Off the top of my head;
...a country successfully fought a tyrannical government with violence? Does anyone know? It came up in conversation recently, and the only example we could even think of was the American Revolution. And even that started non-violently (The Boston Massacre) which outraged the colonies, and led to us getting a lot of international support due to the brutality of it. International supports that we needed, otherwise we may still be British to this day.
But seriously, think about it. What have been the most successful protests in recent memory? The civil rights movement? We still see Martin Luther King and his fellow protestors referenced to this day. They had dogs unleashed on them, they were beaten with billy clubs, and they were sprayed with fire hoses. They didn't fight back. They took it, stood their ground, and the police came out being the villains. No one argues won that MLK ultimately won that conflict. There are dozens of examples of the peaceful approach historically being successful.
Or how about more recently? We have probably the best example of the 2 ways to protest going on as we speak: Egypt and Syria. Anyone remember those police officers firing into the crowd of protestors in Egypt? They gunned down hundreds of unarmed civilians. What happened? The person who gave the orders to fire was arrested, tried, and is now in prison. The protestors have international support due to the outrage from the world who heard about it. Most importantly, there has not been civil war, yet we are seeing significant progress. Now look at Syria. The protestors shot back. Now we have something like 50,000 civilians dead, the "rebels" are scattered, and the government now has reason to be ruthlessly brutal with their population.
So, with the primary argument being that we need the exact same weapons the military has to protect ourselves from a potentially tyrannical government, is that really pragmatic? Even if we went to war with a dictator in 20 years, history shows that by shooting back, not only does the uprising almost always get put down, but history shows them as the wrong party in the conflict. So, again I ask, does anyone have any examples of violent rebellions successfully removing a tyrant...?
Off the top of my head;
India is actually a good example of what you're talking about.
India first tried to gain independence from Britain by force with a few rebellions, the first of which being the Indian Mutiny in 1857; all these rebellions were handily thwarted by the British. Fast forward to 1920 & Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement, then his 1930's salt-march, & ultimately his "Quit India Movement" in 1942 (all of which were peaceful protests), in conjunction with countless of forms of political & social protest by way of literature, poetry, song, strikes, etc; eventually forced Britain to relinquish control of India, & they finally got their independence in 1947.
In total, Britain held dominion over India for 339 years. 90 years after what is recognized as the first official rebellion, & 27 years after Gandhi's first political movement.
Peaceful protests are very powerful indeed, but looking at history they are the exception rather than the rule. I think it's also important to remember that part of the reason they had to rebel in such a way is that the British outlawed any Indians from owning guns in 1877 (before this act any Indian citizen was allowed to carry any caliber weapon). Even Gandhi, one of the most famous & great peaceful protests advocates of all time, thought the stripping of India's ability to defend itself to be one of the more deplorable things carried out under British rule.
Even if Rob hadnít given several examples this would be a total red herring, we have a constitutional right to bear arms (arms that at the time the Bill of Rights was written were the same the military carried). We as Americans do not have to justify our rights, they are granted to us prior to justification.
Perseverance of the Saints
History is filled with people overthrowing tyrants. People who were outgunned, outmatched and had far inferior weapons than the tyrants they beat. Hell our on troops in Afghanistan have been fighting an insurgency for over a decade against the Taliban who still ride horses for F sakes. The 2nd amendment wasn't about shooting deer but about shooting tyrants. Just because a tyrant has you outmtached in all regards isn't a good enough excuse to trample on the 2nd amendment PERIOD.
"Politics is the Art of Looking for Trouble, Finding it Everywhere, Diagnosing it Incorrectly, and Applying the Wrong Remedies"
The French revolution was right around the time of our revolution, correct? Technology was limited, making it easier to match the military's strength. I don't find that example particularly relevant, no moreso than our revolution.
The Cuban revolution is another good example I think. However, they were opposing a third world government, not some technological giant. Also the same with the Mexican Revolution.
My point being if there did ever end up being a need to oppose a tyrant here in the states, how effective would a revolt be? What are some AR-15s going to do to a Black Hawk Helicopter? Where are you going to hide that some scud missiles won't level in seconds? Everyone talks a big game, but what are some civilians going to do to the best-equipped military in the world? No one doubts that a resistance can be effective, for a time. But completely overtake? Are you guys ****ing crazy?
If that were to ever happen, the best retaliation would be along the lines of Martin Luther King. That seems to have been the most effective protest in our brief history...
I am a pretty peaceful guy, i've had guns for a LONG time, and if I had to be honest about it, I doubt I would ever participate in a violent revolution, nor do I think there will be one.
I know many say they would, but few would actually do it if it came right down to it.
For me, I have two little ones that I helped bring into this world, and I will do everything in my power to turn them into contributing members of our society. I guess that is my excuse, at least for now.
To be honest with you though, many of the actions of our government make me absolutely sick. The way they police the world, in many cases not caring a bit for innocent life lost, only for corporate profit...that is what is truly important to our "leaders".
I keep thinking about all the different times over the past century that our government has sold out their own people to either further an agenda, or reep more profit or power for themselves (the poor people of LA in the eighties is the one that gets me the most), and I think how different I must be than most.
I certainly don't sit around thinking about how I would love for some other country to kick our ass, that actually doesn't appeal to me at all. Somebody or something finally getting the upper echelon of our political hierarchy to pay for all of their misdeeds done to their own people and others gets me real excited though, I have to admit.