Several reasons why preventing law-abiding individuals of their right to own more than hunting weaponry is illegal and imprudent:
1. It undercuts the intention of the writers of the constitution.
@DiscoBiscuit ‘s point, was that the authors intended for the populace to have enough firepower to deter a government takeover. I’m not advocating for privatization of nukes, but to arbitrarily say that law-abiding civilians should be restricted from owning high-powered firearms and instead they should all be in the hands of the government makes the intent of the 2nd amendment null and void. When the constitution was written you’re right, they had one shot muskets. In other words, the citizenry had the same caliber of weaponry as the military/government did. The weaponry has changed – the principles have not. The founding fathers didn’t qualify their statement at all, because there should be no distinction, because the entire purpose is for it to pose as a deterrent. If the government has a corner on the right to own more modern weaponry, meanwhile all the population owns is hunting equipment, our system of checks and balances they intended is gone.
Or as they put it:
The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. - Thomas Jefferson
To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them. - George Mason
Whenever you give up force, you are ruined... the great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun. - Patrick Henry
The people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion. - Alexander Hamilton
I agree, I hope it would never happen. But to state that it will not or even is highly unlikely is not only foolhardy, but flies in the face of world history and the very principles and warning that our own form of government was founded on.
2. It provides the American populace with no means to defend themselves should the military fail or be incapacitated in the event of enemy attack/foreign invasion.
Every savvy contingency planner understands the concept of building in what are called redundancies. This is the means of accomplishing the same thing using a different form. A plan B. The founding fathers never intended us to rely strictly on the government for protection. It was meant to facilitate, not guarantee. A well-armed populace was part of their contingency planning. They were building in redundancies.
Take Israel for example, which lives in the face of terrorism and threat of foreign attack in a way most Americans are so isolated from as to present an almost comical, if it wasn’t so dangerous, naiveté. Israeli policy holds that if a foreign invader defeated/bypassed/ or somehow made it past their military that it would then fall to the population to defend and protect. This is what the founding fathers meant by militia – armed civilians who could unite under a common purpose. (Parenthetically, indicative of the benefits of Israel's policy that there be armed people in all public places is the guarantee that at least some teachers in each school are armed. Likewise, bus drivers are issued guns and-or encouraged to carry their private firearms, and at least one armed teacher or parent must ride along on every school field trip. By arming teachers to stave off terror attackers until security forces who patrol near schools arrive Israel has deterred Palestinian school attacks for the last 30 years. It works even on today's suicide terrorists. While willing to die, they still avoid schools lest they be shot down before they can kill the children.)
Americans really, reeeeeally want to think we can never be successfully invaded. They work so hard at believing this. Then things like Pearl Harbor and September 11th happen, and for a while, reality sets in, but only for a while. The thought is just so icky and removed from their sheltered and privileged experience. The reality is we are not impenetrable, and there are multiple scenarios where large scale damage and havoc could be had within our borders.
3. It leaves the American populace with little means of defense against roving, organized gangs in the event of a calamity that facilitated the breakdown, however temporary, of society.
Hate to break it to you, but our little civilized American bubble could be burst with relative ease. I know it’s an icky thought, and requires the mental elasticity to step out of the hipster, secular humanist mentality for a moment, but we are about 3 days away from the breakdown of society at any point. All it would take was a particularly devastating catastrophe – a pandemic, a solar flare, an EMP attack, etc. and you’d find out how people really felt and operated very quickly.
Hurricane Katrina is just one of many examples that illustrates the error of relying on government to provide the protection necessary to your family's survival. Not only does government almost always arrive too late to save victims of truly dangerous attackers; the arrival of government isn’t even guaranteed. We have an inalienable right to self-preservation. My point is, you don’t have a right to disarm and prevent law-abiding, responsible citizens from securing their own protection in these situations. We should never be denied the ability to ensure and equalize our and our loved ones’ survival in any possible situation and be put at a disadvantage compared to hardened criminals and panicking mobs who will take what they want by force. And in the event of a national emergency, the enablement of heroism would become even more vital.
******Gun-control advocates look at guns only as a means to harm others even though they are more often used to prevent injury. According to a 1995 study entitled “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun” by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, published by the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology at Northwestern University School of Law, law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year.
That means that firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to shoot with criminal intent. Of these defensive shootings, more than 200,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse. About half a million times a year, a citizen carrying a gun away from home uses it in self-defense. Again, according to Kleck amd Gertz, “Citizens shoot and kill more criminals than police do every year [2,819 times versus 303].” Moreover, as George Will pointed out in an article entitled “Are We a Nation of Cowards?” in the November 15, 1993, issue of Newsweek, while police have an error rate of 11 percent when it comes to the accidental shooting of innocent civilians, the armed citizens’ error rate is only 2 percent, making them five times safer than police.
Other studies give similar results. “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms,” by the Clinton administration’s Justice Department shows that between 1.5 and 3 million people in the United States use a firearm to defend themselves and others from criminals each year. A 1986 study by Hart Research Associates puts the upper limit at 3.2 million.
Those studies and others indicate that often the mere sight of a firearm discourages an attacker. Criminologist John Lott from the University of Florida found that 98 percent of the time when people use guns defensively, simply brandishing a firearm is sufficient to cause a criminal to break off an attack. Lott also found that in less than 2 percent of the cases is the gun fired, and three-fourths of those are warning shots.
Your arguments seem to rest on your particular analysis of probability. In other words – that will never happen. I would say history, science, and rightfully admired intellectual admonition and reasoning from great minds who have given us something infinitely precious and successful would indicate otherwise. And if you succeed in dis-empowering us and then you are wrong – we are screwed.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin