There is a quote often used by gun control opponents attributed to Japanese Admiral Yamamoto citing the reason that Japan did not invade mainland U.S. because “there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass”. Unfortunately it appears that this was never actually said by the Admiral, as the quote flourishes mostly on message boards, and is generally absent in any credible source. But the idea rings true, and the Admiral did in fact make the same point using different words.
According to Scraps of paper: the disarmament treaties between the world wars (1989) by Harlow A. Hyde, Admiral Yamamoto said, “The fiercest serpent may be overcome by a swarm of ants”. But again, I have to be honest, that the Admiral said this in reference to Japanese plans to build a real big bad-ass war ship. In the end he was right, as 3 were built and were all sunk by “swarms” of U.S. planes and submarines.
But I think this quotation rings just as true as a reference to why it would be impossible to invade mainland America. Today the threat of invasion is not posed by Japan, but arguably China needs to be watched closely in that respect, especially if a coalition was formed with Russia and some hostile middle eastern countries. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst; gun owners are a very real deterrent to invasion, and would actually help crush an invasion in the unlikely event.
Consider the fact that the U.S. sent rifles to civilians in the United Kingdom during WWII to prepare them for an invasion by Nazi Germany—we had to send them rifles because theirs had already been outlawed by the government. There is a million reasons why gun control does not work and should not be pursued, but deterring invasion may be a new idea for many.
So a lot of people’s reaction will be, “Yeah okay, a few farmers with shotguns are going to keep away an invading army”. But in fact about 39% of U.S. households now contain firearms, and usually more than one. Thats about 45 million houses with guns that would have to be cleared before an invading force could claim any sort of victory and assert its control. We would be even more prepared if it wasn’t already illegal for law abiding citizens to acquire large magazines and more powerful firearms, but still, 45 million households is quite the swarm.
Do I think China would invade the U.S. right now? No, not really. But they have recently shown aggression in asserting their ownership of islands that Japan, backed by the U.S., considers theirs. And who knows what will happen ten or twenty years down the road? It was the Weimar Republic in Germany that initiated gun registration, though only once the Nazi’s came to power was this used for sinister purposes. You never know what type of people will take control of a government, or what type of frenzies citizens can be whipped into under the right circumstances. But with China’s military force numbering close to 1.5 million, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to be prepared for an unlikely but possible scenario.