March 5, 2021 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – Author, researcher and Second Amendment lawyer James Ostrowski released the following statement on Friday concerning the coup and brutal suppression of protesters in Myanmar:

“In my book, The Second Amendment Works (2020) and in a legal brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in February (Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Andrew Cuomo, Docket No. 20-1151), I argued that the prime purpose of the right to bear arms is to deter government tyranny, a sad but regular feature of human history.  I further argued that the Second Amendment works and in the book I provide empirical data that demonstrates this proposition.

For example, I show there is a sharp correlation between states with six or more coups and a low level of civilian gun ownership.  See Table No. 1, p. 35.  I further showed a relationship between low levels of gun ownership and overall political instability, including civil wars, coups, invasions and the shooting of unarmed protesters.  See Table No. 2, p. 36.  I also document that episodes of genocide, collapsed democracies and the shooting of unarmed protesters is very common in history, however that the United States, which has by far the best-armed civilian population, has largely avoided such atrocities. See, pp. 37-43.  Most importantly, the right to bear arms deters these atrocities peacefully by deterring any attempt to inflict such atrocities in the first place.

Sadly, the recent events in Myanmar confirm this thesis in real time.  Myanmar ranks 179th in the world in civilian firearms ownership with a mere 1.6 guns per 100 people.  As explained in the book, the coup in Myanmar was encouraged by the expected lack of armed resistance by the population.  Myanmar further illustrates that the rights to vote, speak freely and protest, unless backed up by an armed population, can be easily destroyed by government guns.

This important lesson of history and of the recent events in Myanmar has been almost completely ignored by the media and the world.

We will be filing a supplemental brief in the Supreme Court next week to bring these issues to the attention of the Court.

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