Right now, the anti-gun zealots are preoccupied with so-called “assault rifles.” They’re doing everything they can to gin up support for a ban, hoping that a weak-spined majority in Congress will “bow to the will of the people” if they can just get enough support and hold onto it for a long enough period of time.
One of their favorite arguments, however, is that “no one needs an AR-15.” They usually then call it a “weapon of war.”
As gun folks, we tend to take issue with the whole “weapon of war” thing. After all, the AR-15 isn’t a weapon of war. No military on Earth has ever fielded the weapon and none has expressed any interest in doing so. While it’s similar to the M16/M4 platform, it lacks that select-fire capability that pretty much every military on the planet needs.
However, I don’t think that’s the part of the argument we should focus so much on. After all, we tend to want these guns in part to resist tyranny, right? If we ever have to do that, God forbid, they will then be weapons of war. It’s a quibble, but one anti-gunners will likely latch onto if any have the brainpower to see it.
Instead, I think the “no one needs X” argument is the weaker argument and one we should be attacking.
First, let’s face facts. Our system of government isn’t predicated on people only meeting their needs. After all, our affluent society is known by our consumerism to some degree. We buy all kinds of things, which is what has spurred our economy on and helped make us such a powerful nation.
No one needs most of the stuff we have.
My family possesses multiple laptop computers and a desktop. We don’t need all that. While I need a computer to work, my wife and son don’t. One computer fits my needs perfectly. Others? They probably don’t need a computer at all. It’s nice, but no one needs complete, unfettered access to the accumulated knowledge of mankind.
Oh, and that smartphone? No one needs one of those. In my youth, we got by guy fine with pay phones on the street corners and corded telephones at home.
What about cable TV? Do you really need 1,000 channels of nothing to watch? Do you really need 30 premium channels that are all playing the same movies? Even if they were chock full of interesting programming, you don’t need any of that. People lived just fine well before cable was much of a thing.
For that matter, who needs televisions? People got along just fine without them for centuries. Just why do you think you need one of those, anyway?
Honestly, the “no one needs” argument is stupid precisely because we can use that same argument to devolve society down to the point where all anyone would have is a cave, a fire, a spear for hunting, and the knowledge of which plants were edible and which would kill you. That’s where arguing need can easily take us.
No, no one needs an AR-15. But no one needs a lot of things.
If you want to tell me I can’t have something, you need a more compelling argument than “no one needs.” You need an argument that tells me why my possessing something is a clear and present danger to something or someone. If you can’t do that–pro tip: You can’t–then drop it. I’m not going to go along with your incessant whining simply because you think you have a right to impose your will on me.
No one needs to hear your opinions on things you know little about, after all, yet here you are. Why don’t you do something about that instead?