williatw wrote:40% of US households have guns...well north of 200 million firearms privately owned. There is no historical precident for that many armed citizens, so the historical parallels sighted by some posters above might not apply to us. 40% of 320 million is 120 million armed people, many times larger than the US military if not as well trained/disciplined. We would greatly outnumber them(the federal government) I don't think we would roll over that easily to a would be dictator. As some of the earlier posters indicated think we would probably break up along State lines. Most of the state have state militias under the governor's control, & their own constitutions etc., I think they are considered the national guard but since most of the people in them are from their home state, I would bet thats where there loyalty would be push come to shove. In a shooting match who do you think the Texas national guard(or for that matter Fort Hood?) would side with the President or the Governor of Texas?
I have pondered this notion since ~ 1994. At one time I would have believed the numbers of guns in Americans hands would have made it impossible for any army to subjugate the populace at large, but since I have watched very closely the events which transpired in Iraq, specifically the Army's response to insurgents and IEDs, I am no longer so certain.
A professional army now has a serious technical edge in addition to their concentrated manpower and fire power edge. The force multiplication effect this has on their abilities to deal with an insurgency like revolt I suspect more than make up for the numbers of citizens with arms.
The only characteristic which might make them weaker here in America than they are in Iraq is the fact that their logistical supplies and weapons come from here, and are therefore subject to a level of disruption that is entirely impossible in Iraq.
At this point, the most effective check we have on the Military being used to oppress the citizenry is the fact that the people serving in it are of the finest quality in terms of their love of country and their sense of right and wrong, and they will not be easily gulled into supporting the oppression of their fellow citizens.
But I fear even that is being eroded.