An Armed Populace is a Docile Populace

I’ve always been skeptical of the idea that an armed populace is the best defense against government tyranny. Don’t get me wrong, I live in an area with actual feral hogs — I totally get the rationale behind bearing arms for self-defense.

When seconds count, police are only 30-50 minutes away.

But stopping tyranny? The Confederate states had not just firearms but also state militias, and even they were subjugated by a government they no longer trusted.

Here’s an interesting piece about the implausibility of mass political violence in the US. Gun owners tend to be the most law-abiding citizens in the country. Quite often they see themselves as informal enforcers of the law (eg, Rooftop Koreans). Heck, the NRA is actively involved in training law enforcement personnel. If a real tyrant were to take power, the nation’s armed populace would probably line up to carry out the tyrant’s demands.

An actual revolt against tyranny can only come from a community with a healthy distrust towards authority. Something like Black Lives Matter. Somehow I don’t think the NRA will be forging a partnership with BLM anytime soon.

5 thoughts on “An Armed Populace is a Docile Populace

  1. Re: “But stopping tyranny? The Confederate states had not just firearms but also state militias, and even they were subjugated by a government they no longer trusted.”

    Unclear which government you believe was doing the subjugating. The Confederate states against their own populace or the Federal Government? In either case resisting tyranny does not assure that tyranny, however defined, will be stopped. Many Southerners believed they were resisting tyranny and fighting for their “rights” vs the Northern aggressors. An armed populace will reflect the divisions within society. Some will support the government, others will resist what they consider tyrannical actions.

    What is considered central government tyranny will be bizarre to the majority, such as the disputes about Federal grazing lands in the West, yet it will be resisted by armed folks probably sympathetic to the NRA.

    Please consider Dave Chappelle’s succinct view which I paraphrase, “The second Amendment is there for when the Frist Amendment is not honored.”

    1. I was referring to the Confederate states attempting to secede the Union, and being defeated in their attempt.

      Good point Re: Federal grazing lands — What was the NRA’s response to the Bundy standoff? Waco TX? Ruby Ridge? A quick search turns up mixed responses from prominent members. Bundy seems mostly sympathetic, but Waco/Branch Davidians were condemned by Bush. Still, the results remain the same — even when the citizens are heavily armed, the government always wins.

      1. Actually, I did a little more digging and it looks like the Bundys managed to get the feds to stand down, and eventually were acquitted! Good for them!

  2. During the Cold War proposals were made to establish hidden depots of weapons in remote areas of Alaska to further enable local resistance to a Soviet invasion. This was never carried out because the military did not trust the native Alaskans to fight their Cossack former masters.

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