While we find ourselves in the fight of our lives in the current gun debate, where our opponents are emboldened and our allies are as squishy as a wet sponge, we constantly find people telling us what we need for this and that. For example:
Today we have 15 million assault weapons in the U.S. These are guns modeled after military weapons and then sold to civilians. For what? You can’t use it for hunting. You don’t need it for defense. What do you really need it for?
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) March 28, 2018
However, it’s important to understand something; we’re talking about rights, not about needs.
You see, the two aren’t synonymous by any stretch of the imagination. They’re completely different things.
The need for a given individual to own a gun is debatable. For most people, a firearm will never be used for any purpose other than peace of mind and, perhaps, some recreation. Neither of those are needs. They’re great to have, but no, they’re not needs.
But for some people, things change. Suddenly, they find they actually need that gun. They have to defend their lives or the life of someone they care about. For those people, in that instant, it’s a need.
The Second Amendment, however, doesn’t care about that. None of the Bill of Rights amendments do. They don’t care if you need a gun or need to say something. There’s no mention of need regarding the rights of the people to do pretty much anything.
It’s about having the right to do something. If you have the right to protest, it doesn’t mean you need to protest. Many people go their whole lives without taking part in a formal protest. Whether they do or don’t is irrelevant, because the right to do so if they feel the need is protected.
The same is true about guns. I don’t have to defend my need to own a gun because I have the right to own a gun.
This is one of the more egregious problems with May Issue states. These are states that require people to demonstrate a need to carry a concealed weapon. The Second Amendment was enshrined to protect our right to keep and bear arms. If that is our right, why must any free man or woman be forced to show they have a need in order to exercise it?
If I have to show a need, then it’s no longer a right. It’s a privilege, and that’s a problem for me and a lot of other people.
Unfortunately, we’ve already let the camel’s nose under the tent.
We already have to ask permission for suppressors, fully-automatic weapons, and short barrel rifles. Many of our brothers and sisters find themselves having to beg permission for a carry permit. We already have precedence for having to illustrate a need, but that doesn’t make it right. There was once precedence for a human being owning another human being. Did that precedence make it right?
Of course, it didn’t, and the same applies here.
While people like Sen. Feinstein feel confident they can pontificate on the subject of who needs what kind of gun for whatever kind of purpose, I’m confident in saying that I don’t care. If I have a right to bear arms, that right isn’t subject to the whims of politicians.
Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.