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Both are very good examples of the point. Both are dominated not by free armed civilians protecting their rights, but by organised well armed militias that completely suppress the rights and freedoms of the general population in their areas of control.

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.

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