Originally Posted by Sak01
... as well as helping to liberate the country from Great Britain. Having an armed populace was a good doctrine to keep it that way. Kind of like the Swiss method for ensuring their neutrality (compulsory service and gun ownership).
I personally see the 2nd amendment as more of a device to prevent the excesses of foreign powers (in a bygone era) than those of government although there are non-American cases where the latter is true. Take, for example, the Pakistani military's disastrous post-9/11 incursion in the well armed and traditionally highly autonomous regions of the tribal belt. They lost thousands of soldiers in the foray and lost their willpower to continue. Thus, the locals have successfully utilised their right to bear arms to defend against what they see as the excesses of their government.
Not a comfortable comparison for many but it is a good example of one of the arguments for gun rights being put into practice.
A very good and informative response but I have to disagree with the "bygone era" comment. Yes, an armed populace would not be much use against armor if left to their guns alone but the military in conjunction with a well armed populace is a huge deterrent to an armed incursion on U.S. soil. The armed populace would be an effective measure in close quarter battle and guerrilla war fare scenarios plus another uncomfortable comparison would be Iraq where I.E.D.'s were used effectively against armored vehicles.
The founding fathers very much believed in an armed populace to defend against the government should the need arise but a more appropriate and current scenario would be the U.N. Small Arms Trade Treaty. Obama and Clinton are in full support with this plan which can be used to disarm the American people by force if necessary. I would hope the military personnel would follow Sgt. Gary Stein's example and refuse to follow orders if this comes to pass.