Politics Magazine

Assault Weapons Are Needed in Case of Apocalypse

Posted on the 08 March 2013 by Tracy Goodwin @TKGoodwin

“Can you imagine a circumstance where an AR-15 would be a better defense tool than, say, a double-barrel shotgun?” Graham asked. “Let me give you an example, that you have an lawless environment, where you have an natural disaster or some catastrophic event — and those things unfortunately do happen, and law and order breaks down because the police can’t travel, there’s no communication. And there are armed gangs roaming around neighborhoods. Can you imagine a situation where your home happens to be in the crosshairs of this group that a better self-defense weapon may be a semiautomatic AR-15 vs. a double-barrel shotgun?”


This is simply ridiculous. Senator Graham seems to think that the criteria for owning a weapon is that you can imagine a situation in which you might possibly need to use it to protect yourself or your family. Imagining a need is not demonstrating a need. Yes the government could collapse tomorrow and an AR-15 might be handy in that case but that doesn’t mean that I need one. Hell the government could turn on the people tomorrow like Assad did in Syria, does that mean that I need a M1 Abrams or an AH-64?

Beyond that he is offering a false dichotomy. His statement is as though the choice is between a double barrel shot gun and an AR-15. There are many other options than those two. Plenty of which could defend somebody and their family.

Next he seems to have forgot that if AR-15s are legal then everybody can have them. So if law and order collapses then those roving gangs he is afraid of could just as easily be carrying AR-15s. Then he would be in the same position, he would be out numbered and out gunned. There is no way that he could win an arms race like that if the weapons are available to the public as a whole.

Though the worst part of this argument is that he is neglecting real reasons to challenge an assault weapons ban. He could be making rational arguments to engage the issue rather than spitting out hypotheticals like in philosophy class. An assault weapons ban is completely pointless if existing weapons are grand-fathered in. Eliminating all existing assault weapons would be necessary for any assault weapons ban to work at all. But it would be almost impossible to do that since there are so many already out there that the government could never collect them all from the public. Also he could have pointed out that banning assault weapons won’t stop another incident like Sandy Hook. If somebody wants to kill a bunch of people they can do it with a hand gun or a hunting rifle or a molotov cocktail or whatever. Banning assault weapons doesn’t get at the root cause of the problem.

Rather than speculating about the need for an AR-15 in an apocalypse Senator Graham should have explained why an assault weapons ban isn’t rational.

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