The arguers on the other side of this perpetually untimely conversation say that conversely, the problem isn't too many guns, but not enough guns. That if only there had been more people with loaded guns who felt like they could be heroes in a loud, dark theater among the screaming, the tear gas, and the rapid fire of 71 shots from a semiautomatic weapon, that the shooter could have been neutralized. Whether or not the people who claim this have ever been in a dark theater filled with tear gas and terrified innocent victims attempting to avoid the storm of bullets from a shooter who could be anywhere is immaterial: It is a theoretical possibility to live out a heroic fantasy, and so we must keep the dream alive.
But even more than that, they argue, the Second Amendment is not about the rights of hunters, or those who wish to have weapons to defend their persons and property against intruders—again, things for which an AK47 might not be the best choice. Indeed, the Amendment should specifically protect the right to own assault rifles because the original intention is to allow citizens to resist the military of an attempted takeover by a tyrannical federal government—the precise fear of which has for some reason risen significantly since Barack Obama was elected as president. But more on that later.
This brings up a question: Has anyone actually thought through the realities of staging a domestic insurgency against the armed forces of the United States?
Ignoring for a moment the paradoxical reality that the people who so fervently believe that they need assault rifles to protect themselves against our own military are so often the same people arguing that we should continue to spend more money on that same military than all other countries spend on theirs combined, the first conclusion anyone would come to is that a successful domestic insurgency would need far more than than an assault rifle. When the Second Amendment was written in the late 18th century, the main weapons of war consisted of muskets and flintlock pistols. There are two very worthwhile things to note about this period in weaponry: First, it would have been very difficult for any individual to walk into a crowded theater and commit a massacre with one of these weapons, mainly because by the time the shooter had managed to reload the weapon, everyone could have already run out of the theater, or even escaped at a leisurely stroll after pulling the assailant's knickerbockers over his wig. But secondly, a group of ordinary citizens, so armed and with the proper training, could pose a significant threat to an invading army, which would be comparably armed.
These days? Things are obviously somewhat different. This will become especially obvious should one find themselves face-to-face with an M1A1 Abrams tank with a Predator drone hovering above raining down hellfire missiles from the sky. One doesn't need field tests or a war games simulation to realize that even military-grade infantry weapons won't be very effective against that type of technological terror. If we're serious about enabling citizens to resist a tyrannical takeover by our nation's armed forces, it's immediately clear that we would need to start talking about legalizing far more than just guns. Any well-armed insurgency will need rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles; beyond that, we should be talking about making it legal for pilots to retrofit any aircraft they own with whatever caliber of cannon their planes will support.
But previous history has taught us that perhaps the most effective insurgency weapon is the Improvised Explosive Device. If we are serious about defending American liberty against our own military, it's clear that we need our patriotic bomb-makers to have the freedoms they need to defend our country. As long as our government is monitoring and regulating purchases of fertilizers and other nitrates that could be used to make the explosives we need for self-defense, it's quite clear we can't have the freedoms we deserve to defend ourselves against tyranny. And while we're at it, our nation's sovereign citizens shouldn't be bound by United Nations treaties on self-defense items like chemical and biological weapons. The fear of anthrax or sarin gas might be the only thing that keeps our own tyrannical military from attempting to overwhelm our hard-earned freedoms. And while it's doubtful that any individual would have the wherewithal to build or acquire their own suitcase nuke, that person should certainly be free to do so: It's the ultimate in self-defense, is it not? The sum of all fears?
But let's conclude back in the real world. If the types who advocate for the Second Amendment as defense against tyranny were serious about their motivations, they would very quickly realize the inconsistency of having their arguments apply to guns alone, and seek to expand its scope to apply to weapons that actually had a hope of doing the duty for which they believe the Constitution provides. But those who say they dream of rebellion do no such thing, meaning that they either haven't thought through the consequences of their ideology, or that it is a cover for a motivation that dares not speak its name in polite circles, even if right-wing radio shock jock Neal Boortz did:
And I'll tell you what it's gonna take. You people, you are - you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun. And you do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta. We need to see the next guy that tries to carjack you shot dead right where he stands. We need more dead thugs in this city. And let their -- let their mommas -- let their mommas say, "He was a good boy. He just fell in with the good crowd." And then lock her ass up.Now that Barack Obama is the president, it's simply that the people who fantasize about "standing their ground" against minorities and the people who fantasize about defending themselves against an intrusive government just happen to have even more interests in common.