A few months ago, I happened to have a rather… interesting*… conversation with the warped and benighted mind behind the Twitter account of @1StopCity. A recurring theme in this particular conversation is that unless you have a particular "need" for something or to do something, you have absolutely no right to that thing or to do that thing, or, in his very own words, "Odds against you "needing" a gun negate your right to own one."
Oh, the places you could go with that kind of "logic". Obviously it is inherently and intrinsically incorrect – rights exist independent of any arbitrarily-defined concept of "need", and, furthermore, who is someone else to define what I need? – but let us examine its actual underpinnings for a moment.
In 2001, arguably our worst year for such things, 2926 people were killed due to terrorist’s actions, and at the time, there were 285,081,556 people living in the country. While not entirely accurate, one can therefore say you had about a 0.001026% chance of being killed by a terrorist or terrorist actions in 2001.
However, on the basis of that one-thousandth-of-a-percent chance, over the past 11 years, America has wasted in excess of sixty billion dollars (yes, with a "b") on a program that has never once caught a terrorist, has failed more times than we care to count, and is responsible for sexually assaulting and invading the privacy of millions of travelers a year… all in the names of "safety" and "security".
On the other hand, in 2001, 1,436,611 people were the victims of violent crimes – murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, so, again, while this is not entirely accurate, you can say you had about a 0.5039% chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
In other words, you were, more or less, five hundred times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than of terrorism.
So if the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread(TM) (and I am, admittedly, assuming 1StopCity would hold to that belief), then the notion of "self-defense" is a Totally Awesome and Earth-Shatteringly Necessary Thing, and, furthermore, the United States Government should subsidize it somewhere on the order of $30,000,000,000,000.
By my calculations, that works out to somewhere around one Glock 17, one middlingly-good AR-15, one tricked out Remington 870, and somewhere around 180,000 rounds of mixed ammunition for all three for every man, woman, and child in the country. I could live with that.
And this is why "gun control" extremists like 1StopCity have failed in the past, are failing today, and will invariably fail in the future – once you take apart their "logic" (and I use that term very loosely) and examine it for what it is, it dissolves like the Wicked Witch of the West swan-diving into the Pacific. Even looking past the disturbing and inherently flawed notion that you have no rights if he decides you do not "need" them, his position falls apart as soon as you consider it in light of actual, honest-to-God facts and figures, much less apply his "reasoning" to other concepts.
Of course, this is the same person who, in the same conversation, informed me that "There are no absolutes" so something tells me he would pull the standard anti-rights cultist tactic of wishing those facts away…
(* – "Interesting" because in response to the question, "would majority-approved slavery infringe on people’s rights?", his response was, and I quote, "As no one has any inherent rights, no, their rights wouldn’t be infringed. Would it be horrible? Yes."** This was the culmination of the above "you only have the rights the majority approves" conversation; at that point, I figured the discussion was over – how do you actually hold a conversation with someone with such a radically totalitarian position? – which is just as well, since he ended up blocking me for daring to have the gall to quote his own words back to him. Joe tried to continue the debate, but given that they were coming from such disparate starting points, it did not get far.
** – Speaking more specifically, this concept still befuddles me. If an action does not abridge a person’s rights, why or how could it be "horrible"? How do you determine the "horrible" nature of an action without some way of measuring – or even determining – if harm has been done to a person? After all, if a person has no right to be free of slavery, then slavery does not harm them, does it?)