I was walking to work this morning thinking about the Tienamen Square incident and thinking how strange it was that everything just kind of went back to normal after that. It was as though the government basically said, "OK, everyone run along and go home now" and then proceeded to spray the crowd with bullets for good measure to make sure everyone obeyed. How the heck did the government stay in power? How did people just stand for that? Why didn't it spark mass protests and riots and civil unrest until either the government was toppled (Batista in Cuba) or forced to reform (Johnson in the 60s)?
Unfortuantely, I think the answer is guns. As much as I deplore guns and applaud gun control measure such as the Brady Bill, I think the Founding Fathers were wise to include the Second Amendment. It's the ultimate check and ballance against the government.