Why Russia (nor anyone else) will never invade the United States.
The NRA/Gun assertion goes something like this:
“If it weren’t for the Second Amendment and the fact that almost every American was armed, the Japanese would have tried an on ground invasion of the US during WWII! If you love to read history, then how about looking at all of the Armed Invading Military who simply strolled into other nations with relative ease… but if those citizens had been properly armed, the outcome would have been very different.”
To put it succinctly, that is completely and totally 100% propaganda BS wrong. Pearl Harbor was not supposed to be the end-all be-all of the war for Japan. However, that being said, Japan’s seizure of the Philippines, Guam, Wake, etc. was not because they intended to fight a long, war of attrition with the United States. Their goal before they attacked and after it was to keep the U.S. from interfering with their real goal: securing the resource-rich Dutch and British colonies to continue the war in China — the very thing that got them into the mess in the first place.
A Japanese general likened the situation to an octopus eating its own tentacle: Japan needed resources to continue to expand, but needed to expand to get more resources.
To understand this point, you have to look at Japan’s actions before they attacked Pearl Harbor. Japan had been in deep negotiations with the U.S. In September of 1941, the Imperial Council laid out several demands of the U.S. Almost all of them had to do with the U.S. not interfering with Japan’s policies in Asia, including its place in French Indochina, and with Japan’s actions in China. Japan also demanded that the U.S. restart trade with Japan of oil and other vital resources. Japan’s main goal was always to secure the resources it needed in China. It saw the U.S. as the only obstacle left in the area that could potentially threaten its ability to do so. Wake, Guam and the Philippines were all potential staging grounds for the U.S. to attack Japan and her interests.
However, and this is key — Japan was never intending to fight a long war with the United States. It certainly did not want to fight a war of attrition, which would sap even more valuable resources from its war in China. Certainly, Japanese generals planned for such a war by fortifying positions in the territories it captured from the U.S. However, this was also done to deter the U.S. from fighting.
Japanese leaders assumed (incorrectly) that the U.S. would rather negotiate then fight. And this wasn’t as unfounded an idea as it seems now — Japan carefully studied American attitudes, which were strongly isolationist. An August 1941 Gallup poll, for example, found less than a third of Americans willing to fight a war to defend the Philippines or other areas of the Far East. Japan didn’t pull the idea that the U.S. would negotiate out of nowhere. It seemed logical at the time. In combination with their other attacks on American forces, they hoped to fight a limited war with the goal of preventing the U.S. from interfering with their actions in Asia. And, they hoped that war would end in quick negotiations. They were certainly aware of Americas industrial and military potential, but played the odds that the U.S. would not want to use it.
More reasons the Japanese could not have pulled it off even if they wanted to:
The US mainland is loooong way from Japan. A potential US invasion of mainland Japan would have been made easier by the numerous islands in the region. At the time, they were referred to as “stepping stones”. The inverse is not true. There are no islands nearby the coast of the US. The supply lines would be incredibly long. Even a successful invasion and occupation of Hawaii would not have helped much. Compare the size of the United States and Japan. The US is immensely larger. How could they invade and occupy such a large area? In order to invade, a force needs to get soldiers and heavy equipment onto the beaches of the target nation. The invasion of Normandy was the biggest such operation in history and was a feat never before seen. It was only a few miles across the channel; not a few thousand. Magnify the scope many times to invade the US. It would have taken years to prepared such an invasion. The years would have also been used by the US to prepare their defenses and rebuild their military.
“[The Japanese] never contemplated invasion of Australia… [W]hen asked if the Japanese ever planned such an invasion, General Tojo replied, ‘We never had enough troops to do so. We had already far outstretched our lines of communication. We did not have the armed strength or the supply facilities to mount such a terrific extension of our already over-strained and too thinly spread forces. We expected to occupy all New Guinea, to maintain Rabaul as a holding base, and to raid northern Australia by air. But actual physical invasion — no, at no time.’” — Australian Army official History of WW2 (“South West Pacific Area First Year — Kokoda to Wau”) by Dudley McCarthy, p. 113n
If Australia was considered too difficult, then the USA was never in any danger of invasion. I could go on and on but the reason the Japanese did not invade the US was because it was impossible due to distance and size and not because of the high rate of gun ownership in the United States.