Having given up on trying to persuade Americans that taking guns away from law-abiding citizens will reduce the murder rate, Democrats have turned to their usual prohibitionary argument: "Why does anyone need (an assault weapon, a 30-round magazine, a semiautomatic, etc., etc.)?"
Phony conservative Joe Manchin, who won his U.S. Senate seat in West Virginia with an ad showing him shooting a gun, said, "I don't know anyone (who) needs 30 rounds in a clip."
CNN's Don Lemon, who does not fit the usual profile of the avid hunter and outdoorsman, demanded, "Who needs an assault rifle to go hunting?"
Fantasist Dan Rather said, "There is no need to have these high-powered assault weapons."
And prissy Brit Piers Morgan thought he'd hit on a real showstopper with, "I don't know why anyone needs an assault rifle." Of course, where he comes from, policemen carry wooden sticks.
Since when do Americans have to give the government an explanation for why they "need" something? If that's the test, I can think of a whole list of things I don't know why anyone needs.
I don't know why anyone needs to burn an American flag at a protest. The point could be made just as well verbally.
I don't know why anyone needs to read about the private lives of celebrities. Why can't we shut down the gossip rags?
I don't know why anyone needs to vote. One vote has never made a difference in any federal election.
I don't know why anyone needs to bicycle in a city.
I don't know why anyone needs to have anal sex at a bathhouse. I won't stop them, but I don't know why anyone needs to do that.
I don't know why anyone needs to go hiking in national parks, where they're constantly falling off cliffs, being buried in avalanches and getting lost -- all requiring taxpayer-funded rescue missions.
I don't know why Karen Finley needs to smear herself with chocolate while reading poems about "love." But not only do Democrats allow that, they made us pay for it through the National Endowment for the Arts.
In fact, I don't know why anyone needs to do any of the things that offend lots of people, especially when I have to pay for it. I don't mind paying for national monuments and the ballet, but if "need" is a legitimate argument, there's no end to the activities that can be banned, forget "not subsidized by Ann."
Democrats are willing to make gigantic exceptions to the "need" rule for things they happen to personally like. Their position is: "I don't know why anyone needs to hunt; on the other hand, I do see why your tax dollars should be used to subsidize partial-birth abortion, bicycle lanes and the ballet."
They'll say that no one died in my examples (except abortion) (and bicycling) (and bathhouses) (and national parks), but the victims of mass shootings weren't killed by gun owners. They were killed by crazy people.
How about keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people?
Liberals won't let us do that -- and yet they won't tell us why anyone needs to live on sidewalk grates, harass pedestrians and crap in his pants.
Those are precious constitutional rights, straight from the pen of James Madison, and please stop asking questions.
"I don't see why anyone needs ..." is code for: "I don't do it, so let's ban it." The corollary is: "I enjoy this, so you have to subsidize it."
Environmentalists say: "I don't know why anyone needs to shower once a day -- my French friends and I take two showers per month. We think we smell fine."
That's the difference between a totalitarian and a normal person. Liberals are obsessed with controlling what other people do.
As Sen. Dianne Feinstein said this week, so-called "assault weapons" are a "personal pleasure" and "mothers and women" have to decide whether this personal pleasure "is more important than the general welfare."
The "general welfare" is every tyrant's excuse, going back to Robespierre and the guillotine. Free people are not in the habit of providing reasons why they "need" something simply because the government wants to ban it. That's true of anything -- but especially something the government is constitutionally prohibited from banning, like guns.
The question isn't whether we "need" guns. It's whether the government should have a monopoly on force.
In liberals' ideal world, no one will even know you don't have to wait 22 minutes for the police when someone breaks into your home, there are toilets that can get the job done on one flush, food tastes better with salt, and you can drive over 55 mph and get there faster.
Meanwhile, we're all required to subsidize their hobbies -- recycling, abortion, the "arts," bicycling, illegal alien workers, etc.
Liberals ought to think about acquiring a new hobby: leaving people alone.