Some people say that “No civilian should have military style weapons!”
Ironically they also criticize those who say gun ownership deters oppressive government. “Oh yea, your hunting rifle is going to stand up against the government’s tanks and bombs,” they laugh.
And yet, guerrilla warfare is extremely difficult to defeat.
Don’t get me wrong, I would not like to see the U.S. government get bad enough that a revolution is a serious option.
But even the U.S. government itself has admitted that there is a time and place to take up arms against an oppressive government. The U.S. government has armed Syrian rebels, Afghani rebels, and Libyan rebels just to name a few in recent times.
And guerrilla fighters are notoriously hard to beat. The U.S. knows that from fighting against rebels they armed, like the Afghanis and ISIS.
China also knows that guerrilla fighters are hard to beat. In fact, guerrilla resistance is responsible for the domination of the Communist Party since Mao Zedong.
Mao originally gained power by waging a years-long guerrilla campaign against the officially recognized Chinese state. The first fighters were largely farmers armed with farm tools and sharpened bamboo spears. Defections from the military helped them grow their ranks, and arm the soldiers. Their armory grew when they won battles and took the equipment of the enemy.
According to The 33 Strategies of War, by Robert Greene, Mao used a strategic armistice with the Chinese government to solidify his power during WWII.
Mao and his rebels were losing the civil war against the central state. But as Japan invaded, the two sides decided to stop fighting each other and instead focus on the Japanese. During this time, Mao was able to regroup and train his soldiers by attacking the Japanese with guerrilla tactics. Meanwhile, Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the official Chinese army, waged a costly conventional defense against the invading Japanese.
Having suffered minimal losses, and with his fighters trained up, Mao turned his focus back to the Chinese government after World War II. Now the Communist leader controlled large swaths of China with loyal citizens who witnessed the Communist army’s resistance to the Japanese.
Within a few years, the Republic of China government was pushed off the mainland and took refuge in Taiwan. Since then, the Communist Party has dominated China.
China Calls for U.S. Gun Control
In a dark sort of hilarity, China state media says that the U.S. government must ban guns in order to protect human rights.
“The US will have to adopt gun control in the future,” the editorial said. “Gun ownership in China is strictly regulated, which helps reduce gun-related crimes and deaths. The US should learn from China and genuinely protect human rights. If the US does not control its guns, problems caused by firearms in the foreseeable future will continue plaguing US society.”
… “It’s inhumane for the US, which boasts about its human rights record, to turn a blind eye to gun violence, snub increasing calls for gun control and risk more innocent lives.”
I don’t know about you, but instead of 1,000–or 10,000 by one estimate–innocent unarmed civilians being massacred at Tiananmen square in 1989, I think it would have been better to see 1,000 armed resisters pick off Communist Party officials one by one.
But a well-armed civilian force is useful for more than rebellion.
Imagine if Americans ever had to repel a homeland invasion. It may seem unlikely now, but who knows what the political climate will be like in ten or twenty years. A brutal economic collapse–like the kind caused by runaway debt and hyperinflation–could spark a global conflict.
The United States shipped guns to British civilians during WWII because of the possibility of a German invasion. It was understood that resistance from every house, block, neighborhood, and village would overwhelm the invading force.
Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto probably didn’t actually say: “You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”
But what he did say, was “The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants.”
He said that arguing against building a new type of battleship. While mighty, he said it didn’t matter compared to the countless jets that could attack it.
And the same lesson holds true for a murderous government, whether homegrown or foreign.
Throughout history, people have had to hold tyrannical governments in check. I hope that in this day and age information is the only weapon we will need.
But it would be naive and dangerously ignorant to remove the final line of defense against psychopathic tyrants.