Painting Partial Win As Betrayal Is A Big Mistake

U S Capital Building Congress
U S Capital Building Congress

United States – -( The recent omnibus passed by Congress included the NICS Denial Notification Act, among some other provisions. There have been claims that this is yet another NRA betrayal. Others have pointed out that the NRA – in conjunction with other pro-Second Amendment organizations – averted a massive retroactive expansion of the “prohibited persons” category.

It once again comes down to a simple question: How do you define winning? In this case, the objective conditions point to a big win for the good guys in this omnibus, even with what got passed with the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

For instance, anti-Second Amendment extremists had sought to close so-called “boyfriend” and “stalker” loopholes – and not only would it have expanded the prohibited person lists, but it would also have been a retroactive expansion.

Think of this as being a much smaller-scale version of the dynamics faced with the 1968 gun Control Act. The “win” wasn’t seeing NOTHING pass, the “win” was thwarting the main objectives of anti-Second Amendment extremists. In 1968, it was a licensing and registration scheme. This year, it was retroactively punishing people.

These retroactive punishments are patently unfair. There is no rational, ethical, or moral basis to justify adding new punishment years or decades after someone makes a plea bargain – or even fi they are convicted in a court of law. It’s a basic fairness issue. In the big fight, the NRA was there, and they won.

When it comes to the NICS Denial Notification Act, this sort of “loss” is one Second Amendment supporters can live with. Why? Because now can get some data on the denials and what really is going on with them. In one Justice Department study, it was noted that in 2010, there were 76,142 denials. Out of those 76,142 denials, only 62 resulted in charges, and 18 of those charges were later dropped with another 10 dismissed as part of plea bargains.

In addition, the Justice Department study noted that there were 3,201 cases where denials were overturned or canceled. There were also another 989 cases where it turned out the “prohibited person” was actually not prohibited from owning a firearm. Taken all together, that is 4,190 false positives. It might not sound like a problem to some but tell that to a person who was falsely suspected of violating laws and facing a 10-year prison sentence.

Ideally, it would help Second Amendment supporters if the government had to report what sort of felonies were resulting in denials, and perhaps these are questions that Second Amendment champions in Congress could ask. Failing to return a videotape on time is much different than possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute. One eventual goal could be to narrow what sort of offenses should cause someone to become a “prohibited person.”

We’re not even getting to the cases where ATF didn’t bother to pass referrals to field offices or when federal prosecutors declined to prosecute. A closer look at federal and state guidelines may also be worth a look as well. Anti-Second Amendment extremists make a lot of claims about who gets denied and being able to prove them to be liars will be important in the fight to reform NICS.

That is going to require a lot of thought and strategy as opposed to click-bait headlines. More importantly, it will not be helped by dubious charges of “betrayal” when the actual result is highly positive for Second Amendment supporters, whether in denying anti-Second Amendment extremists from obtaining their major objective or because we will be able to gain data on NICS denials.

The most important thing is for Second Amendment supporters to work hard to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremism at the federal, state, and local level via the ballot box this coming November, and in every other election.

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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Wild Bill

Probably on advice of counsel.

Wild Bill

First, get your parka and gloves …

Knute Knute

I’d recommend you read the comments here Harold. Not a single one is positive. It would appear that your long-standing strategy of constant retreat is no longer viable.

Henry Bowman

Harold doesn’t care. He sure seems like he’s polishing a few knobs, not just WLP’s. I recall it was a year or so ago there was a petition going around to have Ammoland boot Harold for being the turd he is. Guy who started that is gone and Harold is still here, spouting defeatist BS so I guess that tells us which way the editors swing.

I’d hope I’m wrong, but the Good Book tells us to judge ’em by their fruits.


Gun grabbers & squishes like ATF, NSSF, NRA & SAF do payola elsewhere (ad cash & who knows what other incentives in return for friendly “reporting” & op eds). It’s clearly why DC was dropped by Guns mag and replaced with NRA collaborator & SAF shill DW. I applaud AL taking money from the enemy, long as it doesn’t damage relationships with hard core 2A types, which it doesn’t seem to. Less money for the enemy. If AL’s policies were affected, hardcore 2A writers would be gone & commenters who criticized ATFBI, Harold, NRA, et ilk banned, but we’re not.… Read more »


Does anybody like what this Dummy is saying?

Wild Bill

Clear vision, bro!


So we are supposed to see them railroading our rights further as a victory, because they stopped a different part? Negotiating Rights Away, indeed.

It is a loss for us, and if I didn’t think it was a betrayal before, I certainly do now after reading this.


For all you rabid critics of todays NRA and to those who equate the early directors and their mission with the organization of today, try for a minute to imagine our world without todays NRA and their ILA’s well skilled lobbyists . All our modern semi autos, all our standard capacity magazines, the abundance of ammunition at our disposal…. all would be gone and just a bitter memory of how things were in “the good ol’ days”. the socialist anti-2A rats will never stop. EVER. To this very day, the only organization these vermin revile, call out for abolishment, yet… Read more »

Wild Bill

Hey O, glad to see you back!


Let’s see what’s happened at both the Federal and State level since “today’s NRA” has been around. Hughes Amendment Import Bans NICS AWB FixNICS Red Flag Laws Bumpstock Ban Magazine Restrictions Gun Free Zones More than half of which the NRA supported. The rest was much like this article. Losses in which the NRA claimed it would have been worse without them. If the NRA is so powerful they could have taken a no compromise stance and refused to give bad politicians good ratings. There’s something seriously flawed with a supposedly 2A supporting organization when someone like former Senate Majority… Read more »


NRA wink-wink games. Faux As & Bs help legislators pass laws NRA cant openly endorse. Plausible deniability avoids angering members. It’s how Marion Hammer kills ‘ConCarry’ in FL. After Sen Pres Simpson & Rep Brannon blocked it this year, Hammer said:

“Groups attacking Wilton Simpson should stand in line to thank him for not hearing 14 gun control bills.” Thank saboteurs? No thx. They would’ve been Simpson’s gun controls and DeSantis would’ve vetoed them. Bad juju.

“Sabatini’s bill wasn’t heard because he never requested it.” LIE

“Chuck Brannan has a solid NRA ‘A’, true friend to gunowners & 2A.” Who needs enemies?

Last edited 10 months ago by Russn8r


Wild Bill

Russ is the distinguished author of “H8’ing for Dummies!”


lol….more than half? try NICS and fixNICS, that’s it.


How convenient of you to leave out a few things. I noticed you tend to do that a lot when it comes to defending turncoats.

“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” – joint statement by LaPierre and Cox

Video statement on their support of risk protection orders a.k.a red flag laws.


You have to learn human nature, and know what successive approximations are as they relate to 2A. You cannot defeat the enemies of freedom in one battle, unless you lead an armed revolt, so we must settle for a series of small victories going in the right direction. Then we keep pushing. The NRA-ILA is very good at doing that better than anyone else.


For all you rabid NRA shills: Nice try.


Big, Big Dummy


“Not as bad as it could have been” has been what we’ve heard ad nauseam since at least the 1960’s from Fairfax. What are needed is a few solid victories. Victories have been showing up of late, but they’ve been coming from the folks at The Second Amendment Foundation.

Nice try, Harold. Thanks for playing.


people that wont negotiate rights away, but fight for them

Last edited 10 months ago by swmft

Funny how the NRA and its supporters are always trying to frame it as “it would have been worse without us”.

Henry Bowman

Yeah that’s the thing that infuriates me the most… It’s bad enough that Negotiating Rights Away sells us out, but for them to turn around and say that their (appeasement towards the anti-Rights gang) kept it from being worse is just insulting our intelligence!
That reminds me of an old saying; “Don’t pee down my neck and tell me it’s raining!” That fits Radioactive Wayne and Harold to a tee!


By this twisted logic a soldier would not return enemy fire with his rifle thinking he might get a bazooka next year.

This logic is exactly why the US federal regimes have succeeded in chipping away the Second Amendment. The RINOS kick the can down the road saying now is not the right time.


Get off your knees and wipe that NRA JIZZ off your chin.

The NRA betrayed Americans ONCE AGAIN. Stop trying to pretend it is something it wasn’t.


e.g. Marion Hammer-USF-NRA’s lies & faux grades sabotage permitless carry in Florida, protect those who block it. Hammer told members:

“Groups attacking Sen Pres Wilton Simpson should stand in line to thank him for not hearing 14 gun control bills.” Thank saboteurs? No thx. They would’ve been vetoed.

Sabatini’s bill wasn’t heard because he never requested it. LIE

“Rep Chuck Brannan has a solid NRA ‘A’, true friend to gunowners & 2A.” Who needs enemies?

Last edited 10 months ago by Russn8r



Maybe Wayne will buy him a new suit without his dna on it?

Henry Bowman

Oh, stuff it, Harold. When any gun infringement passes, it’s a betrayal of us by those who violated their Oath. Only a fuddly dude would mischaracterize the pie-slice technique of gun control as a “partial win”.
This is the sort of twisted logic that Wayne LaPierre sycophants (like you) use to justify all manner of compromise. JUST STOP ALREADY!

Last edited 10 months ago by Henry Bowman
The Crimson Pirate

“When it comes to the NICS Denial Notification Act, this sort of “loss” is one Second Amendment supporters can live with. Why? Because now can get some data on the denials and what really is going on with them” I have been posting for years in the comment sections here, on TTAG, on numerous gun forums, and in other places about the situation in Pennsylvania which PROVES YOU ARE DEAD WRONG! WE HAVE THE DATA! IN PENNSYLVANIA. And we cannot live with this! One more time for the slow kids and the window lickers on the short bus; Anti gun… Read more »

Wild Bill

Go Pirates!!!


Thank you for your thoughts on this issue, and thank you for the PA contact information. I see it too, as a way to put in front of the public the ineffectiveness of NICS and overwhelmingly infringing behavior on us.
Maybe today after I finish typing here I’ll start googling and binging, but what is the effectiveness of tracing a crime-firearm? Does it lead upstream to bigger boss fish?

Last edited 10 months ago by JR
Arkansas Rob

Win: gaining ground. Lose: losing ground. Draw: no change. This was a loss in some places and a draw in the rest. Stop defending the useless, corrupt NRA.


a partial win is a partial loss. Glass 1/2 empty or glass 1/2 full. Well if you had a full glass and now 1/2 you loss.


Partial win, not as bad, would’ve been worse. It’s all compromiser speak, Harold, and it embodies your failed strategy. Compromise, or “living with” a “partial win [read, incremental loss]” is what has allowed such an important civil right to be eroded so much already.

Your methods have already failed, Harold. You just can’t see it because you prefer to lecture and finger-wag at real RKBA supporters. You would only need to stop and LISTEN to finally come to terms with how repulsive your ideas are to the RKBA community.

Please go away.


gee whiz, i guess someone’s feelings got hurt by comments and they felt they had to rebut those comments and make themself feel better. winning is defined as an adj – getting, resulting in, or relating to victory in a contest or competition; as a verb – acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, battle or another endeavor. and this is a battle for our very lives. do you think a few statistics are going to stop the anti-gun brigade from their mission of completely eviscerating the Second Amendment? if you do you are much more foolish… Read more »

Wild Bill

Defeat is Harold’s first language.


Strange, I didn’t know Harold was a French name but he must be French.

Wild Bill

Do you know why Parisians plant trees on the boulevards?
Because German soldiers like to march in the shade!!

Last edited 10 months ago by Wild Bill

“The most important thing is for Second Amendment supporters to work hard to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremism at the federal, state, and local level via the ballot box this coming November, and in every other election.”

LMAO! Anyone who doesn’t see that as the exercise in total futility that it is, has not been paying attention or has been asleep the last thirtysomething years. Continuous “choices” between a turd and a POS, rigged elections which go unpunished, and more, make a total farce of trying to find redress via the ballot box.


take a page from the demoncrats vote early and often

Henry Bowman

Vote early and often, via air-mail (soon). 😉


computer using anonymizer 100 different ips

Xaun Loc

There is a distinct problem with your constant “Anything that didn’t pass is a WIN” approach and all the people who have been lured into believing it…. The anti-gun people have known about this attitude for a long long time and they play to it. The antis ALWAYS ask for more than they have any reasonable hope of getting. And we ALWAYS compromise by letting them have whatever they really want then the NRA claims victory because something got dropped from the bill. We go through this dance several times each year. The antis have some strident political newcomer sponsor… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Xaun Loc

“Painting Partial Win as Betrayal Is a Big Mistake”
Spare me the catchy college journalism class titles, you don’t get extra credit
for being edgy in the real world.

Dogma Factor

Oh Howard how thou you spin loosing into winning? Oh Howard the defeatist what you failed to say is the VAWA had sunset and had no chance of being renewed in its presence state as a stand alone bill. That is until the gun control lobby had it attached to the pig trough Omnibus Bill just packed full of special interest greed. Which leaves the question why aren’t you doing hit pieces on the Republicans who voted for it and what they got for their voit? Instead you choose to covering up for the NRA’s lack of forethought to lobby… Read more »


Gee whiz I guess I should be glad only my hand was cut off instead of my whole arm!!! Considering that a win is about as STOOOOPPPIIIDDD AS IT GETS. What is wrong with people? Aren’t you glad Joe was the top of the ticket instead of Kamala? I guess it’s good insurance for Joe and only Joe. Does anyone stop and think what it is going to be like for our descendants?


No point to make ; just tuned in to observe the Inevitable Harold/ NRA bashing.
Let the games begin !


In other words registration and confiscation didn’t pass…This time. We must thank the NRA.


I see from the many earlier comments the Sock Puppet Brigade (SPB) has been busy dutifully down-voting all the commentators they love to hate – with no regard to the content of the comments.
If the SPB is really interested in sharing their opinions, it seems like down votes against ANY comments from the ones they love to hate are no more than comical pouting.


SPB, perfect.

It’s amusing they’re such petty crybabies. Losers who derive self-esteem from sock pup upvotes assume everyone else is hurt by downvotes.

16 downvotes = Over The Target. Mission Accomplished.




Our constitution only protects us if we cherish the first amendment we can not advance the second amendment without free speech. Both serve one another.

Greater numbers of people can keep track of the global events shaping our world, understand their impact on people and communities, and become inspired to take meaningful action.


all of the bill of rights should be defended, civil asset forfeiture is a crime not a thing in leo tool kit


Our Bill of rights is very important and does need to be defended. In the long haul what happens will come down to which Americans chose to defend and uphold our countrys’ basic principles.
It won’t be any named agency

Last edited 10 months ago by john

that is the sad part it will be people outside government protecting family and rights just like April 1775


As wrong as Harold’s ideas are, subjecting him to the cancel culture, removing him from the discussion because he expresses [ IMHO ] misguided beliefs, will not serve us well. We suffer from the censorship of the “There is only one right way, and it is mine, and I won’t listen to or allow others to hear “misinformation”” parasites all the time.

If everyone is thinking the same thing, nobody is thinking. Judging from the comments our community has evaluated and I believe properly rejected his thoughts, and life goes on.


Nope. Howard has earned every single scathing rebuke he has received for his wrong headed preaching. It is extremely important the rebuttals are on display right here along with his nonsense so that new readers won’t mistake it for logic.


Open criticism is the opposite of cancel culture.

Cancel culture is running a posse of 10-20 sock pup accounts to cancel people you disagree with, thereby cancel their opinions.

Harold’s a relentless spinmaster of “compromise” & preemptive surrender, but I’m glad AL publishes him. Hope they’re paid well for it by NRA, ATFBI, NSSF or whoever backs Harold. Less money for the enemy.



You still a Dummy

Ansel Hazen

I know what you’re saying Chuck but if you pull back the curtain you see that hAroLd is getting paid to spew this false logic here. That’s similar to buying goods from Amazon or paying to have the NY Times delivered to your house.


Translation: Have Spin, Will Travel.


IQ of about 10 or 20