My post was meant to be a quick bit of cheeky irony, indicating that even in civilized Western societies, people feel strongly enough about some things to stand up to riot police, and some of those people are firefighters, ostensibly both civil servants. There are clips other than that, and at least a few news sites reporting on the current... unpleasantness in Catalonia. I fully recognize that most of the inital calls for indpendence have probably come from Russian agents attempting to spread dissension and divide our NATO allies, in order to divide and weaken NATO itself. This isn't a new tactic- kings have been playing off another nation's duke or prince's ill feelings toward their king since Phillip II of France supported some of the sons of King Henry II in open rebellion in the Angevin holdings. Now, let's talk about guns and gun rights, my answer to your question of "is it likely that the United States government would so egregiously violate some of the most highly valued and important of our inalienable rights," and the question of weapons of war. The history of the militia clause in the 2A dates back to before the Constitution was signed, when we had the Articles of Confederation as the law of the land. On the eve of the war, in 1767, there was a conflict called the Regulator Conflict. This was a rising of (to the Carolina colonies) armed, led by elected or appointed officers, and mostly rural or backcountry men and farmers determined to deal with brigands and criminal gangs that were going unpunished by the Eastern, coastal courts. This was promptly put down by colonial authorities, and, more importantly, well-regulated militias, well-regulated in this usage to mean "mustered by appropriate colonial authorities" such as the governor or his lieutenant. So even then, there were groups of armed men that were entirely convinced they were legal, or right, or what have you, being opposed by the authorities on the ground that they hadn't been called to muster, and so were illegal gatherings of armed men. Now, here's where things get tricky. Stay with me. The Constitution was ratified in 1788, and the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791. Whether or not there should be a Bill of Rights, or even what to include in it, were serious issues of stiff contention that left friendships that had been forged in the fires of the Revolution broken. Before and after the Revolution, there was a series of armed uprisings not approved by colonial and then state authorities. Notable among them include Shay's Rebellion, where Daniel Shay/s(I've seen both variants.) led several thousand "rebels" to fight against the economic injustices that were facing farmers and agrarian peasants all across America. These farmers were experiencing extreme poverty following the end of the Revolutionary War. All across Massachusetts (and the rest of America) farmers saw their lands foreclosed on in unfair property seizures, and they wanted to fight back, which they did. They also fought against taxes levied against, them which they felt were unfair. They fought this in many ways, but among them was closing and obscuring roads so that government agents couldn't reach rural parts of the state. Shay's Rebellion would ultimately be put down, but it startled the gentry who feared further uprisings throughout the United Statess. Part of the force that helped put down Shay and his Rebellion were the Massachusetts Militia, which were hailed by the papers and people as saviors of society. The irony, of course, is that the Massachusetts Militia was mustered and led by veterans of the Revolution like Benjamin Lincoln (notable for how many damn places in the South are named after him rather than the 16th President of the Union.) So in short, when combined with Cornell's views on gun ownership as civic duty, in order to be ready to muster for the militia, the Founding Fathers that supported including the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights did so in order to preserve the States' Rights to call up their own militias as needed in order to put down radicalized rebellions such as these. (On another note, the grandest use of this would be the Civil War, when both sides' Armies were largely made up of states' militias organized and sent to the central government as regiments for use in the war. That's part of why the slaughter on both sides was so high: the core of both Armies were professional soldiers that were simply stretched too thin to provide any of the proper training or soldiering skills that the militia regiments needed.) We can infer this about the Second Amendment because when the Bill of Rights was originally written, it wasn't about individuals' rights. (Although quite a few of the Federalist Papers supported it as such, too.) The Bill of Rights was written to curb the abilities of the Federal Government, and allow the States to set their own policies with considerable leeway. The Federal Government, for example, could not pass a law limiting the right to assembly, but a state could. To quote from United State v. Cruikshank, “The First Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting Congress from abridging the right to assemble and petition, was not intended to limit the action of the State governments in respect to their own citizens, but to operate upon the National Government alone.” The Second Amendment was delegating the regulation of arms to the States, so that they could run their own militias however they wanted. I'd like to note here that some States' constitutions, such as Pennslyvania, included provisions about this. From the Pennsylvania Constitution: *“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state."* The Second Amendment didn't protect the right to bear arms on the individual level, federally, it merely left it up to the States, and some states chose to interpret it that way. Then stuff started to change with a little thing called Incorporation. Incorporation, is the process by which American courts have applied portions of the U.S. Bill of Rights to the states. When it was first ratified, the Bill of Rights only protected the rights it enumerated from federal infringement, allowing states and local governments to abridge them. Beginning in 1897 with a railroad bringing a case against the City of Chicago, various bits and pieces started to be held as incorporated against state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment. Finally, by the late 60s, aside from some very minor provisions, all that remained unincorporated were the Second and Third Amendments. Born from this was the assumption by most modern, casual observers, that this was always the case, and thus the assumption that the 2nd Amendment applied to the people in the same way that the 1st Amendment did, which while perhaps a safe assumption, had not yet been verified by the Supreme Court, who did not deign to address this fact in Miller, a Federal case, and the only major Second Amendment Ruling of the modern era. Miller did say, however, "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense." It was only in 2010, in a case known as McDonald v. Chicago, that the right to keep a firearm was found to be an incorporated right by the Supreme Court. too long; didn't read: The Second Amendment, as originally written, was not meant to protect the individual’s absolute right to keep and bear arms, (although some at the time saw it as such!) but it ISN’T because the Amendment should be read as not pertaining to the individual, but because it only applied to one level of Government. The flipside is that the Second Amendment protects the right to firearms for everyone, but applying it on a state level is a 20th century doctrine only made possible by the 14th Amendment that has resulted in this modern interpretation of the Bill of Rights as a whole. (I won't be touching the issue of cannon or the like being covered under the Second Amendment. That's another post entirely. ) So that's gun rights out of the way. Let's talk about government violations of US citizens' rights. The No-fly lists. Do they work? I don't know. Do they catch a lot of people that have nothing to do with terrorism or supporting it? Yeah. Many individuals were "caught in the system" as a result of sharing the exact or similar name of another person on the list; TSA officials said that, as of November 2005, 30,000 people in 2005 had complained that their names were matched to a name on the list via the name matching software used by airlines. Should the federal government be able to keep someone from going about their business internationally, simply for having the same name or a similar one to somebody suspected of supporting terrorism? I don't think so. To extend that further, would you want to be told you can't purchase a firearm because you're on the No Fly list? And you know you're not a terrorist? That was attempted, a couple years ago, by the gun community's "friend," Nancy Pelosi. How about the cops shooting Philando Castile, a man licensed to conceal carry a firearm? "Castile’s girlfriend said he told the officer who pulled him over that he had a legal license to carry a firearm and had been reaching for his ID when the officer fired several times." What about that dickhead cop that shot an Australian woman who had called the police, through the vehicle and past his partner's head? I've seen a strong, strong indication from a lot of people that oppose guns that anyone that owns a firearm is a hardcore insurrectionist bent on destruction of the United States, and I've seen people that have gone "okay, you want me to be a hardcore insurrectionist? I'll fucking wait for the opportunity, then," and frankly, I don't like it. I love America and being American, but my fellow countrymen scare me sometimes, simply from the depths of hate they're apparently capable of carrying for me, simply because I own firearms. Would the government violate people's inalienable rights? Yeah, yeah it would. But now: As a counterpoint to Arthellion's post about the government or rulers constantly seeking more power, no man sets out to be the bad guy. They do what they do because they think they're doing the right thing, even if they are misguided. If the worst to happen, and the US government tried to become more tyrannical (than some think it is,) I don't think it would be deliberate. I think it would be a byproduct of something else going on, such as the National Guard in Louisiana seizing firearms from locals that hadn't evacuated, only for the locals to find themselves at the mercy of looters. The fact that Arthellion seems to believe good guy with a gun is flawed is something I'll lightly touch on here, as I'm sure someone has already done it, and the shooting in Canada where the Sergeant of Arms for their Parliament managed to end the hostile shooter's life, the shooting in Antioch, Tennessee, where the church usher struggled with a would-be shooter and was wounded for his trouble, and quite a few more speak for themselves. (The DoJ said that "On average in 1987-92 about 83,000 crime victims per year used a firearm to defend themselves or their property. Three-fourths of the victims who used a firearm for defense did so during a violent crime; a fourth, during a theft, household burglary, or motor vehicle theft.") Now, let's talk about weapons of war. The 'standard' hunting rifle most American hunters own is a greater caliber, with a greater probability of penetrating body armor than an AR-15 in 5.56. It's probably got a wooden or synthetic stock, is bolt action, and only carries three or four rounds in an internal magazine, if it's got an internal magazine at all. Is that a weapon of war? You could use it as one. In fact, the United States Marines and Army still use rifles that were originally marketed as hunting rifles to the civilian market for marksman rifles as standard issue. Is the Mosin-Nagant, in 7.62x54R, a weapon of war? Yes, by definition, it is. It was designed and built as the standard issue service rifle for the Imperial Russian Army, in the 1890s. It's got a five round magazine, is capable of accepting a bayonet lug, and if it's drilled and tapped for it, you can put a scope on it. I own one. It's incredibly fun to shoot, and can be used for other self-defense purposes. Follow up shots would be hard, because it's a bolt action. I wouldn't want to use it to defend my home. But you say I have no need to defend my home from home invaders with a weapon of war? That's why the AR-15 is the superior tool for such a purpose. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oklahoma-man-uses-ar-15-kill-three-teen-home-intruders-n739541 Happened about ten miles from where I live. Ten miles. If they'd kept on going on I-44 or the Creek Turnpike, then turned South for a bit, it might have been my house they entered, wearing black clothes, masks, gloves, and with a knife and brass knuckles. Those are weapons of war, too, in fact. People have died from being hit by brass knuckles, and I don't know if you've ever looked at pictures of "knife wounds" on Google Images with safesearch turned off, but it's not pretty. Since the 80s, cops have used the 21 feet rule. If an attacker with a knife is inside of 21 feet of a man with a firearm "not at the ready" the man being attacked is fucked. An AR-15 with a thirty round magazine (which is industry standard, and not in anyway 'high capacity') is the best tool for defending against such a home invasion. I've seen it joked on firearms forums all over the Internet that a rifle is the best tool to have, and if you can't or don't, a pistol is the next best, in order to fight your way to a rifle. Was Las Vegas a tragedy? Yes. Is it something shocking? No. In 2016, there were 751 homicides in Chicago. In 2017, 526. Tulsa is on track to have ten or fifteen more homicides this year than we did last year. Most homicides, including those that occur during stuff like robberies and home invasions, are done with handguns, not rifles. If you look at the UK and Australia, knife and 'other implement' murders went up while gun murders went down. If getting rid of guns is your end goal, that's okay, I guess. I think rather than blaming a symptom, we should do something to fix the underlying problem prevalent in our society: Shitty mental healthcare, no asylums or options beyond medication, which sometimes fuck people up more than not being medicated, and widespread and crushing poverty for a lot of people. But that would be too hard, wouldn't it? Let's ban rifles that are mostly used only in legitimate circumstances, instead. I hope that was helpful and insightful.