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An Armed Populace is the Bulwark of Liberty by Miguel A. Faria, MD

Civilian disarmament is not only harmful to one’s freedom and potentially deadly to one’s existence, but also counterproductive in achieving safety. This has been further attested by Professor Rudy J. Rummel in his monumental book, Death by Government, and by the French scholar Stéphane Courtois and his associates in their magnificent tome, The Black Book of Communism. These books make it clear that authoritarian governments that limit their citizens’ freedom and proscribe them from owning guns are always dangerous to liberty. . .and to the health of their populations.

During the 20th century, more than 100 million people were exterminated by their own repressive governments, police states bent on destroying liberty and building communism, socialism, collectivism, and other worker utopias that turned out to be hells on Earth.

Police scuffle and detain an anti-government demonstrator during a protest in Havana, Cuba, Sunday July 11, 2021. Hundreds of demonstrators went out to the streets in several cities in Cuba to protest against ongoing food shortages and high prices of foodstuffs, amid the new coronavirus crisis. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The myths that the public health establishment peddles — guns increase violent crime, and America is more violent than other nations — have been easily rebutted by numerous investigators who have exposed the phony statistics and biased selection data.  Not to mention the fact that more unarmed people during the twentieth century have been exterminated by their own totalitarian governments than by war.

It has also become clear that guns save lives and that draconian gun control laws have almost always preceded genocide or mass murder of the people in what Professor Rummel called democide.

While the United States and Switzerland have more guns per capita than any of the other developed countries, they also have been very effective historically in preserving their freedom and independence. Even Japan, a country that has embraced democracy and Western mores in many ways, still has the centuries‑old tradition of subordination of individualism to the state, and the collective. Japanese citizens have less personal freedom than those of Switzerland where individualism is paramount, and all Swiss adult males are considered part of the militia and are permitted to keep their service rifles at home.

As David Kopel has pointed out, Japan may have a low crime rate, but citizens live in a virtual authoritarian state where the police keep full dossiers on every citizen, and “twice a year, each Japanese homeowner gets a visit from the local police to update files” on every aspect of the citizen’s home life.

Switzerland, on the other hand, a small, landlocked country, stood up against the Nazi threat during World War II because each and every male was an armed and free citizen. (The Swiss republic was the “Sister‑Republick” that the American Founding Fathers admired.)

Nazi Germany could have overwhelmed Switzerland, but the price was deemed too steep for the German high command. Instead, the Nazi juggernaut trampled over Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, and other countries, and avoided the armed Swiss nation, the “porcupine,” which was prepared for war and its military was ready to die rather than surrender.

As to what an armed population, such as those of the original 13 American colonies, did to obtain their independence is a well‑known story. Suffice to say, that the shot heard round the world was precipitated when the British attempted to seize the arms depot at Concord and disarm the American militia at Lexington in the colony of Massachusetts.

As to what an armed population can do to prevent the overthrow of their government by oppressive, communist movements, I recommend Larry Pratt’s excellent little tome, Armed People Victorious. Pratt is Executive Director Emeritus of Gun Owners of America (GOA).

Armed People Victorious vividly recounts stories of how two countries, teetering on the brink of disaster and as dissimilar as Guatemala and the Philippines, turned defeat into victory when the governments recognized that allowing and encouraging the people to form armed militias to protect themselves, their families, and their villages from communist insurgents in the 1980s, helped to preserve their freedom.

Why is this so important to ordinary Americans? First, because we are all citizens with rights as well as civic duties. We should understand the historical importance of attaining freedom and the constitutional necessity of preserving it.

Public health officials and researchers of “gun violence” have an obligation to reach their conclusions based on objective data, historical experience and scientific information, rather than ideology, emotionalism, expediency, or partisan politics. After all, the lessons of history sagaciously reveal that whenever and wherever science and medicine have been subordinated to the state — and individual freedom has been crushed by tyranny — the results for medical science, public health and society at large, have been as perverse as they have been disastrous.

The barbarity of Nazi doctors and Soviet and Cuban psychiatrists have amply demonstrated this. Beyond the abolition of freedom and dignity, the perversion of science and medicine becomes a vehicle for the imposition of slavery and totalitarianism.

Governments that trust their citizens with guns are governments that sustain and affirm individual freedom. Governments that do not trust their citizens with firearms tend to be despotic and tyrannical in time.

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, M.D. is Associate Editor in Chief in socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. Author of Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002).  This article is excerpted, updated, and edited from his book, America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey Into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements (2019).

This article also appeared on and

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. An Armed Populace is the Bulwark of Liberty. The Truth About Guns, August 1, 2021. Available from:

Copyright ©2021 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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3 thoughts on “An Armed Populace is the Bulwark of Liberty by Miguel A. Faria, MD”

  1. You run a man hard enough and long enough he will forget all about fighting and will try and escape to survive or be taken.—-Luke Losure (FB, March 14, 2023)

    But if he is armed and believes in the cause, he will die for it, as happened with most anticommunist rebels fighting Fidel Castro 1959-1966 — Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Cuba in Revolution: Escape from a Lost Paradise

    This is also true, but we all lose hope against an overwhelming force. It takes fanatical belief in something to negate our instinct for survival. Look at desertion, dhell shock and other combat injuries of the psyche during the world wars and many countless ones before . Man can’t handle the sight of those extreme horrors of mass death easily. —LL

    That’s why the Founding Fathers wanted every civilian armed. That – by definition – is overwhelming force. The moment the Army has to use Apaches or Nukes on actual civilians, that’s the moment the military would fracture and you’d see massive loyalty shifts from Commanders and soldiers, turning against those kind of bad orders. Think Tiananmen Square. Instead of one lone unarmed man with a briefcase and a jacket, fill that square with armed boogaloo bois with night vision, and the whole array of private arms you can muster. Those tanks wouldn’t last long against Yankee ingenuity. — David William Leigh

    David William Leigh & Luke Losure, excellent comments … Thank you both for your instructive & persuasive comments. 😎

  2. You know what heroes are? They are ordinary people who have been pressed too hard and have been afraid so long that the fear of death or other reprisal is forgotten. Now, you and I have seen what they do to heroes . We need to be more, we need to coalesce. I hope we don’t delay when we see the signs that it is time to act.—Luke Losure, (FB 3/14/2023)

    When it comes to the second amendment, the time to act is all day everyday for the duration of your whole lifetime. One can never stop working hard to protect the existence of the Second Amendment. This requires constant argumentation with opponents of the Second Amendment, both online, and in person, and in legislative assemblies. It requires reading and writing books like what Dr Miguel has done for many years. As I said before, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. There is no specific time to act. There is only one way to live and it requires constant effort and constant action all the time. Attending rallies, volunteering for political campaigns, speaking the gospel of the Second Amendment 24/7.

    The only way to accomplish that is by doing exactly what Dr Miguel does. Educating people on the concepts of freedom and of responsible government. Again, this all boils down to Eternal vigilance and effort with the political conceptual stuff. Nothing you do at the range is as important as what you do at the library or as what you do at the legislature.— David William Leigh Luke Losure, (FB 3/14/2023)

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