NEED­FUL THINGS

Gun World - - Upfront - www.gun­world.com

It hap­pened to me again the other day: the same, old ques­tion about firearms that I get more of­ten than I like: “Why do you need a ___?” Fill in the blank.

This time, it was in re­gard to a suppressor. “Why does any­one need to hunt with a si­lencer?”

Back in the early 2000s, I proudly showed off my new Kalash­nikov to a hunt­ing as­so­ci­ate. I thought it was re­ally cool, and it gave me great sat­is­fac­tion to shoot. It’s a semiauto, it’s mil­i­tary style, it’s leg­endary; and at the time, ammo was plen­ti­ful and dirt cheap. And most of all, when I need a shoot­ing fix, the re­coil and re­port are more sat­is­fy­ing than on an AR or .22 ri­fle.

His re­sponse: a dis­mis­sive grunt, fol­lowed by, “Huh. Why do you need an AK? Why would any­one need an AK?”

I even hear it from other gun own­ers. As ARs were start­ing to trickle into hunt­ing camps in the mid-2000s but were still un­com­mon, I was show­ing off my new Am­bush 6.8 hunt­ing ri­fle.

One of my hunt­ing bud­dies said, “You need an as­sault ri­fle to kill a deer? I only use one shot to kill mine.”

When dis­cussing my AR col­lec­tion (which might or might not be larger than the TO of an in­fantry pla­toon), with a friend, I got the same type of reaction.

The most com­mon one I get is (and I’ve heard this from sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers just in the last year alone), “I fully sup­port gun own­er­ship, but I don’t think any­one needs an as­sault ri­fle like an AR or AK.”

In all these sit­u­a­tions, I found my­self quickly tak­ing to my podium and ed­u­cat­ing them about what was wrong with what they said. The sad thing is, most of these were gun guys.

Rarely is the ques­tion done for the pur­pose of gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion, as in, “Why is it bet­ter to hunt with a suppressor?” In­stead, it’s ac­cusatory and dis­mis­sive in na­ture.

But, the larger pic­ture? This is Amer­ica, and when do we ever have to need some­thing to own it? Do we need the V-8 when a 4-banger will do the job? Do we need a mas­sive SUV or pickup truck when most of the time, it’s just us, alone, in the ve­hi­cle? Do we need a BMW when a Honda Civic would get us to work just the same? Does ev­ery­one need an iPhone or equiv­a­lent smart phone when a flip-phone would work just fine?

The an­swer to all of these ques­tions is, “No.” Yet, no one bats an eye at these things. No one has ever put me to task with, “Why do you need a watch with dozens of func­tions and the only thing you ever use it for is to tell time? Ridicu­lous!”

As a gun owner, I shouldn’t have to jus­tify my firearm pur­chases to any­one (ex­cept my wife)—es­pe­cially to other gun own­ers. What these peo­ple are re­ally say­ing is, “I don’t think you should own that.” Or, in the case of hunt­ing with a suppressor, “I don’t agree with what you’re do­ing.”

To that, I an­swer by ed­u­cat­ing them on what pur­pose it serves, but I don’t try to jus­tify why I own it.

If, af­ter I ex­plain things to them, they still don’t get it, I sim­ply point out the Sec­ond Amend­ment and tell them that if they need fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion, they need to read the Fed­er­al­ist Pa­pers. GW

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