I don’t need much…

In Intro to Libertarianism, Lifestyle on August 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Let’s regulate ourselves into freedom?

[Government exists solely for one group of people to control others against their will. Whenever someone has the inner drive to control someone, they often ask their fellow citizens to justify the “need” to possess some item or perform some act. Most often, these folks have already decided there is no legitimate need for someone to own something or do something they don’t own or do themselves. It is an absurd thought process to believe that regulation of other people should be based on whether or not you, yourself, “need” something. As a male, I have no need for tampons. But, because I have no legitimate need for tampons, should the state prohibit me from owning or buying a “a stockpile” of tampons?]

One of my close friends is a party line Democrat. I hesitate to call him a liberal, since his political philosophy is not liberal; he is a true believer in the state. Despite the chasm that separates our political beliefs, we are good friends and we enjoy our email-based discussions. Current events make for fodder in nearly every one of them.

[So as not to pick on my state-worshiping Democrat friends, I will stipulate that an significant percentage of state-worshiping Republicans are guilty of what I’m about to disparage below.]

The killings in Aurora, Colorado dominated for a while. Then, we moved on. The subject of killing again took center stage after a gunman attacked Milwaukee Sikhs as they assembled for worship in their temple.

“For the life of me”, wrote my friend, “I don’t understand gun people.” He knows well that I am an avid target shooter and the subject of gun control is one that deeply divides us.

“Nobody needs assault rifles for anything except killing and, even if they can justify having a military-style weapon, they have no need for magazines holding hundreds of rounds.”

He lurched off to attack the flimsy nature of any stated need to possess 6,000 rounds of ammunition.

Sensitive to my beliefs, he closed with, “I know you don’t agree and that you own some of these things. I just don’t understand why you think that you need them. Do you, HONESTLY (sic) need them?”

I replied with one of my shortest, and now standard, answers to folks asking that same question:

“No. I do not need them.”

When he did not immediately reply, even to gloat in victory for “sensible gun control”, I almost called him to check on his welfare. I anticipated that my unexpected response may have been the final straw for his chronic heart condition.

I don’t need this.

That was yesterday.

No, I thought, I do not need guns…

…or anything else.

But, it’s obvious that a lot of people feel entitled to demand others to produce explanations of why they need any number of items.

Several months ago, we were guests at a tea hosted by friends. After we parked the aging Yom Kippur Klipper, our host asked, “Why do you need such a big pickup truck?”

When it came time to plant our container garden, I began looking for cheap five-gallon pails in which to grow a few veggies. I hunted around a discount store without success. Finally I asked a clerk where I might find some five-gallon buckets.”

“Maybe Home Depot. We do have 3-gallon pails. Why do you need five-gallon buckets?”

Don’t need this either.

When I was explaining to an elderly family member that I had been busily making and storing vegetable and chicken stock, she asked, “Why do you need so much stock?”

Listen to people these days:

“Pit bulls are dangerous dogs. I don’t know why anyone needs to have such a dog.”

“The speedometer on that motorcycle goes up to 160mph. Why does anyone need a bike capable of those kinds of speeds?”

…or this.

“That restaurant serves 32oz steaks. Why does anyone need that much food?”

“A 48oz take away soft drink. Nobody needs to have that much pop.

“Two people live in that 4800 square-foot house. Why do they think they need such a big place?”

“Why does anyone need 280 television channels?”

“Why do people need smart phones (an oxymoron)?”

…or this.

Usually, people asking “why do you need” have their own prejudices against whatever you use, buy, or favor and expect you to rise in defense and state a need, which they will evaluate for validity.

Don’t do it.

You’ll never satisfy them. They will simply swat away whatever justifications you state.

And, around-and-around-and-around you’ll go.

My friend didn’t reply, because there was nothing for him to reply to. If he had posed his question in person, I suspect my answer would have made his mouth work as frantically as the mouth on a beached carp.

There are a lot of people interested in why we need things they don’t need. And, because they are certain we don’t need them, they feel the need (oh, the irony) to restrict or ban us from having them…they call it “regulation”.

Let’s look at those five-gallon buckets.

I was planting an eggplant in one when I looked at the 24-font, Arial Boldwarnings plastered on its side. For folks with short attention spans, a graphic of a toddler plopped headfirst into a bucket drives home the point…”kids can

…or this.

drown in these”.

There’s even an “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” by the Consumer Product Safety Commission within the archives of the Federal Register (July 8, 1994) detailing the now-implemented rules requiring the danger notice (in English and Spanish) on all five-gallon buckets.

Why would anyone need such a dangerous device as a five-gallon bucket?

Clearly, only professional painters, the police, and the military have a legitimate need for such big and dangerous buckets.

For chrissake…”It’s for the children!”

There was even a move to ban EverClear from the shelves of Iowa liquor stores a few years back. The logic?

…or this.

“There’s no legitimate reason for regular people to buy high-proof spirits like EverClear.”

Why do people need anything?

They don’t.

If the people don’t need anything, why not ban everything?

I can’t think of a reason people, other than professional painters, roofers, chimney sweeps, or utility workers, need a ladder over five feet tall.

“Why do you need this twenty-food extension ladder, sir?”

Why do we need cars capable of going more than 20mph? Why is twenty the magic number for auto speed? When you consider that 35,000 to 40,000 Americans die each year in auto crashes, limiting the speed of impact would likely reduce “the carnage”.

Why do gun nuts need more than ten bullets in a gun at a time?

Why are ten bullets magically able to be safer for society? Why not nine? Why is eleven more lethal and, therefore, unacceptable?

Depending on how “activist” one wants to become about acetaminophen, (Tylenol) is lethal at doses larger than three to six grams. That’s a handful of 500mg tablets. Unless someone taking such a dose (or giving it to another person) receives treatment in 6-8 hours, only a liver transplant will save the victim. I can buy a case of Tylenol without causing much commotion.

Yes, there are folks who want to move Tylenol to the Rx-only column! “Why does anyone, except licensed professionals need to be able to buy such a drug?”

We don’t.

So…I don’t need this either.

And here we go again.

I don’t need my guns, my pickup truck, my iPod, my homemade chicken stock, this blog, or anything else. I could live quite happily without any of those things.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people who cannot live in peace without knowing why I need them.

It must suck to be them.


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