Examples to use to counter "you couldn't win against a tyrannical gov anyway!"


Green Lantern
December 21, 2012, 11:16 AM
Seen lots of comments around to that effect lately, that 'we the people' would get utterly annihilated if it came down to having to overthrow the government.

I think history, and current events, show it wouldn't be that cut and dry. Looking for some good examples, and thoughts on what I have (both people vs. the government as well as people vs. a strong occupying army - or I guess BOTH in the case of the first two):
-Afghanistan (government and allied forces vs. Taliban/terroritsts
-Afghanistan (vs. Russians)

Of course there was "THE" Revolution for us...but the gap in arms wasn't near what it is today, so not a good one to cite IMO.

Might make a little poster* or something to post around like "Ordinary people cannot fight the government? Tell it to the Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese...."

*(Maybe I should avoid going the "Willy Wonka" route that so many have taken...though the Sam Elliot one is tempting...)

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December 21, 2012, 11:33 AM

December 21, 2012, 11:50 AM
King George ruled the most powerful military in the colonial era, the patriots did alright.

Were the current government to make a radical move to spark some sort of conflict, the current military could not be fully brought to bare. Many current members could/would dessert and logistics would be such a nightmare that the technology gap would diminish. It wouldn't be pretty for anyone.

Also, look at the Battle of Athens in 1946

December 21, 2012, 12:05 PM
Ordinary citizens have always stood up for themselves against what they viewed as tyranny. A disparate level of arms is irrelevant, as demonstrated by the effectiveness of IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This nation was formed by a rise of citizens against tyranny. The British army was far better equipped than the Continental Army, which was essentially just ordinary citizens organized and motivated by a single cause. Yet we managed to eek out a victory by making the British crown realize that winning in the American colonies was not worth the cost.

The Second Amendment does not preclude US citizens owning any sort of weaponry up to and even including nukes. It doesn't need to make such exclusions because pure economics makes them--there aren't a handful of private citizens who could afford to own and operate a tank, jet fighter, or nuclear submarine, and even fewer who would be inclined to do so.

What do you suppose would be the public response if federal troops were launched against the American citizenry? I suspect we learned our lesson in the 1860s, and that an armed -- armed in the way many of us are -- citizen uprising would not be countered with artillery, bomber aircraft, etc.

The American media and therefore a large portion of the public trashes military action overseas whenever there's collateral damage. Given that, a disproportionate, military-level response to a citizen uprising, which would beyond doubt inflict massive collateral damage on American citizens, would simply not be tolerated.

December 21, 2012, 01:18 PM
Armed citizens can't stand up to the military? What exactly is our military made up of if not armed citizens?
Remember the boost in enlistment following Pearl Harbor? I dare say being ordered to attack Americans on American soil would have the opposite effect.

Derek Zeanah
December 21, 2012, 01:56 PM
I think this is only marginally on-topic for THR, but I've got an anecdote.

Back in the '90's I was in an infantry platoon attached to an armored unit. We got to play OPFOR in drills, and we did pretty well. We'd embarrass a platoon of tanks, and the company commander would take away some of our tools, and we'd do it again.

At the end of it a few guys armed with one .45 (we'd already transitioned to the M9, so this was the bottom of the barrel) "killed" 4 tanks with it. The thing nobody in the media gets is this: tanks are scary when they're buttoned up in an assault. But they're full of people, and people aren't on the defensive 100% of the time. They need to sleep, and pee, and eat, and stretch their legs on occasion. When they're out of their hatch they can be shot; when they're inside their hatches they can't see you approach if you're smart about it, leaving options for the use of improvised weapons, wedging track so it'll break, destroying the radio antennas, etc.

Tanks + dismounted infantry is harder. Drones flown from someone 3,000 miles away is harder still, but there're a bunch of folks sitting in a trailer somewhere working at computers that use radio waves to control the drones. There are opportunities here as well.

When we look at the use for the 2nd amendment, we're not envisioning hunters with bolt action rifles assembling in the open and charging machine gun nests. We're looking at something else entirely.

Those who say "civilians can't take on jets, and assault helicopters, and artillery, and nuclear weapons on and expect to win" don't understand the issue at all.

December 21, 2012, 02:32 PM
well said Derek!

December 22, 2012, 04:24 AM
And while my view may be unpopular, I don't believe the 2nd Amendment was meant to provide for the citizenry to literally face a hypothetically tyrannical US military on the field of battle, and storm Federal Hall to fly the new revolutionary flag.

It was meant as a DEFENSE of liberty, defending yourself, your family, your community from tyranny while the political process takes its course to remove them from power. The very idea of this is also a deterrent: How many resources are you going to commit to oppressing your own people? And how can you possibly remain in power with our system of government if you do so?

The would-be tyrant is intended to face things such as impeachment and removal from office, all the way up to having the US military deployed AGAINST them to force such a removal.

December 23, 2012, 01:49 AM
As bad as the CT shooting was it is still a rare event compared to the typical and frequent gun crimes. I don't think anyone keeps a gun at home for protection in case a crazed lunatic decides to drop in. Here's my point, if the liberals are as genuinely concerned with minimizing gun deaths, as they are about taking guns away from law abiding citizens, let's really crack down on anyone who uses a gun "of any type" while committing a crime. I vote for a 30 year minimum sentence to be served in full. Can we wrap this in with the inevitable assault weapons ban? They are using the noble pursuit to lessen gun deaths to get what they really want....a gun ban. If we use the same noble pursuit to give them something they don't want they will shut their pie holes. They will not destroy their voting pool! Sorry to get off topic.

December 23, 2012, 07:49 AM
The best argument is that our "assault rifles" are "high-powered, military-grade weapons" that are "only designed to efficiently kill people", and with "assault clips" that can "spray hundreds of bullets at a time" and "ruthlessly kill".

By my measure, with such amazing, powerful weapons, we would stack up fine against any military power.

Chevelle SS
December 23, 2012, 08:36 AM
The IRA fought for some 60-70 odd years. They didn't win, but they were able to fight for that long.

December 23, 2012, 09:48 AM
In war, it is the "will" to fight that allows the possibility of victory, not dominance of manpower or superior weapons. It is "will" that allowed the IRA to fight all those years, the Iraqis to resist Hussein, North Vietnam to fight us to a stalemate, the Taliban to continue to fight us in Afghanistan, and Derek Zeanah's infantry platoon to win against tanks. Those people aren't defeated until they lose the will to fight.

It is this same "will" that drives bad people to do bad things regardless of the tools available. The adage goes, "where there is a will, there is a way". The weapons used during the 911 attacks were airplanes. Simple box cutters were the tools used to secure the primary weapons.

USgunguy - Laws and punishment only serve to deter a person's will to carry out an act. Even the death penalty is not an effective deterrence against someone determined to a course of action, as they likely have a plan and envision being able to get away. Time and again a person armed with the tools to defend themselves (and others) are able to stop an armed aggressor. The police have the same tools that us law abiding, private citizens are entitled to possess, according to the Constitution. New law will not help in this regard.

Removing the tools does not remove the will to fight. I don't know if I answered the OP, but at least I hope I have provided additional thoughts to include in your debates.

Resist Evil
December 23, 2012, 10:59 AM
Should the liberal government monolith choose to come after my firearms, I hope to be as worthy as a Warsaw Ghetto Jew or as a minuteman of Concord. I have no illusion that the war will be won on account of my fight, nor do I of victory in any battle. My only expectation is to pay my debt to Liberty by not going along quietly on my knees, but upon my feet as a man born free.

I don't have to "win against a tyrannical government anyway." Liberty requires our willing vigorous defense of it; win or lose.

December 25, 2012, 12:31 AM
Every Eastern Maoist revolution was won by masses with small arms (though they didn't fight for freedom and democracy). China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam etc. They were won by armed peasants, and they sure knew how valuable small arms could be when they got to power, turned around, and banned them to facilitate brutal dictatorships.

Furthermore, every unjust law throughout history has been enforced by boots on the ground going house to house. Whether it's to press young men into an illegal war, or take families to camps, the method has not changed. Can I shoot down a predator drone? No. I can shoot the guy who tries to take me from my home, and if my neighbor does too, and so does his neighbor, and maybe you do too, the law becomes unenforceable. A gestapo officer might think twice about doing his job if every time he left his wife and kids to go round up some Jews, he had to wonder if it'd be his last goodbye. One hundred million armed citizens (maybe more, as no record keeping exists) is a nightmare for any occupying force foreign or domestic. I don't care how many jets and tanks you have, you will not control the population. Armed people will never see oppression through the barrel of a gun. They will see it through other ways, but never through boots on the ground.

This is why no politician or BATFE agent wants to outright confiscate guns. It would literally kill them.

December 25, 2012, 09:42 AM

Green Lantern
January 21, 2013, 08:46 PM
This cartoon sums up perfectly the kind of argument I was looking to try to counter:

January 21, 2013, 09:05 PM
We've already done it once, we can do it again.

"So you're saying the Syrians should stop winning and give up to thier dictator?"

Did the Egyptians?
The Cubans?
The chinese?

The American colonists?

January 21, 2013, 09:42 PM
This cartoon sums up perfectly the kind of argument I was looking to try to counter:

Funny cartoon...but somehow that same swarm of Predators operated by the same organizations have still not "won" insurgencies in Iraq or Afghanistan...and there are a lot fewer Taliban/Al Q insurgents than there are firearms owners in the United States.

Furthermore, the "American public" all ready can't stomach the relatively few GIs being killed on foreign soil. Imagine what they couldn't stomach if those kills were Americans on American soil.

So, that's a loser argument.

January 21, 2013, 09:53 PM
Besides with the quality of land and the amount of development covering most of the country, it is hard to imagine the US gov bombing American soil except in places with few buildings, few people, and unproductive land

January 21, 2013, 11:27 PM
How likely is it that the drone operator is going to target Americans in say Idaho when the folks in the state he's operating from can target his family?

I'm suprised that terrorists haven't already figured that out and targeted, or at least threatened, operators families.

January 24, 2013, 07:29 PM
A porcupine is really no match for a grizzly bear. And yet grizzlies almost always find something else to eat.

January 26, 2013, 09:38 PM
A porcupine is really no match for a grizzly bear. And yet grizzlies almost always find something else to eat.
You went the Discovery channel route, I love it!

I find the antis argument to be flawed in many respects on this subject.

1. It assumes our military would fire upon fellow Americans.
2. It assumes the American public would be okay with this.
3. It assumes politicians would be will to do so and risk losing their job

You could argue nobody "won" the conflicts mentioned in the earlier post. The point is small arms are more than necessary to make it extremely messy and painful for an occupying force.

January 26, 2013, 09:50 PM
Even if the cartoon were realistic, how many of us would still be fighting after the gov ran out of "smart" bombs? Millions.

January 26, 2013, 10:15 PM
how many people would go willingingly to the factories that make the bombs for the drones to drop? how many small acts of sabotage could be perpetrated to the high-technology items? a scratch on a tracing here? a nicked wire there? the wrong spool of resistors loaded into the assembly robot? the more high technology an item the easier it is to thwart it.

never also forget that a human being is the highest evolved killing machine on this planet. it is a self-aware, self-learning, evolving, observant, resourceful, improvising and adaptable creature, capable of surviving harsh of environments while simultanteously blending into its surroundings. if it wants to kill you you'll never see it coming, and worse it has the ability to self-sacrifice. nothing in this world is more deadly than a human that had decided death is no longer a deterent to action, not because someone told it to but because it chose to.

January 27, 2013, 01:16 PM
Great post, sota.

There is no doubt in my mind that if the American populous ever actually rose against tyranny, that populous would eventually achieve victory, through all the means you point out and through house by house defensive capability via RKBA.

It explains precisely why governments seek to disarm citizens--they know it as well.

January 27, 2013, 02:09 PM
the truly scary part is what happens if they pass (a) law(s) that the majority of the populace has already stood up and said "oh HELL NO!" to? I strongly doubt that local law enforcement would try confiscation, even in the more suburban and city areas. there's not enough of them and the "known" armed populace will have enough that'll shoot back to make it a losing proposition. it's an action above their pay grade. so someone will get the bright idea to roll in the National Guard to "quell" the uprising of citizens. some people will go "get those EVIL gun owners!" but the majority of the UNarmed populace will be going "wait a minute! that's not right!" now you've got mass demonstrations, various states will declare themselves soverign, and it'll pretty much all go into chaos at that point. Mexican drug cartels will see the opportunity to come north en-mass, other central american factions will take the opportunity to try and gather a footing, our foreign assets (bases, embassy's, etc.) will come under mass if uncoordinated attack; you know our foreign enemies are just salavating over all of this strife and political debacle and waiting for the right moment. then comes the embargo against the states that won't "toe the party line." inter-state commerce becomes difficult. the interior states become cut off and pretty soon they start "shooting" their way out to get what they need. inside of 12 months you could have TOTAL implosion of the U.S. way of life.

you can blame my dad. he did "war games" for the Air Force periodically. it rubbed off on me.

January 27, 2013, 02:21 PM
I wonder what the likes of John Adams, Ben Franklin, Paul Revere, and George Washington are thinking now? was it all for naught??

January 27, 2013, 02:22 PM
They're thinking it's time to feed the Liberty tree.

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