1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Are armed citizens overrated?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by monotonous_iterancy, Apr 24, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    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?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  2. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. easy

    easy Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    There is no FREE nation without armed citizens. I don't think freedom can be over rated.
  6. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    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.....
  7. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Billy Shears

    Billy Shears Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    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
  10. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    ^^ 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.
  11. fallingbird

    fallingbird Well-Known Member

    Well stated, Billy
  12. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    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?
  13. Mobuck

    Mobuck member

    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.
  14. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    and for another viewpoint (or 2 opposing POV is not the whole story)

    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:
    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.
  15. Dave Rishar

    Dave Rishar Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Me being armed is never an overrated thing, for any number of reasons. I don't see the need to single out any one. :)
  18. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

    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:


    BTW we were invaded by Pancho Vila in 1916.


    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.
  19. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    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?
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Ask the Brits.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page