It gets extremely tedious having the same conversation and responding to the same knee-jerks over and over again. That is how 2nd Amendment arguments always go on the internet. A Right-wing gun nut will share a stupid post about supposed “government tyranny,” and caption it with, “see, this is why we need the 2nd Amendment.” Let me explain a few of the ways posts like that are dumb.
We most likely wouldn’t win
When I tell people that hillbillies with AR-15s wouldn’t beat the US military I am always met with the same response: “Well we did it during the Revolutionary War.”
The Revolutionary War isn’t analogous to what they are proposing. In the Revolutionary War we were not fighting a country struggling to hold itself together, we were fighting a colonial power with many overseas colonies, of which we were only one. We were not a serious immediate threat to England if they decided we weren’t worth the effort, so they could call it quits if we put up a fight. Something more analogous is the American Civil War in which the rebels were annihilated despite vigorous guerrilla fighting. Ironically, gun nuts tend to also side with the slave-holding South of that war.
Additionally, the gun nut “patriots” always forget that the Revolutionary War would very possibly not have been won had it not been for the substantial amount of help another world superpower, France, gave to us. Around 12,000 French soldiers and over 20,000 French sailors fought with us during the war. Indeed, the Battle of Yorktown, the final overwhelming victory of the war, likely would not have been won without the massive French force assisting George Washington, along with the large French fleet that kept the British from escaping back to open sea. I don’t find it likely that any major world superpower today is going to help the rebel army of Graham Allen, Alex Jones, or Kaitlin Bennett.
Even the Nazis couldn’t violently overthrow the government, they had to resort to political means to attain power. The Beer Hall Putsch failed and Hitler decided that he had to come to power legitimately and by becoming popular with the people, which he did. If organized paramilitary groups in Germany post-WWI couldn’t overthrow the government, I’m skeptical of the ammosexual Right’s chances.
It’s no coincidence that the gun nut Patriots always reference the Revolutionary War in their argument. The nuts see themselves as freedom-loving patriotic warriors. In reality, their revolution, if it succeeded, would likely be a theocracy where abortion rights, gay rights, trans rights, separation of church and state, and a great deal else would likely be a thing of the past.
We certainly wouldn’t want the gun nuts winning
Historically, violent revolutions have been at least as likely to result in a worse and more tyrannical government than a better one. Consider that the Nazi and Communist paramilitary groups in Germany that attempted to do it post-WWI; those who actually overthrew the government in Russia near the same time period; the violent shift to theocracy during the Iranian revolution of 1979; the Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution; and the Terror of the French Revolution.
It is true that there have been beneficial revolutions such as that of the American Revolution or the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in Britain. Though, the Glorious Revolution was largely reversing a different revolution, the English Civil war (1642–1651), and the religiously tyrannical (if you were anything but Protestant) reign of Cromwell. It seems the ratio of bad revolutions to good ones is not in our favor. Especially considering that, despite its many many flaws, the US is still among the most prosperous countries in the world. In fact, many of the very attributes that trigger-happy chicken-hawk Right-wingers cite to justify revolution are those which the most prosperous countries in the world have; taxes, social safety nets, market regulations, firearm regulations, climate change regulations. The alt-Right gun squad, though, falsely believes the opposite; that we’re living in the end times, and that gay rights, women’s rights, and everything else similar are leading America to immorality and “limp-wristed” sissy culture. There’s no way that these overzealous gun fanatics would establish a better government than the one they hope to overthrow.
Don’t mistake my gun position either. I own a gun, as does most of my immediate family. I am not against gun ownership and I am well aware of the flaws in the American Left’s arguments against guns.
My issue is with lunatics who fantasize about armed insurrection; those who have turned their identity as “gun-owner” into a substantial part of their overall identity; those who’ve combined guns, theocracy, and Right-wing political ideology into a fibrous cyst of self-righteous stupidity. The dangerous people are the “God, guns, and Trump” crowd. These are people who are profoundly ignorant but convinced they are geniuses; that their “common sense” trumps the painstakingly studied and acquired intelligence of professionals and those they dub “intellectual elitists.” They shout “facts over feelings” despite consistently letting feelings override facts on climate change, abortion, abstinence-only sex education, spanking, and many other issues.
The America that such fanatics would lead to if they succeeded in overthrowing the government is not an America that would be free or prosperous.