In my latest reading of To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine, Newt Gingrich affirms that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to keep and bear arms, for that enables people to defend themselves against tyranny. Newt appeals to Federalist Number 46, in which James Madison presents an armed populace as a bulwark against tyranny.
I remember a Republican congressional candidate going to a high school and making that argument about the Second Amendment. The students then cross-examined him on this. If the people find themselves in a position where they need to fight their government because it’s become tyrannical, they asked, shouldn’t their weaponry be equal to what the government has, for them to stand a chance? Wouldn’t they need aircraft carriers, or nuclear weapons? The candidate did not know how to answer these questions.
I suppose that, if the people needed to defend themselves against a tyrannical government, the government would have the advantage, for the government has bombs, aircraft, and nuclear weapons. But I doubt that the government would want to wipe out everyone in America, were it to become tyrannical. Who would it then control? Who would support the economy, which sustains the government? Maybe the government would bomb a few areas, but suppose an armed populace did not give up but kept resisting? Could the government suppress that?