If government wants to oppress, it will prefer quiet methods where it deals with small numbers of dissidents at a time without risking mass rebellion. From bombs to troops, to armed police, to thugs with sticks, to group of men with badges, to even just one person with a cap on his head telling you to get in the transport truck — at each level of disarmament, government is able to use quieter and cheaper methods of oppression. What an armed citizenry does is raise the stakes and take away some of those quiet options. Government is then forced to choose between civil governance or a level of violence that awakens the nation. It raises the financial cost of oppression, too. It’s not a cure-all and not a guarantee, but it is one among a number of barriers against tyranny. Having grandparents who came from a country where a stray word could put you in jail, I personally think the more barriers the better.
NRA Joins ACLU Lawsuit Against NSA