United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The defense of the Second Amendment requires a lot of things. Money, time, passion, and aptitude are among them. But there is one requirement for the successful defense of the Second Amendment that loyal Ammoland readers should keep in mind: The First Amendment.
Like it or not, at this time, and barring a horrific dystopian scenario, Second Amendment supporters are using our First Amendment rights – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition for the redress of grievances – to defend our Second Amendment rights.
How effective have we been? Let’s look at how badly anti-Second Amendment extremists have wanted to use the power of government to silence our voices in one way or another over the years. In some cases, we even have them admitting it to friendly media outlets.
In 2002, Michael Barnes said this about McCain-Feingold: “Even though the measure will impact our election activities as well, it will cut into the NRA’s even more, reducing the gun lobby’s ability to obstruct the progress of sensible gun laws.”
A series of Supreme Court decisions, including Citizens United, have largely shot down bills like McCain-Feingold. This is not to say that anti-Second Amendment extremists are giving up on campaign “reform” schemes intended to create all sorts of legal booby traps for those they want to shut up. But anti-Second Amendment extremists have shifted gears, turning to Silicon Valley in one track, while also adding financial deplatforming and outright abuses of power to their toolbox.
Then there are the outright lies used to justify the abuses, like the time Letitia James called the National Rifle Association a “terrorist organization.” There are loyal Ammoland readers who don’t like Wayne LaPierre or who may have serious differences with the NRA’s strategy and tactics.
But here’s a question for those who think the NRA’s stance isn’t hard-line enough: If James is calling the NRA a terrorist organization. What do you think will happen should she get what she wants in the form of the organization dissolution?
Furthermore, that outrageous slander opens a new danger in this era: If using our First Amendment rights to protect the Second Amendment is terrorism, what might that talk lead someone to do? We already have seen mobs shut down conservative speakers – and even those on the left who value free speech – on college campuses.
In addition, the fact is that even successfully defeating something like Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigations can sap money, time, and passion from a person. People who think they are winning the argument don’t resort to tactics like those of Letitia James or the perpetrators of the “John Doe” abuses.
Second Amendment supporters need to also be First Amendment absolutists. You may not like someone, but the fact is, a collective defense of the First Amendment is critical in ensuring that anti-Second Amendment extremists at the federal, state, and local levels are defeated via the ballot box.
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.