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In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. – Ayn Rand
Our teachers always taught us the value of compromise. I remember high school, where my social studies teacher spoke of political negotiations and bargains as the road to progress. "Intransigence leads to nowhere. Stalled negotiations accomplish nothing. If you want to advance your political agenda, you must sometimes make unsavory compromises and allow that which you do not want to win advance, if only a little."
We hear the same kind of nonsense today, when politicians drool justifications about why they voted for a particular bill. Last year, during acrimonious budget negotiations, House Speaker John Boehner condemned fiscal conservatives for opposing a budget compromise deal – a deal that aimed to avert a government shutdown and eliminated $45 billion from forced federal spending cuts.
No progress would have been made ending the government shutdown, we heard.
The conservatives were just being intransigent, we heard.
A government shutdown hurts everyone, we heard.
So in the name of progress, we got a budget "deal" that did nothing to cut spending, increased taxes, and gave us more of the same economic lunacy with which we have been saddled for decades.
Oh, but the spending increase wasn't as large as originally envisioned! Goodness! Don't we all feel better now?
More recently, another Second Amendment rights advocate opined "In my experience in IL, 'no compromise' means 'the well-meaning, but clueless as to how the real world works amateurs'."
What has compromise gotten us, exactly?
It's gotten us the Hughes Amendment, limiting ownership of automatic weapons.
It's gotten us the National Firearms Act.
It's gotten us the federal licensing requirement and the Gun Control Act of 1968.
And much of it with the help of the NRA.
The NRA doesn't deny it. It is proud of its "common sense" compromises.
But I'm not here to talk about the NRA.
I'm here to talk about compromise in general.
Those who claim we're being unrealistic and don't know how the real world works – what has compromise gotten us? Our rights continue to be gradually eroded, and efforts to destroy them continue unabated and well-funded.
What compromise can there be between life and death?
What compromise should one make between slavery and freedom?
Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen – this is what we're talking about: a compromise between good and evil. When you comingle even a little evil in with the good as a compromise, what you get is tainted goods.
There should be no compromise when it comes to our rights. There should be no evil injected into the fundamental good that is our freedom. Any proposition to inject poison into our drink will result in sickness, and too much of it will end up in nothing but death as a consequence.
Here's your reality: the assaults on our freedoms will continue. If we capitulate on "universal" background checks, they will destroy the last way one can exercise one's right to purchase a firearm without government interference. As I wrote earlier:
And by eliminating private firearms sales, that is exactly what expanded background checks will do.
Is this a viable compromise? Should we capitulate on this, because we fear that a more onerous law will pass? Should we give up the fight for our rights, because... REALITY?
Compromises got us where we are. They got us thousands upon thousands of gun control laws that did nothing to stop violence in this country, but made it more and more difficult to exercise our fundamental rights.
It's time to stop compromising and start fighting.
Nicki Kenyon has been an avid gun rights advocate since she returned to the United States from an overseas Army tour in Germany. She began writing about Second Amendment issues in 2001 when KeepAndBearArms.com published her first essay, "The Moment.". She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies from American Military University. Her area of expertise in those fields is European and Eurasian affairs. When not writing about gun rights or hanging out with her husband and son, she practices dry-firing her M1911 at the zombies of "The Walking Dead." Nicki Kenyon's Archive Page.