A critic might then suggest that the primary intent of the Second Amendment, a hedge against tyranny, is no longer relevant. Eric Swalwell infamously joked that an armed uprising would be a “short war because the government has nukes.” That this is a dubious statement is beside the point.
Individual acts of defiance, not organized revolt is the most imposing deterrent to tyranny. The politician must think carefully before he passes any legislation because that legislation must be enforced. There is the ever-present risk that a citizen might choose to ignore that law. While the weight of the government is often able to force compliance anyway, it is not always able to do it quietly. Events like Waco blacken the reputation of responsible policy-makers.
The public is outraged over the governmental overreach, and ambitious bureaucrats are quickly cowed. One could point to Venezuela or Hong Kong as obvious parables against disarmament, but it is not even necessary to go that far. England, whose people gave up their right to firearms in the twentieth century, has begun prosecuting citizens for “hate speech.” Europe, as a whole, has seen their social and economic liberties dwindle. This is because politicians know that dissension can be crushed without devolving into a public spectacle. This is not true of the United States.
One could hardly imagine a Montana farmer allowing himself to be arrested for teaching a pug the Nazi Salute as happened in Scotland, and one could hardly imagine the official who ordered the arrest would retain his position. America remains the most heavily armed civilian population in the world, and for all her faults, she has remained the freest. These two facts are not unrelated.
This article is a great read for those interested in the evolution and origin of an Armed Citizenry. It gives historical aspect to how the concept came to be and its application today. Only 9 nations in the history of the world has had a “right to keep and bear arms”. The only country which has ZERO restrictive clause is America. If you are interested, the article has the details.