Some gun owners say that the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution is protection for citizens against oppressive governments. I question this.
Fifteen current leaders of countries took power in coups d'etat. Assume the U.S. military staged a coup d'etat, declared martial law and abolished the bill of rights. Would citizens armed with assault rifles and the other weapons civilians now possess be able to overthrow such a regime? The regime would have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, plus tanks, aircraft and a massive intelligence apparatus. It seems to me the civilians could hardly win against such massive forces.
The lowest levels of government, homeowners and condominium owners associations, can be more oppressive than higher levels. If a citizen tried to use a gun to overthrow an oppressive homeowners' association, he would likely be quickly and severely outgunned by a police or sheriff's SWAT. The same is true for some private militias whose members have been arrested or shot by police.
When the Bill of Rights was written, private citizens and pirates could also obtain cannons, rifles, swords and bayonets like governments had. Now few rich people, including drug lords, can match the weapons our governments have.