Over at David Codrea's War on Guns a poster named Hypnagogue enunciates a simple home truth as the Founders saw it:
Why would anyone ever sacrifice their lives for a democracy? The whole point of sacrificing your life implies commitment to a higher purpose or principle. Democracies don't have principles -- they have elections. Thankfully, we don't live in a democracy; we live in a Republic.
I would happily lay down my life to defend this Republic, but that's because the Liberty guaranteed by this Republic is my children's birthright, and despising one's birthright is beyond contemptible.
But I would never die for a democracy that could vote that Liberty into non-existence on the judgment of a simple majority. That's beyond absurd.