It's not a choice I am going to discuss here.
But I'm going to say this: Any condition under which a broad-scale armed revolution is necessary or useful in America? It's wishful thinking by people who want, say, the South to Rise Again or believe in various conspiracy theories. It isn't so much that the 2nd Amendment itself is out-moded--it's that America has become something that is no longer amenable to revolution. Armed revolution simply does not scale to the size of a 300 Million people 3.8 million square-mile country.
This Omnivore looks at some hypothetical scenarios where America comes under the boot of a dictator and what it would take for that to happen. None of them are plausible.
Grecian Formula: Economic Collapse Because of Bad Fiscal Policy
The Scenario: Going into the 2014 elections Grover Norquist has every Republican member of congress and the house tripple-dog-double-down on the No Taxes pledge--but as they each sign a triplicate form and Norquist was always kind of dodgy, what they do not realize is that the last form changes the words so that they have signed a pledge authorizing "legitimate rape of women 'if they are really asking for it.'" When the story breaks, everyone tries to deny it--but presidential favorite Rick Santorm goes off on a tangent talking about the need to increase the birth-rate in America "by any means necessary." Republicans lose in a land-slide and ... the Green Party seizes the nation winning election after election for the next 100 years!
What Sparks The Revolution: In 2060 (yes, 2060 or so) the economy, having been ravaged by socialism is in need of Quantative Easing Super-Mega-Neo-Stimulus Round #36. With unemployment at 48% (and paying a stunning 75k per year) an American terrorist cell releases a media virus onto the networks subjecting hundreds of millions of people to an old Ron Paul campaign ad. Seeing the TruthTM for the first time they decide to take up arms.
Why This Is Bullshit: Well, first off it's bullshit for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the (jokey) scenario. Let's start with: The US Is Not Greece Or Spain:
Greece is about the only eurozone country that has fallen into a public debt crisis because of overspending, or, to be more precise, because of a dysfunctional political system and widespread culture of tax evasion. This is only superficially similar to the U.S., where the deficit is caused by rising spending, combined with tax cuts.The US does not have a problem with tax evasion (not an endemic, pervasive one) and Greece, for example, produces almost nothing. The US does--and will continue to do so. Economic socialism in the US would not look "like Greece" (or Spain)--which is not to say it's a "good thing" but what if it looked more Canada--that socialist nightmare state:
Currently, the average Canadian household is more than $40,000 richer than the average American household. The net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, compared to around $320,000 for Americans.Oh-no! We, being a manufacturing country (despite what you've heard on Fox News) might also go down as that European failure economic failure: Germany. Or, you know, as we may become the world's largest oil producer ... Saudi Arabia. In other words, there is zero reason to think the fiscal policy we are seeing today will drive America into total collapse.
The Revolution: In this case what is the revolution trying to accomplish? Voting has not been suspended in this scenario. Are patriots trying to succeed and set up a fiscally responsible enclave? They can't: not only will assault rifles not allow that (they do nothing for arial bombing, for example) but they aren't supposed to. They're supposed to throw out tyrants--not elected officials (no matter how bad). In this scenario people simply either vote the bastards out--or don't. If the conservatives are so marginalized by, uh, taker-minorities (shall we say) they have only one choice: Immigrate. To Canada.
Donkey Dawn: Democrats Win
The Scenario: The Democrats have a plan. They rig the voting machines across the nation and it works! They could elect Dukakis if they wanted to--and ... they want to.
What Sparks The Revolution: The patriots realize what's going on but can't prove it. They seek redress in the courts--but the Obama administration has packed it with liberals and they don't even hear the case. The gun owners must fight until fair elections are restored.
Why This Is Bullshit: A lot of people believe this actually happened. It didn't. Here's why it won't:
- The same voting machine technology is not used across the nation. There are still paper-trails and normal ballots in many places. Sure: there might be some places where voter-fraud can (and does) happen--but it isn't wide-spread and it can't be. The margin of fraud has to be very close and the more these machines get used, the more scrutiny they will be under.
- These secrets come out. If you think the press would hide this, you've bought in conspiracy theory land where the press is actively covering up Benghazi rather than, you know, investigating it as ABC and CNN did (Pajamas Media didn't leak the information on it or the ambassador's diary).
- The Democrats are not all "one thing." Obama and Hillary didn't have secret meetings to decide who would rule--they had a knock-down drag-out fight. Conspiracies require a centralized controller. In a real-life party like the Democrats that isn't going to happen.
- Romney's son owns a voting machine company.
The Revolution: The problem here is that the gun-bearers are fighting against what is believed by most Americans (and the 47% that legitimately voted for Dukakis) to be a real election. They can't win against ~50% of the country (plus the military and the government): that's not what the 2nd Amendment is for. That's a coup. What is called for is actual documented proof of the event. If half the country still won't buy it? Sorry guys--it's over.
ZOMG: China Invades!!
The Scenario: America refuses to raise its debt ceiling and Obama refuses to cut internal spending. We default on our national debt and China, holding around 9% of it, does the only, uh, 'logical' thing and invades us Red Dawn style. They have some secret super-weapon that knocks out all our electronics, of course. Because they'd need that.
What Sparks The Revolution: Wolverines!!
Why This Is Bullshit: A few reasons--mostly because China would be stupid and suicidal to invade us even with a magical super-weapon--but let's continue.
- Our Navy: what happened to them? Does the super-weapon knock them out too? They're hardened and there are nuclear submarines and so on.
- The Cost Of Air-Freight: Now, and for the next 100 years, material must economically be moved by sea. Now, sure, China exports like 25 MM tons of steel each year (that's a lot of tanks)--but (a) that's over a year and (b) when you turn that into tanks they take up much more room. The point is that you need to do multiple beach landings. The Red Dawn scenario where an army of scale parachutes into the heart-land ignores the massive logistical cost of moving the men and weapons. The cost of filling up a tank in Afghanistan--for us--is 200k. It's 10k for a Humvee. You think it's going to make economic sense for China to invade us even if we were basically unarmed?
- Our Army: Citizen soldiers would help--sure--but in this scenario? We have a standing army that, even with its power knocked out, can still do all kinds of damage. They might never get to the baby-faced high-school kids with AR-15's.
- Allies: Does it seem likely that, uh, NATO would stand by for this? I think not.
The Revolution: In this case it's just good old civil defense. In this case, it's probably not necessary. It also isn't really a 2nd Amendment issue--the US Government could hand out machine guns, rocket launchers, and so on (and assault rifles) if a foreign power was about to break through.
What If It Was Canada? What if Canada or Mexico attacked? Same thing, far less powerful army. If you are concerned about external invaders read up on the history of war and America's geography. We are incredibly well positioned against land invasion and have nothing to fear from our actual neighbors.
The Alex Jones Apocalypse
The Scenario: The Illuminati, our secret masters, have sprung their final plan (we are told terrorists with nuclear weapons are in the country and Internet, TV, and phones are shut down). High command has ordered a gun-seizure before they will have the US Army (a) round us all up into FEMA internment camps and then (b) exterminate us for, uh, breathing their air. They will then (c) turn the US into an Agenda 21 nature preserve. Only a few patriots--armed to the teeth--know the truth.
What Sparks The Revolution: All those guys reading InfoWars and PrisonPlanet.com. They know what's happening. THEY HAVE TO STOP IT!!1!!
Why This Is Bullshit: Because it is. All of it. But if you must:
- The US Army and local police must obey their directives without question across the whole US. As the Army, as we know, is full of Ron Paul voters this does not seem very likely. It is also full of conservatives. And a lot of these guys read Alex Jones.
- People who run the Internment Camps have to either be in on it--or it's going to fall apart pretty quickly. Are there that many illuminati puppets?
- The end game is either a mass kill off (which makes no sense other than that it is scary) or maybe utter tyranny of the masses. Neither seems logical as "the Illuminati" can already choose our leaders and we work for peanuts as it stands. Unless they really do want to turn the US into a nature preserve the initial steps make no sense.
- Destruction of the US economy. If the Illuminati does own the world the US although tarnished, is still probably their crown jewels (other than the real Crown Jewels which you just know the take from the Tower of London and wear around their drunk New Years parties). This would ruin it. Does the Illuminati really care that much about spotted owls? Really? How do you know?
- It's too expensive, even for them. A while back I looked at the cost for securing "America" using the cost to secure Chicago for a NATO summit as the base-line. It costs way too much--even for the Illuminati.
The Revolution: If there are cadres of armed forces that are literally large enough to subjugate America and are willing to do it? And they have guidance of a non-elected extermination-bent conspiracy? If the Truth has already been locked up? Then yeah--you better get your gun.
The South Rises ... Again ... Sigh
I think the real emotional power behind a lot of over-throw-tyranny stuff is wanting an America that is free of "whatever ruined her in the first place." If the government won't do it (round up 'those people' and kick them out--or exterminate them) then clearly the government is in on it. The government isn't "in on it." The government is struggling along like everyone else. If you think you need an armed revolution to roll back abortion rights or stop minorities from taking over with their affirmative actions and raaacist voting? You are the problem--not the United States and not your targets.
Succession is the ultimate expression of this--you need those guns because when you decide to leave the US for your new utopia you will have to fight because the legitimate power structures (like Rick Perry) will not back you. You know that--and you still don't see how wrong-headed it is.
Keep in mind that when Timothy McVey blew up the federal building killing, yes, children, he thought he was sparking a new revolution that would bring down tyrants (the Clinton administration -does that seem quaint today? Yes, it does). If you are thinking a lot about the "need for guns" in the "near future" check out if your scenario is running along those lines--they don't go any place good.