“Nobody Needs A Gun!”
It’s a phrase that’s often said when referring to gun owners. “Nobody needs to carry gun” or “nobody needs to own that many guns” or some version of the same idea; the idea that something shouldn’t be owned or pursued if its not “needed”.
Now, let’s tackle this one thing at a time. What defines “need”? The dictionary defines the word “need”, a verb in this context, as “require (something) because it is essential or very important.” This may fit your own definition of “need”, as it’s not at all an unreasonable definition. The truth is, humans need just a few things; food, water, and shelter. That’s just about all human’s need to survive, like most animals on Earth. Everything else is extraneous. Every other aspect of your life is free to be defined or not defined as a personal “need”, depending on whether you deem that aspect of your life “essential” or “very important” to you. Your love for sports, cars, art, hiking in the woods, playing music, it’s all extraneous, but many of us would define those things “essential” or “very important” to us.
Are guns and therein the right to own and carry guns “essential” or “very important”? That depends on whom you ask. Somebody who doesn’t own guns may say no, they see no need to own guns themselves. Does that mean that other people shouldn’t be able to own guns, or “don’t need” to own guns? I think not. For example, the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment states that people have the right to protest the government. Let’s say you’re not really a political person, you don’t really pay too much attention to the news or that sort of thing, just go about your business and don’t worry too much about it. You certainly wouldn’t want to protest the government or anything like that. And that’s perfectly okay and totally understandable. However, because you don’t see a need to protest, does that mean that others don’t feel the need to do so? Does that justify somebody saying “nobody needs to protest the government”? I don’t think so.
Or maybe you’re really into cars. You love to modify your cars, make them go faster and sound better, and make them look flashy while you’re at it. You spend a good amount of money on your hobby and you’re proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish and you love the cars you own. Imagine, if you can, that someone tries to tell you that “nobody needs that kind of car/that many cars”. They try to tell you that they’re dangerous, and that there’s no need for a car like that. They think the right to modify cars should be taken away because they disagree with it. You’d probably be pretty frustrated. You’d argue that, to you, this is a need, because it’s your hobby and you enjoy it, it helps you enjoy your life. Nobody is getting hurt as a result of you doing this, so why is it wrong? It’s the same thing with firearms, believe it or not.
This is also an issue of how guns are perceived by the media and some non gun owners. The reason why people say “nobody needs to own guns/that many guns” is because guns are perpetuated as “things that kill people”, so naturally people who aren’t familiar with guns jump to the conclusion that they should be gotten rid of and nobody should own them, because “what else are they good for if not for killing people?” This simply isn’t an accurate perception of firearms. Most firearms that people own are designed for sporting, herein meaning hunting and target shooting. Or in some cases, home or self-defense firearms meant as defensive weapons against attack.
People who own guns, such as myself, may define owning firearms as a personal need for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it’s the need to feel safe on the street at night knowing that they can protect themselves, or that they can protect their home and loved ones from a violent break-in. Maybe its the need to collect and preserve historical firearms that represent periods of human history. Or on a much simpler level, perhaps it’s the need to have fun, to shoot with your friends at the range, to challenge yourself with smaller targets or faster clay pigeons; the need to be happy and content with your life through enjoying a hobby.
The bottom line is, everybody needs something that is outside of the true human needs, and despite some people not thinking you need it, you still have a right to do it, so long as you’re not hurting anyone.
As always, shoot safe, and have fun.
Written By: Connor Carson