> Emma (and others who think armed citizens act as a deterrent to gov't),
I'm not entirely sure that it is. I'm suggesting that I don't want to give up the possibility that it might be useful at some point. Most of the time I support evolutionary, non-violent change. But every so often when I find that I am *so* silenced, *so* marginalized, *so* voiceless, there seems to be nothing else. Honestly, I think it is just that I watched Red Dawn once too many times with my father.... :-)
> If you've got 60M people pissed off enough to take up arms against the
> government, why not just throw the bums out at the polls?
My point above is that even *then* we are voiceless. And replace the bums with who? Some more bums with a different name?
This whole line
> of argument collapses because the US gov't really *is* subject to popular
> opinion. If enough people take up guns to matter, they could have gone to
> the voting booth instead (or the picket line, etc.). Why bother with
> violence when non-violent means are sufficient?
Which is also why the threat of guns also work. Just having them, just showing them, just having the balls to do this is scary enough to make the government think twice.
For all the bashing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that goes on here, there are things embedded in those documents that I believe can be retrieved and put to more radical purposes.
"You certainly never felt the Terrorism, excited by Genet, in 1793, when ten thougsand People in the Streets of Philadephia, day after day, threatened to drag Washington our of his House, and effect a Revolution in the Government, or compel it to declare war in favour of the French Revolution, and against England? The coolest and firmest minds, even among the Quakers...have given their Opinions to me, that nothing but the Yellow Fever...could have saved save the United States from the total Revolution of Government. I have no doubt You was fast asleep in philosophical Tranquility, when ten thousand People,...were parading in the streets...on the Evening of my Fast Day (Adams has called a fast day that God "would withhold us from unreasonable discontent, from disunion, faction, sedition and insurrection,") When even Gov. Mifflin himself thought it his Duty to order a Patrol of Horse and Foot to preserve the peace; when Markett St. was as full of Men could stand by one another, and even before my Door; when some of my Domesticks in Phrenzy, determined to sacrifice their lives in my defence; when all were ready to make a desperate Salley among the multitude, and others were with difficulty dragged back by others; when I myself judged it prudent and necessary to order Chests of Arms from the War Office to be brought through by Lanes and back Doors; determined to defend my House at the Expence of my Life, and the Lives of the few Domesticks and Friends within it. What think you of Terrorism, Mr. Jefferson?
> Besides, even 60M may not be enough. The South tried it once. They had a
> lot more than just handguns (i.e. modern weaponry, top notch generals,
> etc.). It didn't work. Of course they were upset because the gov't
> wouldn't ALLOW them to do something nasty, i.e. spread slavery to future
> states, so I don't know if the analogy really holds.