For all the arguments from the paranoid right about the need for arms to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government, the problem is that traditional arms available to an under-trained civilian force cannot attempt to directly overcome a modern military. There is a severe sense of being outmatched, a full military can afford weapons that no civilian force can even consider. In fact, one of the reasons why the state militia was reorganized under the National Guard was to enable them to have the expanded weaponry and capability which came from a unified national force, while still retaining the direct control by the states.
But, there is a force of arms by which a civilian force can assault and overthrow a tyrannical government – the computer.
In the computer age, force of arms is not through use of traditional weaponry, but through cyber-attacks. For example:
A modern force of arms is not the traditional image of a group of minutemen gathering to stand against an army, it is in organized computer systems, in information release, even our combat systems have become little more than remote-controlled video games. In such a computer driven world, what use is an assault rifle?
The United States grasp of information based warfare is primitive, even as our enemies have embraced it. Already coordinated cyber-attacks by both foreign governments and terrorist organizations are on the rise. It is now considered highly likely a large scale coordinated cyber-attack will occur in the next 11 months. But while there are dangerous enemies abroad, there are also domestic patriot computer activists who did take up force of arms, their computers, to prevent a tyrannical takeover of the government.
A true defender of the 2nd Amendment would not be fighting against an Assault Weapons Ban, which would effect an ever shrinking group, but instead be fighting against attempts to restrict internet access, which would be to eliminate access to the arms of the 21st century.
The NRA and similar supposedly pro-2nd Amendment groups are decidedly stuck in the 19th century. In the modern world, uprisings against the government were not won by firearms, but by information. Popular uprisings, successful uprisings, across the world were managed by computer coordination, using systems such as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media applications. People who wish to resist an oppressive government do not need weapons anymore. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword, or in this case, the keyboard is mightier than the assault rifle.
Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.
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