From this other article, it is established that the purpose of the 2nd amendment is both to prevent tyranny and to provide the inalienable right of self defense. But, beyond the purpose, the presence of a heavily armed citizenry produces a systematic effect on the culture. To examine this, let’s first look at some direct effects
When a would be mugger knows that every person he might mug has a lethal weapon, and that in every mugging he is risking his life, the would be mugger is disincentivized to mug by the presence of the risk. Similarly, all other violent crimes come with high risk when the citizenry is heavily armed.
People know that verbal arguments can escalate to altercations. Normally, these altercations are not fatal. In a heavily armed society, two things would tend to form as patterns.
- people would put more effort into avoiding the escalation of arguments to avoid the risk of engagement with lethal arms.
- people who inappropriately escalate arguments to altercations with the use of lethal arms would quickly be filtered out of society (by death or prison).
In a heavily armed society, a group of people can choose to stand their ground and potentially sacrifice their lives to oppose government corruption (Bundy Ranch). Although the group might be in the wrong, the conviction necessary for a group of people to sacrifice their lives in opposition to government tends to mean there is something worth looking into, and this right to oppose government is necessary as a part of preventing tyrannies.
These effects create useful mindsets:
- Respect of others. If you do not respect others, you are more likely to get into altercations that can end fatally
- Self control. If you do not control yourself, you are more likely to get into altercations that can end fatally
- Power against government. The presence of groups and people opposing government, and the option to do so both lead one closer to the mindset of having the power to do so, which makes one more likely to do so in the case one encounters a sufficiently worthy cause.
These effects and these mindsets are necessary environments for seeking further governmental changes in the direction of the US Constitution.