Because that’s what this article is about Re: “i don’t care HOW someone kills me, I DO care that he did” So do I. But this article is about guns Re: Far too many cases are prosecuted as “straw purchases” that are no such ithing” Really? 62 “prosecuted” out 0f 4732 in 2010 is “too many”? And I assume not all, if any, were straw purchases. Re: “The reason so few who “failed the BGC are prosecuted is that so few actually DID anything wrong” And I assume… Read more »


“i don’t care HOW someone kills me, I DO care that he did” “So do I” But you push “enforcing the [unconstitutional] laws already on the books and insist judges & DAs quit allowing people who use or possess a gun illegally to plea bargain away the illegal firearms offense.” Singling out ‘illegal’ gun use-possession for extra punishment over other forms of possession, murder, rape, robbery etc is a gun-grabber argument. Those laws are used against good folks who become ‘felons’ for victimless crimes like not turning in ‘assault rifles’. ‘Felon’ = whatever a legislature says it is. “But this… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Re: ” But you push “enforcing the [unconstitutional] laws already on the books”

Yep. Because like it or not they are “on the books” and not going away.


“These unconstitutional orders are not going away, like it or not, so that makes them good, and I want them enforced.” ~jim


Re: “these unconstitutional orders are not going away, like it or not, so that makes them good, and I want them enforced.”

I didn’t say they were “good”, I just said they are not going away when a lot of people in this country oppose eliminating them

Wild Bill

I suggest no check points, no background checks, no 4473s nor a GCA. I suggest hanging the murderer after a fair trial and all appeals are over.
Whether the murder is pure as the driven snow or a former felon is immaterial. Whether it is a firearm, TOW, or Cain’s well formed rock is immaterial.
Execute murderers and there will be no recidivism.


Well said. Ditto

Wild Bill

Thank you. Happy New Year’s gun purchases.


You too. Happy New Year.


Re: “I suggest hanging the murderer after a fair trial and all appeals are over”

I’m okay with that but as a practical matter, it is unlikely to happen.

Re: ” Execute murderers and there will be no recidivism”

Supposedly that’s what the Chinese do with drug dealers and it seems to work


Yes, let’s be like the ChiComs! It seems to work! I don’t know why I think it seems to work, unless I believe what the communist government tells me, but it sure seems to!

Anyway, I always wanted to blow-torch dogs for extra chi before I eat them!


Re: “Yes, let’s be like the ChiComs!”

Didn’t say or imply that. The point is their policy eliminates recidivism with drug dealers like it would with murderers

Wild Bill

It really has not been that long ago that the states were actually executing murderers. Here in Texas, we execute murderers quite regularly.
The liberal concept of reforming the murderer and sending him back into society is a relatively new concept.
I think that the question is whether society has decided, yet, if the experiment is a success or failure.

How are you getting from murderer to drug dealer? Are the Chinese drug dealers murderers as well? Or perhaps the CCP considers drug dealing a form of poisoning?


Re: ” How are you getting from murderer to drug dealer?

Their policy eliminates recidivism with drug dealers like it would with murderers


Agreed. The crime is the act if murder, or rape, or assault, or armed robbery. The tool used (gun, knife, hammer, broom handle) is immaterial. All gun laws are unconstitutional, and all possession laws are also. The only crimes are those with a victim, where one causes harm to another or to their property.


Wasn’t it 7 of the 62 referred for prosecution, that received jail time?


It’s more complicated than that. The breakdown is documented in table F on page 14 in the following link