Prior to the advent of the handgun, most hand to hand confrontations were settled with a sword. Formal training was required to become proficient and many could not afford the luxury of a finely crafted sword. As a result, many of the serfs and peasants were defenseless against their lords. Using a pistol leveled the playing field for those of smaller physical stature or skill in wielding a sword or axe. For women, the pistol has become a great equalizer in providing a means for self defense. The ability to conceal the modern handgun coupled with its ease of use has given many the confidence that was not achievable hundreds of years ago.
While the medieval lords had little to fear from their serfs who simply did not have the means or the skill to undertake an uprising, there have been numerous examples of governments during the past century that have sought to disarm their public. Why? To find the answer one must look no further than the age before firearms to understand what a huge advantage of power the rulers had during this time. Look at examples of disarmed citizens and you will find these citizens living (or dying) in a tyrannical government.
The foresight of our forefathers was vast. From their vantage point in history, they were very much aware of the dangers of an unarmed populace.That is why they protected our rights to keep and bear arms. Not just for arming a militia as so many constitutional "experts" would have you believe, but to protect ourselves from our own government. Their wisdom has since been demonstrated many times with modern day examples of Nazi Germany, North Korea, The People's Republic of China, and so on. What is one of the first things a new tyranny does to its populace? Disarm them so no revolt is possible. Thomas Jefferson said, "When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty."
Keeping firearms and honing your ability to use them correctly is, in my opinion, the duty of every patriotic American. If we surrender this right, we will never get it back. Understanding the importance and historical significance of this basic right, as well as exercising it by owning and learning to use a firearm properly is something every American needs to do if we are to keep our country free.