The principle of the armed citizen

I wrote this in response to something Kevin Thomasan wrote on Facebook.

Many of those who oppose firearms ownership by the common citizen cannot fathom that government actually WILL at some point cause them harm. They honestly believe that at a basic level, mankind has good intentions, and with the right laws and the right people in the halls of government, peace will be achieved, no one will need weaponry, and we will all live in harmony.

This is a complete blindness to the truth; mankind is at his heart evil, the natural state of power is to augment itself. Left unchecked and unchallenged by the ability of the individual to enforce their will, human governments will expand their power to the point of tyranny and totalitarianism, no matter how well-meaning they were to begin with. The only check in such a chain of events is the threat of retaliation by the oppressed, and retaliation of such significance as to depose those who would dare to oppress them.

The questioning of the need for a citizen to possess military-grade small arms is BLIND to this fact. There is a need for the balance of power to be maintained, for force be balanced with force. The check of government authority as envisioned by the founders of the United States is the armed citizen, and citizens armed in sufficient manner to bring force equal to that with which they might be oppressed. At the time the nation was founded, colonists were armed on an equal footing with British troops, and that was one of the major factors that allowed the colonists to no longer be colonists, but free men.

The principle of equal force is not that violence WILL occur, but that the cost of oppressing the citizen will be too great to justify the potential gain, and may result in a total loss of power for the individual responsible for instigation. It is about potential, not about actual violence.

If you are the sort that wants ‘social justice’ and ‘equality’, then you are intellectually dishonest if you believe that the social injustice of the citizen being unequal in their ability to enforce their will against an oppressor is somehow morally superior to an armed citizen acting as a check to the potential tyranny of their government.

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