Thursday, August 12, 2021

You don't need that!

An actual, although paraphrased for brevity, argument I saw recently for banning certain guns:
"You don't need an AR15. You can use a revolver to live out your white male self-defense fantasies if AR15s are banned*. No one should have to live in a society with semi-automatic assault rifles. Society has rules. If you don't want to live by society's rules, go live in the woods in a Ted Kaczynski cabin, you mouthbreather."

Yeah, I get it. You don't like guns.

And I don't like pit bulls. Probably at least as much as you don't like guns. I see no need for anyone to own one. I've known nice ones, but that doesn't mean some of them, when kept by certain people, aren't crazy dangerous. There are plenty of other breeds you could keep, right?

So, if I were as self-centered as you, I could claim:
"You don't need a pit bull. You can still have a Shih Tzu to live out your white male dog-owning fantasies if pit bulls are banned. No one should have to live in a society with pit bulls. Society has rules. If you don't want to live by society's rules, go live in the woods in a Ted Kaczynski cabin, you mouthbreather."

Except, that I would never make that argument. I am not so self-centered that I imagine I have any right to tell others what they are "allowed" to have. It doesn't matter how much I dislike (or fear) what you have. I'm just not ever going to do that.

Yes, if your gun or your pit bull harms someone (or if there is a credible threat they'll do so), you are fully accountable. You owe restitution-- maybe more than you can ever pay. But before that happens, your stuff is none of my business. 

Yes, society has rules, the primary one of which is "Don't violate the life, liberty, or property of anyone else". Once you start deciding you can tell others what they don't need, you're violating that rule. You are being antisocial and uncivilized.

No one has the right to decide what other people need. You only need air, water, shelter, and food. You can live on Primate Chow in a sheltered cage with a dripping pipe. Anything else is a luxury. But only a monster would force you to live this way based on what they claim you don't need.


*At least until "Saturday Night Specials" are banned.


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  1. Oh man I agree with this so much. There are so many things a person doesn't "NEED." But who cares? Life is also about what we want. Assuming you have the luck to be conversing with someone who actually thinks instead of solely emoting, a good one to toss out is "what about a car? You don't NEED a particular type of car. Heck, you don't even really need a car. So what if you need a car to commute? Well you could go live in a crackerbox apartment walking distance away from your job. You don't NEED that house you live in after all."

    So anyway, agreed!

    1. I pointed out she doesn't need a semi-automatic communication device; she can spread her message with a goose quill and parchment. She ignored that and simply responded by (again) saying I'm a white male who's afraid of everything. I don't believe she thinks.

    2. "I don't believe she thinks."

      ... which is what makes engaging with such people so frustrating. We do need to keep trying, though: one in a hundred might actually switch their brain on in response, and we need that one in a hundred.

      Another direction the conversation might go (and perhaps did go) would be to say, yes, I do need powerful weapons because the government has powerful weapons, and without a counterbalancing force it is historically certain to descend into tyranny. But she's probably one of those the-government-could-fix-everything-if-it-only-takes-more-control types.