Reply to post: Re: Despite NRA propaganda

Uncle Sam is asking Americans if they could refrain from slapping guns on their drones

Jellied Eel Silver badge

Re: Despite NRA propaganda

I keep seeing similar arguments. What I can't understand is how this works in practice. Does it mean that any group of people in the US has the right to overthrow the US government if they feel oppressed? It would seem that there must be many such groups. I would also suspect that the likely outcome would be a dictatorship.

Not necessarily, but it's sort of democratic. So there are groups that want to overthrow governments and some even enjoy quite a lot of public/media support, ie Antifa, or in the UK, 'Extinction Rebellion'. They want to replace the UK's system of government with a kakistocracy for example. In practice, all you need is a large enough mob so that governning/policing by consent becomes impossible.

Having an armed populace may then make that more/less easy. The 'Colour' revolutions in former Soviet states demonstrated how that can happen relatively peacefully, or some of the 'Spring' revolutions, how violently. Or there's Ukraine. 'Peaceful' protests, someone starts shooting, crowd goes wild.. Then angry mobs storm police stations and military bases and became armed and angry mobs.. Much of which is simple crowd psychology.

But that's also the balancing act for governments. Crack down on 'peaceful' protestors and it can end up boosting recruitment and incite those groups, the situation escalates and riots become revolutions.. Especially if there are people helping that along.

But such is democracy. We already have the right to overthrow an oppressive government, it's just the approved method is via the ballot box, not the ammunition crate. Then there's history, ie the US was a new nation, and still pretty fragile. It sprang into existence as a protest against foreign rule, and relied on an armed populace to overthrow it's then government. The UK did much the same thing with a civil war leading to seperating powers between Crown, Church and State. But 'militias' have a long tradition, ie the practice of UK Lords having their own full-time troops, then raising their levys if/when the Crown called on them to go off for a spot of looting & pillaging.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019