Grassroots Commentary

So Do You Really Need an AR-15?

By Scott Treichler · Feb. 12, 2013

In the mist of the heated debate on banning what the liberal media describe as “assault weapons” and the equally maligned “high capacity magazines” I have read many wonderful articles defending the American right to bear arms and the Second Amendment. Although on the surface these would seem to be the best way to deflect attacks on gun rights by liberals, I think most people are missing the liberal thought pattern which is the biggest threat to our Liberty.

The liberal argument to ban these or any weapons is based on two and only two arguments. First argument is that “no one really needs a rifle like the AR-15.” The second is that “for the safety and common good, it is necessary to remove the right to own a weapon with military type features or a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.”

So let me make something perfectly clear: At no time are we required to justify our “need” of anything to the federal government.

As big of a threat to individual liberty that a ban on some particular weapons is and as bad a president that it sets for further gun grabbing by the federal government, it pales in comparison to the concept that the government can begin to base policy on the government deciding what the American citizen “needs”. It would be wonderful if we could depend on the government to make the proper call in these decisions. But looking at how the liberal's prioritize what should be banned for the public safety, it seems like there may be more to their agenda than just saving lives.

If the liberals currently in control of the federal government were really concerned about saving lives by banning things we don't “need”, there are a number of areas that would have a much greater effect.

Maybe the President could start by banning alcohol; no one can defend the “need” for intoxicating liquor and with 15,000 people dying in alcohol related auto accidents, the effect of lives saved would be immediate. This experiment did not work out very well the first time the government tried it but liberals have never had a problem with repeating failed policy.

Harry Reid could introduce legislation to ban all tobacco products. Again, there is no “need” for that product. Recently a federal court ordered the tobacco products manufacturers to apologize for a product that according to the federal government kills more people than AIDS, accidents and all murders combined. You would think the liberals first priority would be to do away with a product that kills more people than all not only all gun deaths but all murders total yet, this product remains absolutely legal and no permit or background check is required.

Or, how about football? The game most love to watch every Sunday for months at a time. We have heard a lot of talk from the left about “keeping the children safe”. Yet, an average of over a dozen children or young adults die every year from football injuries. While we may enjoy watching the game and some love to play the game, no one “needs” to play football – ever.

The list goes on and on – there is no need for auto racing, motorcycles, sky diving, trampolines, roller skates, bicycles … And once we have relegated the right for the government to define our “needs”, why would the government stop with a plastic box that holds 30 bullets? To save the environment who needs a 2000 sq/ft house or a personal car or to go to the movies?

I think that the banning of weapons might have more to do with disarming the American public than about public safety. Otherwise, the self-appointed government elite that seem to be determined to act as our nanny would be targeting products that are statistically killing our citizens year after year. Obama and his liberal allies sound like Castro or Chaves when they talk about eliminating rights “for our own good”.

Really, when you come to think about it, removing a citizen's rights based on government defined needs is about as good a description of socialism as you can find and in reality, is the best explanation why citizens need the ability to defend themselves.

History has proven time and time again that in a free democratic society the one thing that is NOT needed is the government deciding what IS needed.

Mr. Treichler blogs at


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wjm in Colorado said:

Perfect, a government that decides for us what we need, is the basis for "needing" guns, of all kinds. In every Marxist takeover, the populace had to be disarmed, but liberals have never had a problem with repeating failed policy. What is insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In the end, it will end badly for Chairman Obamao and his syncophant traitors, just how bad it gets for the rest of us remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Jay in FL said:

Don't be fooled: if it has a muzzel it has a "military feature." Support the Second Amendment!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Kathy in WTexas said:

The problem is the masses of people who are conditioned to think the government actually knows best and think it's okay for "Mama" to tell us what we need and don't need. Look at New York - no salt, no large drinks, no guns, and they all just go along with it. Somebody needs to tell the government that you're not the boss of me, I'm the boss of you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 4:39 PM

erik in monterey, ca replied:

I wish someone would tell that to big corporations that spend billions convincing us we need their salt, drinks, guns, etc

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:47 PM

L3 in Alaska replied:

uh... you still have the ability to say "no" you know....uh... Or ask the current president. He'll...uh... tell you what's best for you..uh....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 9:01 PM

den in lakeville replied:

Yes, like we need huge inflows of muslims. Thats what we need now according to him, plus eliminating our guns. I suspect there are huge armories in these mosques, as well.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 11:15 PM

Jones in Anchorage, Alaska replied:

Corporations provide you with a good or service you CHOSE if you want it or not, every Corporation in America has flourished because people WANT their products.

The Government FORCES you to do something against your will, be it through threats of force or legal consequences.

If you think you choosing is the same as you being forced to do something you have some serious issues to work out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Chrisyopher in Tennessee replied:

Well Eric, thats the beauty of what made this country great, my right(good or bad) to CHOOSE what I think is good for me and mine! Many have died so that i will have that right(freedom) to choose. What a large segment of our population seems to have forgotten is the definition of Personal Responsibility, and accepting responsibility for their own actions. The devil didnt make them do it, it wasn't because they were not the home coming king/queen, or because their self esteem wasn't as high as the rest of us. For every action there should be a reaction, the punishment for the crime should be equal to the crime.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:57 PM

LadyGunfighter in WI replied:

But I thought the Gov't said that commercials and movies and videos have nothing to do with how we think? Can't have it both ways but you just keep thinking buttercup,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 4:48 AM

midfielder in St. Charles, MO replied:

Why don't you tell them yourself? Have you no free will? Do you do everything the corporations tell you to? Don't buy it if you don't want it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Me in meville replied:

Its the big coroperations, aka the government, that is telling you you do not need guns....self defense is "dangerous" and evil

turn on the TV to see what the media is telling you, it is not that guns are good, its they are bad.

people are born with the instinct to stay alive, to preserve life- only propaganda and teaching can change this

big money from the mayor of new york, $600,000,000 from one man alone, then you have the billions obama spends in tax payers money.... vs the 20M or so the NRa can come up with from its 4.5 million members.

propaganda is the wealthy few controlling the masses via mass media

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

billy396 in ohio replied:

Now, the would-be King of New York BloominIdiot thinks that hospitals shouldn't prescribe so many painkillers to patients. This man has evidently convinced himself that A. Since he's a billionaire, that makes him an instant expert on everything under the Sun, and B. that everyone in the country should be forced to live their lives by his standards. I hate to belabor the obvious, but I'd be one to trust my doctor as to how much of what drug I need based on my pain level and other pertinent factors. BloominFool has ZERO expertise regarding medical treatments, chronic pain, effects of fractures of the vertebrae, effects of herniated and ruptured discs, and basically any other qualifications that would make him a suitable judge as to what would be the best level of pain medication for any particular patient or condition. He has also committed numerous felonies under federal law by sending his representatives across state lines to buy guns at gun shows, in particular a gun show in Columbus Ohio. Only licensed FFL holders are allowed to buy and sell firearms across state lines. Bloomberg should be arrested and jailed just like any other felon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Jo-Anne in Pawtucket replied:

You trust your doctor to know how much pain killer you need??? You do know that he is given money by the drug companies to push their pills, right? That's like trusting a McDonald's manager to tell you when you have had enough junk food. The manager gets bonuses for sales - he's not going to tell you that you don't need that apple pie for dessert. He's gonna tell you, that you can get TWO of them for a dollar so don't buy just one dude! I don't agree with Bloomberg either but there are a lot of stupid people that don't know what's good for them and don't know who they should be trusting or NOT trusting.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 8:28 AM

erik in monterey, ca said:

Funny, considering one of the number one reasons conservatives use to defend the AR-15 is their NEED for protection - which is an absurd notion, and what liberals are trying to point out.

"Removing a citizen's rights based on government defined needs is about as good a description of socialism as you can find"....sure, unless spend half a second to look up that socialism is purely an economic system.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

JtC in TX replied:

Uniform India.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 4:47 PM

rab in jo,mo replied:

Exactly why is the need for protection an absurd notion? Please specify.

Uniform India, indeed. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

erik in monterey, ca replied:

I never said the need for protection is absurd.

I said the need of AR-15s for protection is absurd.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA replied:

So you propose to dictate and approve the type of weapon I need for defense?
First the 2nd amendment was not written for personal defense although that is one of the benefits. The second amendment was written for defense from despotic governments. At the time the 2nd was written to protect the right to bear arms, the state of the art weapon was the flint-lock long rifle. Today state of the art is automatic weapons, the government has already infringed upon that right now they want to remove our semi auto weapons, to protect who?
Whatever the government has to arm the light infantryman should be our right to own. It does not fall to the government to determine what weapons we can own to defend ourselves against their tyranny.
Our government is doing this infringement to protect their tyrannical unconstitutional dictator butts from an irate citizenry; there is no other explanation.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA replied:

"I said the need of AR-15s for protection is absurd."

By your logic it's okay for police, who operate with backup within groups, have larger capacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.

Which leads to its corollary: The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Fred in Oregon replied:

kevin, look up the definition of moron,then look in the mirror.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

gunner in Westminster Md replied:

Why so absurd,,it is nothing but another rifle ,So I can have a M1 Garand but not an AR 15 ,,when you look at them the M1 has smoother lines and a wood stock, but the AR has molded composite and painted Hmm The AR looks scary to people who do not want them and the M1 just looks like a ,,,rifle hmm the M1 killed more people than the AR its just not ,,,,scary haha. TV and the US Military are the reason for popularity

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:09 PM

rab in jo,mo replied:

Ok, so why is the need for an AR-15 (or other "scary-looking") rifle for protection absurd?

Have you ever lived in a rural area? I have. Rural Riverside County to be exact. Law enforcement response time was anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes depending upon traffic. A lot of really bad stuff can happen in that amount of time. We were 1.5 miles back on a private road with open foothills all around - there were plenty of uninvited guests that wandered in over the years, most, but not all, were benign. So what would you propose that my wife and I do if a carload of "cholos" showed up looking for something to pass the time? Call the Sheriff's office and spend the next 30-45 minutes praying that these guys that just rolled up are just lost?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM

billy396 in ohio replied:

Erik, You have every right to choose the best object, in your opinion, to use for your own personal self-protection. You are NOT qualified to tell anyone else what they need. Our soldiers use AR-15's, specifically M-4's, for personal protection, therefore I would expect that the same civilian version of that rifle would be a perfectly viable choice for personal protection, under certain circumstances. Regardless of your opinion, American citizens have the choice to use any legal firearm for their own personal protection, and you sir are a fool for assuming that you have any expertise that would negate that choice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM

den in lakeville replied:

AR-15s for protection is absurd. Not what I would pick. A lousy single shot rifle with a small .223 round. It cannot stop even a bear. May be more dangerous when used as a club. Ridiculous that its dangerous. If someone is firing back its neutralized. In 20 minutes you could create something far more dangerous. Like a full trash can rolling down a steep street, so lets ban full garbage cans, too. The soldiers coming back are trained as lethal. Lets do something about them, too.

If I want it, I will not explain to Obama anything. As an example, you should be getting him to give up his high tech weapons, which are in use around him. Lets disarm him first, and get him to stop sending f16s to muslims killing Christians in Egypt too.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Scott in lexington NC replied:

You are mistaken, I do not have a NEED to defend myself and my family I have a RIGHT to. The US government did not think the American Indians NEEDED the ability to defend themselves at Wounded Knee, and we all saw how that worked out for the Indians.

Don’t need to defend myself indeed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:00 PM

LadyGunfighter in WI replied:

Erik, if you think Socialism is "just a monetary system" you need to go talk to people that have lived under it and escaped. I need my AR to keep me safe from people just like you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 4:52 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Hey Eric, could you be any more of a deluded fool, only an Economic system? Please explain then, all the deaths by the economic systems of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, and Hitler. Thanks for another expose' of the mental acquity of the mindless progressive. Enjoy your chains slave!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Tina in Lawrenceville, Ga replied:

So why is this administration arming the Muslim Brotherhood while disarming American citizens?

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

den in lakeville replied:

Disarming a population is the first step. Silencing free speech is the other. Using a standing army, like the muslims is the third step. As Americans we do not trust our governments for good reasons.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM

Me in meville replied:

their hidden point is that you dont NEED protection at all, self defense at all....

they are not merely banning AR15s.... they want to ban all semi autos... and if they could get away with it handguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, and most every single thing that could be used for self defense

its a damn shame you have a constituion that recognizes your pre-existing human right to self defense

a damn shame


Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

rab in jo,mo said:

Let's be clear, I need a (insert "evil black rifle" type here) to defend myself against government officials that purport to know what's best for me and my family.

That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 4:52 PM

PastorDanRN in Vermont said:

I have a few items the government should ban: violence in movies, videos, music, and video games; violent gangs; violent illegal aliens; laws that enable welfare moms to stress the system with multiple out-of-wedlock kids, many of whom will grow up violent without proper love,nurture, and discipline; and government leaders who want to take away our God-given and constitutional rights!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:46 PM

erik in monterey, ca replied:

"laws that enable welfare moms to stress the system"

Sounds like you should support abortion

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA replied:

only if you are the one we can perform a later term abortion on.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Legal abortion came along a little too late for you. Typical California hippie with a brain fried on liberal BS.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Jack in Buffalo, NY replied:

No, just....No Job, No Means of Support, No Kids.....simple. The kids just pay the price in the long run.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:39 AM

midfielder in St. Charles, MO replied:

I would support your mother aborting you, even now. That would be classified as late term I guess.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

oldranger68 in Elizabethtown, KY said:

At this moment, I don't need an AR 15 .223 cal. But, because I want one I have one. At this moment, I don't need an AR 10 .308 cal. But, because I want one I have one. At this moment, I don't need an HK .308 Sporter. But, because I want one I have one. That is the beauty of the Constitution and the 2d Amendment, I don't have to need it to have it.

Also, the 2d Amendment doesn't give me that right. It is a naturally derived right. The 2d Amendment tells the Government that it SHALL NOT infringe that right.

The good thing, as far as I am concerned is, that although I don't need these weapons now, the fact that I have them means that things will not go well for those who choose to do bad things to me when I do need to have them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Rod in USA replied:

Hooah, old ranger. hooah.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Gary Henderson in Houston, TX said:

Well said, Scott. The "need" question sounds so good, but as you point out the underlying premise is pure quicksand. I offer you my own reflections on "How big a gun does anyone need?" at

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Bruce R Pierce in Owensboro, Ky. replied:

As big as he is confortable carrying and shooting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:51 AM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

The loudest cheers tonight in the SOTU address were for gun control led by the Rouser-in-Chief and just proved the large number of Rabbles that have been elected to Congress.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:11 AM

ThomasPaineRN in The former land of free and brave said:

EXACTLY! I have been saying this for some time. We are letting others define the argument as "need." But if we let the government start regulating our needs where does it stop? Does anyone "need" a hummer? A house with extra bedrooms? Steaks? Beer? A vacation to Hawaii? Once the government regulates our needs, we are short steps away from being mandated a bag of rice and a bag of beans with all the other fruit of our labor being taken for governmental purposes. "Need" regulation is Marxism in its purest form: From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs. THIS IS ABOUT RIGHTS, NOT NEED.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:15 AM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

What I really need is an Ion Disintegrator Blast Cannon mounted in my front grill to permanently deter offensive drivers in Atlanta traffic.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 1:30 AM

Rod in USA replied:

LOL. I could use that anywhere in the USA, I think. I have often dreamed of a grill mounted laser. I suppose I have road rage.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 7:24 AM

Jsmith in Fredericksburg replied:

Yep! Laser was my first thought, too. Maybe one day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Todd Nielsen in Gilroy said:

Well let me make this plain and simple. I use a colt 6920 ( same one that is on the to be banned list) almost daily to protect the citizens I have served for more than 23 years. If I need it to protect the citizens from the criminals (those who don't care if something is illegal to possess) then why can't a person who by law possess one? Remember when seconds count the police are only minutes away.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 5:06 AM

Dan Flowers in Boone, NC said:

I am tired to death of supposedly educated people questioning our rights as if they, or government have the moral authourity or power to question our RIGHTS. A RIGHT is betowed by God or natural law if you prefer, predates and reigns supreme over any law that government may impose. There is a huge volume of writings of the founders of EXACTLY what defined a RIGHT, and were equally clear in their language "shall not be infringed". That means not diminished, adjudicated, nit-picked, whittled down or subjugated to any other concern.

No other fundament individual RIGHT has ever been denegrated or reduced in order to "ballance it" against the good of the collective...Until now.

Recent SCOTUS rulings have upheld the RIGHT to bear arms as an individual RIGHT. Yet, the "educated" people want us to believe our rights can be abridged based upon their whim. "Military-style weapons have no place on our streets or in our society!" they screech. These educated people have obviously not read US vs. Miller (1939), a SCOTUS case they either ignore or want to sweep under the rug. The case clearly states that military style weapons ( the type in current use by the military)are not only protected, but it was the purpose and desire of the founders that every able-bodied man be in possession of such weapons.

The facts and evidence are all there for the "black-rifle" banners to see and read. They don't want to face the truth because it is inconvenient and does not support their "feelings".

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Brian in Newport News said:

If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege.

-Arkansas Supreme Court; Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, 34 Am. Rep. 52 (1878).

Any questions?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Chirs in Crandall said:

It is my duty as a Father/Husband to protect those I love by whatever means necessary. I do not rely on or wish for anyone to takeover that responsibility for me. I will not be told that I cannot protect myself and loved ones in the way I feel to be the most effective.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:06 AM