The question of "need" as pertains to firearms


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NoirFan
November 6, 2008, 04:49 PM
So Guy1 makes a post about buying fifty AR15 magazines. Or a .50 BMG rifle. Or a S&W 500. or a $5000 1911. Or 10,000 rounds of ammo. Basically any gun-related purchase which some might consider unusual.

Guy2 comes along and asks him, "Why do you need that?" Immediately Guy1 starts yammering about this being the USA, how we don't need to justify "needing" this or that in order to buy it, and then a bunch of supporters show up and start high-fiving each other while basically repeating the same thing.

Okay look, we shouldn't have to justify our purchases to any government. This is a gun forum and EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT. When someone asks you why you "need" something, why don't you just answer the question intelligently, honestly, and courteously, as if you are talking to a person face-to-face?

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1 old 0311
November 6, 2008, 05:12 PM
Need? One. Have? More!

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 6, 2008, 05:14 PM
Umm, I thought that's what we already do.:rolleyes:

Am I missing something?

Corporal K
November 6, 2008, 05:19 PM
People get defensive when their choices are questioned. It's fairly natural. Most people don't need the things they buy and they know it so they get huffy when someone asks them about it.
It's part of the reason we're in this financial/credit/banking mess.

gunNoob
November 6, 2008, 05:26 PM
I hate when people ask why I buy something gun related. I just tell them "I like guns". What else is there? I like guns and shooting and that's that.

Ed4032
November 6, 2008, 05:29 PM
All my gun purchases, without exception, are needed.

SoCalShooter
November 6, 2008, 05:37 PM
Ever since I have been alive people always confuse "NEED" with "WANT" there are many things you don't need, like I could get by with about 4 guns, but I want more than that. Semantics. Either that or I come up with a different breed of zombie that only the latest purchase can kill.

jad0110
November 6, 2008, 05:38 PM
I just respond:

"It's a Bill of RIGHTS, not a Bill of needs.":D

Usually pisses 'em off pretty good.

Ever since I have been alive people always confuse "NEED" with "WANT" there are many things you don't need, like I could get by with about 4 guns, but I want more than that. Semantics.

Whenever I get deep into it, I'll respond something like this:

Well, you don't really need a cell phone, do you. Do you even really need those designer clothes? Or what about 10 pairs of shoes? Or a 2,000 sq ft home? Or 2+cars? A computer? iPod/MP3 player? TV? Air conditioning? All you really need is shelter, food and clothing.

I get irked when others tell me what I need and don't need. And I get downright irritated when politicians start ramming such decisions down our throats.

And it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

Either that or I come up with a different breed of zombie that only the latest purchase can kill.

Good one! :evil:

Honestly, I've justified a need for most of mine:

S&W K-22 and CZ-452: 22 LR = cheap training
S&W 642: Go anywhere pocket protector
M1911A1: Often my primary when I am able to conceal it. Also serves double duty as my wife's primary HD gun
S&W 686: My nightstand gun
Mossberg 590A: If I have time to get to it, it will be used as my primary HD gun
AR-15: Total meltdown, SHTF gun

The only ones I haven't found a "need" for are my Finnish M39 and my S&W Model 14. Come to think of it, the Model 14 makes a good spare for the 686! :evil:

snorko
November 6, 2008, 05:45 PM
My father, not a gun guy but an antiques collector, and I had this discussion once. He asked why I would need more than a couple guns, lots of mags, etc.

I simply looked at him and asked why he had more than half a dozen silver plate and sterling dinner services and several sets of formal china. He got it

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 6, 2008, 05:48 PM
Well, frankly, it's a silly question (the one of "what do you need that for"), so expect some ruffled feathers in your answers. That's the exact perfect response - what's need got to do with anything? Since it's pretty obvious that none of really "needs" more than maybe 1 or 2 guns for self-defense, then the obvious answer to such a silly question is either self-defense, or what's need got to do with it, and you should be able to tell by the gun in question what the answer is, either "self-defense" or "who said anything about need?". In fact, as you say, this is a gun board, so would anyone even ask such an irrelevant question on a GUN BOARD.

Now, having said that, if you or someone were asking the appropriate question, "What do you WANT this gun/ammo for?", then I suspect, 9 times out of 10, you will get the appropriate response, which is a nice, cogent, reasonable answer for the want. No reason to bring up the word NEED. WANT is an entirely separate matter, and a legitimate question, to which people should not be so defensive.

jad0110
November 6, 2008, 05:50 PM
I simply looked at him and asked why he had more than half a dozen silver plate and sterling dinner services and several sets of formal china. He got it

Good way to approach it, probably better than my way (see above).

Everyone at least one thing that they really enjoy. Some people are into music, so they have thousands of CDs or hours of music downloaded to their MP3s. Maybe they are really into gardening, so they have dozens of specialized tools that the average person doesn't.

I guess it is really hard for people to grasp that some of us love guns and that's why we buy them.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 6, 2008, 05:52 PM
I agree, it is more about WHAT WE ARE INTO!

The majority of us are "into" GUNS, shooting, reloading, hunting, etc.

Remember that guns were what won the west and were what usually put food on the table.

It is kind of hard to look at where we are without looking from where we came!

Some people are into culinary arts, some into stamp collecting, some coins, some antiques, some the latest movies and music. I enjoy reloading, hunting and shooting (in that order).

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 6, 2008, 05:54 PM
P.S. Yesterday I heard Jeff Foxworthy on Cirrus radio and it absolutely cracked me up - something like this:

If men tell you they don't like to shop, it's a lie. We just don't like to shop at malls like women do. But if you ever take a man to a gun and boat show, you will never get him out of there. My wife asked me why I was buying that gun. I said "it's a weasal gun". My wife said "but I thought you already had a weasal gun." "Honey, the one I have is a SHORT-range weasal gun. This here's a LONG-range weasal gun!".

I was rollin.... :D

RKBABob
November 6, 2008, 05:56 PM
Hmmm... I've wanted quite a few firearms, but I've never needed any of them. Thank God!
But I want a firearm in case I ever need it.

ConstitutionCowboy
November 6, 2008, 06:04 PM
The question of "need" as it pertains to firearms is if you need a firearm it's because you don't already have one.

Don't be needy.

Woody

misANTHrope
November 6, 2008, 07:22 PM
Q: Why do you need a rifle like that?

A: I don't.

RoosterCT
November 6, 2008, 07:27 PM
Q: Why do you need a rifle like that?

A: I don't.

:D Haha

ArfinGreebly
November 6, 2008, 07:31 PM
Well, I have to do something!

My wife has more shoes than I do, and I already have enough tools in the garage!

So, hey, I figure I'll make do with a gun.

I mean, I would get another classic car, but it would cost too much, and I don't have anywhere to put it.

Which reminds me, I gotta ask my daughter what the heck she needs with all those music CDs she has.

SuperNaut
November 6, 2008, 07:43 PM
I usually ask what they would define as a need, so that we can establish a common definition on which to base our arguments. That usually signals the end of the conversation.

plinky
November 6, 2008, 07:43 PM
I think all too often the question is a sort of veiled insult to the owner and/or gun. The response will sometimes be along the same lines.

This is a forum of enthusiasts and I think most of us are long past the guns we need.

Ragnar Danneskjold
November 6, 2008, 07:52 PM
When you ask the question of a purchase "why do you need that" you are automatically making the assumption that purchases are based on need. A much more neutral question would be "why did you buy that, if I may ask?" Then if the person brings up need, go from there. You put people on the defensive when you presume that their purchases have to be based on need.

ConstitutionCowboy
November 6, 2008, 08:16 PM
...And another thing to consider...

The doctors won't let me fly anymore and I suck at golf.

Woody

againstthagrane
November 6, 2008, 09:13 PM
i get asked this all of the time.

i recommend the same thing as some a of the other dudes on this thread. find out what they collect/enjoy/drive and flip it around.

why do you need a $50k car? why do you need a 72 inch tv? a $5k watch? $250 jeans? i could go on and on.

i think most gun owners have one or two guns out of need and anything else is just an expensive range toy.

bottomline: flip the script, most people shut up after that.

piratelooking@40
November 6, 2008, 09:28 PM
Well, frankly, it's a silly question (the one of "what do you need that for")

This, almost. I think "What do you need that for" is an aggressive question, bordering on rude. It implies "I wouldn't buy that, therefore it's an unwise <cough stupid cough> purchase."

Gottahaveone
November 6, 2008, 09:33 PM
Usually when asked to justify a decision that I have made to purchase something, I respond with "How much do you make?"
I'll almost always be told "That's really none of your business". Then I just lock eyeballs and smile until they get it.

withdrawn34
November 7, 2008, 12:13 AM
Is everything we do in this life "needed"?

There are several legitimate uses for firearms. Must we state a reason to a stranger or maybe even a friend each time?

Why do we buy multiple shirts? For some people, multiple cars? Or how about a two bedroom house for a married couple? Do they really *need* the other bedroom? I mean, how often are you going to have company, right?

The point is, that so long as it is not detrimental to the life or liberty of my fellow lawful citizens, there is no reason that you or anyone else should tell me what I can and cannot enjoy, including firearms.

Sorry if you don't like it. I don't like collecting stamps either, but I'm not going to go harass the little old lady down the street for no reason asking her what use she could possibly have for all these old, used stamps.

Archie
November 7, 2008, 12:26 AM
One, the question presumes I must justify my desire to own a particular artifact. I have no requirement to justify owning more than one automobile or more than one house or more than one toothbrush; why should owning more than one - or any given number - be something I have to justify?

Two, the question presumes anyone other than me gets to determine what I 'need'. This concept is alien to the very concept of the United States.

Three, the question presumes the questioner can decide what it is I need. How is it the questioner presumes that authority?

Yeah, I know; it doesn't fit on a bumper sticker. For that reason, the liberal asking the question probably will not understand the answer. I fear that's one of the major problem with the American nation and society these days.

wacki
November 7, 2008, 12:32 AM
So Guy1 makes a post about buying fifty AR15 magazines. Or a .50 BMG rifle. Or a S&W 500. or a $5000 1911. Or 10,000 rounds of ammo. Basically any gun-related purchase which some might consider unusual.

Guy2 comes along and asks him, "Why do you need that?"

Zombies. Lots and lots of zombies.

Mr Crowley
November 7, 2008, 12:35 AM
"Why do you need that?"

That's too perfect of a set up for some funny clever answers

Archie
November 7, 2008, 12:41 AM
Being the mild-mannered gentleman that I am, I must confess a rather satirical - if not sarcastic - turn of humor at times.

Once, when checking in a Remington 870 shotgun at an airline ticket counter (very long ago), the rather snippy and obsessively authoritarian asked me what I had in the long oblong gun case. I had already presented my badge and credentials and reported the sidearm with which I was flying.

"A riot gun" I calmly answered.

"Why are you carrying a riot gun?" she asked with somewhat wide eyes.

"Ya never know when you're going to be invited to a riot" I said with a smile.

That probably wasn't the most politic answer I could have given, but it felt good at the time.

esmith
November 7, 2008, 12:44 AM
I don't need much of what i have, but i wan't it, and thats good enough reason for me. So long as i can afford it i don't care. I don't need to justify to you or anyone else why i want it.

TRX
November 7, 2008, 08:42 AM
My brother's wife is not a native English speaker.

One day she took some prepackaged cookie dough from the refrigerator - the stuff that comes packed so it looks like a sausage. She was getting ready to open it when my brother told her she should knead it first.

She looked at him and said, "I *do* need it."

I always think of that when some earnest person asks why I "need" guns, or a 160mph motorcycle, or a multi-ton machine tool, or two pickup trucks. The gulf of incomprehension is similar. I don't "need" them. I don't "need" electricity, or shoes, or blood pressure medication, or any of the other conveniences of modern civilization. Heck, I don't even "need" fire; I could look for grubs under rotten logs and eat them raw, just like other primates do.

Guns and more
November 7, 2008, 10:24 AM
When someone asks you why you "need" something, why don't you just answer the question intelligently, honestly, and courteously.
I don't need it. I'm exercising my "rights."

NoirFan
November 7, 2008, 10:35 AM
It's a Bill of RIGHTS, not a Bill of needs.

The point is, that so long as it is not detrimental to the life or liberty of my fellow lawful citizens, there is no reason that you or anyone else should tell me what I can and cannot enjoy, including firearms.

I don't need to justify to you or anyone else why i want it.

I'd like to address these three responses because they illustrate what I mean. Are they technically correct? Yes. But they don't add value to the conversation. Let's say you really enjoy breakfast sausage. So you buy 500 pounds of sausage and convert your garage into a meat freezer to store it all. NO ONE has the power or the right to decide whether you are fit to own it or not. That is not the issue! But if I were to come over to your house and see the freezer, isn't it a reasonable question to ask why you need it? And doesn't a reasonable question deserve a reasonable answer?

Some of the other answers are interesting too. I like the humorous ones, but I'm not so sure about "flipping the script".

Sean Dempsey
November 7, 2008, 11:17 AM
When asked these sorts of questions, I usually just give them my honest answer, it's easier than trying to be clever.

"I enjoy guns and it's a hobby that makes me happy."

I can't think of a better reason to own something, and it's an answer that can be argued with because... wait for it... it's a personal preference!

Just One Shot
November 7, 2008, 11:25 AM
Need?

I don't have any needs that the Lord Jesus doesn't provide for me. He sustains me and takes care of me.

As such He has blessed me to live in a country that gives me the right to life and the pursuit of happiness. This country also provides me the right to keep and bear arms.

Though I may never use them against another person (and I pray that I never will), having the American public armed insures that we will never face tyranny from without or within the shores of our great country!

TRGRHPY
November 7, 2008, 12:06 PM
Need? I need all my guns because I don't have:

-an RPG
-a machinegun
-a tank
-missiles
-nuclear arsenal
-my own Marine Corps

...But that doesn't mean that I'm not working on it.

withdrawn34
November 7, 2008, 12:21 PM
NoirFan,

You bring up a good point, and if I feel that someone is asking it as an honest question, then I will answer. But oftentimes people ask it in bitterness or in a hostile way, not really desiring a real answer but just to spite the individual.

Sometimes though, it is easy to misinterpret intent. I'd say be civil all the time and at worst, you'll show yourself, the "gun nut," to be far classier and in control than the argumentative individual.

Officers'Wife
November 7, 2008, 12:35 PM
Alright, if you must 'justify' a need out of 'politeness' the answer is simple.

The product answers my desire of possessing a finely engineered, high tech piece of equipment. Or it reflects my admiration of fine engineering and manufacturing.

In the case of mil surplus arms: It's a method of showing my respect to the brave people that stood in their country's time of need.

In the case of older firearms: It's a link to our history.

Candiru
November 7, 2008, 12:39 PM
It's natural to get a little irked when someone asks why you need something, because using need as a metric for whether or not someone owns a thing is ultimately an attempt to deny the validity of that choice. Anyone can argue whether or not another needs something; you all could make really good points that I don't need most of what I own, and it would be hard to argue with that. Even if you manage to hold your own in such a discussion, you've implicitly accepted the premise: If you can't define a need for something, you shouldn't have it. The reason it's never phrased in terms of what you want is because whoever wants something is the last word on whether or not that's true. Anyone arguing otherwise would just look silly.

To be fair to the hypothetical questioners, framing the question as an issue of need usually isn't intentional, but a projection of their own thought process onto another. Someone who doesn't particularly want a gun would only get one because he needs it, so the concept of enjoying guns is foreign to him. Looking at it that way, questions about needing guns aren't a snarky attack on your rights to own them, but an opportunity to introduce the concept of firearms as an enjoyable hobby.

armoredman
November 7, 2008, 01:01 PM
I'd like to address these three responses because they illustrate what I mean. Are they technically correct? Yes. But they don't add value to the conversation. Let's say you really enjoy breakfast sausage. So you buy 500 pounds of sausage and convert your garage into a meat freezer to store it all. NO ONE has the power or the right to decide whether you are fit to own it or not. That is not the issue! But if I were to come over to your house and see the freezer, isn't it a reasonable question to ask why you need it? And doesn't a reasonable question deserve a reasonable answer?
No, it is not a reasonable question. Why? Well, why do you NEED to know? This places someone in a position of approving others activities, and I need no-ones approval, (other than my loving wife), for many things.
If I saw my neighbor has a sausage setup like that, I wouldn't ask them why they needed that, I'd ask if I could have some sausage!
Now I'm hungry...

Apachedriver
November 7, 2008, 02:17 PM
I need this gun because once my lovely wife and I leave the house, it's the only thing she'll let me whip out and use to shoot off a load or two in public. Hell, she even let's me do it with other women.
How can it get any better than that?

Carlos Cabeza
November 7, 2008, 03:18 PM
This question only ever comes up when it concerns firearms. I don't feel the need to explain myself to anyone so for me there is no good answer.

The guy that lives in an 1800 sq. ft. home wants to know why anyone "needs" a 20,000 sq.ft. home.

The guy that makes 35k a year wants to know why anyone "needs" 400 million $ a year to live comfortably.

This is supposed to be a free country, that's why I do not have to explain myself to anyone.....................

Knotthead
November 7, 2008, 04:02 PM
Them: "Why do you need that?"

Me: "I probably don't. Your point?"

Ed4032
November 7, 2008, 04:11 PM
'cuz at the meetings they said we better stock up...

KBintheSLC
November 7, 2008, 04:21 PM
I only "need" one good defensive pistol, and one good battle rifle. I can do just about everything with those. Of course, those also "need" plenty of ammo. I wouldn't dump more than $1500-$2000 on all of it... 2 quality guns and 2 cases of ammo. Beyond that, its all about style and taste... not function.

bthest86
November 7, 2008, 04:42 PM
I usually get asked "why I need/want an AK-47" on other forums.

I usually respond with well I like it's classic simple design, ease of maintenance, reliability and inexpensive ammo and they are fun to shoot.

That isn't what they're looking for of course. They must half way expecting/wanting me to say so I need one so I can fight off an ATF assault.

ArfinGreebly
November 7, 2008, 05:05 PM
I note that it's possible that some attention spans won't process anything longer than a bumper sticker.

With that in mind:

Your Fears Don't Define My Needs.

My Needs: My Business.

Moral Superiority: Helping Others Define Their Needs.
(I'm sure a "Despair.com" style poster could go with that.)

Needs-Based Ownership: Denying Liberty One Person At A Time.


You get the idea.

benEzra
November 7, 2008, 05:39 PM
But if I were to come over to your house and see the freezer, isn't it a reasonable question to ask why you need it? And doesn't a reasonable question deserve a reasonable answer?
"Why do you need X" is not a reasonable question; "need" pertains to a very small subset of things that our life, health and wellbeing ride directly on. I need to get to work; I want a car with air conditioning and a CD player. I need to eat and sleep on a fairly regular basis; I want three meals a day and a mattress to sleep on. "Why do you want X" or "Why did you choose X" are much more reasonable questions, IMO.

And as it relates to guns, you might need a gun, but the choice of one gun over another boils down to which one you want. Asking why you "need" a Winchester instead of a Remington, or a Rock River AR instead of a Mini-14, is nonsensical.

CountGlockula
November 7, 2008, 05:41 PM
Because guns are a touchy subject, just like religion.

CannonFodder
November 7, 2008, 05:43 PM
I always say this: I had disposable income that needed to be disposed of in an interesting manner. It was either guns, video games, or hookers&blow.

I went with the one that could be used as a paperweight when I got tired of it.

1911Tuner
November 7, 2008, 06:04 PM
"Why do you need that?"

Reply with a question of your own.

"Why do you need lobster tails or chocolate cake or a car that'll run twice the speed limit?"

It helps if he's eating something that's bad for him and/or owns a Corvette or a Ferrarri during the exchange. :)

barry960
November 7, 2008, 06:20 PM
I think if a person is thinking of asking the question "Why do you need that?", you should try to rephrase the question. Maybe the intent of the question is more along the lines of "Wow, that's a lot of money to me for a weapon, or a strange weapon in my understanding...what is the appeal, intended use or activity that said firearm would be utilized?" I'm just chiming in on this, because I have conditioned myself to react a little harshly to the question "why do you need that?" or "how many guns do you need?" because it is the line of questioning the 'antis' like to use when clamoring for new despotic legislation. I'll try to curb any defensive posture and just explain in a more diplomatic way from now on, but if someone asks in person face to face, and there is that certain snide tone in the question, that's when I'll go into a rant mode.

Sam Adams
November 7, 2008, 06:21 PM
"Either that or I come up with a different breed of zombie that only the latest purchase can kill."

Good one!

...

The only ones I haven't found a "need" for are my Finnish M39

Come on, what's the matter with you? There is a DEFINITE need for that M39 - Russian zombies. Geez, man, if there can be Nazi zombies, then there can be Russian zombies, too. Get with the program, slacker!

22-rimfire
November 7, 2008, 09:18 PM
My standard answer is that I have everything I need already. Now I just want stuff as it keeps me interested in the sport. It's kind of like buying another fishing rod & reel.

2nd 41
November 7, 2008, 09:22 PM
I NEED another gun like a snail NEEDS airbrakes.

Dookie
November 8, 2008, 07:48 AM
If it was a matter of need then my car would be governed to go 75 MPH. Don't have any need to go faster.

QuietEarp
November 10, 2008, 07:35 AM
Until I read all of these posts I did not realize that I didn't just want a Ruger Single Six, I needed one. It will hold much of its value for probably hundreds of years and my descendants will thank me for breaking it in. How much is my CD making right now? Maybe I will buy 2.

Update! I got one. Now what do I need.

macadore
November 10, 2008, 10:24 AM
Well, frankly, it's a silly question (the one of "what do you need that for"),

Youíre absolutely correct. Itís a stupid question and deserves a stupid answer. Why do we need ice cream? If we donít need it, then letís ban it. More people die from diet related problems than from the misuse of firearms. If it saves the life just one childÖ..

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