Why Not Compromise?



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By Nicki Kenyon, August 25th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

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 supported The National Firearms Act of 1934 which taxes and requires registration of such firearms as machine guns, sawed-off rifles and sawed-off shotguns. ... NRA support of Federal gun legislation did not stop with the earlier Dodd bills. It currently backs several Senate and House bills which, through amendment, would put new teeth into the National and Federal Firearms Acts." —American Rifleman, March 1968, P. 22

The NRA doesn't deny it. It is proud of its "common sense" compromises.

Anti-gun activist groups claim that all of their proposals--including gun bans, prohibitive taxes, registration and licensing to name a few-- are "moderate and reasonable." Those who oppose such ideas, they say, are "unreasonable." And they claim that NRA opposes all gun laws. The truth is, NRA supports many gun laws, including federal and state laws that prohibit the possession of firearms by certain categories of people, such as convicted violent criminals, those prohibiting sales of firearms to juveniles, and those requiring instant criminal records checks on retail firearm purchasers.

1. NRA has also assisted in writing gun laws. The 1986 federal law prohibiting the manufacture and importation of "armor piercing ammunition" adopted standards NRA helped write.
2. When anti-gun groups accuse NRA of opposing the law, they lie. NRA, joined by the Justice Department and Treasury Department, opposed only earlier legislation because that legislation would have banned an enormous variety of hunting, target shooting and defensive ammunition.
3. The sponsor of the earlier bill, Rep. Mario Biaggi (D-N.Y.), felt that his original goals were met by the NRA-backed bill that became law. "Our final legislative product was not some watered-down version of what we set out to do," Biaggi said on the floor of the House. "In the end, there was no compromise on the part of police safety."

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:

The moment you give any government the ability to control your access to firearms, you leave open the possibility – no matter how small – that a certain class of people will be denied that access, leaving them unable to defend themselves and powerless to stand up to said government.

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.

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