United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- With the preservation of the filibuster by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-AZ) putting country before party, Second Amendment supporters can breathe a sigh of relief, and not just because the election “reform” was defeated. They also have ensured that the filibuster will be around to protect the Second Amendment.
But after this fight, what have we learned? The preservation of the filibuster was not just because of our grassroots efforts, although they helped. The choice made by Manchin and Sinema was a big thing, aided, ironically, by a President who thought berating and insulting his opponents would get them to support what he wanted. But aside from Biden’s blundering, let’s look at some of the other lessons that Second Amendment supporters should take to heart:
Pro-Second Amendment Isn’t Just About Firearms Legislation
One truth is that the end-all and be-all of a politician’s support for the Second Amendment is not just about legislation on gun bans or background checks. There are a number of other issues that warrant the attention of Second Amendment supporters. Some of them are:
- Judicial and Executive Branch nominations
- Campaign “reform” legislation
- Financial deplatforming
- Silicon Valley censorship
- Procedural Changes – like whether to keep or dump the filibuster for legislation
- Packing the Supreme Court
Jon Tester and Angus King, for instance, may not vote for banning modern, multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms. But they fail big-time on multiple categories above. Did either of them vote for Trump’s judicial nominees? But they vote to confirm all but the most egregious the anti-Second Amendment extremists Biden is nominating.
On the flip side, Kyrsten Sinema’s awful record on legislation needs to be balanced against the fact that she is one of the very few Democrats who stand up to the extremists in her own party. By preserving the filibuster, she arguably did more to preserve the Second Amendment than Tester and King. In this, she, like former Representative Tulsi Gabbard, may be redeemable, especially in the aftermath of NYSRPA v. Bruen and other cases working their way to the Supreme Court.
This Is Only The Beginning Of The Filibuster Fight
Folks, one mistake that too many Second Amendment supporters make is to think the fight is done after one big ruling or battle. Heller did not wipe out all anti-Second Amendment laws and we should not expect this to be the last word on the filibuster.
We’re already seeing the filibuster become a litmus test in Democratic primaries, with Conor Lamb, a very lukewarm candidate on gun issues, calling to wipe out the filibuster, according to National Review. It isn’t just the filibuster that is the issue. It’s what wiping out the filibuster would enable – including packing the Supreme Court with anti-Second Amendment extremists who would overturn Heller.
This fight is going to be one for the long haul. One reason is that the filibuster doesn’t usually get a lot of attention. The other is because as an arcane rule, it’s easy for anti-Second Amendment extremists to mischaracterize.
Saving The Filibuster Over The Long Haul Will Require Hard Choices
With the filibuster’s importance as a tool to protect our rights now perfectly clear, Second Amendment supporters will need to accept some facts on the ground:
- The filibuster is safest with a pro-Second Amendment Senate
- Preserving a pro-Second Amendment Senate majority will be paramount.
- Doing so will require some sacrifices on legislative purity.
Put it this way, in Pennsylvania, if the choice is between Mehmet Oz and Conor Lamb, Second Amendment supporters would be well-advised to do everything legal to push Dr. Oz over the finish line. We may even need to make those choices in the primary elections.
On a similar front, Second Amendment supporters in states on the bluer side will need to look for candidates in the mold of Susan Collins. In 2020, she ran far ahead of Donald Trump in Maine, and how she did it needs to be a model that Second Amendment supporters judge candidates in certain states and districts against. Saving the filibuster will require Second Amendment supporters to do a lot of educating, and that will take time.
So, buy that time.
We Cannot Let Anti-Second Amendment Extremists Play Divide And Conquer
Anti-Second Amendment extremists are trying to divide Americans and Second Amendment supporters. In some ways, Schumer succeeded with Jon Tester and Angus King, pulling them to favor dismantling the filibuster for legislation. Both, incidentally, also backed the 2013 nuclear option.
But there are other ways they play divide and conquer. We see it in the support from some Second Amendment supporters for Letitia James channeling Lavrentiy Beria (“Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime.”) with regards to the National Rifle Association. We see it when they try to convince some gun owners to just go along with efforts to ban “ghost guns” or when anti-Second Amendment extremists successfully got hunters to back bans on modern multi-purpose semiautomatic long guns.
We need to be united. We need to declare something akin to NATO’s Article 5 when it comes to the Second Amendment community that lets anti-Second Amendment extremists know that if they attack one of us, they are attacking all of us.
Most importantly, we need to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels.
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.
Harold, Harold, Harold. Here we go again. You were doing well until you got to the part about making “hard choices,” particularly when you said: “On a similar front, Second Amendment supporters in states on the bluer side will need to look for candidates in the mold of Susan Collins.” Harold, no serious 2A supporter should “look” for a Susan Collins clone. There might be times you have to *accept* marginal candidates. (And you are talking to the guy who held his nose while helping Thom Tillis keep his seat because that was what it took to avoid losing complete… Read more »
“some sacrifices on legislative purity”
You’re still a compromiser, Harold. You still can’t see that compromise brought us here to the place where the Second Amendment no longer means what it clearly states in plain English. Your approach is not realism or strategy, it’s poison.
Please stop using your position as a writer to push compromise. Please stop softening the resolve of real RKBA supporters.
Please go away.
So many words with so little impact!
Here’s what it boils down to. Does a candidate, regardless of party, support & agree to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America IN IT’S ENTIRETY? If the answer is “no”, in any way, they do not have my vote. Party over country is what got us to this place. “Looking the other way” or accepting “some sacrifices on legislative purity” are the coward’s way of bending over. Testicular fortitude, something I question whether Harold understands, is what is needed. NOT “settling”.
As much as I agree we need to preserve the administrative cloak that protects the 2A, I believe tweaking on a federal level is of little consequence. Mainly because the unalienable nature of our rights negate any result. The trick is to get the indolent people to do their duty to say no through their representatives. Progressive leftists today know they would never be able to get away with an outright ban on all guns or even a class of firearms that are currently commonplace. This is why they are taking the cook-the-frog approach, though with little results. Additionally, leftist… Read more »