Are armed citizens overrated?


PDA






monotonous_iterancy
April 24, 2013, 08:48 PM
A major purpose of the 2nd amendment was to provide for the effective defense of a free state. From what I understand, the backbone of this defense was to be based off a system similar to what the Swiss have today.

While we don't have hostile nations who could even reach us, in the span of a few generations time, the world could look very different.

Yet, our most recent real life examples don't inspire confidence in me that our right to bear arms would do much of anything to protect us. Granted, most of these cases are against us, but they provide a case study. We lost Vietnam politically, and the Soviets lost Afganistan. Today, we've pretty much won in Iraq, and Afganistan, while not entirely free, is going better than when the Soviets tried.

These examples don't seem to inspire confidence in the 2nd amendment being a safeguard against much except criminals.

So realistically, does our right to keep and bear arms still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force, or is that more of a "Red Dawn" fantasy some cling to?

If you enjoyed reading about "Are armed citizens overrated?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Shadow 7D
April 24, 2013, 09:05 PM
Never was meant as a steadfast against OUTSIDE forces, they were mostly interested on INTERNAL forces...
What you may be thinking of is a place like Switzerland, that wasn't the intent, solely a side effect.

Deus Machina
April 24, 2013, 09:19 PM
Well, they did think about outside threats. The British at the time became an outside threat.
But a great cause was for the domestic threats and tyranny. Equal, or at least similar, arms are absolutely necessary to throw off oppressors, which the constitution was written with in mind.

easy
April 24, 2013, 09:27 PM
I don't think armed citizens are or have been overrated. We are here as a nation because of armed citizens. Israel used it's citizens to win it's independence also. So yes they matter.

jon_in_wv
April 24, 2013, 09:29 PM
There is no FREE nation without armed citizens. I don't think freedom can be over rated.

M-Cameron
April 24, 2013, 09:40 PM
the problem is, we thankfully have never had to test it.....Mainland America hasnt been invaded since 1812..

im willing to be should MadeUpakistan decide to invade now, we will be very thankfull for the millions of guns available for the common man thanks to the 2A.....

tyeo098
April 24, 2013, 09:43 PM
The First Amendment is sacred. It is what truly makes us free.

The Second Amendment is there to 100% guarantee the First remains intact, whether outside forces or internal forces try to take it away.

How do you remove the First and subjugate us all?
How do you break in a house? Disable the alarm. Thats what 'reasonably restricting' the Second does. It turns off our house alarm one digit at a time... and we're the ones doing it, because we think we live in a safe neighborhood.

Billy Shears
April 24, 2013, 09:45 PM
With the right tactics, armed civilians can be a very effective counter to government forces. But the right tactics are even more important that the arms. Governments always have had access to vastly more firepower than any insurgents -- enough to crush insurgencies flat, if the insurgents ever come out into the open -- and yet insurgents have still managed to win. The best example of this, perhaps, is the successful Irish War or Independence of 1919-1921. It makes such a useful example because it followed closely on the heels of the failed Easter Rising of 1916. In 1916, the Irish rebels attempted to fight a conventional war against the British. It took Britain a mere six days to crush the Rising utterly. In 1919-1921, they changed tactics and fought a guerrilla campaign.

After the war, Richard Mulcahy, who had been Chief of Staff of the Irish Republican Army (not, BTW, the same organization as the recent one active in Northern Ireland for the past few decades, that organization just took the name of this earlier one), and basically was 2nd in command of the IRA after Michael Collins, lamented that during the entire conflict, the IRA had never managed to drive the British out of anything larger than a good-sized police barracks. Yet they succeeded in making Ireland completely ungovernable by the British, and brought the British to the negotiating table, achieving their independence thereby. And it was basically a citizen militia with only small arms, against the professional army of what was then the greatest superpower on earth, the British Empire.

Insurgents can’t win, and never have been able to win, in open battle. So they don’t fight open battles. That’s why it’s called assymetric warfare. And it can prevail over even the strongest nations if the people remain committed, refuse to give in, and avoid open battle. They win by not losing, and rendering a territory ungovernable by the power that seeks to control it. They can’t win a decisive victory; they simply exhaust the government, and destroy its ability to administer or effectively govern a territory. It’s worked since ancient times, and it still works (under good leadership) despite all the advances in weaponry that have occurred since. Looking back at our own revolution, Washington didn’t beat the British with militias of armed citizens, he beat them by raising a professional army. And yet, despite the fact that even then militias couldn’t face regulars in open battle, he and the rest of the founding fathers promoted an armed citizenry as a deterrent to tyranny, because the still understood what an insurgency could do to a government’s ability to govern.

oneounceload
April 24, 2013, 09:51 PM
Insurgents can’t win, and never have been able to win, in open battle. So they don’t fight open battles. That’s why it’s called assymetric warfare. And it can prevail over even the strongest nations if the people remain committed, refuse to give in, and avoid open battle.

ONLY if they get sympathetic press. In this country, with the MSM in bed with the government, it would not last long in the arena of popular public opinion

monotonous_iterancy
April 24, 2013, 09:52 PM
^^ I didn't know about an Irish war of Independence, but still I wonder, what changed between Vietnam and say, Iraq? Is it support from the local population? From what I remember, Sunni Muslims came out and switched to our side back around '06 in large numbers.

fallingbird
April 24, 2013, 09:52 PM
Well stated, Billy

btg3
April 24, 2013, 09:52 PM
Might want to consider how trends have impacted our "armed citizenry" over time.

1. We like to say that firearms are tools. For the individual armed citizen, has the day-today purpose of these tool changed? That is consider the frequency of use for recreational, self defense, provision, etc. -- what trends are evident over time?

2. What changes are evident in the skill/competency level of the armed citizenry?

3. Has the level of responsibility with regard to possession and use of firearms changed?

4. If the "percentage of citizens that are armed" were viewed over time, what would that data show?

THEORY: As we have industrialized, our use of firearms has declined and with each passing generation we are losing the heritage of an armed citizenry.

Perhaps there is data to confirm or refute the above theory. (Please share it if you have it.)

If refuted, great! Let's be sure that we are able to monitor the data going forward and keep doing what works!

If confirmed, what do we need to do differently or what change is needed and how do we accomplish that change?

Mobuck
April 24, 2013, 09:53 PM
If you haven't noticed, the illterate, low tech Afghans sent the Soviets home with tail dragging. There are enough Americans who aren't wimps to make life intolerable for any aggressor.

Carl N. Brown
April 24, 2013, 10:05 PM
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/preview/publiced_preview_briefs_pdfs_07_08_07_290_RespondentAmCu11GeneralsAHSA.pdf
The amicus curiae brief of Maj. Gen. John D. Altenburg, Jr., et al., in the case of DC v Heller, argued that the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms supports and enhances the collective goal of supporting national defense, and that the dichotomy between individual right and militia right interpretations is false:
The Petitioners and Respondent are asking this Court to select among two mutually exclusive interpretations of the Second Amendment: one establishing an individual’s right to bear arms and, the other memorializing society’s right to organize a force for its collective defense. Amici suggest that this dichotomy, pitting individual rights against group rights, is not ordained by the language of the Second Amendment, which is a cogent blend of both individual rights and community rights, with each depending on the other. A well-regulated militia – whether ad hoc or as part of our organized military – depends on recruits who have familiarity and training with firearms – rifles, pistols and shotguns. Amici suggest that the Second Amendment ensures both the individual’s right to possess firearms, subject to reasonable regulation, and the constitutional goal of collective defense readiness. Based on decades of military experience, amici have concluded that the District of Columbia’s Gun Law (“D.C. Gun Law”), D.C. Code § 7-2502.01 et seq., directly interferes with various Acts of Congress aimed at enhancing the national defense by promoting martial training amongst the citizenry.

In the 1960s during the VietNam War, Arthur D. Little Co. was asked by Congress to evaluate civilian marksmanship training. Military commanders reported that recruits (and conscripts) with pre-service civilian firearms training and experience trained quicker and better on military arms, were more likely to volunteer for combat, performed better, than those with little or no pre-service firearms experience.

Dave Rishar
April 24, 2013, 10:27 PM
Also consider the numbers.

To continue with the Afghanistan example, right now we have have about 100,000 ISAF personnel and 380,000 Afghani security personnel, so just shy of half a million nominally-friendly people in a country that's far quieter than it was a few years ago, but things still go boom occasionally and it can't be considered entirely pacified.

Afghanistan has a population of 30,000,000, give or take. That means one pair of friendly boots on the ground for every 62.5 citizens in order to mostly maintain order. (Note that significantly higher numbers were, and would be, necessary to restore order in the first place.) And that soldier responsible for those 62.5 locals is backed up by first-world artillery, aircraft, armor, and logistics. He's well-equipped and can get help if he needs it.

Now, consider the US. We have over ten times that amount of citizens. How many people do you need to land in order to take and hold it?

Let's think about Seattle for a moment. Two years ago, 620,000 people lived there. Now, let's assume that some foreign nation invaded, and some Americans had arms and chose to resist. Let's say that one in one thousand Seattlites decided to use those arms to resist. And let's say that those folks were smart enough (or scared enough) not to even consider open combat. That leaves 620 angry people taking potshots from windows, planting bombs, and generally raising hell. If even one or two of them had the proper training to conduct such operations and began teaching others, things would quickly become very ugly. And if things escalated and similar people began arriving from other cities, this could very well ruin an offensive. Also keep in mind that the 1 in 1000 number is probably pretty conservative in some areas.

I would not want to be wearing the wrong uniform in such a city. I would not want to even set foot in such a city, to be honest.

Multiply this by every city and town and as an aggressor, you've got some real issues. Those tanks and bombs and planes might not be enough. So no, I don't think that armed citizens are overrated. Just because we did relatively well in Afganistan does not mean that it was an easy job. At least two world powers failed the job before we attempted it, and we had a lot of help.

Note that such an approach to defense does not prevent harm to the populace or even a successful invasion - a successful invasion has to occur for this method of defense to even be applicable. But if the populace is sufficiently motivated, it can certainly work. More importantly, it can serve as a useful deterrent against future aggression.

btg3
April 24, 2013, 10:29 PM
If you haven't noticed, the illterate, low tech Afghans sent the Soviets home with tail dragging. There are enough Americans who aren't wimps to make life intolerable for any aggressor.
I'm thinking that armed citizens and trained soldiers are not synonymous. Are you thinking of the former or the latter? If the former, then my hope is that we can be confident that your observation will remain true for generations of US citizens to come.

rbernie
April 24, 2013, 10:32 PM
Me being armed is never an overrated thing, for any number of reasons. I don't see the need to single out any one. :)

Cee Zee
April 24, 2013, 10:32 PM
I totally disagree that we don't face opposing forces from outside the US. We are currently dealing with paramilitary drug gangs right on our border in the southwest. Our citizens are already facing that force on their own because our government won't do it. When you see Mexican military vehicles inside the US on your property do you just let them pass knowing what destruction they are bringing or do you fight back? If they get too close to home you can bet you're going to want to fight back. It's happening right now. I've seen lots of reports of ranchers facing down armed forces from Mexico. The problem is those Americans are supported by the government and they aren't allowed to use more effective weapons like fully automatic rifles. Instead the government puts up signs telling people to avoid the area and tries to take what guns we have away from us. It's pretty tough to avoid the area if you live there.

Read this story from that ultra conservative news media outlet, NBC News:

http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/26/16047580-faced-with-gun-toting-drug-smugglers-arizona-ranchers-demand-security-at-the-border?lite

BTW we were invaded by Pancho Vila in 1916.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Villa#Attack_on_New_Mexico

Not only that but there was a threat of a Mexican uprising in the 1910's-1920's when a group of about a million Mexican refugees from their civil wars encouraged Hispanics to think the SW was stolen from them and that they should fight to take it back. They very nearly sparked a war. That was another time when owning a weapon to protect yourself was very important because that group of Mexicans killed dozens of Americans trying to spark a larger armed conflict.

monotonous_iterancy
April 24, 2013, 10:33 PM
Here's another part of the equation I question. We often talk about the RKBA as a last defense against "tyranny". I agree that that is a huge reason of why it is in the constitution, but what exactly does that mean in an American context? The Second Amendment was not put into place so people can overthrow their own popularly elected government. But the way some people talk, it sounds like once a law is passed that they don't like, they'll spring into action.

I'm aware of the Mussolini's, Hitlers, Stalins, Pol-Pot's, Idi Amins of the world. But I don't believe that Americans would ever let one of them come to power. Perhaps is partly because of the 2nd amendment that even bad laws are made subject to repeal by legislators we elect.

If we ever really had a usurping dictator like Idi Amin, then wouldn't we have bigger problems? It would mean that he would have to get through a civilian controlled military, a free press that would warn us of someone like him long in advance, and a culture that would not allow the sort of political maneuvering necessary to make it happen. We would likely be a completely different country. Would we even know what we would go back to?

Certaindeaf
April 24, 2013, 10:35 PM
Ask the Brits.

yokel
April 24, 2013, 10:40 PM
It seems to me that the right to keep and bear arms has already been watered down and abridged to the point of no longer presenting a credible minimum deterrence to any out of control, runaway government that chooses to use a declaration of martial law/state of emergency as a pretext to go the whole hog and remove arms from private hands.

What it really takes is a highly trained and motivated, disciplined and well-organized force adorned with armament that far surpasses your typical gun shop fare.

mister_murphy
April 24, 2013, 10:46 PM
Are armed citizens overrated?

Possibly... I know tons of guys (typically younger, but not always) who think they will save everyone, and are the only ones "trained enough" to have a firearm, but yet have never been there. I heard it during the hunt for the boston bomber about how a gun owner should find the guy. But in the case of the Boston bomber a guy going out for a smoke found the guy. Just talking in jest, but perhaps instead of firearms, we should hold up smoking instead since it worked out in catching the boston bomber suspect?

Henneberry put down his smoke and grabbed a ladder to peer inside the 22-foot boat after noticing a strap was cut, stepson Robert Duffy told the Daily News.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/manhunt-boston-marathon-bomber-suspect-underway-article-1.1321605

Billy Shears
April 24, 2013, 10:46 PM
I'm aware of the Mussolini's, Hitlers, Stalins, Pol-Pot's, Idi Amins of the world. But I don't believe that Americans would ever let one of them come to power. Perhaps is partly because of the 2nd amendment that even bad laws are made subject to repeal by legislators we elect.

Don't deceive yourself that it can never happen here. The thing to remember is that these things don't happen overnight. As James Madison said: "Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations."

Referring once again to history, take the example of the Roman republic. It lasted, as a republic, longer than ours has so far done, but it still went over to one-man rule, and eventually descended into absolute despotism, and grew to bear almost all the features that we would recognize as characteristic of a police state.

And just to give you an idea of how extreme the change was, remember that Julius Caesar, already a dictator, was assassinated by a group of senators for the mere suspicion that he wanted to make himself a king. But their descendants, after the time of Diocletian in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD would have to abase themselves by going down on their bellies in the dust – an act called the proskynesis – any time they had an audience with the emperor. And Roman life was so controlled that even professions were made hereditary, and a man had to get imperial permission to hold a job different than the one his father had.

Don't think it can't ever happen here.

jon_in_wv
April 24, 2013, 10:56 PM
I grow very weary of the rest of the world complaining about our guns. All of our enemies simply want us disarmed, our allies are free on the backs of OUR strength. If our military was the only thing keeping us free, and we were disarmed, we would have to keep a much larger percentage of our army at home to keep us secure. If our army was defeated and the US fell, who would protect the smarmy unarmed population of the UK? Australia? Canada? or any of our other allies. Lets face it, our armed population keeps a good chunk of the world free, they just enjoy the benefit and don't have to bear the responsibility for it.

Romeo 33 Delta
April 24, 2013, 10:56 PM
Well said, Billy. The UNTHINKABLE is the unthinkable ... until it ACTUALLY HAPPENS ... at which point, it's no longer UNTHINKABLE!

"When reality conflicts with theory, believe reality."

monotonous_iterancy
April 24, 2013, 10:58 PM
Don't deceive yourself that it can never happen here. The thing to remember is that these things don't happen overnight. As James Madison said: "Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations."

Referring once again to history, take the example of the Roman republic. It lasted, as a republic, longer than ours has so far done, but it still went over to one-man rule, and eventually descended into absolute despotism, and grew to bear almost all the features that we would recognize as characteristic of a police state.

And just to give you an idea of how extreme the change was, remember that Julius Caesar, already a dictator, was assassinated by a group of senators for the mere suspicion that he wanted to make himself a king. But their descendants, after the time of Diocletian in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD would have to abase themselves by going down on their bellies in the dust – an act called the proskynesis – any time they had an audience with the emperor. And Roman life was so controlled that even professions were made hereditary, and a man had to get imperial permission to hold a job different than the one his father had.

Don't think it can't ever happen here.


But didn't the Romans have a "temporary dictator" emergency power that Caesar took advantage of? Didn't he also have an army that was personally loyal to him?

monotonous_iterancy
April 24, 2013, 11:05 PM
Getting back to my original post, I think that 100 years from now, the world could be very different. If America continues declining and loses it's status, another power will take it's place. There are several 'emerging' world powers right now. Not just China, but also places such as Brazil, which is in a region with a history of dictatorships.

I also doubt anyone could take over the whole country even if we were weaker than now. A state or a few? Sure.

I imagine that once the lines stabilize, armed citizens would be able to organize an immediate insurgency that would draw resources from other occupied areas, leading to increased freedom and more resistance. Maybe even away from the front lines. Even a few thousand men that could have been the ones to blunt an American offensive that could push the line back and lead to a quicker liberation.

But then that raises another question. How did resistance movements in Europe obtain arms during WWII besides from our dropping of Liberator pistols? Are personally owned firearms really necessary for a movement to get off the ground?

Billy Shears
April 24, 2013, 11:15 PM
But didn't the Romans have a "temporary dictator" emergency power that Caesar took advantage of? Didn't he also have an army that was personally loyal to him?
He did, but you're missing my point. Caesar was killed despite having an army personally loyal to him, and despite having legal dictatorial power, because there were Romans who saw him as the destroyer of the Republic, and were not prepared to tolerate this. That's how strongly some Romans felt about resisting tyranny, and about preserving their republic.

And nevertheless, a couple of centuries later, their descendats were as firmly under the thumbs of their despotic rulers as any people have ever been, excepting perhaps North Korea.

monotonous_iterancy
April 24, 2013, 11:24 PM
How did that happen? How does it fit into the context of America?

Billy Shears
April 24, 2013, 11:54 PM
How did that happen? How does it fit into the context of America?
It happened, in part, just as Madison described, by silent and gradual encroachments. By the 1st century BC, the republic had become politically unstable -- conditions ripe for a strong man who promised to "fix things." Caesar did, and he was popular with the masses. His assassination didn't restore the republic, it just created a power vacuum, and more instability, and sparked another civil war, which lasted from 44BC to AD27. After decades of war, conditions were even more ripe for a strong man, and Augustus didn't have the suspicion and enmity that Caesar faced. As things grew more dangerous and unstable, people were more and more ready to cede their liberty and accept one man rule.

Still, Augustus was careful to cloak his power in a legal fiction of being princeps (i.e. first citizen -- the origin of our word "prince") -- "first among equals" in the Roman senate. It was purely a legal fiction. The Republic was dead, and Augustus was the absolute ruler of the Roman Empire. But his successors maintained the legal fiction for a couple of centuries. This is called the "principate phase" of the Roman Empire. It lasted until the end of the crisis of the third century (more instability -- lots of civil wars), when Diocletian swept away this legal fiction for good, and ruled ostentatiously, like an oriental monarch. This period is called the "dominate phase" of the Empire. It took a long time, but the Roman people were gradually desensitized to authoritarian rule, and the periods of instability made them amenable to charismatic despots who promised to make things better.

To take another example, it was the instability and economic depression of the 30s that made Italy and Germany ripe for takeover by dictators in that era as well.

However it might happen in the US, the details and sequence of events, and catalysts will be different. But gradual erosion of liberty, allowing people time to get used to, and less uncomfortable with restrictions on their freedoms will make them more willing to accept authoritarian rule. And instability or turmoil will make them more willing to listen to demagogues who promise to fix things. There is no reason this can't happen here.

SharpsDressedMan
April 24, 2013, 11:54 PM
Are armed citizens overrated? Not this one.

Cee Zee
April 24, 2013, 11:58 PM
The Second Amendment was not put into place so people can overthrow their own popularly elected government.

Actually it was. We aren't supposed to overthrow a government that's sticking to the constitution but one that trashes our rights and does whatever it wants is prime for revolution according to the teachings of our founding fathers.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

I'm aware of the Mussolini's, Hitlers, Stalins, Pol-Pot's, Idi Amins of the world. But I don't believe that Americans would ever let one of them come to power.

I'm not so sure we haven't already let one come to power. Why does Obama want to fundamentally change America? Change to what? Why is he so intent on taking our rights away from us? Why does he excuse things like the Ft. Hood bomber as "workplace violence" instead of Islamic Jihad? He was raised a Muslim after all. I'm not saying he is a Muslim. I don't think he's anything except a greedy SOB that wants to take total power. He is following the playbook for becoming a dictator you know. Have you read the Rules For Radicals and do you know the intent of those rules? The first thing you do is wreck the economy so you can declare an emergency then you suspend the normal rules of government until things can be set right again. Printing money like crazy is guaranteed to destroy an economy. I'm not talking the depression. I'm talking Argentina where there was no food on the shelves. Did you see the movie about the bank crisis back in 2008? The movie said over and over we wouldn't have food or water or anything else. Was the movie propaganda to promote fear or was it the truth? If it was the truth look how easy it could be to totally destroy our economy. And we are doing all the things needed to destroy an economy. Do you know that George Soros has already used this model to collapse the governments of several countries so he could move in and buy up everything in sight and end up totally controlling those countries? Do you know Soros supports Obama and much of the liberal media like Media Matters and the Daily KOS? The first move Soros always makes is to take control of the media and the mainstream media follows the lead of Media Matters like it's gospel.

Thinking we are immune is exactly what will cause us to fall for these things. We have to be aware of the ways these people become dictators and fight back before they destroy us. Look at how much of the economy Obamacare has taken control of. It's HUGE! We spend more money in this country than every working person makes in wages. How long can that last? Sooner or later our money will be worth NOTHING and we will be scrambling for help from any corner. Enter Obama declaring a national emergency and - martial law.

Don't say it can't happen. They are trying to make it happen now. I've studied this stuff my entire life. I know how totalitarian governments are formed and we are smack dab on that path right now. Why do you think they want our guns so bad? They can't fully control us as long as we are armed. They might kill me but they will never fully control me. I will not be their slave and that is exactly what many want. I can't imagine you haven't heard this before. Start with this list. It details the tactics of the communists that are trying to take over this country and that's exactly what they are. Well they share traits with Nazis too. And don't call me crazy because I know what I'm talking about. I learned this in LIBERAL colleges because they feared the right making these moves. But the left did it first.

Read these "Rules For Radicals" by Saul Alinsky, a self professed communist. Remember that Obama actually taught college courses on using these rules. He may not have the same exact goals of Alinsky but what is important is that he seeks total control over the government which is the main thrust of what the Rules teach - how to gain total power.

http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/alinsky.htm

Here's one thing you may be interested in. It's from Fox so I take what they say with a grain of salt but there are things that can't be denied. Obama taught Alinsky material and he uses his Rules to try to achieve total power. Remember that's the goal - total power - a totalitarian government.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd8dKWMeG9k

walking arsenal
April 25, 2013, 12:15 AM
I don't know that we've outlived our usefulness but I think we might have to rethink the way we conduct ourselves.

I always thought my kit was for emergencies, foreign invaders, civil unrest, and the like. Like a good modern patriot I kept my AR ready with a mag bag full of ammo and 1st aid.

Then I see things like in Boston with SWAT teams and Military going door to door in armored trucks pulling people from their houses and evicting them at gunpoint and I think about what would have happened to me if I lived there and had answered the door with my metaphorical musket and satchel loaded with patch and ball.

In their eyes we are no longer a friend. Just another serf to be corralled like cattle.

monotonous_iterancy
April 25, 2013, 12:16 AM
Here's a question for all of you. Other Western nations that no longer have widespread arms among the citizenry, the UK, Australia and so on, have they had their freedoms eroded in other areas?

Billy Shears
April 25, 2013, 12:30 AM
Here's a question for all of you. Other Western nations that no longer have widespread arms among the citizenry, the UK, Australia and so on, have they had their freedoms eroded in other areas?
Absolutely.

In the UK there have been restrictions on other civil liberties as well. There is no longer any right to a grand jury; it was abolished in 1933. Britain's highest court has upheld a law ordering newspaper publishers to obtain a government license and to post bond with the government. Britain allows police to interrogate suspects who have asked that interrogation stop, and allows the police to keep defense lawyers away from suspects under interrogation for limited periods. The American doctrine of the "fruit of the poisonous tree" bars use of evidence derived from leads developed in a coerced confession; Britain allows use of such evidence. Even the traditional right to silence has been abolished, as 1994 legislation now allows a defendant's silence to be used as evidence against him. Wiretaps do not need judicial approval. Upon instructions of police administrators, officers in several jurisdictions have begun compiling Japanese-style dossiers on individuals in their locality.

Give this a read: http://guncite.com/journals/okslip.html. It's long, but it's worth the read.

PlaneJain
April 25, 2013, 12:39 AM
If it wasn't for all the boating accidents we have all had the past 4 months, there WOULD have been a gun behind every blade of grass!

JustinJ
April 25, 2013, 01:24 AM
Wars have not been won by rifles for a looong time. Fantasies about regular Joe and his personal AR defeating a modern military, foreign or domestic, are just that..fantasies. People who believe otherwise simply do so because they want to and refuse to maintain any degree of objectivity on the subject. AR15 vs Apache Helicopter with thermal imaging; hmm, who would win? Worst of all this talk makes gun owners look paranoid and delusional.

Billy Shears
April 25, 2013, 01:36 AM
Wars have not been won by rifles for a looong time. Fantasies about regular Joe and his personal AR defeating a modern military, foreign or domestic, are just that..fantasies. People who believe otherwise simply do so because they want to and refuse to maintain any degree of objectivity on the subject. AR15 vs Apache Helicopter with thermal imaging; hmm, who would win? Worst of all this talk makes gun owners look paranoid and delusional.
I refer you back to post # 8. Citizens with rifles didn't win the American revolution either, yet the founding fathers unanimously thought the right of the citizenry to keep and bear arms vital to preserve.

As Allan Gotlieb observed "Anyone who claims that popular struggles are doomed to defeat by modern military technology must find it literally incredible that France and the United States suffered defeat in Vietnam; that the Shah no longer rules Iran; Somosa (sic) in Nicaragua; that Portugal was expelled from Angola and Mozambique; England from Palestine and Ireland; and France from Algeria."

Cee Zee
April 25, 2013, 04:53 AM
Countries that have banned guns have had lots of other rights removed as well. GB is even considering censoring the media including the internet now. Read this news article:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/mps-seek-to-censor-the-media-1006607.html

Wars have not been won by rifles for a looong time. Fantasies about regular Joe and his personal AR defeating a modern military, foreign or domestic, are just that..fantasies.

Modern armies aren't the only threats we face. And a few million men with rifles can make a whale of a difference despite what you think. Let's talk about revolutions. Take Cuba for example. What do you think they used to convert to communism? Wars can be and are won with rifles. Not all of them certainly but it is possible. Heck there are gang wars all over this country. Those are just as real to the people being shot at. Dying from a drive by is not a whole lot different from dying by an Apache gun ship. Dead is dead. And it isn't the military that I fear so much as it is the executive branch of our government. Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc. come to mind. Maybe that Koresh was a nut. It's hard to say based on what you hear in the media. I KNOW they lie. I've seen them do it many times.

You know a life long friend said the same thing to me about an Apache helicopter and how he wasn't about to face one in battle. First off lots of helicopters were shot down by rifle fire in Vietnam. That's why we now have the Apaches. But there comes a time when you just have to stick up for what you believe whether you have a chance of winning or not. Remember the Alamo friend. The thought still applies. Self sacrifice founded this nation. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I gave it up without a fight. I'd rather be dead. I guess that's hard for some to understand. No one wants to die (except for suicide cases of course). But sometimes it's the right thing to do. Remember that kid who stood in front of a line of tanks in China and blocked them from advancing on Tiananmen Square. He didn't have much chance of defeating them except with his courage. That guy eventually died for his cause. But not before he got his message out to the entire world. Unless we're all willing to stand up we might as well all lay down and learn to like being a slave. I also remember an American who said, "Let's roll" back about 11.5 years ago. And Jimmy Doolittle.

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/china060412/s_t01_90605094.jpg

beatledog7
April 25, 2013, 09:08 AM
The average American citizen is very different from who he was, say, 150-170 years ago. He knew how to make a chair or a table from the trees on his property. He could live in the woods for a week without having carried in any food or water. He could ride a horse. He could grow vegetables and grains. He could repair just about anything he could operate.

In short, he was self sufficient, independent, a world unto himself. He carried a knife and a gun and had more at home. He used them appropriately and felt no need to defend his choices.

To a large degree, the armed citizen is the self sufficient citizen. It is that which alarms many anti-gunners. They see the gun or know it exists and think the person who has it just might be a person who prefers to make his own choices and be accountable for them. They hate that concept.

460Kodiak
April 25, 2013, 10:41 AM
So realistically, does our right to keep and bear arms still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force, or is that more of a "Red Dawn" fantasy some cling to?


There is no way to test this aside from things actually going to hell. Would we make a difference? I think so if we used guerrilla tactics and didn't look for a fight. Defend only. As far as driving out an occupying army..... It would take years, but it has happened in the past. Do I think you would see militia style bands of citizens that have enough firepower and ammo to actually repel an invading military force? No. Modern tech really kind of makes that an impossibility. The most citizens could hope to do was be enough of an irritation and widdle down enemy troops over a looooong period of time, force the enemy to spread themselves thin, and hope that our military would then have the advantage and be able to drive them out. Support only would be our role.

As far as the hero mentallity goes in some cc's, I think anyone who is trying to do more than simply protect themselves and the people they care about is playing a dangerous game. If I saw a good oportunity to stop a crime, I certainly would. There is a very heavy line though between protecting oneself and perhaps being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but being armed,able to do something about the situation, and choosing to act. If you aren't a cop, don't try to be a cop.

The folks who say it's too bad that a cc'er didn't find the Boston kid are reacting out of anger. I believe he is guilty, but that doesn't mean he isn't entitled to a fair trial. Due process is a pain, but it is what allows us to live "free."

CoRoMo
April 25, 2013, 10:55 AM
...our right to keep and bear arms still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force...
I don't believe that our 2nd Amendment rights have anything to do with outside tyranny.
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

We hold these truths to be self-evident... Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government
That's not talking about an outside force.

indyogb
April 25, 2013, 11:06 AM
Wars have not been won by rifles for a looong time. Fantasies about regular Joe and his personal AR defeating a modern military, foreign or domestic, are just that..fantasies. People who believe otherwise simply do so because they want to and refuse to maintain any degree of objectivity on the subject. AR15 vs Apache Helicopter with thermal imaging; hmm, who would win? Worst of all this talk makes gun owners look paranoid and delusional.
That's technically true - going toe to toe with a modern military is certainly not an option for any civilian "force". Defeating a modern military (probably true even for most of antiquity as well) on an open battleground is suicide for even most other militaries. However, I think we could count on a significant portion of our military being on our side (at some point). Consider that, and the use of guerilla tactics could make the governing of any area quite difficult, which, as stated in post #30, is really the whole point. The only realistically achievable objective is to make the other side decide that using force as a means to control you is not worth the effort required. In the context of the 2nd Amendment as primarily a method of last resort to overthrow our own government, one could also consider civilian held firearms as a type of "liberator pistol".

JustinJ
April 25, 2013, 11:08 AM
As Allan Gotlieb observed "Anyone who claims that popular struggles are doomed to defeat by modern military technology must find it literally incredible that France and the United States suffered defeat in Vietnam; that the Shah no longer rules Iran; Somosa (sic) in Nicaragua; that Portugal was expelled from Angola and Mozambique; England from Palestine and Ireland; and France from Algeria."

Vietnam?! Do you honestly believe the US was "defeated" by peasants armed with their personal firearms? Might it not have had something to do with SAM's, fighter jets, artillery, high order explosives, etc from China and the Soviet Union? I don't know about you but my personal collection is lacking those things. The events you cited only happened because external sources supplied the fighters with critical military hardware and/or a portion of the military defected to the rebel side. Allan Gotlieb needs to do a little more homework.

That's technically true - going toe to toe with a modern military is certainly not an option for any civilian "force". Defeating a modern military (probably true even for most of antiquity as well) on an open battleground is suicide for even most other militaries. However, I think we could count on a significant portion of our military being on our side (at some point). Consider that, and the use of guerilla tactics could make the governing of any area quite difficult, which, as stated in post #30, is really the whole point. The only realistically achievable objective is to make the other side decide that using force as a means to control you is not worth the effort required. In the context of the 2nd Amendment as primarily a method of last resort to overthrow our own government, one could also consider civilian held firearms as a type of "liberty pistol".

If "we" had this military support why would we be using our own weapons to begin with? Making it no longer worthwhile for a foreign invader to remain is something entirely different than beating a government on it's own home turf althoug they both require modern military hardware far beyond just rifle. A government facing an internal rebellion has nowhere to go home to so no matter how big a pain in the ass the opposition becomes the government will not just give up.

Vector
April 25, 2013, 11:24 AM
A major purpose of the 2nd amendment was to provide for the effective defense of a free state. From what I understand, the backbone of this defense was to be based off a system similar to what the Swiss have today.

While we don't have hostile nations who could even reach us, in the span of a few generations time, the world could look very different.

Yet, our most recent real life examples don't inspire confidence in me that our right to bear arms would do much of anything to protect us. Granted, most of these cases are against us, but they provide a case study. We lost Vietnam politically, and the Soviets lost Afganistan. Today, we've pretty much won in Iraq, and Afganistan, while not entirely free, is going better than when the Soviets tried.

These examples don't seem to inspire confidence in the 2nd amendment being a safeguard against much except criminals.

So realistically, does our right to keep and bear arms still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force, or is that more of a "Red Dawn" fantasy some cling to?

When it was drafted, the 2nd Amendment was not created to allow hunting, target practice or even self protection. Those things were all taken for granted in those days as the norm of regular activities and security. Instead the 2A's main purpose was to have free citizens never be subjected to a tyrannical government run amok.

How do we know this for sure? You must understand the thinking of the Founding Fathers and people of the time when the Bill of Rights/Constitution was created.

Let me give you a few examples;

"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950])

"The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169)

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}])

"...to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

"the ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone," (James Madison , author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States" (Noah Webster in `An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution', 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

"...if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?" (Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, Johnathan Elliot, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (2d ed., 1888))

"...but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights..." (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.)

"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." (Tench Coxe in `Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution' under the Pseudonym `A Pennsylvanian' in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426)

"The Constitution shall never be construed....to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms" (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87)

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them." (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..)

"The great object is that every man be armed" and "everyone who is able may have a gun." (Patrick Henry, in the Virginia Convention on the ratification of the Constitution. Debates and other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia,...taken in shorthand by David Robertson of Petersburg, at 271, 275 2d ed. Richmond, 1805. Also 3 Elliot, Debates at 386)

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?" (Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836)

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms..." (Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Peirce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850))

------

In my view having studied their thoughts of the time (primarily in the Federalists Papers, but other sources as well), they would want every able bodied citizen to posses an ability to be armed well enough to thwart a tyrannical government run amok.


`

indyogb
April 25, 2013, 11:26 AM
If "we" had this military support why would we be using our own weapons to begin with? Making it no longer worthwhile for a foreign invader to remain is something entirely different than beating a government on it's own home turf althoug they both require modern military hardware far beyond just rifle. A government facing an internal rebellion has nowhere to go home to so no matter how big a pain in the ass the opposition becomes the government will not just give up.

If there were to be another American civil war, I'm pretty sure some states would wholly be against others. Which was where I was coming from. Individual bands of "civilians" fighting well trained and supplied military forces aren't going to last long even with relative force parity if going head to head (Whiskey Rebellion, Shay's Rebellion, etc.).

JustinJ
April 25, 2013, 11:43 AM
If there were to be another American civil war, I'm pretty sure some states would wholly be against others. Which was where I was coming from. Individual bands of "civilians" fighting well trained and supplied military forces aren't going to last long even with relative force parity if going head to head (Whiskey Rebellion, Shay's Rebellion, etc.).

And in such a scenario each soldier who joined his corresponding state's forces would be issued a rifle.

What many tend to forget is that rebellions have probably established just as many tyrants as they have resisted. Communist revolutions around the world were generally fought for by civilians as well. Taking power by force when their is a democratic means in place is by definition tyranny.

Certaindeaf
April 25, 2013, 11:46 AM
Wouldn't want to get a hangnail.

Billy Shears
April 25, 2013, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by JustinJ

Vietnam?! Do you honestly believe the US was "defeated" by peasants armed with their personal firearms? Might it not have had something to do with SAM's, fighter jets, artillery, high order explosives, etc from China and the Soviet Union? I don't know about you but my personal collection is lacking those things. The events you cited only happened because external sources supplied the fighters with critical military hardware and/or a portion of the military defected to the rebel side. Allan Gotlieb needs to do a little more homework.
You really don't get it do you? Wars are won in the will. If you and your comrades are willing to die, if need be, while your opponent isn't, you're side will win, in the end, despite being outgunned. We won almost every military engagement of the Vietnam War. The Tet Offensive is widely seen as the turning point when the fact that the US was losing became undeniable. And yet it was a military disaster for the NVA. They achieved none of their objectives, and were quickly driven back, with massive casualties. The Tet Offensive was significant because it basically broke the will of the American people to keep up the fight -- LBJ, his administration and the Pentagon told the American people we were winning and the enemy couldn't launch an offensive on that scale. The American people, ambivalent about the war to begin with, now felt the government was either lying to them, or was simply running the war incompetently. Either way, they wanted out. In other words, when it became clear that the North Vietnamese were never giving up, no matter how many casualties we inflicted, there was no prospect for victory. We could go on, inflicting massive casualties, winning battle after battle, but they'd just keep on coming. So the prospect is endless bloodshed, with no hope of victory. They can't beat us. But they won't ever give up either. So either we go home, or we keep sending our boys over there to die forever. No thanks. Let's pack it in.

And I refer you again to the example I cited in post #8. The Irish won their independence from the British by a guerrilla campaign where most of the Irish rebels had nothing more to fight with than rifles and handguns. How do you account for this if civilians resistance with small arms is hopeless. The British Empire was the world's foremost power at the time, with artillery, machine guns, tanks, airplanes, and thousands of veteran troops with recent combat experience from the first World War. And they lost! To a handful of rebels with small arms. Explain this, if your thesis is correct.

I can explain it. They did the same thing the Vietnamese did decades later. They made their enemy realize they were never going to give up or surrender, and all he could look forward to was endless strife, expense, and bloodshed, trying to hold a country down that couldn't be held. The British said Uncle and came to the negotiation table, and the Irish won their independence.

This is how insurgents win. They use guerrilla warfare, and outlast the enemy, until his will to keep fighting is exhausted. And if you think this doesn't happen, I think it is you, not Allan Gotlieb, who needs to do your homework.

Certaindeaf
April 25, 2013, 12:41 PM
See what two dudes with some pressure cookers did to Boston and the nation.. and what a handful did with some box-cutters.. especially financially. what was the question? allow me to say har

Cosmoline
April 25, 2013, 01:54 PM
The Founders also believed very, very strongly that we should have no federal standing army. Only state militias and perhaps a frontier force or a special purpose force like the Legion of the United States. So in this context, it would truly be impossible for a tyrant to take over. Because the very act of raising militias was a kind of democratic process involving votes of support or refusals to recognize authority.

Since WW2 our betters in DC decided they needed us to keep spending trillions on national defense and that we needed a huge standing army. Without getting into the merits of this, it has created a stress on the notion that an armed citizenry can block tyranny. But I don't see that stress as any reason to disarm. Hopefully we can find a way to avoid Rome's fate.

But didn't the Romans have a "temporary dictator" emergency power that Caesar took advantage of? Didn't he also have an army that was personally loyal to him?

He has many of those powers right now. And he has a Praetorian guard in the form of the Secret Service. And he's very frustrated with the "failings" of the Senate. The parallels are certainly enough to give pause to any student of history. I know this much--now is not the time to lay down arms.

AR15 vs Apache Helicopter with thermal imaging; hmm, who would win? Worst of all this talk makes gun owners look paranoid and delusional.

Apaches cost a fortune. Their weapons are expensive. Their crews are expensive. And when you're killing the people paying for those tools, the end result is a death spiral for the government. You cannot slaughter every tax payer. If the household guns do nothing more than give people the idea that they need not obey, then they have done their job. Because what really props up dictators isn't the bombs or jets, it's the belief that there is nothing that can be done. And what really brings them down is the belief among enough people that they CAN be brought down. Plus nobody is truly bulletproof. Helicopter crews have to sleep somewhere--in this case back in the same neighborhoods they bombed. They have families there. And every one of them has to think long and hard before deciding to back the hand of some nutcase wearing a crown, when all his neighbors can retaliate after the day is done.

I've seen enough supposedly powerful dictators put up against walls and stabbed in the backside in my lifetime to conclude resistance is never futile. And for every one of them who died screaming, a dozen took last-minute deals to avoid that fate and concede power to the rebellion. Believe me none of these guys wants to die with a knife in his fundament.

holdencm9
April 25, 2013, 02:53 PM
First of all, as others have said, even if we were to conclude that arms in the hands of citizens would have ZERO effect on the outcome of a dictatorial takeover, that is not a reason to disarm, any more than if you are running a race and have no perceivable chance of winning, you should stop running. I don't think this was the OP's point, but I know a lot of anti's use that rationale when arguing against us. "Your pea-shooter (which they call a WMD in another breath) won't do anything against a tank!" It is infuriating.

That said, I agree with others that more often than not, guerrilla tactics can be quite a thorn in the side of any would-be oppressor. And even if winning is not feasible, the mere threat of taking mass casualties would make any potential ruler a lot less ambitious, as well as those following his/her will. Really, the goal is not necessarily to WIN, but to not lose. And the battle is not lost until every man woman and child has laid down arms and bowed to their new overlords.

Another thing, I think standing armies and conventional warfare are OVERrated. Yes, they may have tanks and attack helicopters, but where do they get the fuel and the ammo? How do they transport it? Where do they get food from? All it takes is a few highly-motivated, decently-trained individuals to wreak havoc on the supply lines and manufacturing capabilities of the enemy. Someone earlier said that wars are not won with rifles anymore. That may be true, but they certainly aren't won by apaches or abrams either. Wars have always, and will always, be won by logistics. It sounds like a UPS commercial, but it is true. If the enemy is starving or running out of ammo, it doesn't matter how many they are or how powerful their weapons are.

But didn't the Romans have a "temporary dictator" emergency power that Caesar took advantage of? Didn't he also have an army that was personally loyal to him?

Kind of like martial law? Something that can be used temporarily, in an emergency, where checks and balances are thrown out the window? Of course.

indyogb
April 25, 2013, 03:19 PM
And in such a scenario each soldier who joined his corresponding state's forces would be issued a rifle.

What many tend to forget is that rebellions have probably established just as many tyrants as they have resisted. Communist revolutions around the world were generally fought for by civilians as well. Taking power by force when their is a democratic means in place is by definition tyranny.

That's assuming the state in question has any to give. I'm quite sure some of the soldiers of the Confederate States of America were carrying their personal arms into battle.

No doubt many dictators have come to power in revolutions. Armed revolution is never the first option, and should be, in fact, the last option due to loss of life, and the risk of the power vacuum.

At any rate, it's a fun discussion to have, despite the long odds that any such situation would arise. I believe it (overthrow of a tyrannical government) was the main reason for the right to bear arms being explicitly protected in the Constitution. I don't know how likely the Constitutional authors believed such a situation would be, but they obviously felt it was important, nonetheless.

Vector
April 25, 2013, 03:27 PM
I can simplify this discussion.

If you were part of a tyrannical government hell bent on scrapping the Constitution and starting anew, would you prefer a unhappy populace of unarmed sheep, or a rebellious populace armed with over 100 million weapons?

holdencm9
April 25, 2013, 03:31 PM
I don't know how likely the Constitutional authors believed such a situation would be, but they obviously felt it was important, nonetheless.

Even they knew that with the checks and balances built into the system that it was unlikely. But unlikely does not equal impossible. Reading federalist paper #46 gives some insight into their thought process.

X-Rap
April 25, 2013, 03:38 PM
JustinJ
Look at history and you will find that conflicts prior to WWI were heavily supplied by the individual soldier or people of means from the origin of the unit. Even the regular army that had issue weapons allowed improved or personal weapons.
As recently as Vietnam personal sidearms were not unusual.
With the millions of quality weapons held in the publics hands I doubt there is much disparity in what we have and they have until you hit the crew served weapons.

JustinJ
April 25, 2013, 03:54 PM
You really don't get it do you? Wars are won in the will. If you and your comrades are willing to die, if need be, while your opponent isn't, you're side will win, in the end, despite being outgunned. We won almost every military engagement of the Vietnam War. The Tet Offensive is widely seen as the turning point when the fact that the US was losing became undeniable. And yet it was a military disaster for the NVA. They achieved none of their objectives, and were quickly driven back, with massive casualties. The Tet Offensive was significant because it basically broke the will of the American people to keep up the fight -- LBJ, his administration and the Pentagon told the American people we were winning and the enemy couldn't launch an offensive on that scale. The American people, ambivalent about the war to begin with, now felt the government was either lying to them, or was simply running the war incompetently. Either way, they wanted out. In other words, when it became clear that the North Vietnamese were never giving up, no matter how many casualties we inflicted, there was no prospect for victory. We could go on, inflicting massive casualties, winning battle after battle, but they'd just keep on coming. So the prospect is endless bloodshed, with no hope of victory. They can't beat us. But they won't ever give up either. So either we go home, or we keep sending our boys over there to die forever. No thanks. Let's pack it in.

No, i get it. I get that many convolute Red Dawn fantasies with reality. Claiming that it's "will" alone that wins conflicts is a grossly inaccurate over simplification. Will alone does not shoot down millions upon millons of dollars worth of airpower or inflict tens of thousands of casualties. If all it takes is will then why are we even arguing about guns in the first place? Of course the will to fight is essential but it's just one part of a very complex formula. All the will in the world does nothing if one lacks the proper means to fight.

And I refer you again to the example I cited in post #8. The Irish won their independence from the British by a guerrilla campaign where most of the Irish rebels had nothing more to fight with than rifles and handguns. How do you account for this if civilians resistance with small arms is hopeless. The British Empire was the world's foremost power at the time, with artillery, machine guns, tanks, airplanes, and thousands of veteran troops with recent combat experience from the first World War. And they lost! To a handful of rebels with small arms. Explain this, if your thesis is correct.

Because the disparity in technologic force they were fighting was minimal compared to what exists today.

This is how insurgents win. They use guerrilla warfare, and outlast the enemy, until his will to keep fighting is exhausted. And if you think this doesn't happen, I think it is you, not Allan Gotlieb, who needs to do your homework.

Again, in order to accomplish such against a modern army an opposition force must have far more advanced weaponary than just rifles. Hell, modern body armor alone largely negates the effectiveness of rifles on the modern battle field. I'm sure there is someone out there who is going to say, "we'll just take headshots" with no actual understanding of what it's like to make precise shots while receiving incoming fire.

The military has even implemented a new technology that actually pinpoints the direction of incoming fire so sniping becomes little more than a sure way to get one's self killed.

The fact is that technology has been ever broadening the gap between civilian weaponary and that of the military. If external military aid is not available a rebellion stands no chance against a modern military. And if the entire civilian population has joined the rebel side there is no essentially no need for armed conflict to begin with.

Agsalaska
April 25, 2013, 04:04 PM
The people do not have to be able to defeat the federal government. They only have to deter it from taking action. We accomplish that every day.

GEM
April 25, 2013, 04:10 PM
I grant you that an external, conventional invasion (Wolverines!) isn't in the foreseeable future. Rather worry about World War Z than that one.

However, the defense against tyranny is not just a statement from the Revolutionary Past - here's Hubert Humphrey - a classic liberal:

"The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." -- Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minnesota)"

There's a recent book out on armed resistance from an African-American scholar that I'm going to pick up later about its history in the USA.

Recall that the laws against blacks having guns was because it was thought they righteously had a reason for armed rebellion. So someone thought that there was a threat from a armed citizenry.

Also, in Viet Nam the initial successes of the NVAF were overcome with proper training. By the end of the war they were not a significant air threat. Their tanks really didn't become players till we left.

statelineblues
April 25, 2013, 04:33 PM
the problem is, we thankfully have never had to test it.....Mainland America hasnt been invaded since 1812..

im willing to be should MadeUpakistan decide to invade now, we will be very thankfull for the millions of guns available for the common man thanks to the 2A.....

I always remember a quote reportedly said by Adm. Yamamoto at the beginning of WW2 when discussing the possibility of invading the US mainland:

"I would never invade the United States, there would be a gun behind every blade of grass."

Billy Shears
April 25, 2013, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by JustinJ

No, i get it. I get that many convolute Red Dawn fantasies with reality. Claiming that it's "will" alone that wins conflicts is a grossly inaccurate over simplification. Will alone does not shoot down millions upon millons of dollars worth of airpower or inflict tens of thousands of casualties. If all it takes is will then why are we even arguing about guns in the first place?
I never said it was all it takes. Don't distort my argument.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Of course the will to fight is essential but it's just one part of a very complex formula. All the will in the world does nothing if one lacks the proper means to fight.
And all the means in the world won't give you victory if your hearts not in it. We pulled out of Mogadishu, despite having massive, overwhelming advantage in firepower because we took eighteen casualties. We decided it wasn't worth it.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Because the disparity in technologic force they were fighting was minimal compared to what exists today.
And if you think that was the reason, you are ignorant of history. Professional armies have ALWAYS enjoyed a tremendous advantage over citizens, all the way back to ancient times. Back in the days of the American Revolution, Washington didn't beat the British with militia. He couldn't, and knew it. He had to raise and train a professional army of his own (enter Baron von Steuben), and get artillery and better arms and equipment from the French. Yet he and the rest of the founding fathers still saw it as vital to keep the citizenry armed.

Getting back to Ireland, I repeat, when the Irish tried a rebellion using conventional tactics, in 1916, they were crushed in a mere six days. When they started again, using guerrilla tactics in 1919, they won.

We, with the most modern military in history, were nearly run out of Iraq by guerrilla fighters, and what saved us wasn't just the surge, it was the fact that Al Quaeda was so brutal, even toward other Iraqis, that it lost them popular support, and that support swung over to us. If they had been less fanatical, and had fought smarter, we would never have won.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Again, in order to accomplish such against a modern army an opposition force must have far more advanced weaponary than just rifles. Hell, modern body armor alone largely negates the effectiveness of rifles on the modern battle field.
For the umpteenth time, guerrillas don't come out onto an open battlefield.

Originally posted by JustinJ

I'm sure there is someone out there who is going to say, "we'll just take headshots" with no actual understanding of what it's like to make precise shots while receiving incoming fire.

The military has even implemented a new technology that actually pinpoints the direction of incoming fire so sniping becomes little more than a sure way to get one's self killed.

The fact is that technology has been ever broadening the gap between civilian weaponary and that of the military. If external military aid is not available a rebellion stands no chance against a modern military. And if the entire civilian population has joined the rebel side there is no essentially no need for armed conflict to begin with.
Our army consists of roughly half a million active, and another half million reserve troops. Our population is over 300 million people. How do you expect an army, even one as advanced as ours, to hold down a population over 300 times its own size, scattered and without unified strong points that can be taken to end the war, when that population is determined to resist, many are willing to die, many of the soldiers don't really want any part of fighting their own people, etc. etc.?

Kiln
April 25, 2013, 05:23 PM
Rebels can and have overthrown armies with vast advantages in equipment and technology. Success generally relies on using guerilla tactics and not frontline combat.

RX-178
April 25, 2013, 05:40 PM
And the clearest point here to make, is that the IDEA of having to fight their own people in an asymmetric war, that can drag on for years or even decades, should be enough to prevent a Government from turning tyrannical. It leaves them with nothing to gain.

That's why disarmament is always the FIRST step, not the last one.

76shuvlinoff
April 25, 2013, 05:45 PM
This thread has provided me with some of the best anti anti arguments and quotes I have seem yet.

Thanks all.

Sam Cade
April 25, 2013, 05:52 PM
I've seen enough supposedly powerful dictators put up against walls and stabbed in the backside in my lifetime to conclude resistance is never futile.

I cheer up a little bit every time I think about that.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tNc-YH92VgY/TXLDb3jNnRI/AAAAAAAABXE/TBySJwNNtOM/Colonel_Gaddafi_1550901c.jpg

With a stick! :what:

monotonous_iterancy
April 25, 2013, 06:12 PM
Here's what I wonder though. What constitutes out of control tyranny? John Adams, a founding father signed the Alien and Sedition acts.

Secondly, since our checks and balances makes it impossible for a dictator to seize power without a massive ignoring of the way we run things, it seems like what people imagine happening is that a law is passed that someone doesn't like, and a few people will decide that a line has been crossed and try and resist with arms like the Whisky Rebellion. It's non-sensical, and kind of makes gun owners sound paranoid.

I mean, if government ever got to the point of blatantly oppressing people like the Soviet Union, then to get to that point, it would require us forgetting who we are. Then at that point, would we remember what freedom is?

RX-178
April 25, 2013, 06:27 PM
As said by John Basil Barnhill (and often attributed to Thomas Jefferson) said, 'Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.'

An armed citizenry is THE reason for a government to fear its people.

This is also why disarming the populace is always the FIRST step to a full tyrannical government.

And make no mistake about it, tyranny has, and does exist WITHIN our system of government, checks&balances and all. Every single day that goes by that politicians don't direct the oppression of the people, Soviet-style, is directly because the 2nd Amendment still exists: The politicians in question either fear it, or believe in it.

SharpsDressedMan
April 25, 2013, 06:48 PM
I could tell you how to resist a highly technically advanced government that has tremendous surveillance and law enforcement capability, but you'd probably consider me dangerous or paranoid. Which I probably am, but would never admit on a public internet forum. I am, however, heavily armed, and a sneaky bastard. People that know me will tell you that. :neener::uhoh::D

Cosmoline
April 25, 2013, 06:56 PM
Red Dawn is surely fantasy, but so is the notion that high tech has rendered rifles moot. Aside from the number of armored soldiers killed and wounded by small arms fire, we left Iraq in the middle of the night without any advanced warning. I suspect we'll leave Afghanistan the same way. Now I would not call that defeat, but it sure isn't victory over those guys with old rifles. They're still there, after all. We aren't.

Elm Creek Smith
April 25, 2013, 07:24 PM
Armed and organized citizens met vastly superior* government troops at Lexington Green, and some of them died that day before they withdrew. Then, other armed and organized citizens withdrew across Concord Bridge in the face of that same vastly superior* government force. When those armed and organized citizens saw what they believed to be the deliberate firing of Concord Town. Spurred on by what they mistakenly saw as the unwarranted destruction of the town, those armed citizens confronted the vastly superior* government troops and forced them to withdraw. Over the course of that withdrawal to Boston, the vastly superior* government troops were harassed, harried, and decimated, probably only saved by the arrival of reinforcements. At that, they lost many more troops than the armed civilians lost. That started our American Revolution.

Are armed citizens overrated? Perhaps on an individual basis if one is talking about resisting government oppression, because the government can bring much more force to bear on individuals and small groups than they can resist. However, with millions of firearms in civilian hands and millions of armed citizens, including many well-trained and experienced combat veterans, the ability of the government to effectively oppress the people becomes doubtful. A general insurrection could be crushed, but at the cost of thousands, if not millions of lives on both sides, and whatever was left may well be ungovernable.

Imagine a SWAT team investing a house where a perceived anti-government individual or family is "barricaded." The SWAT team wins. Now imagine that the SWAT team invests that house and finds that it isn't just one house that presents a threat. An every day deer rifle is the equivalent of a sniper rifle in power and accuracy. Can the SWAT team handle an entire neighborhood? Can a police department pacify an entire city? Would military forces be needed to "restore order?" Would they obey orders to attack their friends, families, and neighbors?

I am not advocating insurrection. I am merely discussing a hypothetical situation.

ECS
Captain, Armor
United States Army (Retired)

Black Knight
April 25, 2013, 07:31 PM
Along with the British invading in 1812 the Jappanese invaded the Alutians during WWII. They were defeated by the weather as much as the small group of soldiers there and the local residents. Are armed citizens over rated? Absolutely not we are in fact under rated. The military and police have rules and regulations to abide by during their operations. They have to play "fair". the armed citizen has no such rules or regulations. We don't have to play fair. Also our enemies are not only from outside but a good many are already on the inside.

JohnBiltz
April 25, 2013, 07:34 PM
No band of citizens could stand and hold ground against a military, it would be stupid to try. Saying that, no military force today could stand against the number of armed citizens in the US. It would bleed them dead. Even worse what makes you think that citizens would just be shooting at soldiers? The government with all its bureaucracy is not 5,000 miles away and across an ocean. Its right here, in range of a citizen with a good rifle. A hundred good men with bad intent can shut down a city from functioning by destroying infrastructure. Think what would happen if a hundred men just drove around every night shooting transformers. Snipers can make the interstates near impassible. They can wipe out government offices. They can kill an unsympathetic press. They can post government reactions to the internet.

Elm Creek Smith
April 25, 2013, 07:48 PM
As an aside, I would like to point out that during World War 2, we had the bulk of our ground combat forces outside the Continental United States (CONUS). If one of our neighbors (to remain unnamed) had decided that it was a good time to regain lost territory and launched a major ground attack across the border, what forces would have been available to resist? Armed civilians organized into state guard units or resisting spontaneously as levees en masse. Red Dawn? Hardly, but unequal combat to start with since many of the neighboring country's senior soldiers had experience in what seemed to be near continuous revolutions. However, there were many veterans of World War One among the armed civilians who would have been called to resist.

I don't think armed citizens are overrated.

ECS
CPT, AR
USA (Ret)

Ignition Override
April 25, 2013, 07:58 PM
No. It was enough to concern Janet Reno and others of her totalitarian 'bent' (who would like to seize private guns, as she stated), and the citizens' guns still trouble them.

On another note, we might need most of our citizens with rifles on the southwest border.

Among huge masses of people who infiltrate via the border areas, we have no idea whether some could be very dangerous people with specialized 'technical training'. Look at what only two young men achieved in Boston. How about in ten cities at once?

One of the illegals who was associated with a smuggler's tunnel had a tattoo in the Persian Farsi language.
At least many volunteers are helping to watch over some areas, in addition to the paid Border Patrol officers.
We could use a huge militia running the length of the border where, according to Janet Napolitano, "security has never been better".

monotonous_iterancy
April 25, 2013, 11:51 PM
If an armed citizenry is so effective, why did all the anti-Communist resistance movements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_European_Anti-Communist_Insurgencies) in countries occupied by the Soviets after the war fail?

Certaindeaf
April 25, 2013, 11:54 PM
Because America.

monotonous_iterancy
April 26, 2013, 12:01 AM
I'm actually looking for a serious answer...

Certaindeaf
April 26, 2013, 12:07 AM
No need to insult me.

Akita1
April 26, 2013, 12:14 AM
The Founders also believed very, very strongly that we should have no federal standing army. Only state militias and perhaps a frontier force or a special purpose force like the Legion of the United States. So in this context, it would truly be impossible for a tyrant to take over. Because the very act of raising militias was a kind of democratic process involving votes of support or refusals to recognize authority.

Since WW2 our betters in DC decided they needed us to keep spending trillions on national defense and that we needed a huge standing army. Without getting into the merits of this, it has created a stress on the notion that an armed citizenry can block tyranny. But I don't see that stress as any reason to disarm. Hopefully we can find a way to avoid Rome's fate.



He has many of those powers right now. And he has a Praetorian guard in the form of the Secret Service. And he's very frustrated with the "failings" of the Senate. The parallels are certainly enough to give pause to any student of history. I know this much--now is not the time to lay down arms.



Apaches cost a fortune. Their weapons are expensive. Their crews are expensive. And when you're killing the people paying for those tools, the end result is a death spiral for the government. You cannot slaughter every tax payer. If the household guns do nothing more than give people the idea that they need not obey, then they have done their job. Because what really props up dictators isn't the bombs or jets, it's the belief that there is nothing that can be done. And what really brings them down is the belief among enough people that they CAN be brought down. Plus nobody is truly bulletproof. Helicopter crews have to sleep somewhere--in this case back in the same neighborhoods they bombed. They have families there. And every one of them has to think long and hard before deciding to back the hand of some nutcase wearing a crown, when all his neighbors can retaliate after the day is done.

I've seen enough supposedly powerful dictators put up against walls and stabbed in the backside in my lifetime to conclude resistance is never futile. And for every one of them who died screaming, a dozen took last-minute deals to avoid that fate and concede power to the rebellion. Believe me none of these guys wants to die with a knife in his fundament.
Excellent post

monotonous_iterancy
April 26, 2013, 12:33 AM
No need to insult me.

I'm not trying to insult you, I just don't really understand what you meant with that post. I figured you were joking.

Billy Shears
April 26, 2013, 01:10 AM
If an armed citizenry is so effective, why did all the anti-Communist resistance movements in countries occupied by the Soviets after the war fail?
Lots of insurgencies fail. The Irish had to endure 700 years under English rule before they finally launched a rebellion that succeeded. It doesn't just depend on the availability of arms; tactics, popular support, organization, keeping spies and infiltrators out of the ranks of the resistance, etc. etc. are all just as important.

Even with arms, there is no guarantee a resistance movement will be successful, but one thing is certain: it has a lot better chance if the people are armed than if they aren't.

RX-178
April 26, 2013, 01:37 AM
I'm getting the feeling my point is not being received, so I apologize for not being clear.

Ever heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

A legally and constitutionally armed citizenry is Prevention against tyranny.
Actual armed resistance is the cure once it's set in.

If tyranny has set in, legally owned weaponry was the first thing to go.

joeschmoe
April 26, 2013, 03:00 AM
Syrian rebels are laying down their arms. Assad thanks you for convincing them it's futile. Tyrants around the world rejoice Americans acknowledge their superiority.

The Vietnamese have officially surrendered to us as well since they too are convinced armed struggle against the American military was futile.

CapnMac
April 26, 2013, 03:06 AM
The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people"
I quipped to Fred, that Tench Coxe's quote above ought to have been the Appleseed motto, and barring that, made the a/s psalm. The latter especially since every time I read that quote I have a reflex to append "Amen" to it.

But, I have to admit that I like Coxe's writings. I particularly like using his "..every terrible implement of the soldier is the birthright of an American..." when both the "Well the Founders never imagined" and/or "Why do you need" arguments are advanced.

One thing "we" in this THR discussion may be missing is that a great mass of well-trained individuals exists in our militia in the form of all of the Prior Service personnel.

Kiln
April 26, 2013, 03:08 AM
The Founders also believed very, very strongly that we should have no federal standing army. Only state militias and perhaps a frontier force or a special purpose force like the Legion of the United States. So in this context, it would truly be impossible for a tyrant to take over. Because the very act of raising militias was a kind of democratic process involving votes of support or refusals to recognize authority.

Since WW2 our betters in DC decided they needed us to keep spending trillions on national defense and that we needed a huge standing army. Without getting into the merits of this, it has created a stress on the notion that an armed citizenry can block tyranny. But I don't see that stress as any reason to disarm. Hopefully we can find a way to avoid Rome's fate.



He has many of those powers right now. And he has a Praetorian guard in the form of the Secret Service. And he's very frustrated with the "failings" of the Senate. The parallels are certainly enough to give pause to any student of history. I know this much--now is not the time to lay down arms.



Apaches cost a fortune. Their weapons are expensive. Their crews are expensive. And when you're killing the people paying for those tools, the end result is a death spiral for the government. You cannot slaughter every tax payer. If the household guns do nothing more than give people the idea that they need not obey, then they have done their job. Because what really props up dictators isn't the bombs or jets, it's the belief that there is nothing that can be done. And what really brings them down is the belief among enough people that they CAN be brought down. Plus nobody is truly bulletproof. Helicopter crews have to sleep somewhere--in this case back in the same neighborhoods they bombed. They have families there. And every one of them has to think long and hard before deciding to back the hand of some nutcase wearing a crown, when all his neighbors can retaliate after the day is done.

I've seen enough supposedly powerful dictators put up against walls and stabbed in the backside in my lifetime to conclude resistance is never futile. And for every one of them who died screaming, a dozen took last-minute deals to avoid that fate and concede power to the rebellion. Believe me none of these guys wants to die with a knife in his fundament.
Probably the best way to explain it right here. As another member said, great post.

Insurgencies fail all the time but there are also plenty of times when governments have been overthrown by their people despite having tanks, helicopters, and tons of other advanced weaponry.

Cee Zee
April 26, 2013, 03:42 AM
The average American citizen is very different from who he was, say, 150-170 years ago. He knew how to make a chair or a table from the trees on his property. He could live in the woods for a week without having carried in any food or water. He could ride a horse. He could grow vegetables and grains. He could repair just about anything he could operate.

Hey I know people that still live that way. I grew up living exactly like that. People in cities have always overlooked the fact that many people don't live in cities. The Appalachian region has always been populated by people like that. There are lots of us too. I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's and pretty much everyone I knew lived on a farm that provided them most of their food. Heck we lived on the land ALL of the time. From catfish to frog legs to to snapping turtles to squirrel to quail to deer and rabbit and even things like possum people in this area ate what they found on their land. I never ate possum but I ate every one of those other things and plenty of them. We plowed our gardens with a horse or a mule, we cut timber using a mule, we worked on everything we owned because we couldn't afford to pay others to do it. Eventually we moved into the tractor age and became much more successful at farming. But I chased cattle (I was a genuine cow poke) for many, many years and almost every day. We had dogs that herded our cattle. We had big problems with feral cats too. Guns were essential to protect us from them and from bats that would nest in our houses and chimneys. Only a shotgun would get rid of them quickly. We hunted squirrels with a .22 and pretty much everything else with a shotgun. We didn't hunt deer much in those days because they were hunted out. Rabbits were too actually and there wasn't a single turkey in the county. We hunted coon for fur money. I know people that trapped up until about 5 years ago. Now fur is back in style and there are probably people doing it again. I just haven't been around them for a while. But I know people who trapped until they were 90. I see traps being sold at flea markets so I can only assume there are people using them.

As for the war in Vietnam being won by SAMS etc. let's not forget that hundreds of US helicopters were shot down by small arms fire. And then there were the tunnels. They were used to great advantage in creating havoc and terror among our troops. The casualties counted in a war of attrition which is all our politicians allowed us to fight. Rifles certainly made a huge difference in that war.

And rifles make a big difference in Iraq and Afghanistan. Plus the IED has become a household word because of what people have learned. They certainly aren't just using IED's. They stop convoys then fire on them with small arms the way I understand things.

Rifles have a way of making armies want to quit even if they aren't actually defeated. That's what happened to us in Vietnam.

It was pointed out that our southern neighbor, which supported the wrong side in WWII, could have invaded us in the WWII years. It should be pointed out that the year before WWI started we were invaded by a force from that country. We chased that group back into their country too. But their civil wars created a huge refugee problem in the USA and there was a constant threat of a revolt here among people wanting to reclaim the SW. The Reconquista movement, which has been mentioned again in recent years, was a big threat in the 1920's. We certainly had to worry about being invaded during the WWI years. And yes, we have paramilitary forces attacking us right now from that same country mainly because of corruption.

Anyone that thinks an individual with a firearm couldn't make a difference against those forces just doesn't know the score. They can and do. And the gangs are pretty well armed too. Are they not a paramilitary force too in a way? Their bullets certainly kill lots of people all over. If you aren't protected against those people in certain areas you're just plain foolish. The government won't protect you.

A man and a rifle can always make a difference. One guy with a gun started WWI which led to WWII. ONE GUY! Rifles most certainly matter. For one thing I know lots and lots of people that can shoot you from half a mile away. That sort of person can create all sorts of havoc if they wanted. Most people that spend the time and money to learn to shoot that way aren't crazy killers. But there was that guy who got ticked because he was told he couldn't hunt on private property so he shot a bunch of people for running him out. He was a Hmong, which was a group from the highlands of Vietnam and Cambodia that fought on our side in the war. So we brought a lot of them here because they would have certainly been killed by the commies if we didn't. Those people certainly know how to shoot. If the wacky Muslims really knew how to cause problems they could certainly use a rifle to do it. I'm not about to tell them how but trust me, there are ways. Don't ask me how because I'm not saying period.

460Kodiak
April 26, 2013, 10:49 AM
Wow. I can't believe that this one keeps going around and around. I think the bottom line is that uprisings have taken place in the past that have toppled established governments, and also served to push out occupying invading armies. Privately owned firearms and normal citizens undoubtedly had a role in those scenarios and contributed in some meaningful way. My estimate is that the true weapon of the civilian in those situations is the ability to pass information to organized resistance fighters who use, and used in the past, guerilla tactics to basically make a captured region not worth holding on to.

The original question was....

So realistically, does our right to keep and bear arms still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force, or is that more of a "Red Dawn" fantasy some cling to?

I think we can all agree the answer is yes, our right to keep and bear arms does still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force. We would however, given modern day tech., be a much reduced influence compared to the past, and it would mainly consist of support, information networking for our troops, and enemy harasment roles. In a stand up fight, a militia of armed citizens would undoubtedly be easily wiped out by an enemy military force (now a days). I think this is especially true when you consider the number of military personel, and the advanced level of tech that would be needed by an invading army to actually overwhelm or even establish a foothold on American soil. They would need some serious high tech arms to make it on to the mainland. I'm not saying it couldn't happen. I think there is a very real possibility from certain unnamed SE Asian countries. No, not N. Korea.

So........ the answer is yes. Everyone good with that? :)

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 11:16 AM
I never said it was all it takes. Don't distort my argument.

Then what's your point? Obviously it takes will to win a conflict but it takes other things, including effective weapons, which is what we're talking about.

And if you think that was the reason, you are ignorant of history. Professional armies have ALWAYS enjoyed a tremendous advantage over citizens, all the way back to ancient times. Back in the days of the American Revolution, Washington didn't beat the British with militia. He couldn't, and knew it. He had to raise and train a professional army of his own (enter Baron von Steuben), and get artillery and better arms and equipment from the French. Yet he and the rest of the founding fathers still saw it as vital to keep the citizenry armed.

If you believe the disparity of force between the american militia and the english army is comparable to the disparity of force between american citizens and a modern military today you ought not be calling anybody ignorant of history. Most armies struggle to evolve past fighting in the same manner as their previous war and you're still stuck 100 years back.

For the umpteenth time, guerrillas don't come out onto an open battlefield.

Ah, so body armor only works in open battlefield? I guess thermal does too?

Our army consists of roughly half a million active, and another half million reserve troops. Our population is over 300 million people. How do you expect an army, even one as advanced as ours, to hold down a population over 300 times its own size, scattered and without unified strong points that can be taken to end the war, when that population is determined to resist, many are willing to die, many of the soldiers don't really want any part of fighting their own people, etc. etc.?

If the entire population supports your imaginary revolt then there really woudn't be need for armed conflict, now would there?

Syrian rebels are laying down their arms. Assad thanks you for convincing them it's futile. Tyrants around the world rejoice Americans acknowledge their superiority.

The Vietnamese have officially surrendered to us as well since they too are convinced armed struggle against the American military was futile.

Okay, for the very last time. The resistance fighters are or did receive substantial military aid from defecting military and/or external governments. They did not just grab the rifles out of their closets, since very few had any to begin with, and take down a modern military force.

Billy Shears
April 26, 2013, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by JustinJ

Then what's your point? Obviously it takes will to win a conflict but it takes other things, including effective weapons, which is what we're talking about.
And small arms ARE effective weapons, when used in conjunctions with the right tactics.

Originally posted by JustinJ

If you believe the disparity of force between the american militia and the english army is comparable to the disparity of force between american citizens and a modern military today you ought not be calling anybody ignorant of history. Most armies struggle to evolve past fighting in the same manner as their previous war and you're still stuck 100 years back.
I'm not "stuck" anywhere. I'm looking at the whole scope of history, from the guerrilla campaigns of Quintus Sertorius in Roman republican times to the recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sure, the disparity of force is greater these days, but that's like the difference between a flyweight and welterweight getting into the ring with a heavyweight. So what if the disparity of force is greater between the flyweight and the heavyweight than it is between the welterweight and the heavyweight? In either case the heavyweight is going to monkey stomp the lighter fighter.

And from this precise moment in time, going all the way back to ancient times, any force of untrained irregulars is going to get clobbered by a professional army 99% of the time, if they ever fight a conventional military battle. They have to wage asymmetric warfare, guerrilla warfare, in order to have a chance. But when they do, they can beat a modern military. They can't beat them in the sense of winning decisive victories, but they can, and do, win by not losing. By making it clear that they will still be killing soldiers, blowing up bridges, assassinating government officials, etc. next year, or ten years from now, or fifty years from now, if need be, until the government is overthrown, or the invader leaves, or whatever. And many times throughout history, the conventional military has looked a scenario like that, and decided it wants no part of neverending guerrilla war, that it can't hope to win.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Ah, so body armor only works in open battlefield? I guess thermal does too?
Don't be obnoxiously obtuse. The point is -- and you damn well know it, so stop dodging and making smart ass comments --, that the point I am making is that small-scale engagements and ambushes, to say nothing of assassinations of key government or military figures -- all hallmarks of guerrilla tactics -- are precisely where small arms are most useful. The point is that guerrillas, if they are smart, avoid like the plague fighting pitched battles where heavy weapons or high tech weapons are most decisive. Instead they use hit and run tactics to strike and get away again before the enemy can bring his superior firepower to bear.

Originally posted by JustinJ

If the entire population supports your imaginary revolt then there really woudn't be need for armed conflict, now would there?
Yes, no tyrant in history has ever used military force to maintain his power after whatever popular support he once enjoyed has withered away and most of the people hate him. Never happened. :rolleyes:

Originally posted by JustinJ

Okay, for the very last time. The resistance fighters are or did receive substantial military aid from defecting military and/or external governments. They did not just grab the rifles out of their closets, since very few had any to begin with, and take down a modern military force.
So what? In Ireland they didn't. They got a handful of tommy guns from sympathizers in the States, but that was about it. They still won.

Every conflict is different. There are too many variables to point to one single factor as a universal truth.

It really is just this simple: if you were a tyrant, or a would be tyrant, and wanted to impose your will on a populace, would you prefer that they be armed or unarmed?

Vector
April 26, 2013, 12:19 PM
As an aside, I would like to point out that during World War 2, we had the bulk of our ground combat forces outside the Continental United States (CONUS). If one of our neighbors (to remain unnamed) had decided that it was a good time to regain lost territory and launched a major ground attack across the border, what forces would have been available to resist? Armed civilians organized into state guard units or resisting spontaneously as levees en masse. Red Dawn? Hardly, but unequal combat to start with since many of the neighboring country's senior soldiers had experience in what seemed to be near continuous revolutions. However, there were many veterans of World War One among the armed civilians who would have been called to resist.

I don't think armed citizens are overrated.

ECS
CPT, AR
USA (Ret)

A good point many do not think of.

Certaindeaf
April 26, 2013, 12:31 PM
Luke Skywalker had a friggin sabre for cripes sake!

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 01:25 PM
And small arms ARE effective weapons, when used in conjunctions with the right tactics.

The "right tactics" include use in conjunction with military equipment that I'm guessing you probably don't have.

Don't be obnoxiously obtuse. The point is -- and you damn well know it, so stop dodging and making smart ass comments --, that the point I am making is that small-scale engagements and ambushes, to say nothing of assassinations of key government or military figures -- all hallmarks of guerrilla tactics -- are precisely where small arms are most useful. The point is that guerrillas, if they are smart, avoid like the plague fighting pitched battles where heavy weapons or high tech weapons are most decisive. Instead they use hit and run tactics to strike and get away again before the enemy can bring his superior firepower to bear.

Uh huh. Once again, unless you have effective modern military weapons, you're just going to die tired after you waste a couple of rounds. What you seem to not understand, willfully, is that modern militaries have spent the last 70 years or so fighting against guerilla tactics and the technology has evolved dramatically to counter it. Hit and run is pointless when all you can do is deliver little love taps. This is exactly why insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan have resorted to converting military grade explosives and shells into IED's. Yes, they use guerilla tactics but when they do engage in direct contact it is in conjuction with mortars, RPG's, grenades, machine guns, radio communications, etc.

Yes, no tyrant in history has ever used military force to maintain his power after whatever popular support he once enjoyed has withered away and most of the people hate him. Never happened.

You threw out the entire population of the united states and now it's mostof the population.

So what? In Ireland they didn't. They got a handful of tommy guns from sympathizers in the States, but that was about it. They still won.

Wow, seriously, get off Ireland. Both sides were equipped with essentially the same weapons. WE LIVE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD.

It really is just this simple: if you were a tyrant, or a would be tyrant, and wanted to impose your will on a populace, would you prefer that they be armed or unarmed?

No, I'm afraid there is a little more to it than that. Just because a tyrant would prefer his opposition not be armed does mean they are anything more than a minor annoyance.

RX-178
April 26, 2013, 01:46 PM
JustinJ, it's come to the point where I just have to ask this of you.

If you can explain the point you're trying to make with your arguments, and do it in under three sentences, could you please do that for me?

And in addition, since you SEEM (I could be wrong) to be arguing why the 2nd Amendment ISN'T relevant to modern America, would you mind telling me why you support it, if you do at all?

holdencm9
April 26, 2013, 01:47 PM
Another thing I don't think people think about is commandeering of enemy weapons. Sure, most civilians don't have artillery or RPG's (well some do) but get a couple dozen people to ambush a supply route, might hit the jackpot.

Even so, I think some people vastly over-estimate the capabilities of "modern" military. Not all units are equipped like you see on modern marvels or future weapons.

Billy Shears
April 26, 2013, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by JustinJ

The "right tactics" include use in conjunction with military equipment that I'm guessing you probably don't have.
The right tactics means making the best use of the weapons you do have, and being smart and hitting the enemy where he's vulnerable, and avoiding him where he's strong. You can cause a lot of mayhem with just small arms if you use them intelligently. Guerrillas know this, even if you don't.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Uh huh. Once again, unless you have effective modern military weapons, you're just going to die tired after you waste a couple of rounds. What you seem to not understand, willfully, is that modern militaries have spent the last 70 years or so fighting against guerilla tactics and the technology has evolved dramatically to counter it. Hit and run is pointless when all you can do is deliver little love taps. This is exactly why insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan have resorted to converting military grade explosives and shells into IED's. Yes, they use guerilla tactics but when they do engage in direct contact it is in conjuction with mortars, RPG's, grenades, machine guns, radio communications, etc.
So what? You seem to be arguing from the premise that a popular resistance by people using personally owned small arms must somehow necessarily be limited only to those small arms, and the guerrillas will never be able to obtain other weaponry. This is NONSENSE. No guerrilla force ever fought that way. But if I were organizing a resistance movement, I would sure as hell prefer my resistance fighters start out with some weaponry rather than none. It would sure as hell make acquiring other weapons easier as the conflict unfolds.

Originally posted by JustinJ

You threw out the entire population of the united states and now it's mostof the population.
So? You're looking at things in very unrealistic, black and white terms. If you are a soldier in an army that is 1/300th the size of the population you are trying to hold down, it goes without saying that some of those 300 are going to be collaborators, some are going to be people who just want to ignore both sides of the conflict, some are going to be hostile, and some are going to be active rebels. But how do you know which ones are which? You somehow have to keep watch over them all. And the harsher the methods you use to keep them down, the more you risk pushing more and more people into the rebel camp, as well as losing the support of those on your own side who are uncomfortable with such harsh measures. In addition to ambushes and bombs and so forth, the rebels will be engaging in sabotage, destroying the infrastructure you depend on to maintain your high tech military. A resistance movement, if it has enough support from a population, can make life pure hell for an occupying army. Enough to make them give up sometimes.
Originally posted by JustinJ

Wow, seriously, get off Ireland. Both sides were equipped with essentially the same weapons. WE LIVE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD.

Bzzzt! Wrong! Thank you for playing! Did the Irish have machine guns? No. Did the Irish have artillery? No. Did the Irish have tanks and armored vehicles? No. Did the Irish have planes? No. They were NOT equipped with essentially the same weapons. They were massively outgunned. This is why, as I said earlier, when they attempted a rising in 1916, using conventional tactics, and attempted to face the British like a conventional army, they were not just defeated, but crushed in a mere six days. The disparity of force was massive. I will most certainly not "get off Ireland" because it provides a great, highly relevant example, from modern, post-industrial history, of what a difference the right tactics can make to a rebellion when one side has all the firepower and the other has almost none. You have one rising, using conventional warfare tactics, crushed in days by overwhelming superiority; then a few years later, you have the same people facing that same massively superior occupying force using guerrilla warfare, and still having few weapons other than small arms, and it exhausted the British will to fight and achieved victory.

Originally posted by JustinJ

No, I'm afraid there is a little more to it than that. Just because a tyrant would prefer his opposition not be armed does mean they are anything more than a minor annoyance.
Then why have tyrants throughout history always sought to deprive their people of arms?

Now you are simply in a position of being stubborn and refusing to concede a point where almost no one can't see you are wrong.

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 02:00 PM
If you can explain the point you're trying to make with your arguments, and do it in under three sentences, could you please do that for me?

Modern militaries can not be defeated armed with nothing but guns and weapons improvised from home depot. When modern militaries are defeated it is by rebel groups with external military support or a large enough part of the military defects. This is not all that is needed but it is critical.

And in addition, since you SEEM (I could be wrong) to be arguing why the 2nd Amendment ISN'T relevant to modern America, would you mind telling me why you support it, if you do at all?

Regardless of original intent the second amendment is still law and will remain so unless amended through due legislative process. Yes, i like and support the second amendment. Just because i support the second amendmet that doesn't mean i have to blindly adopt any argument for it no matter how ridiculous and live in some Red Dawn fantasy.

While i'm not a conspiracy theorists i do believe it possible for society to collapse due to natural disasters and what not. In such a case having an AR or AK would be highly valuable.

RX-178
April 26, 2013, 02:05 PM
Okay, then let's put a hypothetical situation. That shouldn't be a problem, since the majority of this thread has been about hypothetical situations, but let me steer it in a different direction.

Let's say a convention is held to amend the Constitution. Doesn't matter who is in office, or what party, let's leave all that out of it. WHOEVER is in office at the time holds a convention to amend the Constitution, the state Governors send their representatives, etc. etc.

They look at the Constitution and go, 'Hey now, that 2nd Amendment. You know, a militia, consisting of an armed populace, they'd get squashed in a heartbeat by any opposing tyrannical force, whether it be foreign or of our own Government. That Amendment is no longer relevant the way it's written. Let's rewrite it.'

Let's say they rewrote it like this:

'Legally owned firearms being necessary for the security of the citizenry, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'

Would you be okay with that?

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 02:28 PM
RX-178, you can put "for the purpose of looking pretty" before "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" if you wish. It doesn't change what the the law provides. It might in theory affect how a law is interpreted but there is no question that the supreme court has not read the second amendment to mean "whatever weapons are necessary to defeat the government" to begin with.

GrOuNd_ZeRo
April 26, 2013, 02:30 PM
IMO armed citizens are not equipped to do anything BUT Guerillia fighting, our main sources of defense are taken from us during the GCA's.

Machineguns, Anti-Tank guns and explosives.

RX-178
April 26, 2013, 02:52 PM
Then, JustinJ, could I paraphrase your point as being: Tyranny is inevitable, regardless of an armed population?

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 02:58 PM
Then, JustinJ, could I paraphrase your point as being: Tyranny is inevitable, regardless of an armed population?

No, you can't. Where on earth from my comments did you get "tyranny is inevitable"?

RX-178
April 26, 2013, 03:00 PM
I apologize, this following statement confused me:

Just because a tyrant would prefer his opposition not be armed does mean they are anything more than a minor annoyance.

So if tyranny is NOT in fact inevitable, what actually DOES prevent it?

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 03:08 PM
So if tyranny is NOT in fact inevitable, what actually DOES prevent it?

What does that really have to do with whether or not fighters with just privately owned guns can defeat a modern military? There is no one single silver bullet against tyranny and why countries follow any one course over another is always a complex subject. Not to mention tyranny would first have to be defined.

Regardless, you aren't going to walk me into some trap with leading questions so if you are trying to make a point please just do so.

Also, regarding the above statement, my only point is that a tyrant, no matter how powerful and easily able to crush the opposition, would prefer there be none.

RX-178
April 26, 2013, 03:12 PM
I'm not trying to lead you anywhere. I made my point* before this debate on guerrilla warfare even began on this thread. What I am trying to do, is to understand YOUR point.

(*to summarize: The 2nd Amendment doesn't provide for an armed overthrow of the government, but stands as a deterrence through armed and, if necessary, violent resistance to unconstitutional deprivations of Life, Liberty, and/or the Ownership of Property)

joeschmoe
April 26, 2013, 03:19 PM
Okay, for the very last time. The resistance fighters are or did receive substantial military aid from defecting military and/or external governments. They did not just grab the rifles out of their closets, since very few had any to begin with, and take down a modern military force.
Just like in every similar conflict. Past, present or future. It would be absurd to assume that any military would not have defectors in a civil war, or that both sides would not receive outside help. We are better armed than most.
You seem to forget that we were driven out of Vietnam, and the Russians were driven out of Afghanistan, by lightly armed peasants. The Syrians rebels have had little outside support against tanks, planes and a large modern military. Much of their gear was taken from the government, with small arms. They certainly did not start with "substantial" outside support.
No one should assume that either side would have an easy or quick victory in such an internal struggle. The only certainty would be that both sides would suffer heavy losses.

tomrkba
April 26, 2013, 03:25 PM
deleted

HoosierQ
April 26, 2013, 03:31 PM
You know, all things consider, amongst "us", probably so. I think few of us would, for example, step up and stop that mass shooting, use our CCW to apprehend the armed suspect, etc. Much discussion here, prior, has been offered on this. So I think the realities vs the ideal don't sync up in that sense.

OTH I think more Americans than not, even after the media and political blitz, want the abilitity to protect themselves, their families, their homes, and maybe to a lesser extent their property (especially like protecting livestock from feral dogs, coyotes, etc). I think in this sense, the thing is valued and valuable to many people...I think even to a fair number of people who don't own a gun...and thus is not overrated.

I think a lot of people understand, to one degree or another, that an armed society at least can be a polite society.

On balance, armed citizens are valuable in our society, regardless of the complexity of the subject.

splattergun
April 26, 2013, 03:41 PM
A major purpose of the 2nd amendment was to provide for the effective defense of a free state. From what I understand, the backbone of this defense was to be based off a system similar to what the Swiss have today.

While we don't have hostile nations who could even reach us, in the span of a few generations time, the world could look very different.

Yet, our most recent real life examples don't inspire confidence in me that our right to bear arms would do much of anything to protect us. Granted, most of these cases are against us, but they provide a case study. We lost Vietnam politically, and the Soviets lost Afganistan. Today, we've pretty much won in Iraq, and Afganistan, while not entirely free, is going better than when the Soviets tried.

These examples don't seem to inspire confidence in the 2nd amendment being a safeguard against much except criminals.

So realistically, does our right to keep and bear arms still hold relevance as far as defending ourselves from an outside force, or is that more of a "Red Dawn" fantasy some cling to?

The Founders considered RTKBA from many angles including, but not limited to, personal defense, community defense and defense of the state. All of those are currently, and in my opinion always will be, valid and relevant arguments in favor of RTKBA.

The examples you cite of Vietnam and Afghanistan actually prove the value of RTKBA for national defense. It was citizen soldiers in both cases, backed by regulars and allies, that did the bulk of the fighting. The farmer with his old SKS and his hit-and-run tactics did a lot of damage to the invading forces, both physically and mentally. Slowly bleeding an enemy one shot at a time has proven to be a military and politically valuable strategy many times over many centuries. Sun Tzu got it right in Art of War. Virtually every "Arab Spring" revolt of the past couple years was successful because of armed citizens. TIme and time again, just the opposite has also proven true... disarm the citizens and they can't fight their own government (nor any other).

The "Red Dawn" fantasy aside, don't be so complacent to believe that no other nation can reach us. Russia and China both still have missiles pointed at us with contingency plans of war against us (as we also have). Our borders are porous, technology is advancing, and there will always be nations and individuals that hate our society. With the liberty of arms comes the responsibility of vigilance.

btg3
April 26, 2013, 03:45 PM
...i do believe it possible for society to collapse due to natural disasters and what not. In such a case having an AR or AK would be highly valuable.
Are you speaking of local collapse such as Katrina or federal collapse?
Not sure how you would have made out with a rifle in New Orleans.

joeschmoe
April 26, 2013, 03:46 PM
On the flip side, is being UNarmed overrated? Ask the peasants in Mexico; with more than 10 times our murder rate, institutional corruption, near slave conditions forced by government and gangsters alike (frequently the same uniform).

Almost no legal civilian ownership in Mexico.

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 03:48 PM
Just like in every similar conflict. Past, present or future. It would be absurd to assume that any military would not have defectors in a civil war, or that both sides would not receive outside help. We are better armed than most.
You seem to forget that we were driven out of Vietnam, and the Russians were driven out of Afghanistan, by lightly armed peasants. The Syrians rebels have had little outside support against tanks, planes and a large modern military. Much of their gear was taken from the government, with small arms. They certainly did not start with "substantial" outside support.
No one should assume that either side would have an easy or quick victory in such an internal struggle. The only certainty would be that both sides would suffer heavy losses.

I'd suggest a little homework as to just how many and kinds of weapons were in civilians hands before the conflicts started. Their successes had nothing to do with privately owned weapons. Would already having a good number of weapons be an advantage if they also received the necessary external support. Yeah, probably, but good luck finding an outside country to provide such support to rebellion within the US.

Certaindeaf
April 26, 2013, 04:09 PM
I don't know who has "overrated" the armed citizen.. they just are. Thank God.

joeschmoe
April 26, 2013, 04:13 PM
I'd suggest a little homework as to just how many and kinds of weapons were in civilians hands before the conflicts started. Their successes had nothing to do with privately owned weapons. Would already having a good number of weapons be an advantage if they also received the necessary external support. Yeah, probably, but good luck finding an outside country to provide such support to rebellion within the US.

I think lots of countries would jump at the chance to support an insurgency in the US. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" strategy. We know Russia had such plans in place. Certainly China, Al-queda, N.korea, Pakistan, Iran, etc. Our enemies would benefit from any internal conflict. They would gladly support it. It would be illogical to assume that 100% of our military personnel would blindly follow orders to kill Americans. Especially the state guard units. Texas?
I did not claim the Syrian's success had to do with privately owned weapons. Straw-man argument, but they certainly would have been better off if they had our level of private ownership. The point is civilians rebelling against a large modern military with tanks and planes are not easy to defeat. Both the American and Russian modern Military's have failed to defeat guerrilla insurgencies. Victory over insurgents is not certain.

Certaindeaf
April 26, 2013, 04:20 PM
Anyone willing to trade his life is essentially unstoppable. Of course ability comes in to play.. hands, weapons, whatever.

rdhood
April 26, 2013, 04:35 PM
Wars have not been won by rifles for a looong time. Fantasies about regular Joe and his personal AR defeating a modern military, foreign or domestic, are just that..fantasies. People who believe otherwise simply do so because they want to and refuse to maintain any degree of objectivity on the subject. AR15 vs Apache Helicopter with thermal imaging; hmm, who would win? Worst of all this talk makes gun owners look paranoid and delusional.


LOL. When I read utter nonsense like the above, I am reminded of the movie "Zulu Dawn"

Do you REALLY think 80 MILLION "regular Joe's" armed with semi automatic rifles, and the ability to arm another 220 million, would be impotent against the U.S. government? Do you really think ALL of the Helicopter pilots, tank drivers, bomber pilots, etc, will side with the Government against their families? Seriously?

It is YOU who are delusional. 80 to 300 million armed citizens is a force to be reckoned with... by ANY Army. Nothing less than full scale chemical warfare would put down that many U.S. citizens.

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 05:03 PM
It is YOU who are delusional. 80 to 300 million armed citizens is a force to be reckoned with... by ANY Army. Nothing less than full scale chemical warfare would put down that many U.S. citizens.

Right, you think it plausible that infants, toddlers and the elderly will be grabbing their AR's to battle the evil dictator and i'm the delusional one. Yes, it will be the entire population(infants and all) vs one evil tyrant sitting on his throne in his ivory tower because in civil wars it's not like there are supporters and opposition of the government or anything.

I suppose you also think Russia one day just decided to role into Afghanistan and it was the entire Afghan population fighting against Ivan.

LNK
April 26, 2013, 05:27 PM
Right, you think it plausible that infants, toddlers and the elderly will be grabbing their AR's to battle the evil dictator and i'm the delusional one. Yes, it will be the entire population(infants and all) vs one evil tyrant sitting on his throne in his ivory tower because in civil wars it's not like there are supporters and opposition of the government or anything.

I suppose you also think Russia one day just decided to role into Afghanistan and it was the entire Afghan population fighting against Ivan.

I think it is funny when someone nit picks a detail in your post, you give them all kinds of grief about it. Yet you do the same thing. What he means, and I am sure you know this, is the armed US population of whatever number, would be a formidable foe against any army. Justin, and I mean this in the best way, you always seem to try to wind people up. I don't post much, but I find your position in a lot of threads "peculiar" for a pro "RTKBA" guy, that you say you are....

Doesn't your last sentence kinda prove his point?

LNK

JRH6856
April 26, 2013, 05:30 PM
They can post government reactions to the internet.

Well, probably not if they keep shooting the transformers. :neener:

JohnBiltz
April 26, 2013, 05:36 PM
Justin, I'm really curious what your military background is.

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 05:44 PM
Justin, and I mean this in the best way, you always seem to try to wind people up. I don't post much, but I find your position in a lot of threads "peculiar" for a pro "RTKBA" guy, that you say you are....

Do you mean to say that because i believe in a right to own guns and self defense i must automatically assume certain other positions regardless of validity? To me those are called distortions, have truths or lies and my refusal to adopt them blindly often draws fire.

And yeah, i do get accused of "winding people" up but i find it funny because those accusations are generally made by people who seem to have no problem with others attacking me in the same manner. It's the same hypocricy as those who constanlty complain about lies and ignorance by the gun control crowd but just grin and go along with piles of it from the pro gun side.

nelsonal
April 26, 2013, 05:45 PM
Justin,
Take the examples of Dorner, the Tsarnaev Brothers, and the Beltway Snipers. With no civilian support, they let thousands of active searchers on manhunts that lasted several days. Now consider how long the Altanta Olympic bomber remained hidden even as he continued to set bombs within Atlanta (several years with the aid of others), none of these people were high speed, low drag operators.

Would you agree that a few thousand similar assymetric operations would overwhelm a tyrannt's ability to find them all in any reasonable time (with or without citizen support)? Now consider that there are 80-100 million gun owners in the US. If 1 in 100 became guerillas that's 1,000x my estimate of an overwhelming number.

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 05:55 PM
Justin,
Take the examples of Dorner, the Tsarnaev Brothers, and the Beltway Snipers. With no civilian support, they let thousands of active searchers on manhunts that lasted several days. Now consider how long the Altanta Olympic bomber remained hidden even as he continued to set bombs within Atlanta (several years with the aid of others), none of these people were high speed, low drag operators.

First, those people attacked innocent civilians so unless your position is that this thoeretical rebellion is going to do the same i fail to see the relevance. Finding and sniping or bombing high value government or military targets in time of war is quite different than civilians going about their normal lives in a time of peace.

Second, there ability to get away such acts would be quite different in a police state or under martial law.

Third, what did they really accomplish? Media stirred up a minor panick but the aside from the victims and their families there was no impact on the governments ability to function.

Would you agree that a few thousand similar assymetric operations would overwhelm a tyrannt's ability to find them all in any reasonable time (with or without citizen support)? Now consider that there are 80-100 million gun owners in the US. If 1 in 100 became guerillas that's 1,000x my estimate of an overwhelming number.

So what if they don't? Attacking civilians is hardly a good way for a rebellion to gain public support. That isn't going to even begin to topple a government.

Justin, I'm really curious what your military background is.

Ad hominem? Let me just say this. I know of a retired military officer who made it to one of the highest ranks there is, is pro 2nd amendment and laughed at the notion that american civilians with their personal weapons could defeat the military and overthrow the government.

Cosmoline
April 26, 2013, 06:01 PM
There's a darker side to this, too. If push comes to shove the private arms give us the ability to leave the field for good, forever. Which ain't so easy when you're trying to use a kitchen knife on your wrist. Justin overstates the power of the high tech military, but if we are doomed to an Orwellian nightmare I at least want that one last option to exit. Maybe take some of them with me.

rdhood
April 26, 2013, 06:15 PM
Right, you think it plausible that infants, toddlers and the elderly will be grabbing their AR's to battle the evil dictator and i'm the delusional one.


No. I think it is plausible that somewhere between 80 and 300 million people would resist a tyranny. That is what I wrote, and I stand by it. The rest of the words are yours alone, and yes, you are delusional.

LNK
April 26, 2013, 06:16 PM
Do you mean to say that because i believe in a right to own guns and self defense i must automatically assume certain other positions regardless of validity? To me those are called distortions, have truths or lies and my refusal to adopt them blindly often draws fire.

And yeah, i do get accused of "winding people" up but i find it funny because those accusations are generally made by people who seem to have no problem with others attacking me in the same manner. It's the same hypocricy as those who constanlty complain about lies and ignorance by the gun control crowd but just grin and go along with piles of it from the pro gun side.

First of all, I am not attacking you. Second, you are wrong. Name a tyrannical government that started with an armed population like the U.S. There isn't one. Never has there been one. If hypothetically they tried it here, it would be stopped in its tracks quickly.

You talk pf disparity of forces. Why do we issue our soldiers and Marines rifles? Why do we even have boots on the ground? Our disparity of force is so overwhelming....

LNK

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 06:36 PM
First of all, I am not attacking you. Second, you are wrong. Name a tyrannical government that started with an armed population like the U.S. There isn't one. Never has there been one. If hypothetically they tried it here, it would be stopped in its tracks quickly.

I didn't mean to imply that you are. What i'm saying is the "winding up" is going both ways.
I suppose it depends on how you define "armed" but Germany comes to mind. Afghanistan post Russian occupation although that was a unique case as they were just coming out of a major conflict. Russians had arms before the communists took power. Many countries ruled by dictators became that way in the wake of wars with neighbors or just have just remained aristocracies for centuries. I can't say for sure but i don't believe guns were outlawed before Franco came to power in Spain or Mussolini in Italy.

I can name quite a few countries that aren't armed but somehow haven't fallen to tyranny such as Australia and England. In fact the world is full of western style democracies that lack dictators but have draconian gun laws.

You talk pf disparity of forces. Why do we issue our soldiers and Marines rifles? Why do we even have boots on the ground? Our disparity of force is so overwhelming....

Because they use those weapons in conjuction with heavy firepower, when more precision is required and to allow self defense while minimizing civilian casualties. I'm not saying armed civilians couldn't kill any soldiers. I'm saying they couldn't kill enough to overthrow a dictator backed by the military.

LNK
April 26, 2013, 06:46 PM
I'm saying they couldn't kill enough to overthrow a dictator backed by the military.

Which is really the problem, at least for now, that the liberty minded folks comprise "most" of the armed civilian population as well as the military. Which makes it a little hard for a tyrant, from even within the military, from trying anything. Ask the General next time you talk to him if that derails a would be tyrant?

As for the other countries you mentioned, different scenarios. I imagine those countries did not have a founding in liberty.....

LNK

Billy Shears
April 26, 2013, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by JustinJ

First, those people attacked innocent civilians so unless your position is that this thoeretical rebellion is going to do the same i fail to see the relevance.
Classic “moving the goalposts” fallacy. Do you imagine for an instant, that if the Tsarnaev brothers had planted their bombs in government buildings or on a military installation, that the hunt for them would have been one iota less intense, or demanding of resources? If your answer to that question is yes, you have an honesty problem.

The point he is making, and which you are dodging, is that even one incident of that kind makes demands on the limited available resources for a response. Many such incidents can overwhelm those resources. Even worse, smart guerrillas can set up an incident, then target the responders themselves, which has all kinds of nasty effects, like destroying some of those responding assets, and hurting morale among the ones left.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Finding and sniping or bombing high value government or military targets in time of war is quite different than civilians going about their normal lives in a time of peace.
And yet insurgents still manage to do it.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Second, there ability to get away such acts would be quite different in a police state or under martial law.
It must shock you to learn that the Nazis didn’t either round up or suppress all the French, Dutch, Belgian, Norwegian, and other resistance fighters, or the partisans operating behind their lines in the Soviet territory they overran, despite both being a police state and imposing martial law.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Third, what did they really accomplish? Media stirred up a minor panick but the aside from the victims and their families there was no impact on the governments ability to function.
That’s because it was an isolated incident. It’s an altogether different thing when there isn’t just one terrorist group or cell, but a whole population out there that hates the regime, an unknown, but significant number of which are engaged in active resistance.

Originally posted by JustinJ

So what if they don't? Attacking civilians is hardly a good way for a rebellion to gain public support. That isn't going to even begin to topple a government.
No, but if the civilians don’t like the government, and the rebels attack it… You’re focusing on the aspect of this example that is irrelevant, and ignoring the part that isn’t. I suspect deliberately.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Ad hominem?
Not at all. When you speak with finality about a subject, everyone has a perfect right to ask if your knowledge of that subject is anything other than purely theoretical.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Let me just say this. I know of a retired military officer who made it to one of the highest ranks there is, is pro 2nd amendment and laughed at the notion that american civilians with their personal weapons could defeat the military and overthrow the government.
In other words, you have no experience. (I have, BTW, as a former 11B infantry NCO, and a current LEO in a good-sized city.) So what if you know a retired officer of high rank? Maybe he’s sharp and maybe he isn’t. The list of incompetents promoted to general’s rank is a long one (e.g. George A. Custer, Lloyd Fredendall, Maurice Gamelin, and it seems, half the generals who have been running our campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You seem to be under the impression that we all think a mass uprising of civilians with hunting rifles could topple the government in a sudden revolution, actually defeating and destroying significant numbers of troops. That’s not what we’re arguing. Again, I suspect this is something you’re doing deliberately, given how many times the point’s been clarified. We’re pointing out that armed resistance, if it grew widespread enough, could ultimately bring down a regime by somewhat indirect means.

As troop moral sinks (especially as some would sympathize with the rebels in any civil war such as we’re envisioning), as more and more critical infrastructure is destroyed, as more and more government and military leaders are assassinated, it becomes harder and harder for a government simply to maintain control – enforce laws, collect taxes, regulate commerce, maintain roads and power grids and communication networks, etc. etc. As the government’s ability to do these things suffers, the regime looks less and less in control, and the leader, less and less equal to the crisis. Overly harsh measures used to restore order run the significant risk of backfiring, driving more people into the arms of the rebels, and costing the government support both at home and abroad. When things get bad enough for the regime or the leader, and the political enemies smell blood, they leader gets closer and closer to being toppled. And all the while, the rebels are continuing to fight, capturing weapons, acquiring them from foreign sources sympathetic to their cause, etc. etc. When enough of a population turns against the government, and has the means of resistance, even in a modern state, with all the technology and military power that implies, a ruler or government can find its position simply untenable. Once a leader loses the confidence of those under him, and his order start to be subverted or even ignored, it doesn't matter how much military power he started with.

All this demands more than simply that the people be armed. They need the right leadership, organization, tactics, popular support, foreign allies or sympathizers, and so on, but to dismiss armed citizens of no account is a foolish oversight.

nelsonal
April 26, 2013, 07:17 PM
First, those people attacked innocent civilians so unless your position is that this thoeretical rebellion is going to do the same i fail to see the relevance. Finding and sniping or bombing high value government or military targets in time of war is quite different than civilians going about their normal lives in a time of peace.

Second, there ability to get away such acts would be quite different in a police state or under martial law.

Third, what did they really accomplish? Media stirred up a minor panick but the aside from the victims and their families there was no impact on the governments ability to function.



So what if they don't? Attacking civilians is hardly a good way for a rebellion to gain public support. That isn't going to even begin to topple a government.


I brought them up because all three were situations where massive manhunts occurred and failed to find them until civillian tips led to their discovery. When civillians aided the fugitive (in the Atlanta case) he evaded capture for several years. Also these were isolated, a million guerrillas (1/100th of gun owners) would strain even a much more strict police state. The French Resistance seemed to survive a more brutal invasive police state than I hope most Americans would tolerate.

With the massive amount of infrastructure required to sustain modern life, I would expect there would be plenty of soft targets (not including citizens). A short, quick list would be interstate highways, the power grid, pipelines, all of which need to be long in the US, and would strain resources to fully harden. Tyrants need to provide a certain level of services to hold power, this would be impossible with soft infrastructure under frequent attack (even if sabotoge is ignored).

Finally, how do you square your belief with the results of the Millenium Challenge 2002 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002)? An asymmetric force using novel strategies sank an aircraft carrier and 10 cruisers and more following a cruise missile attack. Our hypothetical guerrillas wouldn't be as well trained as the simulated military, but very little of the equipment used couldn't be improvised.

JustinJ
April 26, 2013, 07:30 PM
Classic “moving the goalposts” fallacy. Do you imagine for an instant, that if the Tsarnaev brothers had planted their bombs in government buildings or on a military installation, that the hunt for them would have been one iota less intense, or demanding of resources? If your answer to that question is yes, you have an honesty problem.

Pointing out a lack of relevance is not "moving the goal posts". If you believe that it would just as easy to plant a bomb in a government building or military complex during a revolt in a police state then you might want to consider who has the honesty, or at least the reality problem. A government would divert it's resources accordingly. So what? Having to hunt down multiple terrorists is a long way from being overthrown.


The point he is making, and which you are dodging, is that even one incident of that kind demands limited available resources for a response. Many such incidents can overwhelm those resources. Even worse, smart guerrillas can set up an incident, then target the responders themselves, which has all kinds of nasty effects, like destroying some of those responding assets, and hurting morale among the ones left.

Yeah, if they had access to real explosives. Given how many people were crowded around the boston devices in such a small area makes it obvious why low order explosives make such a poor choice for attack.

It must shock you to learn that the Nazis didn’t either round up or suppress all the French, Dutch, Belgian, Norwegian, and other resistance fighters, or the partisans operating behind their lines in the Soviet territory they overran, despite both being a police state and imposing martial law.

No, they didn't. Probably had something to do with the fact that the vast bulk of their military was fighting the allied armies. Might also be because the allied armies eventually liberated those areas and countries. This is all really beside the point unless you are next going to tell me the partisans and resistance fighters were about to defeat the german army anyways.

No, but if the civilians don’t like the government, and the rebels attack it… You’re focusing on the aspect of this example that is irrelevant, and ignoring the part that isn’t. I suspect deliberately.

I'm pointing out an aspect which isn't convenient to your position. This analogy proves NOTHING.

Not at all. When you speak with finality about a subject, everyone has a perfect right to ask if your knowledge of that subject is anything other than purely theoretical.

Finality? Expressing my position and defending it is no more speaking with finality than any other here. When one diverts discussion to the debater rather than the debate, that is ad hominem.

In other words, you have no experience. (I have, BTW, as a former 11B infantry NCO, and a current LEO in a good-sized city.) So what if you know a retired officer of high rank? Maybe he’s sharp and maybe he isn’t. The list of incompetents promoted to general’s rank is a long one (e.g. George A. Custer, Lloyd Fredendall, Maurice Gamelin, and it seems, half the generals who have been running our campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ahhh, i see. So if some with military experience aren't that "sharp" then why did you ask to begin with? You introduce it as a standard of being right but then back peddle when I mention that a person with an icredibly high amount of military experience and knowledge disagrees with your position. For the record, the man i mentioned holds a doctorate and is extremely "sharp".

You seem to be under the impression that we all think a mass uprising of civilians with hunting rifles could topple the government in a sudden revolution, actually defeating and destroying significant numbers of troops. That’s not what we’re arguing. Again, I suspect this is something you’re doing deliberately, given how many times the point’s been clarified. We’re pointing out that armed resistance, if it grew widespread enough, could ultimately bring down a regime by somewhat indirect means.

No, i'm sure your specific fantasy is plenty unique.

I've clearly addressed war of attrition multiple times.

All this demands more than simply that the people be armed. They need the right leadership, organization, tactics, popular support, foreign allies or sympathizers, and so on, but to dismiss armed citizens of no account is a foolish oversight.

If foreign support is necessary, which I'm glad we agree upon, then an armed populace shouldn't be necessary to deter tyranny to begin with. If it is possible that the rebel forces can get external or internal military aid to fight with then a government would be dettered from tyranny regardless.

nelsonal
April 26, 2013, 07:30 PM
I'm not saying armed civilians couldn't kill any soldiers. I'm saying they couldn't kill enough to overthrow a dictator backed by the military.

I suspect the difference in outlook is that your standard seems to be to directly overthrow the military backed government, when our point is the goal is to make it impossible for the government to provide the services that even tyrants must. When the bread, circuses, and safety are impossible to provide, the tyrant will fall.

Kiln
April 26, 2013, 07:35 PM
I think the best tactic is to follow JustinJ's example and give up all my firearms because it is futile to resist anyways since technology has rendered firearms ineffective (despite constant casualties in Afghanistan which is about as low tech as you can get).

Then I'll just bend on over and accept government control over everything when the time comes.

nelsonal
April 26, 2013, 07:43 PM
Yeah, if they had access to real explosives. Given how many people were crowded around the boston devices in such a small area makes it obvious why low order explosives make such a poor choice for attack.


Urea nitrate is a high explosive that only requires air, water, urine, a transformer (and some chemistry equipment).

Cosmoline
April 26, 2013, 08:09 PM
Without the gun there is no chance. With it there is a little. Why do you think so many in power try so very hard to disarm us?

Citing an unnamed officer who laughed at the idea of resistance as proof of anything is not terribly convincing. I agree that in battle no small arms are a match for modern high-tech weaponry. But they don't have to be. They simply have to raise the costs enough by presenting real and potential threats behind every door. No government can function if every single agent of that government, and his family, is subject to continuous threat by a sufficient number of armed enemies. No high tech military can survive without a huge and reliable tax roll. That doesn't happen when you have to level your own cities and shut down your own economy.

Hitler survived the partisans not because of his military might, but because he was extremely popular right up to the end. Though nobody admitted it afterwards, the vast majority of Germans LOVED that man and what he represented. Enough to fight to the death for him in many cases. A better example of a tyrant would be Gaddaffi or Ceaușescu, who did not have the support of the people and who fell to armed resistance.

Kiln
April 26, 2013, 09:14 PM
Without the gun there is no chance. With it there is a little. Why do you think so many in power try so very hard to disarm us?

Citing an unnamed officer who laughed at the idea of resistance as proof of anything is not terribly convincing. I agree that in battle no small arms are a match for modern high-tech weaponry. But they don't have to be. They simply have to raise the costs enough by presenting real and potential threats behind every door. No government can function if every single agent of that government, and his family, is subject to continuous threat by a sufficient number of armed enemies. No high tech military can survive without a huge and reliable tax roll. That doesn't happen when you have to level your own cities and shut down your own economy.

Hitler survived the partisans not because of his military might, but because he was extremely popular right up to the end. Though nobody admitted it afterwards, the vast majority of Germans LOVED that man and what he represented. Enough to fight to the death for him in many cases. A better example of a tyrant would be Gaddaffi or Ceaușescu, who did not have the support of the people and who fell to armed resistance.
Hitler won the election by a landslide and was very popular until near the end of the war.

Billy Shears
April 26, 2013, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by JustinJ

Pointing out a lack of relevance is not "moving the goal posts".
You most certainly are moving the goal posts, because it is relevant. The point being made is that any attack requires a response from the forces of the government. And government’s resources are finite. Even a single attack on a single target uses up a great many. When a government is subject to multiple attacks, it strains those finite resources, and may exceed them. You attempt to wave that away by saying “this doesn’t count because it’s not a government target.” Well sorry, nice try, but that’s moving the goal posts.

Originally posted by JustinJ

If you believe that it would just as easy to plant a bomb in a government building or military complex during a revolt in a police state then you might want to consider who has the honesty, or at least the reality problem.
Who said anything was going to be easy? If people are in a situation of active, armed resistance to their own government, it’s going to be anything but easy. But “not easy” is a long, long way from “futile.”

Originally posted by JustinJ

A government would divert it's resources accordingly. So what? Having to hunt down multiple terrorists is a long way from being overthrown.
Here you are with that black/white thinking again. If it doesn’t result in the governments overthrow, it must be useless. Not by a long shot. I know you just hate it when I cite the example of the Irish War of Independence, so I’ll do it again. :D When patrols couldn’t travel without being ambushed half the time, and when government officials couldn’t poke their noses out of their fortified enclaves without being shot, and when the harsh reprisals the British engaged in not only caused more and more people to join the Irish rebels, but it also caused widespread condemnation of Britain abroad, and even tremendous loss of support for the government at home in Britain, it utterly crippled the ability of the British to administer that province of their empire.

The Irish didn’t throw the British out in any conventional military sense. There was no Battle of Yorktown there where the British acknowledged military defeat and surrendered. The Irish won not a single large scale engagement. In fact, they avoided having any, lest there be a repeat of the disaster of 1916. All they inflicted were those bothersome little pinpricks you sneeringly dismiss as utterly useless. And yet, unable to govern the province of Ireland, and with popular opinion turning against them, and no prospect at all that the Irish were ever going to give up the struggle, the British decided to negotiate a peace, and the Irish effectively achieved independence.

Originally posted by JustinJ

No, they didn't. Probably had something to do with the fact that the vast bulk of their military was fighting the allied armies. Might also be because the allied armies eventually liberated those areas and countries. This is all really beside the point unless you are next going to tell me the partisans and resistance fighters were about to defeat the german army anyways.
They certainly made it impossible for the Germans to achieve victory, even in those places, like the Ukraine, where the Germans had initially been welcomed as liberators, and could have had the population spying and sabotaging for them instead of against them.

In order to crush these groups, the Germans would have had to resort to genocidal measures, like the Soviets did against the Kulaks in the 1930s. Not every government is willing to go to such lengths. The more the people resist encroachments on their rights – like the right to bear arms, for instance – the less likely they are to wind up living under a government that is willing to employ genocidal measures.

Originally posted by JustinJ

I'm pointing out an aspect which isn't convenient to your position. This analogy proves NOTHING
False. What it proves is that even a brutal dictatorship, determined to maintain order, can’t guard every target, and armed resistance will always be able to find some vulnerabilities to attack. Even a modern police state doesn’t have the omniscience to cover all is vulnerable spots at once.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Finality? Expressing my position and defending it is no more speaking with finality than any other here. When one diverts discussion to the debater rather than the debate, that is ad hominem.
You are speaking with finality. You have declared categorically that armed resistance in the modern age is useless, and we who entertain the idea are deluded fools living in a fantasy world. Statements don’t get much more final than that. And you have no practical experience whatever to base this authoritative pronouncement on.

Originally posted by JustinJ

Ahhh, i see. So if some with military experience aren't that "sharp" then why did you ask to begin with? You introduce it as a standard of being right but then back peddle when I mention that a person with an icredibly high amount of military experience and knowledge disagrees with your position. For the record, the man i mentioned holds a doctorate and is extremely "sharp".
First off, this is an appeal to authority fallacy. Even if I knew enough about this person to acknowledge his authority – and I don’t – it would still be a fallacious argument from authority, because one so-called expert does not settle the matter in an arena in which there is no consensus, even among the experts. How do I know there is no consensus? Because in 1992, the United States declined to intervene in the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina after an aide to General Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised the Senate Armed Services Committee that the widespread ownership of arms in the former Yugoslav republic made even limited intervention "perilous and deadly." He was certainly not dismissive of the difficulties that people with small arms could create for even the world’s most powerful military. Nor was Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie, who led United Nations peace keeping troops in Sarajevo for five months. He also warned how difficult and costly it would be to occupy the area, owing to the widespread ownership of small arms.

Second off, education and knowledge do not osmotically transfer from one person to another. Whatever he knows, he’s imparted no more than a tiny fraction of that knowledge to you. And for all I know, what he has transferred to you is wrong. As I said, incompetent generals litter the pages of history. I have no way of knowing whether he belongs in their company or not.

So excuse me, but I am not remotely impressed by some unnamed source about whom I know nothing. And even if he is everything you say he is, it still wouldn’t settle the matter.

Originally posted by JustinJ

No, i'm sure your specific fantasy is plenty unique.
There it is, speaking with finality.

Originally posted by JustinJ
I've clearly addressed war of attrition multiple times.
Only to dismiss the idea.

Originally posted by JustinJ

If foreign support is necessary, which I'm glad we agree upon…
We don’t. I don’t say it’s necessary. Not in an absolute sense at least. The Irish didn’t have any, and they still won. Benito Juarez didn’t have any against the French either, but he still threw them out of Mexico. Sometimes foreign help will be necessary. Other times not. There’s no absolute answer. Each case will depend on specific circumstances.

Originally posted by JustinJ

…then an armed populace shouldn't be necessary to deter tyranny to begin with. If it is possible that the rebel forces can get external or internal military aid to fight with then a government would be dettered from tyranny regardless.
Except in order to get foreign aid in the first place, you have to demonstrate that you can actually put up effective resistance (e.g. the French wouldn’t actively help the American revolutionaries until they won the decisive victory at Saratoga, and convinced the French that they might actually be able to win). You have to convince any prospective foreign supporters that you have the will and the capability to take effective action. That’s a lot easier to do when you’ve got some weaponry to start with.

Billy Shears
April 26, 2013, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Cosmoline

Citing an unnamed officer who laughed at the idea of resistance as proof of anything is not terribly convincing. I agree that in battle no small arms are a match for modern high-tech weaponry. But they don't have to be. They simply have to raise the costs enough by presenting real and potential threats behind every door. No government can function if every single agent of that government, and his family, is subject to continuous threat by a sufficient number of armed enemies. No high tech military can survive without a huge and reliable tax roll. That doesn't happen when you have to level your own cities and shut down your own economy.
Exactly!

This is the point JustinJ is refusing to see. He insists on thinking in terms of decisive and final overthrows by civilians with small arms, facing down and beating regular armies, when that's not how guerrilla warfare is waged.

monotonous_iterancy
April 27, 2013, 12:53 AM
As a case study, look at the Battle of Fallujah, we Americans won big time. Secondly, a guerilla force in any part of the world has to contend with heat seeking cameras now, do they not? That would make rural operations difficult.

On the other hand, small arms didn't stop Saddam from genociding Kurds.

I also recently acquired a book on the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe. The first thing they did in Poland at the end of WWII was disarm existing resistance groups. They had whole armies of tanks, artillery, and planes, yet they still found that necessary in order to institute tyranny.

beatledog7
April 27, 2013, 08:36 AM
The thing about an armed citizenry is it would force the military to use weapons out of proportion to the threat.

What do you think would be the media response if the US Army came to some small town with tanks and howitzers to quell a rebellion? Or if the the USAF dropped bombs on a US city?

Government has those assets for use against similarly armed national opponents, not for use against its citizens. The mainstream media are no doubt pro-government, but I for one don't believe we will ever see media give government a pass on something like that, and I think the top military brass and the CIC see it that way also.

That's why so many in government seek to disarm us...killing American citizens in their homes with military hardware is a leap it knows it cannot make. But if we had no guns, it wouldn't have to.

Cooldill
April 27, 2013, 08:38 AM
The gun is the great equalizer my friend. It protects against enemies foreign... and domestic.

JustinJ
April 27, 2013, 10:24 AM
You most certainly are moving the goal posts, because it is relevant. The point being made is that any attack requires a response from the forces of the government. And government’s resources are finite. Even a single attack on a single target uses up a great many. When a government is subject to multiple attacks, it strains those finite resources, and may exceed them. You attempt to wave that away by saying “this doesn’t count because it’s not a government target.” Well sorry, nice try, but that’s moving the goal posts.

It may be time to reread whatever debate strategy book you read. Given i never set a standard regarding the Boston bombing i can't be "moving the goal post" to begin with. See post #127 for an actual example of "moving the goal post".

You seem to be working of this notion that in this dystpopian tyrannical state everything is exactly the same as it is now except there is now a dictator in charge. No checkpoints, constant military presence, surveillance, bomb sniffing dogs, etc.

Who said anything was going to be easy? If people are in a situation of active, armed resistance to their own government, it’s going to be anything but easy. But “not easy” is a long, long way from “futile.”

The point is that the Boston Bombing is apples to oranges with your Red Dawn fantasy. Pulling off numerous of said events against hard targets in a police state has nothing to do with dropping a back pack on a crowded street.

The Irish didn’t throw the British out in any conventional military sense. There was no Battle of Yorktown there where the British acknowledged military defeat and surrendered. The Irish won not a single large scale engagement. In fact, they avoided having any, lest there be a repeat of the disaster of 1916. All they inflicted were those bothersome little pinpricks you sneeringly dismiss as utterly useless. And yet, unable to govern the province of Ireland, and with popular opinion turning against them, and no prospect at all that the Irish were ever going to give up the struggle, the British decided to negotiate a peace, and the Irish effectively achieved independence.

Last time i address your beloved Irish. The military technology available today allows a modern military to fight a rebellion in a completely different manner than 100 years ago. Whatever military advantage of the Brits that the Irish were able to nuetralize, it does not translate due to modern techology. Next, the British were invading foreign soil. They had the option of returning home and the government did have to answer to it's people so the whole analogy is weak beyond just being complete outdated.

First off, this is an appeal to authority fallacy. Even if I knew enough about this person to acknowledge his authority – and I don’t – it would still be a fallacious argument from authority, because one so-called expert does not settle the matter in an arena in which there is no consensus, even among the experts.

I'm sorry, but are you actually accusing me of appeal to authority after you brought up military experience? Are you serious? I mentioned the invdividual not to prove my point but only to show how your standard of authority is BS. All i can say is, again, reread your debate book.

Because in 1992, the United States declined to intervene in the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina after an aide to General Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised the Senate Armed Services Committee that the widespread ownership of arms in the former Yugoslav republic made even limited intervention "perilous and deadly." He was certainly not dismissive of the difficulties that people with small arms could create for even the world’s most powerful military. Nor was Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie, who led United Nations peace keeping troops in Sarajevo for five months. He also warned how difficult and costly it would be to occupy the area, owing to the widespread ownership of small arms.

First, the arms available in the area were more than just rifles. Second, a peace keeping mission is apples to oranges with a dictator fighting opposition at home. It would take just a relative handful of deaths before the western citizens would start demanding a withdrawl from a country half way around the world that most people couldn't point out on a map to save their life. Dictators generally don't worry about public opinion, ya know, being dictators and all.

Second off, education and knowledge do not osmotically transfer from one person to another. Whatever he knows, he’s imparted no more than a tiny fraction of that knowledge to you. And for all I know, what he has transferred to you is wrong. As I said, incompetent generals litter the pages of history. I have no way of knowing whether he belongs in their company or not.

So excuse me, but I am not remotely impressed by some unnamed source about whom I know nothing. And even if he is everything you say he is, it still wouldn’t settle the matter.

Ahh, but you expected me to be by your self cited credentials. Moving the goal posts, hell, you decided to tear them down.

You are speaking with finality. You have declared categorically that armed resistance in the modern age is useless, and we who entertain the idea are deluded fools living in a fantasy world. Statements don’t get much more final than that. And you have no practical experience whatever to base this authoritative pronouncement on.

Ad hominem and indirect appeal to authority all in one sentence. If you categorize my comments as any more of "finality" than countless others then you have no idea of what the term means.

I didn't call anybody a fool, i'm just saying it's backwards thinking; seeking evidence to support a position rather than form it.

I also did not say armed resistance is categorically futile. I said that the arms available to US citizens can not defeat the government and most people who believe they can adopt that position because they want it to be so.

But hell, i'm largely glad its just a fantasy because most of the people i do hear say nonsene like "it's almost time" are just about the last people i would want in charge as most of them actually value liberty about as much as the Taliban, in spite of constant claims otherwise.

When i was like 17 or so after reading some conspiracy theory, militant literature i believed in the armed rebellion fantasy too, for like a week. Then i actually stoped to think about it rationally. All the diatribes about overthrowig the government do far more harm to gun right's than help defend them. They alienate people and fortify portrayals of gun owners as all being extremists militant nuts with delusions about "taking back their country".

hang fire
April 27, 2013, 10:46 AM
the problem is, we thankfully have never had to test it.....Mainland America hasnt been invaded since 1812..



The latest figures show there are 33 million illegal aliens presently in the US. Although our goverment seems to be perfectly happy with it, to me, that is an invasion.

JRH6856
April 27, 2013, 12:43 PM
^^^ those are "undocumented immigrant economic contributors"

Al Thompson
April 27, 2013, 12:59 PM
Bickering..... :rolleyes:

If you enjoyed reading about "Are armed citizens overrated?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!