The Second Amendment Foundation is one of the most effective advocates for Second Amendment rights. They’ve won crucial Supreme Court and lower court battles bolstering the Second Amendment’s status as a fundamental individual right. They clearly believe that everyone has a fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Except, it seems, at protests . . .
Following the riots in Charlottesville where gun control activists had their knickers in a twist about the presence of armed protesters (despite the fact that there were no injuries or arrests involving these individuals), the SAF’s Alan Gottlieb is trying to split the difference and appear to be the “reasonable” voice in gun politics.
“We are not a fan of armed protests and highly discourage that,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the SAF. “Firearms serve a purpose, and the purpose is not a mouthpiece. It’s to defend yourself. If you are carrying it to make a political point, we are not going to support that.”
That distinction — designating firearms for self defense, not political expression — limits the scope of the Second Amendment, not to mention gun owners’ First Amendment rights as well. The RKBA was intended as a guarantee against a tyrannical government. One of the best ways to remind elected officials of that fact: put them on display, normalizing them in the eyes of the public.
Following the Sandy Hook shooting, Gottlieb supported the failed Toomey-Manchin Background Check Bill which would have put severe restrictions on the ability for Americans to purchase firearms. He’s remained open to making a deal on background checks with anti-gun legislators.
As gun rights supporters have shown over the last 30+ years, politics is the art of the possible. The SAF has a history of trying to appear as the “moderate” alternative to the National Rifle Association. While that may earn them some points across the aisle, it doesn’t generate warm fuzzies among gun owners.