In a discussion regarding gun ownership in America and the Second Amendment it is frequently mentioned that the 2A was specifically included as a check to government power, that is, as providing a means for the citizens to forcibly remove a tyrannical government. Granted, such an extreme need would be by necessity one of last resort, but that is the argument.
Those on the other side of the argument often make light of the idea that citizens have a chance to fight and win against the full might and power of the United States armed forces.
Here is one such argument:
“Even if one were to feel rebellion was justified, it's quite literally impossible. A bunch of armed citizens is not going to topple the US government. It just won't happen.
“Let's say that 80% of the military members don't follow orders and join the rebellion. That still leaves roughly 200,000 of some of the most highly trained individuals in the country with access to the best weapons tech on the planet.
"So, my point is, I don't think a sane person could ever, in 2017, say rebellion is a realistic probability.”
I think this person would do well to study more history. He can start with the American Revolution in which the underfunded, under trained, and under-armed (heh) revolutionary army confounded and harassed the most powerful military in the world for years, and even came close to winning on their own until (with a little help) they won their independence.
One could argue persuasively that back then the odds were much closer because both sides used essentially the same type of weapons; muskets and cannons. Plus the British Empire was at the time engaged in multiple wars and couldn’t devote enough forces to properly handle the unruly Americans. Of course things are much different today. After all, as the commentor above stated, the U.S. military today has access to “the best weapons tech on the planet.” Whereas the citizen only has access to, at best, semi-auto pistols and rifles.
Yep. No argument there. As citizens we are completely and utterly outgunned should hostilities break out with our government. After all, what chance does a rag-tag civilian population have against the most technologically advanced and best trained military the world has ever seen? None. Zip. Nada. End of story.
By the way, how’s things lately in Afghanistan? We’ve been fighting over there for about fifteen god-damned years and have little to show for it. I mean, we’ve got “the best weapons tech” and “the most highly trained individuals” fighting that war. What’s up with that? It should have been a cake walk. I mean we’re talking about Afghanistan, a land populated by uneducated, primitive goat herders, and we haven’t been able to defeat them after FIFTEEN FUCKING YEARS.
So imagine an even more unpopular war; one waged by Americans against Americans. A Second Civil War.
On one side we have the most technologically advanced and best-trained military ever. But on the other side is the most technologically advanced, educated and well-armed citizenry in the world, many of whom spent years training and fighting for that very same powerful military they now oppose.
In light of recent history in Afghanistan and Iraq where the citizens for the most part were uneducated and unarmed, one should not be too quick to discount a well-armed, educated and motivated citizenry.
Now I’m just a fat-assed civilian. Been one all my life. I have no desire to see civil war happen in the U.S. because win or lose… well, frankly we’d all lose if it came to that.
But the fact remains this precisely is the reason for the Second Amendment: To protect ourselves not only from the asshole down the street, but also from the evil tendencies of all assholes who wield power.
You can disagree with the idea that rebellious citizens could win such a fight but you can’t casually dismiss the idea that a widespread and motivated rebellion by armed and educated citizens would pose a serious threat to a tyrannical government.
The Second Amendment was and still is a vital bulwark against government assholes.
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