In the American government, there is a system of checks and balances that make sure that each branch of the government does not obtain too much power over the other two. This kind of reasoning can also be applied to the nation as a whole between the government and the governed. If you want to say no to this question then that is like saying we do not need a supreme court because Congress or the executive branch won't do anything unconstitutional. You never know what the government is going to support or not or when the government is going to take or give. In this day in age with such of a polarized America, if one party obtains too much power then the other party is going to be forced to defend itself. I say yes to this because it is not only reasonable and effective in keeping the government inside the guidelines but it is also a human right to self-defense and protesting the government.
The central government controls our security from foreign and internal threat. Due to it's enormous strength, there is no way that the people could resist a martial law, with the strength of our military. The military must blindly follow orders from the central/federal government. Even if it means controlling the citizens. If we all get to keep our guns, it would be a ridiculous assumption that we could fight back. Fight back you say? Why? Because there has been a rapid erosion of the laws that ensure that the people decide what our officials do and not vice verse. I say that now our officials say what we do. We probably have allowed Washington to amass too much control in every aspect of our lives to change the process at this point. Elections? The election process is controlled by the very ones whom we elect. Think about it. Do the people actually choose who gets the nomination to run for high offices? Or do the politicians? There appears to be very few elected officials in the central government that do not have their own secret agenda. They target and kill whomever they make a decision to with drones. They persecute religious groups and political opponents. When they control our health care, what Mom or Dad will resist directives if their children could suffer? They decide how much of our earned money we can keep. If we don't earn any money, we are a ward of the government. Just a sure vote. The Justice Department decides what we know. The propaganda machines are a work of art. The courts decide what our family unit will be comprised of. The government schools decide how our children are raised. The government controls which food stuff our farmers will plant and how much.
We are if a heap of trouble folks.
I believe that Americans need to have the resources available to defend themselves against their government should the need ever arise. The government needs to know that they are there for the people and are not more powerful that the people that they represent. Just look at other countries where the government took over, that is not somewhere that we want to be.
Yes, sometimes Americans need to defend themselves against their government. The government is fallible, and it's up to citizens to call it out when need be, whether by protesting, or writing congressmen or working at the local level to make things better. "The government" has been set on a pedestal by warhawks, and anyone who disagrees with it is "messaged" as "unpatriotic". There is nothing more patriotic than disagreeing with one's government.
There are times when Americans do need to protect themselves from the government. The government has the tendency to take things too far sometimes. When they overstep their bounds that need to be put in check and Americans need to do what they can to protect themselves. This can be done by protesting, voting against something, or speaking out on the issue.
I suppose there are many ways in which citizens need to defend themselves to the government, but the American government has nothing to gain by turning against its own citizens. We do have to protect ourselves from over zealous homeland security stuff, and invasions of privacy, and defend ourselves when accused of something. But this question is vague, as if we need to think of our government as an enemy. The situation does seem stressed when we encounter the government getting involved in more and more personal freedom, but I don't think it is at any sort of mode that cannot be handled within our system of legal redress.