One of the standard lines that you hear when discussing the Second Amendment as a tool for allowing the citizens of a nation to replace the government if it becomes abusive is that citizen militias are useless for opposing government tyranny, because the government owns all sorts of weapons like tanks, jet fighters, Aegis cruisers, and even nuclear weapons, and a citizen militia armed with what amounts to hunting rifles would be powerless against that kind of force.

Leaving aside the fact that making such a statement makes me believe that this is actually making a case for loosening restrictions on what arms the citizens can own, the belief that a citizen militia cannot beat a tyrannical modern military is a sign of unimaginative thinking. I will admit that a bunch of citizens armed with semi automatic rifles would be soundly defeated on a battlefield by any modern military employing those tanks, jet fighters, and artillery. It is a wise move to avoid any battlefield where such weapons are being used. That is when a smart militia redefines the battlefield.

The M1 Abrams is a fuel hog. A company of 14 of those tanks needs nearly 1,000 gallons of fuel to move 100 miles. The tanks break down every 250 hours or so. The F16 fighter uses an average of 7 pounds of fuel for every minute of flight, and requires 12 hours of maintenance for every hour spent flying. Both of those weapons need spare parts, as they are wonders of technological achievement. Therein lies the weak spot. Convoys of fuel trucks and spare parts are easy to raid, and a tank with no fuel becomes a fixed pillbox. A jet fighter on the ground threatens no one. So the military has to spend time guarding the convoys.

Then you attack the factories that make the spare parts, the electric lines bringing them power, and the supply trucks and pipelines that supply the factories and refineries. Now the military has to use the high tech weapons and equipment to guard those.

Let a military armed with tanks and jet fighters choose the battlefield and you will lose. A citizen militia would have to avoid allowing that to happen, but it can be done.

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CelticGirl · April 28, 2011 at 12:35 am


Good Men Did Nothing · April 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I agree 110%, also, the militia wins a PR battle when the military uses bombers or tanks to attack citizens. this might not matter much if, say china or russia invades, but if there is ever cause to fight the US gov't (it would have to get ALOT worse to make that a viable solution IMHO) a militia should be blowing up Gov't instalations ie. tax centers, DMV, infastructure. Never attacking civilians, but making the Government look incompetant. the more the government cracks down on the population, the more people will fight the government.

More like the Viet Cong than the Continental Army.

Shaitan · November 26, 2012 at 12:41 am

The soldiers guarding the convoys will still be much better armed then a milita.

Shaitan · November 26, 2012 at 12:45 am

The soldiers guarding the convoys will still be much better armed then a militia.
@Good Men Did Nothing
You're assuming blowing up stuff is the first thing the government would do. No, after talks fail step #2 would be kill the leaders quiet;y and cut the legs out from under the group.

Divemedic · November 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm

That's kind of the point. They spend time and resources guarding the convoy, so you switch targets and kill the families of collaborators and government officials, or factory managers, or a host of other unguarded targets. This isn't a new set of tactics for either the guerrilla or government: This is exactly the way that Washington and the Brits fought the revolutionary war:

The families of British officials were killed, and their homes burned to the ground. Of course, many history books gloss over this rather unflattering detail, in order to make Washington look as if he fought like a gentleman.

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