Why do we even have a Second Amendment? Why was it so important to the founders? Why did they put it so close to the top? I guess that Noah Webster said it most succinctly and most eloquently:
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”
That is why the Founders looked to local militias as much to provide a check—in modern parlance, a “deterrent”—against government tyranny as against an invading foreign power. Guns are individuals’ own personal nuclear deterrent against their own government gone rogue. Therefore, a heavily armed citizenry is the ultimate deterrent against tyranny.
A heavily armed citizenry is not about armed revolt; it is about defending oneself against armed government oppression. A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own (and any other) government.