Needs vs Wants and the 2A

Why do you need more than one gun? Why do you need that kind of gun? Why would anyone need …?

This is a rhetorical trap, my fellow Second Amendment advocates. When you hear it, you can see the square shaped leaves on the ground in front of you. Step around it, not into it.

Whenever there is a knife attack, the media doesn’t publish pictures of all the knives the guy had, spread around the carpet, including steak knives and Swiss Army Knives, as if one man could or needed to yield all of those knives in an evil attack. Whenever there is a car accident or DUI or vehicular murder, the media doesn’t publish photos of Jay Leno’s “arsenal” of cars, lined up, prompting, why would anyone need all of those cars (again, how can one man use all of those cars in an evil attack?) Whenever someone is strangled, media doesn’t publish all of the climbing rope, the strings, the yarn, the copper wires, jumper cables, etc., on the carpet and ask, why would anyone need all of this stuff you can strangle someone with. They only do that with the very small percentage of guns suspected of being used in crime.

In our free state, citizens have the right to decide what is a need, and what is a want. It’s not the Bill of Needs. It’s the Bill of Rights. That’s what a right is. It means the burden of proof isn’t on free people to show it is a need v. just an unjustified want.

Here’s an analogy: I don’t need 3, but I have 3 cars, every one of them has an odometer that goes up well past twice the highest legal speed limit in California. Cars kill innocent people every day. Some of them are mass killings. There is no possible legal use for any of these vehicles with that high capacity of dangerous speed—dangerous to me, to other people, to animals, to real estate, public and private. Yet we never ask, why do you need that, even with all the car violence. Despite all the car violence, accidental and purposeful or negligent, I have never had to explain why I need a car that can go 160 miles an hour, or 3 of them. The most relevant disanalogy here is that cars are not enumerated by the Bill of Rights.

By Lucas J. Mather

Bio: Lucas Mathers is a philosophy professor, a military veteran, and an Orange County Gun Owners Board Member

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