When talking about guns, debates seem to be of the standard script. Anti gun folks will point out shootings and crime. Pro gun folks will counter with statistical probabilities and examples of states. All of this is in the attempt to justify being able to own guns. But all this is missing the core issue.
From an excellent blog post from Reason.com:
It’s a question that’s become a bit of a mantra for would-be restricters of personal armaments who insist on knowing what possible justification gun owners could have for possessing semi-automatic rifles that have pistol grips, or for purchasing magazines that hold more than ten seven rounds.
But really, that’s all irrelevant. Because in free societies, you don’t have to justify owning things…
As I look around my office, I see a lot of stuff I don’t need… My ability to acquire pets and stuff that I want without having to justify the acquisitions is an expression of my personal freedom. If I had to go, Stetson Stratoliner in hand, to some puffed-up bureaucrat to beg permission to purchase the boxed set of Firefly DVDs or a mutt rescue dog, I would very obviously be living in a state of severely constrained liberty.
The appropriate answer to “Who the hell needs … ?” is “hey, if you don’t want one, don’t buy it.” The right to own stuff without an explanation is the right to be free.
When someone asks: “Why would you ever possibly need [insert item of choice]?” The appropriate answer is “Because I want one.” We should not have to justify our wants to some bureaucrat. We should be able to own what we want precisely because we live in a free society.