The very power and possibility of free speech and assembly rests on their non-violence. The power of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the Arab Spring protests, stemmed precisely from their non-violent nature. This power was made evident by the ferocity of government response to the Occupy movement. Occupy protestors across the country were increasingly confronted by police in military style garb and affect.
Imagine what this would have looked like had the protestors been armed: in the face of the New York Police Department assault on Zuccotti Park, there might have been armed insurrection in the streets. The non-violent nature of protest in this country ensures that it can occur.
That's from the NYT article: The Freedom of an Armed Society - NYTimes.com.
The United States was founded on violent revolution. Had the Americans (citizens) not had rifles, there would have been no revolution. Of course, the king would have died, and things would have changed anyway. Kings though actually lost their power over the centuries due to citizens arming themselves and fighting bloody revolutions, win or lose, and it's not over yet.
I'm for peace.