Examples of recent rebellions/civil wars where semi-auto rifles critical to the rebels' success?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by slinkiusmaximus, Feb 20, 2018.

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  1. slinkiusmaximus

    slinkiusmaximus Member

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    What are some examples of successful rebellions or wars that were directly helped by the non-gov't side having access to semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15s or semi-auto AKs?

    I'm having a discussion with someone on Facebook (yeah I know) about the importance of civilians in the US being able to own AR-15s and similar rifles as a means to deter a tyrannical gov't, and the person I'm having this discussion with is asking for examples of rebellions or civil wars where those in rebellion were successful against their gov't at least partially because they had access to semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15s. I would think there'd be plenty of examples, but my knowledge on civil wars and rebellions isn't very strong. Any history/current geopolitical affairs buffs out there that could give me a hand?

    Thanks in advance!

    (Disclaimer: I'm new here, and while I did my best to make sure I'm posting this in the right forum, I apologize if this is supposed to be posted somewhere else.)
     
  2. Redacted

    Redacted Member

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    Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership that is related to a sense of patriotic duty.

    Every man in Switzerland is part of the Swiss militia, and is responsible for keeping their gun maintained and being battle-ready.

    Switzerland was at risk of being invaded by Germany during World War II but historians say because every Swiss man was armed and trained to shoot the Germans did not invade.

    I'm sure there are other countries like Switzerland, but I cannot think of them right now.

    It is important to realize that there are countries run by dictators or tyrants where the citizens would take their freedom if they had guns.

    Lastly, in any situation where a citizen refuses to carry a gun, a person with a gun must be relied upon for their protection.
     
  3. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    Vietnam. :oops:
    The NVA fought almost exclusively with small arms for most of the war and they faced seriously devestating firepower and won.

    Tell them to watch the Ken Burns doc.

    I think its a good example because it was very much like the American Civil war, except Americans played the British Red coats.

    You may have a hard time finding exampled because the worst tyrants always disarm their populace first.
     
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  4. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    If this is correct..
    http://warriortimes.com/2011/04/24/what-happens-when-governments-disarm-their-citizens/

    1911 – Turkey disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1915 – 1917 they murdered 1.5 million Armenians.

    1929 – Russia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1929 – 1953 they murdered 20 million Russians.

    1935 – China disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1948 – 1952 they murdered 20 million Chinese.

    1938 – Germany disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1939 – 1945 they murdered 16 million Jews.

    1956 – Cambodia disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1975 – 1977 they murdered 1 million Educated people.

    1964 – Guatamala disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1964 – 1981 they murdered 100,000 Mayan Indians.

    1970 – Uganda disarmed it’s citizens, and between 1971 – 1979 they murdered 300,000 Christians.
     
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  5. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Maybe you are posing the wrong argument to this person on facebook.
    Maybe the fact that we DO have semi auto rifles and alot of them in civilian hands plays a huge role in the U.S. Not having a modern civil war.
    By that I mean because we can defend ourselves, our government doesn't become tyrannical.
    That is exactly why the founders gave us the 2A. It is one of many checks and balances in an inherently corrupt system called government.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  6. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    The real question is how often does a top tier military actually use the full auto feature when it fights. The answer is not very often and never in open field combat.

    The second question is how often do poorly trained soldiers use full auto too much and miss everything and expend all their ammo. Quite often.
     
  7. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    I believe you're not likely to find a lot of examples where semi autos were useful .... primarily because in much of the world where revolts happen, full autos like AK-47s are actually pretty common.
     
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  8. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    The hyperbolic"weapons of war" argument makes me cringe every time I hear it. Any small arm a soldier uses is not exclusively a weapon of war. There is an AR in the trunk of almost every police car in the country.
     
  9. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    You are making a losing argument by focusing your argument solely on semi-automatic rifles.

    Your position should be that civilians that own the same type of firearms as the Government troops have been successful in overthrowing the Government in power.

    Best example; The War of Independence in the United States. Rebels took on the best trained, most professional Army in the World at the time using the same weapon as the Brits had...the Brown Bess Musket.

    Based on American history our freedom is best guaranteed by civilians owning the same weapons as the military. The closest we can get is with the AR-15. (Actually full-auto is not as much as a advantage as one may believe).
     
  10. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    There are 5 million (best estimate, no one knows for sure) AR owners. If you don't think that would not scare a military force you are crazy. An army would win every engagement against them and bleed to death doing so.
     
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  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    @ontarget got it. The US is an example of success because we haven't had a bloody genocide in a few years. If you're looking for exciting successes, you need to look at failures; @Kaybee provides a great list.
     
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  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Define success? Small arms of every type have played a major part in every conflict in history, more so in those conflicts involving irregular forces (who typically don't have access or the ability to utilize things like artillery, armor, and air power). Specifically referencing semi automatic rifles, same statement in every conflict since they have been invented. I have had bullets launched at me on 3 continents and in 5 countries by irregular forces. In every case, they had SOME effect on us- whether they produced casualties, delayed an attack, damaged equipment, compromised a mission, or just caused temporary chaos.
     
  13. Kaybee

    Kaybee Member

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    This isn't a rebellion as requested, but as far as armed citizen pressing back against a government. I hate to go here cause this is kind of sticky to talk about nowadays, and I hope I don't offend anyone, but a lot of people consider the Black Panthers during the civil rights movement from the 60s to be an excellent example of the second amendment in action. Martin Luther King was not a black panther, but its well documented that The white house sure became a lot more interested in what MLK had to say once the Black Panthers started marching around. Libs lovvve to talk about the civil rights movement but suddenly forget about that aspect of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  14. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    Although very messy to understand, and with huge costs to all sides involved, the Bosnian conflict could be studied as an example to your buddy. https://www.britannica.com/event/Bosnian-conflict

    The Ukraine/Russia conflict is also another example, although more clear-cut. Ukranians are fighting to protect themselves from what they see as a tyrannical government (with Russian pro-separatists as the tip of their spear) that wishes to subsume them. In this case, Crimea would appear to be the chew toy that the parties were fighting over, but arguably, this only served to mask a larger-scale play for Ukraine itself.

    Closer to home, and NOT with AR's, you could study the Battle of Athens (Tennessee) on a small scale. Recently-returned service vets struck against an oppressive sheriff and local government to stop GI abuse, allow blacks to vote and make a stand against election fraud. Another poster above pointed out that the type of arm doesn't matter as much as availability of something. In this case, citizens of Athens broke in to the local guard armory and borrowed M1917's and '03 Springfields to make their stand. When done, all the arms were found returned in the armory, cleaned in a military fashion. I know it's not the best source, but the wiki on it makes a pretty good primer:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)
    Although short-lived, and admittedly (by the GI's) not the best solution for political turmoil, I love the Battle of Athens as a history lesson. It's a lesson about what needs to happen sometimes to remind government about who is in charge and why.
     
  15. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    It would be more accurate to say that the high rate of gun ownership is related to the requirements of Switzerland's compulsory military service.

    After a period of active service, service members remain in the reserves. They retain their service rifle (converted to semi-automatic) and must qualify with it periodically

    Exactly what historians say that and where?

    A more likely answer is that during times of conflict Switzerland's continued existence as an independent, neutral country is sufficiently useful to everyone. Certainly the fact that Switzerland is capable or vigorously defending that neutrality is a factor, but I very much doubt that it is, by itself, determinative.

    You haven't studied revolutions much I gather. Revolutions have seldom resulted in an increase in freedom for the ordinary person. Most of the time they just swap one flavor tyranny for another.
     
  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    One option to consider is to look at the inverse of the situation. What would have to be done to avoid full scale conflict with regular citizens in an armed, very determined area if the attacking force wished to control but not take heavy losses...Hiroshima, Nagasaki, gulf strike, modern air strike attacks against Syria. The atomic option is effective, the pinpoint strikes less effective.

    If we were not so well armed, would we have open battles with militant regimes in the US? Would our enemies be more willing to risk an assault? Our military supposedly has missile defenses and our Air Force is top notch at defending the homeland. Our standing army has shriveled for the last couple decades, not to mean they are less effective, just down on numbers, so the American masses being armed is a huge deterrent.
     
  17. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Directly helped may not mean much, and "access" may refer to getting weapons from the military.

    Realistically, however, the mechanisms of the small arms used by wither side would be most unlikely to make a material difference.
     
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  19. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    It would seem that the side who controls the news media and who can impose nukes could very well change the balance of power.

    We faced that up until a few months ago. Now, no nukes, and the media is collapsing on the weight of their lies. The fact we are largely armed with semi auto weapons is why efforts were made to create a nuclear power in North Korea to overshadow us and cause capitulation. A reasonable and understanding American leader was poised to do just exactly that in the last election.

    They never thought she would lose.

    We are still facing the ban on semi automatic firearms and the worst part is that so many of us are willing to give them up to keep our bolt actions and shotguns. How's that working in Great Britain and Australia? Not.

    By the way, it's not always "rebels." It is usually "patriots." This is another mistake in the proposed counterargument.
     
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  20. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Switzerland was at risk of being invaded by Germany during World War II but historians say because every Swiss man was armed and trained to shoot the Germans did not invade.

    Though I'm very much in favor of an armed citizenry as a check against the tyrannical tendancies of government, the Swiss are not the poster child for this cause.

    The reason the Germans didn't invade Switzerland, is because they didn't need to, as the Swiss had already rolled over and given them pretty much everything they asked for...
    1. access to the Swiss banking system.
    2. expulsion of Jewish refugees from Germany.
    3. access to Swiss rail lines to Italy.
    4. liberal dispensation of visas for use by German spies and business peeps.

    Apart from having no reason to invade Switzerland, the real difficulty in doing so was and has always been the Alps. And the Germans knew that the Swiss had all of the bridges spanning mountain passes mined and ready for demolition.

    A lot of Swiss peeps made big bucks during the war, especially the banks.

    Don't forget, 1/3 of Swiss people are of German descent and speak a varient of the German language. There were many sympathetic to the German cause in Switzerland.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  21. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a good analysis of Switzerland except that I read that the German speaking Swiss were more likely to oppose Hitler as their language ability enabled them to be more aware of the horrors.

    When one brings up the Swiss, folks forget the Swedes. Same situation but without the Swiss military system. Now the Swedes tried to tool up against invasion also but both countries cooperated to a large extent while trying to make invasion not worth it. The Germans got most of what the wanted.

    Here's a good general book on the issue and there are others:

    Neither Friend Nor Foe: The European Neutrals in World War II Hardcover – November 1, 1992
    by Jerrold M. Packard

    The Germans had no doubt they could have taken Switzerland if need be.

    Defense against tyranny is a good thing to discuss but most current civil wars are horrors and not to our benefit to discuss for the RKBA.
     
  22. Flechette

    Flechette Member

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    I personally think that semi-autos have a definitive advantage over slower actions like bolt-actions for the vast majority of situations. (You might argue that bolt actions are better for a sniper, but I'll let that be a different discussion).

    Full-auto weapons used by undisciplined shooters can waste a lot of ammo. Even disciplined shooters expend a lot of ammo for each opponent killed. I recently read that our military goes through about 200,000 rounds for each enemy combatant killed. Much of this is due to the use of "suppressive fire" to keep the enemy from being able to fire back.

    So unless you have a constant stream of C-17s bringing you ammo I think that a semi-auto may actually be better for militia-type fighters. They must carry their own ammo everywhere.

    That said, I am extremely pro-Second Amendment and think that people should be allowed to own full-autos if they want. It's that "freedom thing" :cool:
     
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    But they knew that if they did, they would have a very tough fight on their hand.

    I believe all large organizations, and that includes Corporations and Nation States, act like human psychopaths. Psychopaths are grandiose, self centered, lack guilty or empathy. They have been described as soul less. To them, the world and everyone in it is disposable for their needs. They are "now people", that is immediate gratification, get bored quickly, are always right, never at fault for anything, highly manipulative, and you can only have a "master/slave" relationship. The last one is important. A psychopath knows that if you are negotiating, you are weak, the only real question is, how weak? I read something about the behaviors of the Vikings. If the town was strong, they traded. If the town was weak, they sacked it. This is very psychopathic thinking. The Swiss, though weaker than Germany, did not allow Nazi's to fly over Switzerland, or the Allies for that matter. There were times when the Swiss shot down Nazi planes. I know they interned Allied planes, I don't think they had to shoot down Allied planes, but they might have tangled with French airplanes as France collapsed. They had to. They had to show the Nazi's they were willing to fight and that they had to give the Nazi's a bloody nose on occasion. to remind them that the Swiss were not going to be a push over.

    Thucydides wrote a very memorable quote from the Siege of Melos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Melos,, justice is only in question between equals of power, the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must”. That is why we need our firearms. We need to be able to give aspiring tyrants a bloody nose, if need be.They don't respect weakness.
     
  24. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    It's difficult to cite wars and battles that DIDN'T happen because the opposition was well-armed.
     
  25. George P

    George P Member

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    Correct because with an unarmed populace, there would be no battles or wars; all one needs to do is look to the tyrannical regimes over the centuries.

    https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/145/abstract/history-and-rhetoric-disarming-greek-citizens
     
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