It’s one of the favorite arguments used by gun-grabbers who want to undermine Second Amendment protections, particularly for so-called “assault rifles” — one of the chief reasons for the amendment in the first place was the ability to fight a tyrannical government, and there’s simply no way that citizens can do that in the modern era.
The argument goes like this: The government has advanced weaponry, things like tanks, stealth fighters, next-generation naval technology, highly-trained soldiers, all of that sort of thing. If a despot takes power and tries to abridge the Constitution and the human rights of the American populace, the theory goes, he’ll have all of that at his or her disposal, no matter how unpopular their brand of despotism is among the American people.
The citizenry, meanwhile, will have guns … and that’s probably it. They’ll be at a massive disadvantage on all fronts if they want to rise up against despotic rule.
You’ve probably seen it online in this form:
But then if you can’t fight the government againts tyranny the second amendment no longer serves its purpose. Without its original purpose it should be abolished.
— Mariabelen Malaga (@mariabelenmalag) March 25, 2018
It seems, on its face, like a convincing argument. However, on Glenn Beck’s radio show this week, TheBlaze’s Stu Burguiere single-handedly destroyed the argument by showing just why that mindset is completely misleading.
“What that is designed to do is to make you picture in your head tanks rolling up your driveway and you standing there all by yourself with your AR-15. And it’s a very successful idea. Now, again, we hope that it never comes to this, but this is what the founders wanted to protect against,” Burguiere said. “They didn’t want a tyrannical government, so they put the Second Amendment in (the Bill of Rights) largely for that purpose.”
If that scenario of a tank rolling up your driveway comes to pass, he reckoned, “yes, you’re going to lose that battle.” However, he noted that this scenario was an unlikely one.
“Think about it from the other perspective,” he noted. “Think about a government who wants to institute tyranny over its people … think about just the logistical challenge of rolling over 350 million guns. OK? Trying to go door to door, trying to stop an armed populace who is resisting you that has 350 million guns.”
Burguiere noted that a despot “could nuke all the cities, and yeah, in the end I guess you would win that battle. What country are you running at that point, though?”
It’s worth noting that most fights for freedom over tyranny — including our own, begun in earnest in 1776 — don’t end when one side is decisively beaten. It ends when one side becomes too much of a nuisance to govern in any effective sense.
At the point which F-22s and cruise missiles are being used against the people of America, it would become clear that the people had become ungovernable by despotic rule — which, of course, is entirely the point.
And how difficult will that be? Well, in addition to those 350 million guns in America, 42 percent of American households had at least one firearm in 2017. Only a fraction of those are needed to engage in an active form of resistance for this to be a difficult slog for any government’s troops and weaponry, no matter how advanced they may be. Such a conflict would also be prima facie unpopular with those fighting it, as well, especially if it were a despotism from within.
So, yes — although we hope that the prospects for such an action against a tyrannical government are remote, that doesn’t mean that they’re out of the question. Far from being superannuated, the Second Amendment remains the best defense of everything else in our Constitution from despotic rule.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.