On the Right to Bear Arms

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My last blog post got me thinking about how much worse the whole protest could have been if anyone was in any way armed. So why (hello America) the right to bear arms? As far as I can tell, there’s two arguments:

To protect my home

Does having a weapon deter burglary? Does, for example, the US have a lower burglary rate than the UK? Does any potential thief hold off on breaking into a place on the off-chance that he’ll get shot? My guess: No.

As a last resort, for the citizens to defend themselves from their government

Now this one does vaguely appeal to me, but it really doesn’t work. Maybe it did when GI Joe had a horse and a musket, and Joe the Plumber had a horse and a musket. But are you allowed to strap a Phalanx on the back of your pickup and stock your basement full of anti-tank rockets? My guess: nope.

So why does the Right to Bear Arms still exist? Am I missing something?

EDIT: On the other hand, I just remembered the Jeremy Clarkson programme about these guys, so maybe the second point isn’t a *complete* loss…