In Tom Wicker’s A Time to Die, his personal account from being an observer during the Attica prison uprising in 1971, he described the unfolding dynamic of the scene when he first arrived and had to pass through camps of heavily-armed State Troopers:
… so many guns must sooner or later become a force in themselves, an imperative acting upon the men who supposedly control them. If the weapons are in hand, the question of those who have them ultimately becomes, “Why not use them?” The more weapons, the more insistent the question; and the burden of explaining why not to use them falls on those who have no guns. But those who have no guns have little credence with those who do.
[p.32, Haymarket Books edition]
And in this, we have a description of the state of America today.