The 2nd amendment is vital, don't let anyone make you think otherwise.
Guns empower people to not sit down and just take it when governments consistentenly abuse their power over a long enough period of time.
In fact it’s a completely nonsense response, and one might point out that America is also fairly unique in its seemingly ill-functioning and over reaching government. Nobody reached for their guns after any of the post-9/11 constitution slashing, nor over any of the hundreds of documented abuses of power, corruption or citizens-United bribery that happen all of the time.
But sure, if cradling your firearms at night imagining a time when you gloriously rise up in unison against some big-brother style figurehead (while your other freedoms are eroded bit by bit) is an effective coping mechanism I guess that’s a good thing for the controlling oligarchy.
I can see why the promote it so heavily.
Also we really don't know what would happen if the US military was asked to start fighting its own citizens. There is no guarantee those orders would be followed... people don't like killing their neighbors even if they're ordered to do it.
To your latter point, there are constant human rights abuses/crackdowns on dissent in China, but does anyone intervene? Now consider that the US has military might many times China's. Who's going to intervene?
I, too, would hope for defection if the US military was told to start attacking US citizens. It's important to note, though, that the military goes to great lengths to break recruits down and rebuild them into "warriors" aka unquestioning killing machines.
Would it surprise you to learn that the "US military" aren't a bunch of mindless drones, but are in fact family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow citizens? And that they wouldn't necessarily feel great about slaughtering their fellow countrymen?
Trying to come with 2nd amendment is bullshit, you have to get the sympathy by the military. This could be by inflicting damage, but more likely by having high enough casualties that the military thinks it is too much.
It would be a bloodbath.
2) to say armed people can stop dictators, it's a totally braindead assumption.
Please, go understand how the world works.
I don't claim to know how the world works, but I've seen and learned enough to understand the importance violence has in our society. In most developed nations we're sheltered from it because its application has been made incredibly efficient. However, we shouldn't be fooled to believe that it doesn't play an important role in maintaining our societies.
Your argument, such as it is, is equivalent to saying people should not be allowed to defend themselves, because someone might get hurt. It rests on the hidden assumption that guns cause violence, which isn't supported by the evidence you offer; and flies in the face of the actual violence in HK.
That violence is never the answer.
In civil society, we like to preach that, but as soon as the basic pillars of civility disappear, violence is unfortunately the only answer.
Worrisome times indeed.
Where to draw that line is a personal choice. There are no simple answers. "You can never make that choice" is just as extreme and absolute an answer as "any time you are unhappy about anything the government does, start shooting."
There is nothing about the situation in Hong Kong that compares to any level of dissatisfaction you believe may exist with a democratically elected government.
Maybe it would be more costly, but the escalation would also provide the justification to strike down the population completely and simply murder all the protesters. Instead of reading about peaceful protesters being attacked you'd read about the military taking out insurgents.
Civilian militias have an enormous advantage over organized militaries. Guerilla tactics.
Yes, special forces employ them, but never the less, you’ll never see a special forces groups throwing IEDs on insurgent convoys.
Unlike civilians, organised militaries have rulebooks to follow.
This is true especially in authoritarian states with centralised decision making. See: the six day war. When communications were out, Arabs became mindless drones and the morale was in the toilet. Perhaps not the best example because that was organised military vs organised militaries. However, for Israel, everything was at stake. It was either victory or total annihilation.
I'm curious. What was the last anti-insurgent war we won? I'll list the ones where we lost: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
Yes ordinary people in much of Afghanistan and parts of Iraq can get hold of firearms if the want to. It doesn't help them at all. They are utterly dominated by either the local militias in Iraq (Sunni and Shiia depending on their area), or by the Taliban in much of Afghanistan.
If arming everybody worked to promote freedom, then Iraq and Afghanistan would be free associations of local communities joining together to protect their liberties. That is clearly not the case, and it isn't the case in any country with weak government and pervasive access to arms. Guns everywhere make the weak weaker and the strong stronger.
Guns do not even the playing field. In practice they dramatically tilt the playing field even more in favour of those with a willingness and propensity to use violence.
In both cases, you'd read what the oppressor wants you to read.
It created an arm race between civilians and the authorities. The basic police in the US is better equipped than the military of most EU countries.
You may disagree, but it is not an unreasonable position.
A disarmed society is an enslaved society.
That's not something either side really wants to hear these days.
And the American revolution wasn’t won because of protest, in fact, there was considerable protest and petitioning against the British prior to war and it resulted in the British becoming even more oppressive. It took guns and blood to win.
On the other hand, enough protests and civil disobedience will disrupt the economy and the functioning of the government to the point they will have to react, or resign.
I am not American and haven't studied the U.S. history, but the cynic in me cannot help but wonder if the 2nd amendment is kept to let people think they are protected from tyranny while not fighting back any laws and unfair policies. When was the last time a law or policy was successfully fought and turned around in the U.S.?
I'd say the last time armed resistance had direct impact on law was the abolition of slavery. Most specifically John Brown's taking of a federal armory in 1859. It didn't end well for Brown, his sons, or the freed slaves involved. It did, however, cause a polarization of public sentiment that accelerated the approach of civil war. Only after the other side was ground to paste was legislation changed nationwide.
To the commentors making a Vietnam analogy - short of storming federal installations ourselves, from whom are we to get the military-grade weaponry to put up any kind of resistance? Russia?
Civil rights act
Roe v Wade
In which of those was the 2nd amendment used?
Having said that, weren't those slow change of the laws? I was thinking more about forceful events like the opposition to the Vietnam war, the yellow jackets in France, or what's going on in Hongkong right now.
How much longer would have the Vietnam war lasted if it weren't for large scale marches?
How many people's life got ruined because of marijuana laws for decades. Could have this been avoided with better ways to address harsh laws?
Are there really no law today that are almost universally hated, but kept on the book because of lobbying by companies or vocal minority groups?
From the outside, it seems that police equipment escalated to get army grade vehicles and weapons, and the army has been to enough wars involving fighting civilians that they could crush most opposition in a matter of days.
Then what's happening in HK is masked "civilians" committing crimes, so the manifestant reacting to them with violence would also fall on the illegal side and it would be game for the police to intervene openly as strongly as they want.
Sure they "could" but will they. Right now the mainland populace knows nothing of this. If you let it turn into a bloodbath that could create a big enough international incident that people could find out. Is it worth the risk?
> it would be game for the police to intervene openly as strongly as they want.
And when the police don't want to prevent violence you get stuff like this.
Now, obviously the moral high ground in that example is reversed but my point is that the police need to want to prevent violent retribution if the locals want to inflict it and they are to prevent violent retribution.
Sorry it wasn't clear, I was talking about the police in the USA and the second amendment. I was explaining why I think civils having weapons just doesn't mean much against the current government.
> the police need to want to prevent violent retribution if the locals want to inflict it
Sure, we all agree. Here the gov/police is orchestrating the violence, so I guess we also agree they don't want to prevent it.
How fearful is the US government of Americans? Consider:
- The US government surveils Americans when it wants, as much as it wants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_surveillance_in_the_Unite...
- US police kill about 1,000 Americans every year. US police kill more Americans than terrorists do: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/police...
- US presidents assassinate US citizens without consequence: https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/obama-killed-a-16-year-o...
- The US government can search you or your devices at the border without cause, even if you're a citizen: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/16/us/border-legal-rights-fa...
I see plenty of brazenness in the US government's behaviour. I don't see much fear.