Keep and Bear Arms
Home Members Login/Join About Us News/Editorials Archives Take Action Your Voice Web Services Free Email
You are 1 of 377 active visitors Thursday, May 23, 2019
Main Email List:

State Email Lists:
Click Here
Join/Renew Online
Join/Renew by Mail
Make a Donation
Magazine Subscriptions
KABA Memorial Fund
Advertise Here
Use KABA Free Email




Keep and Bear Arms - Vote In Our Polls
Do you support Michael Bloomberg's efforts to shred the Second Amendment?

Current results
Earlier poll results
1273 people voted



» U.S. Gun Laws
» AmeriPAC
» NoInternetTax
» Gun Show On The Net
» 2nd Amendment Show
» SEMPER FIrearms
» Colt Collectors Assoc.
» Personal Defense Solutions




Keep and Bear Arms


Archived Information

Top | Last 30 Days | Search | Add to Archives | Newsletter | Featured Item

Yardstick of Need


by Michael Mitchell

We’ve all heard it before. “It’s okay to ban those guns. I mean, nobody really needs a gun like that.” Sadly, this type of sentiment is often heard among gun owners. The hunters think it’s okay to ban “Saturday night specials,” because they don’t need a small, cheap handgun. The concealed carry permit holders think it’s okay to ban “sniper rifles”, because they don’t hunt. And so forth. It’s a “divide and conquer” strategy that the crime facilitation (i.e. “gun control”) movement has used with great success.

There are two fundamental reasons why need is a very poor yardstick to use when it comes to government regulations. First, it’s none of the government’s - or anyone else’s - business to determine what another human being needs. Second, the sentiment that the government can ban technology based on an appraisal of the people’s need to own it, sets a precedent which is devastating to liberty, if allowed to its logical conclusion.

To the first point, why are government bureaucrats and politicians somehow qualified to determine what people “need”? They’ve declared that nobody needs small, cheap handguns (the racist slur “Saturday night special” is often applied; however, that term is being replaced with “pocket rocket” - a term with even more interesting origins). Who needs them? Inner-city working poor, who don’t have the financial resources to afford self-defense tools any more expensive.

Nobody needs a high capacity semiautomatic (the “assault weapon”), eh? Tell that to the store and home owners in downtown Los Angeles, who survived attacks by rioters only because they were armed with high-capacity weapons capable of “rapid fire”. Nobody needs a “sniper rifle” (this one is almost farcical)? Ask the millions of deer hunters throughout the nation - the people who keep you from being killed by crashing your car into a deer by culling the population.

Just for the sake of argument, though, let’s agree that even these demonstrable uses of various firearms do not constitute a real need. There’s another, more sinister, element involved here as well. If you accept that it’s okay for the government to ban technology based on their appraisal of your need to own it, watch out. You’ll lose your TV, your computer, your hobby equipment (whatever your hobby may be), your air conditioner, your Calvin Kleins, your video games, your running water, your toilets, and your disposable diapers. Say bye-bye to paved roads, sodas, restaurants, telephones, newspapers, books, VCRs, and electricity. Radios, tape players, CDs, and the Internet are things of the past; forget airplanes, or, for that matter, automobiles. Humans survived just fine for centuries without them. Nikes, sporting events, movies, Wal-Mart, and manufacturing plants evaporate. More fundamentally, who needs money? After all, the barter system worked well throughout most of history.

Face it: The vast majority of the trappings of our modern life are not needs. They are conveniences - technologies which make our lives and tasks easier, more comfortable, more efficient. When you get right down to it, the actual needs of the human species are really pretty simple. We need food (which our ancient ancestors obtained through hunting and gathering), shelter (easily provided by crude structures or caves; $200,000 houses aren’t required), and some measure of protection from the elements (such as warm clothing in the wintertime). Anything else is a convenience - something that allows us to live and work better, or more efficiently, or more comfortably.

Are you still sure that need is an appropriate yardstick to use when evaluating the government’s permission to regulate technologies?

Copyright 2000 Michael A. Mitchell. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this article in its entirety, including this copyright notice and website attribution. Mike writes for; you can contact him at and read his other writings here.


Printer Version

The threat posed by humans to the natural environment is nothing compared to the threat to humans posed by global environmental policy. FRED L. SMITH (1992)

COPYRIGHT POLICY: The posting of copyrighted articles and other content, in whole or in part, is not allowed here. We have made an effort to educate our users about this policy and we are extremely serious about this. Users who are caught violating this rule will be warned and/or banned.
If you are the owner of content that you believe has been posted on this site without your permission, please contact our webmaster by following this link. Please include with your message: (1) the particulars of the infringement, including a description of the content, (2) a link to that content here and (3) information concerning where the content in question was originally posted/published. We will address your complaint as quickly as possible. Thank you.

NOTICE:  The information contained in this site is not to be considered as legal advice. In no way are Keep And Bear Arms .com or any of its agents responsible for the actions of our members or site visitors. Also, because this web site is a Free Speech Zone, opinions, ideas, beliefs, suggestions, practices and concepts throughout this site may or may not represent those of Keep And Bear Arms .com. All rights reserved. Articles that are original to this site may be redistributed provided they are left intact and a link to is given. Click here for Contact Information for representatives of is the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions used by enterprises, Web sites, and consumers to conduct secure communications and transactions over the Internet and private networks., Inc. © 1999-2019, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy