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Old January 12, 2013, 03:07 PM   #1
simonov jr
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Why does anyone NEED to own an assault weapon anyway?

The next time you hear someone (often a non-shooter but not invariably so) posit this as a hypothetical, it might be a good idea to take them up on their "offer". There are many sound empirical reasons why an AR-15, the most prevalent of the so-called "assault-style" weapons these questioners have in mind, may be THE firearm of choice for a wide range of shooters and purposes. A partial list of these came to mind as follows, but due to the singular mudularity of the AR-15 platform it is probably subject to considerable expansion:

* The AR-15's functional resemblance to the M-16 (it is a semi-auto variant) allows veterans, active military members and law enforcement officers to directly apply their professional firearms training to the protection of themselves, their loved ones and their community because of their vast familiarity with the recoil and position of the controls under stress.

* It's ability to change calibers allows the less affluent to practice more affordably, thus becoming safer and more proficient, through the use of inexpensive surplus military ammunition in 5.56 mm, imported ammunition in 7.62 x 39 mm or .22 LR ammo

* This same cailibery flexibility allows owners to save money by purchasing the same common ammunition that they use in their handgun, eg 9 mm, .40 cal., .45 cal, etc., ammunition

* The ability to change calibers allows owners to protect loved ones more safely and effectively since they can quickly switch between higher-penetration rifle-calibers (eg 5.56 mm) in order to protect themselves from threats wearing body armor (as some of the mass shooters have elected to do) or downgrade to a pistol caliber in order to reduce the risk of over-penetration ("know your target and what is beyond it!") in more urban/home settings

* The range of available hunting cartridges (eg .22 LR, 5.56, 6.8 and .50 BMG) allows for the taking of small, medium, large AND dangerous game, making it arguably THE most suitable firearm for the widest range of hunting and sporting purposes.

* The ability to use sub-sonic ammunition in .300 Whisper and .22 caliber ammo allows indoor shooters to reduce the risk of hearing loss in enclosed spaces, not to mention noise pollution

* The ability to mount an array of optical sights, lasers and flashlights allows shooters in general, and the vision-impaired, the elderly and disabled shooters in particular, to defend themselves more effectively in exactly the kind of reduced light scenarios that comprise most self defense situations.

* Semi-Auto capability allows civilians to rapidly engage multiple targets, hardened targets and targets behind cover, and puts them on an equal footing with criminals armed with revolvers and semi-autos (unlike say bolt-action, pump-action or single-shot weapons).

* Higher capacity magazines reduce the likelyhood that a civilain shooter will need to reload during the course of a self-defense shooting.

Last edited by simonov jr; January 12, 2013 at 08:05 PM.
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:28 PM   #2
sirdiealot
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varment control....shooting a coyote running from my hen house is a real pain in the but with a bolt action
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:37 PM   #3
jonnyc
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I prefer......
.......Why does anyone need a car that goes ove50?
.......Why does anyone need a bunch of different ring-tones?
.......Why does anyone need different color jeans?
.......etc.
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:51 PM   #4
dfsixstring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyc View Post
I prefer......
.......Why does anyone need a car that goes ove50?
.......Why does anyone need a bunch of different ring-tones?
.......Why does anyone need different color jeans?
.......etc.
Amen, my thoughts exactly.


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Old January 12, 2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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You left out the original intent of the 2nd amendment which is to protect the citizens of the United States of America from a tyrannical government whether it be our own government or that of an invading force. In the event that we actually had to fight a gas operated semi-auto rifle (I detest the term "assault rifle") would certainly level the playing field a bit. I would not want a bolt action rifle to face off against combat trained soldier with select fire weapons. I would want a semi-auto of a similar design to that of our combat troops with a large capacity magazine. Just my thoughts,

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Old January 12, 2013, 04:30 PM   #6
Spats McGee
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Whether or not I, individually, need to own an AR-15 is irrelevant. The 2A isn't contained in a Bill of Needs. It's a Bill of Rights. Society needs for me, and other individuals, to have the right to own one.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:40 PM   #7
sigcurious
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So let's play devils advocate for a moment

Quote:
* The AR-15's functional resemblance to the M-16 (it is a semi-auto variant) allows veterans, active military members and law enforcement officers to directly apply their professional firearms training to the protection of themselves, their loved ones and their community because of their vast familiarity with the recoil and position of the controls under stress.
Well then only police and military should have them, if they are functionally similar to an m-16, they're just as dangerous. Military and police have professional training to use such firearms.

Quote:
* It's ability to change calibers allows the less affluent to practice more affordably, thus becoming safer and more proficient, through the use of inexpensive surplus military ammunition in 5.56 mm, imported ammunition in 7.62 x 39 mm or .22 LR ammo

* This same cailibery flexibility allows owners to save money by purchasing the same common ammunition that they use in their handgun, eg 9 mm, .40 cal., .45 cal, etc., ammunition
Great, so now these madmen that use them to kill people can practice doing it for less money and be better at it, while using military grade ammunition.

Quote:
* The range of available hunting cartridges (eg .22 LR, 5.56, 6.8 and .50 BMG) allows for the taking of small, medium, large AND dangerous game, making it arguably THE most suitable firearm for the widest range of hunting and sporting purposes.
Nobody needs to hunt with .50bmg, they shoot airplanes and armored vehicles with that stuff. My <insert relative> hunts just fine with his bolt action 30-06 and .22 rifles, why would you need all that other stuff?

Quote:
* The ability to change calibers allows owners to protect loved ones more safely and effectively since they can quickly switch between higher-penetration rifle-calibers (eg 5.56 mm) in order to protect themselves from threats wearing body armor (as some of the mass shooters have elected to do) or downgrade to a pistol caliber in order to reduce the risk of over-penetration ("know your target and what is beyond it!") in more urban/home settings
Now you think you're the police or rambo and have to have a rifle with you everywhere you go so you can shoot people wearing body armor? and if the 5.56 round penetrates so much, that just makes it more dangerous when the badguys use it!

(turning off the devils advocate for a moment, practically speaking if you have time to change uppers to adjust to the situation there may be a lot of better options available. Particularly since carrying a rifle full time in public along with multiple uppers and magazines to fit a variety of situations becomes impractical to say the least)

Quote:
* The ability to mount an array of optical sights, lasers and flashlights allows shooters in general, and the vision-impaired, the elderly and disabled shooters in particular, to defend themselves more effectively in exactly the kind of reduced light scenarios that comprise most self defense situations.
Isn't that all the same stuff the police and military use to make their guns more deadly, now the bad guys will have it that much easier when they shoot up a school.

devil's advocate off...

While I applaud your eagerness to come up with answers to the question, as has been said before many times and implied by some of the responses already, it is not about need. Utility arguments such as yours, can either be twisted and refuted, or fall on deaf ears because the utility only exists for those who are already firearms users/owners.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:56 PM   #8
RubiDing
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What Stu so clearly said.
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:59 PM   #9
DFrame
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I refuse to respond to "What do you NEED that for?" questions. Need has nothing to do with anything I own. I have the desire to own it, the means, and the RIGHT. End of discussion.
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Old January 12, 2013, 05:32 PM   #10
dfsixstring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFrame View Post
I refuse to respond to "What do you NEED that for?" questions. Need has nothing to do with anything I own. I have the desire to own it, the means, and the RIGHT. End of discussion.
Amen...again!


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Old January 12, 2013, 06:16 PM   #11
Spectre
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5.56x45mm has LESS penetration in structural materials and less chance of overpenetrating a body than common duty-caliber handgun rounds. This has been tested and proven many times.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:59 PM   #12
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Why do women, Non-White, Non-Property owners need to vote?
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Old January 12, 2013, 08:00 PM   #13
simonov jr
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This is interesting (and telling in some ways)- most of the responses so far seem to proceed from the assumption that setting aside the 2nd Amendment argument (which I agree with) for even a moment in order to challenge a separate and facetious argument by our opponents is somehow the same as ceding it to them. That is a false choice, though one our opponents hope we'll continue to make I'm sure, as there are plenty of undecided voters who are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Many of these people are sympathitic to the RKBA in general but susceptible to just the kind of "divide and conquer" strategy (eg duck hunters vs evil assualt weapon owners) presently being employed by our dishonest opponents unless the counter-argument is made, and made aggressively. I would argue that the opposite true, that by failing to challenge the false premises and statements made about various types of firearms (in this case that so-called Assault Weapons are without merit and unsuited to the needs of average Americans, a la "Why do you need a Ferrari?", we as gun owners are the ones who are ceding the high ground in the debate and we are appear not to have the benefit of facts or reason on our side. Like it or not, there are squishy, middle of the road voters who don't necessarily understand or agree with an absolutist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment- their votes may be the deciding margin in the coming legislative debate. As to the "devil's advocate" position, the whole point of the post was to point out that the very same features and functions that make "Assault Weapons" scary and a target for gun banners are among the reasons they are most beneficial to lawful gun owners; how does the fact that our opponents will try to do the same mean that the counter-argument isn't worth making? I don't expect anyone to necessarily agree with me, but I find the strategy of abandoning the field of debate and retreating behind a "2nd Amendment" mantra to be a dubious one, Amen's or no. Of course that would be exactly the thing to do if you expect the same Supreme Court that upheld Obama Care to ride in and rule that your AR-15 can't be restricted- any takers there?
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:30 PM   #14
sigcurious
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Quote:
I find the strategy of abandoning the field of debate and retreating behind a "2nd Amendment" mantra to be a dubious one,
There is a difference in abandoning the field of debate, and choosing to play on the proper field. Which in the case of a loaded question such as "why does anyone need to own an assault weapon anyway?" is the proper choice. No matter how much utility you ascribe to an AR via what ever reasons you think give it utility does not mean someone else will see the same utility. It's entirely subjective.

You may think all those reasons make it so you need an AR, but in fact they don't. Every single function of need which you have proposed is in actuality a function of preference. We need oxygen, we need water, we need food. To shoot a target, a threat to your life, a deer, a squirrel, a moose, a bear, a whatever, sure an AR can do the job, but so can a lot of other firearms. If there are a multitude of alternatives, you may want it and find it preferential, but you don't need it.

Sure you can play football on a frozen pond, but that doesn't make it a wise venue to do so. Similarly, attempting to explain how you "need" that AR with a list of utility that is completely subjective is not a wise approach.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:27 PM   #15
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You can also respond with "Why does someone need to stand on a soapbox in front of City Hall and complain about the government ___________ (enter whatever strikes you at the moment)?"

Or "Why does the government need to have a search warrant to enter and look for terrorists in your home any time they want to?"
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:24 PM   #16
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"Why do women, Non-White, Non-Property owners need to vote?"

HAH!!!
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:45 PM   #17
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I like the points raised by this video and use it to answer that question: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R3uLTnzs60
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:28 AM   #18
sigcurious
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While I did greatly enjoy that guys video on "bathroom gun control" awhile back, he unfortunately makes some serious errors in his argument. He starts by lamenting that the anti's don't learn about what they want to ban, ok fine. He then uses "assault rifle" repeatedly with only a slight effort to use/re-enforce semi-automatic rifle. Setting aside his own terminology conflict. His opening statements inherently suggest that one should be educated about a subject they wish to have a discourse about. Then it goes downhill when he starts talking about having to defend himself from guys with AKs...yes it's possible, but implying that bad guys frequently use rifles, goes directly against his first statements about learning the subject matter. The facts are that rifles are used in very few crimes, the vast majority of gun crime is committed with handguns.

He ups the ante dangerously by implying that rifles are everywhere in crime. For those against or on the fence it only confirms to them that this danger is everywhere, rather than bringing out the truth which is a ban would have a near statistical zero impact on gun crime because they are in fact rarely used in crime.
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Old January 13, 2013, 03:43 AM   #19
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Maybe somebody will find this interesting.
Even though the present situation is nothing like England in 1939-40, somebody claimed that they were so short of hunting rifles for civilians that the UK govt. requested the US govt. to send over lots of extra rifles and ammo, to deter a German invasion.

That was just a tiny drop in the bucket compared to weapons etc they received under the Lend Lease Act, while we stuck our heads in the sand
(other than our volunteers via Canada for the RAF, and Flying Tigers etc).

We sent a fair number of rifles, donated by private citizens, but I don't know where to find the info.
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Old January 13, 2013, 03:47 AM   #20
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The M4 is the shoulder rifle of choice by the majority of SWAT teams and military for a reason! The same reasons law abiding civilians should have them. SWAT teams use the M4's because the 5.56 ammunition they use does not overpenetrate sheetrock walls and other barrirer materials in the same way a hollow point 9mm or .40 would! It is a safer round for home defense, a more accurate round, and a rifle should always be your protection firearm because shouldered rifles are more accurate and controllable especially under stress.

Also, civilians should have the ability to protect themselves from government who may steal away thier constitutional rights. protection against overbearing government, protection against armed gangster criminals, protection against drug cartels, protection against those who will murder you or your family without a care!

Americans live on the borders where drug cartels mule dope and illegal goods and tresspass on thier legally owned land. Americans need military style rifles with high capacity magazines to protect thier property and life interests.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:37 AM   #21
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I try not to answer with the government tyranny thing because it automatically makes them think you are a "nutjob".I prefer to answer with my own question that most antis can relate to, it may not change their mind but they will at least have to stop and think about it.

Why does someone need to drink alcohol?

There answer can usually be used for the same thing. Both can be enjoyed responsible, both can be abused, both have the potential to kill in the wrong hands. Neither can do anything without a PERSON using it. My favorite thing to add just to use antis own words is what benefit is there to alcohol that can't be gotten from something else? It seems like a simple argument to me, I am just tired of the responsibility of a persons actions being put on the background.

Last edited by Wbdisco; January 13, 2013 at 08:56 AM.
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:25 AM   #22
whipper
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I don't need to own one. I own one because I can!
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:39 AM   #23
Punisher_1
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Quote:
Why does someone need to drink alcohol?
So you won't notice when they seize your property and take away your rights.
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Old January 13, 2013, 01:12 PM   #24
Carne Frio
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"Why does anyone NEED to own an assault weapon anyway?"
Because someday I may need to repel an assault.
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Old January 13, 2013, 01:25 PM   #25
LRChops
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During the early wars of the 1800's and early 1900's (even WWI and WWII) the military used bolt action rifles, lever guns, single action pistols, and so on! Are those considered assault weapons??? NOPe. Plenty of Indians were assaulted with lever guns!

The M4 variants and AK's we have on the civilian market are NOT assault weapons by definition!
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