Friday, June 27, 2014

Why Do You Need That?

Those words are probably the public’s most common challenge to gun owners. Driven by the media’s hyperbolic reporting, it is nonetheless usually an honest, heartfelt question; “Why do you need the 30 mag clips, high powered, pistoled, collapsed, shoulder thing that goes up, collapsed, black, scary, fully-automatic military death machine guns?!?”

Welcome to my Family’s Christmas parties. <sigh>

Gunnies often directly respond to the question by correcting, educating, arguing and defending. Knowledge falls like rain upon the parched soil – where it quickly evaporates. The questioners simply don’t care about the details – if they did, well, they’d likely be gunnies. Magazines, reloading, training, semi auto, Tueller Drills, hot robberies, self-defense, militia, tyranny, etc. are just uncomfortable details of a subject the questioners don’t want to know about. Trying to argue the details and statistics simply legitimizes the question, freeing the questioner to continue to hold their opinions -- and to support outright bans.

There may be a better way.

Question the questioner.

“That question is absolutely the wrong one to ask in nation that values freedom. It’s not how little freedom we are allowed, but how much we are due. The Constitution recognizes the individual’s fundamental right to arms. That means there should be no arbitrarily restrictions, no hasty bans, no jingoistic laws that don’t solve any problem.   

Let’s hear your thoughts!


  1. Thankfully, it has never been a question of "need" in my family, although sometimes I may have to justify "want". When asked the need question, I usually refer to the questioner's own hobby, as in "Why do you need a '57 Vette, when you have a perfectly good Yugo?" It puts the shoe on the other foot, and has even been known to make someone think.

    Sam Helm

  2. Nice, Sam! A little verbal Ju-jitsu!

  3. (No Mas: Apologies for the mini-rant. It was significantly longer, and I attempted to edit it down, but couldn't remove any more without losing significant meaning.)

    I've found that those pointed, weighted questions are usually asked by someone who's trying to get you into a "gotcha" moment. (For what it's worth, I had to go through this with my own mom, when I expressed a desire to own an AR-pattern rifle. Her initial response was, "Why would you want an assault rifle?" She meant well, but....) They are fed by media misinformation, and think their position is unassailable. Putting the shoe on the other foot, a la Sam's "verbal Ju-jitsu" (I am totally stealing that, btw!), is a good tactic because it forces the person to come out of their unassailable position and answer the same question they just asked you, albeit on a different topic.

    The bottom line, though, is to not play their game their way. We've lost portions of our rights over the decades by letting the anti-gun forces dictate the rules, and then playing by them. The very second we have to justify and explain our desire to exercise our rights is the second they are no longer rights, but heavily regulated privileges. Instead, we must force the anti-gun folks to justify and explain every single infringement they propose, including how, exactly, it will accomplish their stated purpose(s); then justify and explain every logical consequence to the people it's "not intended" to affect (i.e. we law-abiding gun owners; scare quotes intentional); and finally justify and explain how it passes Constitutional muster, up to and including what enumerated power of Congress allows them to pass the law.

    (On that last, if they call on the much-abused "commerce clause," force them to explain how "regulat[ing] interstate commerce" applies to firearms manufactured, sold, transferred, and owned, all in the same state.)

    Our Republic is built on the principle (among others) that individual rights are inalienable, and can only be restricted for very narrow, specific public interests. We don't need to justify our rights; they need to justify curtailing them. If they can't, then why on Earth should we listen to their proposals?

  4. Damn, Archer, well said. Would you like to help me write this derper? The hours are long, the rewards few, but at least you don't get paid!

    1. Thanks! I'm not sure if you're serious or if you're joshing me on the offer, but I'm flattered. :)

  5. Nope - serious as a heart attack.

    I like your writing, and our thoughts seem roughly aligned. For this blob to grow and reach more people - and hopefully influence them and support the RKBA - we need to provide daily - or better - content. Two - or more - writers would certainly make it a lot easier.

    E-mail me your posts at the contact address and I'll put it up with full credit and we'll talk. I'm still finding the voice for this thing - you could certainly be an important contributor/ unindicted co-conspirator. .

    BTW: this offer goes for anyone with something to say.

    1. Again, thanks for the offer! I'll e-mail you. :)