Arms vs. Tyranny

I found a comment on my facebook wall which reminded anyone who would read it that the 2nd Amendment was set up for a defense against tyrants. I replied to the comment that back when the Bill of Rights was written the Amendment dealt with muskets. I did not add that these are significantly less deadly than modern rifles with 30 bullet clips that can be squeezed off in 15 seconds or less.

Neither did I meantion that even during the era of Stalin plenty of rural Russians had guns for hunting.

Neither did I mention that President George Washington led troops into Western Pennsylvania with the Army of the United States to put down the “Whiskey Rebellion.” Presumably the targeted whiskey distillers had plenty of muskets.

Neither did I mention that for the first 200 years of our nation’s existence this amendment was always tied to the idea that personal arms to fend off “tyrants” were always presumed to be used in community-run militias.

Its also worth pondering whether even AR-15’s would be any match for an attacking communist hoard which was what gun rights warriors warned us against when I was a kid two decades before the communist menace all but vanished from the face of the Earth. Today such a threat is a Hollywood fantasy called Red Dawn with a 91% Rotten rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

It also turns out that there are many examples of high gun ownership in nations with plenty of tyranny and a few with almost no gun ownership that have managed to overthrow tyrannies without a blizzard of gun shops:

T]he country ranked last on the [Small Arms Survey] — with only 0.1 guns per 100 people — is Tunisia, which as you’ll recall was still able to overthrow a longtime dictator in 2011.

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