Why the 2nd amendment matters

So I often see foreign posters ask why are guns so important to Americans. While I don't speak for any Americans other than myself, this is how I see it.

In a land where the government is ostensibly "for the people, by the people" the governed enter into a voluntary relationship with the government to ensure domestic tranquility, promote general welfare and provide for the common defense. That only holds true of the power disparity can be kept in check to a degree and the governed have the ability to "opt out."

The threat of force needs to exist for the discussion to remain one of equals. Otherwise look at Roman history to see how an armed party can become king makers and essentially end discussion once they want to stop humoring the unarmed party. If you have a sword and I don't, you only need to respect me in a discussion until you stop feeling like it. It changes from a conversation between adults to one between and adult and a child.

As for the point that's often made that small arms aren't going to topple the US government, that is also correct. But as the last decade and a half in the Middle East has shown, an armed population that doesn't want to be governed can be a nightmare even for modern armies. And that's the point. The armed citizenry don't have to "win" they just have to have the ability to make it hurt enough that a governing body decides it's better for everyone to play by the rules, use rule of law, and respect the citizens. Threat of force doesn't have to be great enough to win. It just has to be great enough that war costs too much and diplomacy remains the more attractive and viable option. Phone Post 3.0

nottheface - So I often see foreign posters ask why are guns so important to Americans. While I don't speak for any Americans other than myself, this is how I see it.

In a land where the government is ostensibly "for the people, by the people" the governed enter into a voluntary relationship with the government to ensure domestic tranquility, promote general welfare and provide for the common defense. That only holds true of the power disparity can be kept in check to a degree and the governed have the ability to "opt out."

The threat of force needs to exist for the discussion to remain one of equals. Otherwise look at Roman history to see how an armed party can become king makers and essentially end discussion once they want to stop humoring the unarmed party. If you have a sword and I don't, you only need to respect me in a discussion until you stop feeling like it. It changes from a conversation between adults to one between and adult and a child.

As for the point that's often made that small arms aren't going to topple the US government, that is also correct. But as the last decade and a half in the Middle East has shown, an armed population that doesn't want to be governed can be a nightmare even for modern armies. And that's the point. The armed citizenry don't have to "win" they just have to have the ability to make it hurt enough that a governing body decides it's better for everyone to play by the rules, use rule of law, and respect the citizens. Threat of force doesn't have to be great enough to win. It just has to be great enough that war costs too much and diplomacy remains the more attractive and viable option. Phone Post 3.0
Voted up good sir.... Phone Post 3.0

VU, OP well stated. Can you imagine an urban warfare situation in the US? Would be a nightmare. Phone Post 3.0

That's actually hilarious Phone Post 3.0

The whole "its in case of Civil War" talk always goes down the toilet when one suggests not giving guns to mentally ill people, or background checks to ensure people with violent behavior history dont get one, and you all reply with NOOOOO IS MY RIGHT FREEEEEDDOOOOOM LET ME BANG BROOOO

luctaro - The whole "its in case of Civil War" talk always goes down the toilet when one suggests not giving guns to mentally ill people, or background checks to ensure people with violent behavior history dont get one, and you all reply with NOOOOO IS MY RIGHT FREEEEEDDOOOOOM LET ME BANG BROOOO
Correct.

If you are pro 2nd amendment, pro-gun, and you aren't in favor of stronger background checks and better support for mental illness, you are just being a selfish asshole.

Mark Phone Post 3.0

nottheface - So I often see foreign posters ask why are guns so important to Americans. While I don't speak for any Americans other than myself, this is how I see it.

In a land where the government is ostensibly "for the people, by the people" the governed enter into a voluntary relationship with the government to ensure domestic tranquility, promote general welfare and provide for the common defense. That only holds true of the power disparity can be kept in check to a degree and the governed have the ability to "opt out."

The threat of force needs to exist for the discussion to remain one of equals. Otherwise look at Roman history to see how an armed party can become king makers and essentially end discussion once they want to stop humoring the unarmed party. If you have a sword and I don't, you only need to respect me in a discussion until you stop feeling like it. It changes from a conversation between adults to one between and adult and a child.

As for the point that's often made that small arms aren't going to topple the US government, that is also correct. But as the last decade and a half in the Middle East has shown, an armed population that doesn't want to be governed can be a nightmare even for modern armies. And that's the point. The armed citizenry don't have to "win" they just have to have the ability to make it hurt enough that a governing body decides it's better for everyone to play by the rules, use rule of law, and respect the citizens. Threat of force doesn't have to be great enough to win. It just has to be great enough that war costs too much and diplomacy remains the more attractive and viable option. Phone Post 3.0

Not sure how closely you've been following the goings on in the middle east but there's a reason Iraqis made such heavy use of IEDs against US troops. Same reason the Palestinians made such heavy use of suicide bombings or the same reason the IRA avoided getting into gunfights with the British Army.

Even if you are equipped with assault rifles a bunch of yokels isn't going to do much of anything against a mildly competent modern army.

If people are serious about the second amendment being a brake against tyranny they should be for making c4 etc. legal.

In before 3725254 pages. Phone Post 3.0

In before not one single mind is changed.

Mark1 -
luctaro - The whole "its in case of Civil War" talk always goes down the toilet when one suggests not giving guns to mentally ill people, or background checks to ensure people with violent behavior history dont get one, and you all reply with NOOOOO IS MY RIGHT FREEEEEDDOOOOOM LET ME BANG BROOOO
Correct.

If you are pro 2nd amendment, pro-gun, and you aren't in favor of stronger background checks and better support for mental illness, you are just being a selfish asshole.

Mark Phone Post 3.0
I'm all for restricting access to guns for mentally ill people, that's common sense talk. As far as background checks go how far do you feel one's past history has to be researched before it is decided they are deemed worthy enough to protect themselves? Private sales should be restricted. There are already laws in place that are supposed to hinder the sale of firearms without a background check, unfortunately there is not enough enforcement of the current laws. If you are found to have sold a gun illegally I'm all for throwing your ass in jail for life if need be. This is a crime that should carry a heavier sentence then murder. You have to make an example out of those who break the law. We should not be persecuting the many for the faults of a few. What the gubmint wants to do is make sure that nobody has that choice. Instead of looking into a viable solution they would rather no one have guns then to do what is right and start going after those who illegally sell guns. If they are going to ban guns from the public then make it uniform. I'm all for banning guns nation wide if nobody had guns. Not police, FBI, CIA, secret service, Joe Schmo, or the people who guard the prez. Shut the industry down totally and we have the only solution that is worthy of discussing. Phone Post 3.0

Is it realistic to think that anyone in the U.S. (or any group) would be allowed to 'opt out'?

banco -
nottheface - So I often see foreign posters ask why are guns so important to Americans. While I don't speak for any Americans other than myself, this is how I see it.

In a land where the government is ostensibly "for the people, by the people" the governed enter into a voluntary relationship with the government to ensure domestic tranquility, promote general welfare and provide for the common defense. That only holds true of the power disparity can be kept in check to a degree and the governed have the ability to "opt out."

The threat of force needs to exist for the discussion to remain one of equals. Otherwise look at Roman history to see how an armed party can become king makers and essentially end discussion once they want to stop humoring the unarmed party. If you have a sword and I don't, you only need to respect me in a discussion until you stop feeling like it. It changes from a conversation between adults to one between and adult and a child.

As for the point that's often made that small arms aren't going to topple the US government, that is also correct. But as the last decade and a half in the Middle East has shown, an armed population that doesn't want to be governed can be a nightmare even for modern armies. And that's the point. The armed citizenry don't have to "win" they just have to have the ability to make it hurt enough that a governing body decides it's better for everyone to play by the rules, use rule of law, and respect the citizens. Threat of force doesn't have to be great enough to win. It just has to be great enough that war costs too much and diplomacy remains the more attractive and viable option. Phone Post 3.0

Not sure how closely you've been following the goings on in the middle east but there's a reason Iraqis made such heavy use of IEDs against US troops. Same reason the Palestinians made such heavy use of suicide bombings or the same reason the IRA avoided getting into gunfights with the British Army.

Even if you are equipped with assault rifles a bunch of yokels isn't going to do much of anything against a mildly competent modern army.

If people are serious about the second amendment being a brake against tyranny they should be for making c4 etc. legal.
Nobody is second guessing your assumption that the common people wouldn't stand a chance against an organized military. That doesn't mean that you or I or them should have that ability taken away from them. It's more about having the choice to stand up against such a threat. The opportunity that if such a scenario were to happen I know I have the means to at least try to protect my family in such an instance. Even if it is a futile attempt. Phone Post 3.0

Many gun nuts are losers looking for something to be an expert on and something to unite them with other losers. Having the right to own/carry isn't enough for these people. It has to become an issue more important than the welfare of their fellow countrymen, including feeding and clothing the sick as well as underprivileged kids who didn't ask to be in their situations.

Gun fanaticism is the sign of a person that could not give less of a shit about their country. It's just an excuse to be a crybaby victim that doesn't give a shit about anything other than their pet cause. Phone Post 3.0

No one should take anything from anyone because of what somebody else did. Phone Post 3.0

nottheface - So I often see foreign posters ask why are guns so important to Americans. While I don't speak for any Americans other than myself, this is how I see it.

In a land where the government is ostensibly "for the people, by the people" the governed enter into a voluntary relationship with the government to ensure domestic tranquility, promote general welfare and provide for the common defense. That only holds true of the power disparity can be kept in check to a degree and the governed have the ability to "opt out."

The threat of force needs to exist for the discussion to remain one of equals. Otherwise look at Roman history to see how an armed party can become king makers and essentially end discussion once they want to stop humoring the unarmed party. If you have a sword and I don't, you only need to respect me in a discussion until you stop feeling like it. It changes from a conversation between adults to one between and adult and a child.

As for the point that's often made that small arms aren't going to topple the US government, that is also correct. But as the last decade and a half in the Middle East has shown, an armed population that doesn't want to be governed can be a nightmare even for modern armies. And that's the point. The armed citizenry don't have to "win" they just have to have the ability to make it hurt enough that a governing body decides it's better for everyone to play by the rules, use rule of law, and respect the citizens. Threat of force doesn't have to be great enough to win. It just has to be great enough that war costs too much and diplomacy remains the more attractive and viable option. Phone Post 3.0
Very well written, I couldn't agree nkrw Phone Post 3.0

johnsonbarr - In before not one single mind is changed.
I completely disagreed with gun ownership but after seeing this post I am running right out and getting a background check. Phone Post 3.0

Information - At this point I don't think the Left really understands what they are pushing at.

This is non-negotiable for a large part of the US. Call us gun nuts, call us idiots, call us anything you want-- the only way you'll confiscate our guns is by kicking in our doors and seizing them.

Then we'll test whether the Left's derision for the idea that guns can be used to defend against a tyrannical government in the US is justified or not.

See this is exactly what I'm talking about.

One side says "hey how about we check if you have a mental illness or a deathwish before we give you free access to guns".

And your reply to that is "OMG THE LEFT WANTS TO CONFISCATE MY GUNS WELL LET THEM COME ILL SHOOT THEM FOR WANTING TO TAKE MY GUNS AWAY!!!!!!"

Information - This is non-negotiable for a large part of the US. Call us gun nuts, call us idiots, call us anything you want-- the only way you'll confiscate our guns is by kicking in our doors and seizing them.


A very valid point. Gun fetishism has crystallized into something akin to a militant fundamentalist sect.

There is no reasoning with the Gun Cult, at this point. Some kind of accommodation is the only alternative.

I take it that OP and likeminded also strongly support the South's right to secede and view Lincoln as the all time worst president? Phone Post 3.0

baj54 -
Mark1 -
luctaro - The whole "its in case of Civil War" talk always goes down the toilet when one suggests not giving guns to mentally ill people, or background checks to ensure people with violent behavior history dont get one, and you all reply with NOOOOO IS MY RIGHT FREEEEEDDOOOOOM LET ME BANG BROOOO
Correct.

If you are pro 2nd amendment, pro-gun, and you aren't in favor of stronger background checks and better support for mental illness, you are just being a selfish asshole.

Mark Phone Post 3.0
I'm all for restricting access to guns for mentally ill people, that's common sense talk. As far as background checks go how far do you feel one's past history has to be researched before it is decided they are deemed worthy enough to protect themselves? Private sales should be restricted. There are already laws in place that are supposed to hinder the sale of firearms without a background check, unfortunately there is not enough enforcement of the current laws. If you are found to have sold a gun illegally I'm all for throwing your ass in jail for life if need be. This is a crime that should carry a heavier sentence then murder. You have to make an example out of those who break the law. We should not be persecuting the many for the faults of a few. What the gubmint wants to do is make sure that nobody has that choice. Instead of looking into a viable solution they would rather no one have guns then to do what is right and start going after those who illegally sell guns. If they are going to ban guns from the public then make it uniform. I'm all for banning guns nation wide if nobody had guns. Not police, FBI, CIA, secret service, Joe Schmo, or the people who guard the prez. Shut the industry down totally and we have the only solution that is worthy of discussing. Phone Post 3.0
Anyone who thinks that an armed populace isn't a serious concern for any military on this planet is seriously deluded. Unless they adopt a scorched earth policy, trying to control a country with armed civilians is a extremely difficult task for any occupation force.

How many of you naysayers served overseas, wary of every pile of garbage, pulse racing every time you saw someone pick up a cell phone, or praying before every patrol that no AK rounds hit you in the gaps of your body armor? Phone Post 3.0