The pants-wetters of the pro-NRA crowd have always argued that the Second Amendment is the only thing protecting American citizens from tyranny, i.e. American citizens need to arm themselves so they can take over the government if they need to.
This is a ridiculous assertion on a lot of levels, not the least of which being the far right has always supported expanding our armed forces, too. We now have the world’s largest military, spending over $554 billion a year for this show of strength, and any attempt to cut the Pentagon’s budget is met with screams and hollers about “protecting the homeland” and “liberals make us less safe,” and other BS. So yes, Joe and Jane Teabagger, do tell me how you’re going to out-gun the largest military the world has ever known, please I’m dying to hear. How are Gus and Jethro down in the holler going to do what the Russians and Chinese haven’t?
But anyway, that’s all beside the point, as Joe Nocera made an excellent observation this weekend about Ukraine:
Ukraine, a nation of 45 million people, has restrictive laws governing private gun ownership. The government is in possession of more than seven million guns, while three million weapons, both legal and illicit, are in the hands of private citizens, creating a staggering gulf in firepower. By comparison, in the United States, there are 310 million guns in private hands, with only 3.85 million possessed by the military and police forces.
And yet, these “largely unarmed Ukrainian protestors” took on “a military armed with the world’s sixth-largest inventory of small arms” and just overthrew their government. The president has been ousted, a new president has been put in place — despite the disparity in firepower. Amazing, isn’t it?
I’ve said from day one that anyone interested in overthrowing their tyrannical overlords, either in some future America or anywhere else in the world, is better off learning to write computer code, not fire an AR-15. Of course, expecting people pretending to be leading players in their “Red Dawn” fantasies to care about reality is a stretch.