I direct them to the Vietnam War. A nation of people armed mostly with AK-47s managed to fight us to a military standstill. Consider Iraq as well. Only a few thousand terrorists, armed with little more than assault rifles and jury-rigged bombs, gave the most powerful military in the world the runaround for five years.
Assuming that Welch is a right-wing reactionary, as he'll prove shortly, isn't he going off message here? My assumption was that right-wing reactionaries believed that North Vietnam prevailed only because the Johnson and Nixon administrations lacked the political will to bring all the force available to a superpower to bear against the enemy -- and I'd imagine they feel the same way about Iraq and Afghanistan. But Welch's unspoken premise may be that, once the military arm of a presumably liberal Democratic tyranny meets armed resistance of any kind, a similar failure of will or nerve will happen, especially when Welch envisions "what 80 million American gun owners would be capable of doing should some politician decide the people's rights are optional."
Should the worst happens, Welch expects the Democratic party to start it. That's because "the Democrats are the party of big government, turning to it to solve every problem. But they exist in a nation where government was specifically and not purposefully not given a monopoly on force." Resenting this, the brutal, bloodthirsty liberals wish to disarm American civilians so they'll be helpless against crime. They want us disarmed and helpless, Welch presumes, because they want us "compliant" above all. Whether the Framers assumed the adversarial relationship between "well regulated militia" and government that people like Welch read into the Second Amendment is highly questionable, but that's not the worst of Welch's argument.
We all understand that many people assume a right to resist government when it crosses certain lines. Some have thought more carefully than others about how to demarcate that line and recognize a genuine breach. Welch may write for a less careful majority:
Should the people get sick of politicians trying to tell them what to do, they retain the ability to prevent government from forcing them to comply.