The NRA and gun advocates repeat as a refrain our Constitution’s Framers statements about the need to protect an individual right to bear arms “against a tyrannical government.” They argue that maintaining an individual right to bear arms prevents totalitarianism. Confusingly, they also throw up posters showing totalitarian regimes supporting gun-control against their populations.
That many of the framers made the statements regarding an individual right to bear arms is irrefutable. But a choice this country made and affirmed for over 200 years renders the statements obsolete. Against the Framers’ greatest fear, America decided to maintain a large standing Army, making the “stand against tyranny” argument a farce.
And the existence of a standing Army made obsolete another part of the Bill of Rights, the Third Amendment, prohibiting the quartering of troops in private homes. It is clearly impossible to maintain a large standing Army in private homes.
So despite the Framers’ fears, we maintain the best military in the world. At any given time, the U.S. Army has over 1 million soldiers not counting Marines, the Air Force, or the Navy. And, the Army has over 8,000 tanks not counting other armored combat vehicles plus combat helicopters and its own war planes.
If we took all the people maintaining a military style rifle “to defend against Tyranny” (assuming they could even get along with each other), they could not stand up to even one division of the Army.
So, if an assault weapon’s main purpose is “to stand against tyranny,” that purpose is obsolete unless we are willing to disband the Army. Something most Americans, including pro-gun politicians, are unwilling to do.