Jub wrote: ↑
Nicholas wrote: ↑
I'm going to answer this as if you meant all guns go "poof" because I find the idea of a government with an absolute and unchangeable monopoly on guns to be too horrifying to contemplate.
I hate to tell you this, but the government already has such a monopoly on force to the point that civilian firearms won't meaningfully impact anything they choose to do if things come to force on force clashes.
Yes it does. That is why as others pointed out the US has been moving back towards aristocracy. There are a lot of delays and complications because of human nature, ideology and culture. But over multiple generations political power concentrates in the hands of those with military power. Democracy began to spread (and aristocracy to die) in the modern world when gunpowder made the mass army the most powerful military asset in existence. Now that the small professional capital intensive army has that status power is concentrating in the hands of those with the capital of support such forces.
That said, the last couple of decades in Afghanistan have demonstrated that firearms in civilian hands when combined with popular opposition to the government can make governing a territory impossible. Do you believe the United States would have been equally unsuccessful in Afghanistan if there were no guns in that country? I think the presence of guns leads to the government being more attentive to the desires of the population.
Jub wrote: ↑
In the medium to long term I expect it would increase the division between the wealthy and powerful and the poor in America. Guns are a power equalizer because they are extremely expensive to protect yourself against but very cheap to acquire and easy to learn to use. In their absence the US would move slowly toward aristocracy as hereditary wealth collected and well trained and equipped government and private forces became increasingly able to control the poor at a cost the wealthy could affordable and therefor the wealthy and powerful lost any reason to listen them the poor or care about them.
The US already has some of the worst inequality in the western world and nations without the US's level of firearms freedoms often rank above the US when it comes to freedom, security, happiness, etc. Can you elaborate on why you feel the US would be disproportionately affected by this change when, for example, the UK hasn't?
First, those other western nations are not in the position you specified in the post I responded to, so they aren't a valid comparison for this question. In the event of sustained popular opposition to the government in one of those nations guns would rapidly become available to the opposition (either brought over with army forces defecting to the opposition or purchased illegally from abroad) so the government still treats the people as if they had access to guns because they do.
Second, the fact that the US already has some of the worst inequality in the western world demonstrates that the US is especially prone to aristocracy so stronger steps are necessary to prevent it in the US then would be elsewhere in the world and the US will move toward it faster then other would if all guns were magically removed. Although since human nature is the same and under this scenario the balance of force would be the same I expect eventually everyone would arrive in about the same place.
Third, we are still in the very earliest stages of the political transition resulting from the end of the mass army as the dominate military force, I would put the change around 1975 myself but you could argue for 30 years on either side. The political transition resulting from the emergence of the mass army as the dominate military force lasted several centuries and only concluded with the fall of the Romanovs, Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs after World War I. The American and European experience of that transition was very very different, at this point in time the differences in equality between the US and other countries result more from those different experiences then from different gun laws.