The Fallacy of “Need”

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately on the arguments flying back and forth with respect to the latest round of gun control proposals. DiFi and others of her detestable ilk constantly ask the question, “Why does anyone need 100-round magazines and military-style weapons?” Truth be told, that can be a tough one for the average non-gun owner and I will discuss my thoughts on that topic in particular in a later essay. But the fact is, the whole question of need misses a basic point . . .

The point isn’t that we need any of these things, but rather we live in a society where the freedom to want them is permitted and protected. To relay a story, the other day my wife came down to the basement while I was cleaning my .300 Win Mag Precision scoped rifle.  For a non-gun person like her, this extremely large, all black weapon sporting an over sized muzzle brake and scope can appear a bit ominous.

“Why do you need something like that?” she asked. I turned to her and told her that she asked the wrong question. I certainly don’t “need” a gun like this. I’m not a police or military sniper which are two of the main reasons why a person would NEED such a gun (at nearly 20 lbs., it’s no hunting rifle). Instead, I told her that it’s simply something that I wanted because it lets me do what I enjoy (long distance target shooting). She then quickly arrived at the realization that she didn’t really need the $1,000 espresso machine she bought a couple of months earlier and the conversation pretty much ended there.  This incidentally is one of the reasons I married her – she can figure these sorts of things out on her own.

My point here is that regardless of what we are talking about (semi-auto rifles, large capacity rifle magazines, etc.) we can’t let those who would like nothing more than to disarm us box us into the “need” corner. Truth is, in many cases, we don’t really need some of these things (note that I did not mention large capacity pistol mags — we do need these for personal defense).

The fact is that we live in a country where we have the freedom to pursue our wants and we shouldn’t have to justify those wants to anyone else. If we let the discourse focus on the question of “need” we will have a much higher hill to climb with our fellow citizens than if we frame the question in terms of wants. Everyone can understand the concept of “want” and most people will admit that they likely want or have something that would be difficult to justify to someone who does not share that particular interest.

It’s important to remember the slogan of the Communist State popularized by Karl Marx  “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  If we only allow ourselves to have what we truly need, then we live in a much sadder world. Today, those in power wish to take our guns from us. If, as a society, we allow this to happen, then tomorrow, what will they try to take next?

One quick note – as you comment, please try not to focus on giving reasons why we need certain specific gear. Hold those thoughts for my next post which will dwell on that concept in detail. Instead, consider the main point of this essay – it is not a question of need, but one of want and the freedom we have to pursue those wants.