United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Second Amendment supporters often have raised a stink about times major legislation that attacks our rights is enacted. The 1968 Gun Control Act and the 1993 Brady Act are two major bones some pick with the National Rifle Association at the time. But then there are times when the NRA scored wins – like halting any federal gun control after Columbine and Sandy Hook.
One thing to keep in mind with these differing outcomes is this: The situations were very different. In 1968 and 1993, the Congress and White House were in the hands of foes of the Second Amendment, and the margins in Congress were significantly in their favor. For the 1968 Gun Control Act and the Brady Act, the best option was to limit the damage.
In 1968, LBJ wanted a federal licensing and registration scheme. That didn’t happen. In 1993, Clinton wanted a permanent waiting period on handguns bought from FFLs. That didn’t happen. Not that those laws don’t need massive changes (and the bulk of the provisions affecting those laws would ideally be gone) but compared to what those who try to take our rights wanted, they fell short of what anti-Second Amendment extremists wanted. In 1994, of course, the NRA didn’t give an inch on the crime bill with the semi-auto ban. That was because gun bans don’t leave any room for falling back, even with a sunset provision.
In the case of Columbine, the NRA’s tactics were very successful in defending gun shows from being destroyed by federal legislation. The way it was done was to present a version that covered pro-Second Amendment lawmakers, while still being unacceptable to anti-Second Amendment extremists.
In addition, the NRA pushed Project Exile, and that also helped defeat Al Gore in 2000. While some raise objections to that program, it very well may have been the difference in that razor-close election. George W. Bush’s appointments of John Roberts and Samuel Alito were the difference in the landmark Heller and McDonald rulings.
Similarly, in the wake of Sandy Hook, federal legislation was stopped by a filibuster in the Senate. But a big part of it was an alternative to the sweeping semi-auto ban Obama was pushing in the form of the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act. That led to big gains in the 2014 mid-terms.
Second Amendment supporters should keep in mind the importance of the right strategy and tactics as they seek to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists at the federal, state, and local levels via the ballot box in the upcoming elections.
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.