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The weekly Daley: I want what I want, and that’s all that I want

By
From page A6 | January 18, 2013 | 7 Comments

One of the least helpful questions newspeople and interviewers ask these days is, “Why do you or why does anyone need a semi-automatic rifle and a 100-round magazine?”

That only opens the door to a bunch of reasons and rationales that then get challenged, restated, ridiculed, defended and ultimately don’t stand up to reality. The issue is not why or why not anyone “needs” such equipment. They don’t unless they really are in imminent danger of being attacked by a force far larger than anything the average person is likely to encounter. The average innocent person is not likely to be “attacked” by the sheriff’s S.W.A.T. team. The average person is not likely to be attacked by a dozen or more heavily armed drug gang members. Those things could happen, just like getting hit by lightning happens. Yet who has ever seen or heard of anyone who carried a lightning rod — just in case?

The reality is that people “want” those things. And if they’re asked why do they want them, the answer can really only be, “Because I do. I want them, because I want them. I like them, and I enjoy having them, and that’s all there is to say about that.” And no one with any sense would argue with them about it.

There is no reasonable justification for wanting things, and there doesn’t need to be a reasonable justification for wanting things. People can want things, and they don’t need to have that make sense to someone who doesn’t want the same things. It’s no one else’s business why they may or may not want something. I want things. I need things. There’s lots of things I want that I don’t need. And there are lots of things I need that I also want, but the two aren’t the same. Wanting and needing are as different as night and day.

I’ve camped plenty of times without a propane lantern and stove. I don’t need those things to go camping. But I now prefer to go camping with those amenities. And I’d shy away from an argument with someone whose point is that I don’t “need” those things. Of course I don’t need those things, but I want them. And they come in handy on those rare occasions when the power goes out for any length of time. Not necessary but comforting nonetheless.

 God fights on the side with the best artillery

Napoleon is credited with that statement of probable fact. It’s even more true today. Anyone who thinks he’s going to hold out against overwhelming force with a bunker full of semi-automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition is living in some kind of Butch Cassidy “going down in a hail of bullets” dream world.

I’ve discussed this issue numerous times with my brother the conservative who thinks he “needs” a lot more firepower than he can legally acquire. He, for whatever bunch of reasons, seems actually to believe that one day he will need to defend himself and his home against an attack by an unknown, unspecified enemy — usually generalized as the “government” or the U.N. or maybe China or even North Korea.

“How long do you think you could hold out against a military assault on your house?” I ask.

“Longer than someone who isn’t as well armed,” he says.

Well, that may be entirely true, I have to admit. Two minutes, five minutes, a half-hour before “they” launch a missile from three miles away and blow your house to smithereens with you in it? So what did you gain, two minutes, five minutes, a half-hour? And would that be worth all the expense not to mention the perpetual anxiety you live with waiting for that day? Evidently it is, not only to him but to thousands if not millions of other like-minded folks.

It wouldn’t be worth it to me, because I figure Napoleon was probably right.

Chris Daley is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. His column appears each Friday. 

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Discussion | 7 comments

  • Phil VeerkampJanuary 17, 2013 - 11:30 pm

    Chris, if "“they” launch a missile from three miles away and blow your house to smithereens with you in it" then America will already have been lost. I think people will still remember ATF’s Ruby Ridge/Randy Weaver and Janet Reno’s Wako. Will there be an insurgency against america’s Assad? Who knows? Who knows what will arise from the ashes. . . . . Kent State forgotten . . . What kind of fool was he who proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death”? . . . Outdated? Quaint? . . . Probably. . . . Let’s turn in our guns and make the future safer. . . . much better to be live surfs than dead patriots.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ken SteersJanuary 18, 2013 - 8:14 am

    All Daley needs is a set of pom poms and he'll be good to go. Rooting for the democrat socialist regime appears to be his forte. To get this straight Daley fears Constitutionalists, Christianity and Conservatives. And he loves Socialism, Totalitarianism and Napoleon. As I remember Napoleon was a Dictator also. Daley appears quite giddy.

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  • Jack MartinJanuary 18, 2013 - 1:07 pm

    For all of Daley's advanced education, apparently he isn't familiar with math. How so? I present the following quote: "So what did you gain, two minutes, five minutes, a half-hour? And would that be worth all the expense not to mention the perpetual anxiety you live with waiting for that day? Evidently it is, not only to him but to thousands if not millions of other like-minded folks." SO, you take Daley's examples of two minutes, five minutes or a half hour (each) and multiply by the "thousands if not millions" of like minded and equipped people. You end up with a time total that would span several years and this math alone would be enough to discourage a wanna-be tyrant from initiating anything. And military historians will tell you that the best victory is the one gained without firing a shot.

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  • 1036-FrankJanuary 18, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    The focus on the object rather then the armed criminal is the liberal tool. Why does anyone who is law abiding "need" anything really if a liberal decides they don't. This goes for their home, their car, their income, and freedom from tyrannical leftists out to re-write the Constitution. Their welfare state and nation is being increased at rates never before seen and is what is creating these brilliant people with their brainless ideas who always know what is best for others and their desires to regulate the freedom of others. The dangerous mental cases and criminals who violate our laws, yet are continuously released, are the problem and must be dealt with using strict sentencing and increased in-patient facilities. These people can't legally own any firearms, yet frequently do, Where is the proposal to lock up for life all felons who illegally possess a firearm or try to buy one?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • clleaJanuary 18, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    I would like to hear at least one of you big, brave, all knowing homo sapiens comment on the article "Never forget, again". Sure there is something you could bash.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Paddy O'furnitureJanuary 18, 2013 - 7:21 pm

    cllea, what would you like us to bash about a piece that seems to record an event in an accurate and unbiased manner? Or are you just hoping one of the pro-gun types here will say something that you can then bash? Your comment is the essence of stirring the manure. Drop the spoon.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • paul TribeJanuary 20, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    Poor babies. Nobody wants to take away their guns, but they desperately wish it were the case in order to feed their fantasy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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