"I ask sir, what is the Militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
A sufficient mass of independent, armed citizens is the final and ultimately the only defense against threats from abroad, domestic threats at home, and threats from our own government.
Some interesting recent research trying to pin down the actual amount of defensive gun usage
Turtle: I steadfastly opposed class envy until you posted that list of firearms. In the interest of fairness, I must now insist that you redistribute your shooting experiences in my direction by taking me to the range next time with you.