On April 10 2015, I had the opportunity to talk with GOP Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson about guns and gun rights, and he told us that the Second Amendment keeps the government from dominating the people.
Carson talked about the importance of the Second Amendment:
The Second Amendment is incredibly important for a couple of reasons. Number one, our Founders felt that our nation, if ever invaded by outside forces, would be much stronger if the people could help repel those forces. Number two, and perhaps even more importantly, is if the government–our own government–ever became tyrannical, and wanted to dominate the people, the Second Amendment guarantees the people the means whereby to defend themselves.
At our country’s founding, James Madison described “the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.” We mentioned this to Carson and asked him if it is still an advantage for Americans to be armed.
This question was probably answered best by Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher who, in talking about tyranny, said that the Americans would probably never suffer from tyranny of the government because their citizens are armed. This was hundreds of years ago, and we’ve maintained that tradition, and we’ve maintained our freedom.