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Why Collect Weapons?

In the Constitution, the right to bear arms is protected. So, as far as constitutional liberties are concerned, people ought to have the right to collect backyard nuclear missiles if they want to.

So, you have the right to own a weapon. Given that, why would you?

I’ve lived my whole life without owning any weapons, and I’ve never been in danger as a result. Most people who own weapons are more likely to be attacked with their own weapons than they are to defend themselves using those weapons.

In Mechanicville, New York, they just got done holding their end-of-summer Arms Fair and Militaria Exposition, where they sell guns, knives, swords and other weapons. They’ll start up again with another Arms Fair on Halloween.

Children under 4 get free attendance to the fair.

Why would anyone want to go to this event, and why should a child under the age of 4 attend?

41 thoughts on “Why Collect Weapons?”

  1. remarker says:

    People own guns for many reasons, not just for defense or offense. Maybe one of the most popular reason is to simply exersize their constituional right to do so. Some may just like to target practice for sport only, not in preparation for using them against people. I can’t say that’s a majority or minority but while I don’t own a gun, that would be why I’d like to. I’m glad you recognize an individual’s right to bear arms. It sounds like you don’t like it though.

    1. Rowan says:

      I think a lot of gun owners think that the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to insist that everyone else like their weapons. The right to bear arms is different from the right to be respected for being obsessed with weaponry.

      It’s just like freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is not the same thing as the right to have everybody react to what you say as if you’re making sense.

      1. ImPersonator says:

        Rowan, You asked why people would own a gun so I attempted to answer your question. I’m sorry you didn’t understand my response.
        I’d also like to correct an error of mine in my first reply. I forgot about the gun that I do own. It’s a 75mph muzzle velocity BB gun. I don’t care weather you like it or not but I will try again to answer your question “So, you have the right to own a weapon. Given that, why would you?” I enjoy target practice.

        1. Rowan says:

          No, I understand what you said. However, in the last line, I think you conflated liking the right to bear arms with liking it when people actually do bear arms. Not the same thing.

  2. Relament says:

    “Most people who own weapons are more likely to be attacked with their own weapons than they are to defend themselves using those weapons.” This statement is BS, supported by nothing and therefore makes no point.
    “So, you have the right to own a weapon. Given that, why would you?” Protection from both criminals and Tyrants. Simply read the history behind the 2nd amendment of the constitution.
    “Why would anyone want to go to this event, and why should a child under the age of 4 attend?” Because families travel to events with their children. Those going to the event may want to buy a gun, for example. Is this difficult to understand?

    1. Rowan says:

      Relament, I don’t think you’re thinking through what you’re writing beyond the level of initial reaction. I’d like a more thorough explanation, if you don’t mind.

      Why, for example, would people choose to travel to a show dedicated to the showing and purchasing of weapons with a child under the age of four?

      What role do you think that gun ownership played in blocking George W. Bush from asserting the unconstitutional powers of a tyrant? I don’t see that gun ownership did anything at all to help with that. In fact, the political issue of gun ownership was used to distract American voters from torture, massive government spying against law-abiding Americans, unconstitutional imprisonment, etc.

  3. Me says:

    Why? Because we can…..

    1. Rowan says:

      That’s not much of an answer. We can also collect lint, and salamanders, and toenail clippings, etc. Why choose to collect instruments of violence in particular, of all the things that can be collected?

      1. Me too says:

        Rowan, You better turn in all of your kitchen knives to the nearest police station to be destroyed.

        1. Rowan says:

          M.T., I’ll put you on the list of those who fail to understand the distinction between the right to bear arms and the right to have people approve of weapons.

          A knife is also qualitatively different from a gun. A knife is usually, more than 99.99 percent of the time, used as a practical, non-violent tool. A gun has no such use.

          I’m noticing that the inability to perceive such distinctions is common to those who promote gun ownership.

          1. Jacob says:

            I would have to mostly agree with Rowan… I dont see a need for many of the guns people own. It is possible to do without them. I do believe that hunting guns should be allowed. Just not hand guns, machine guns, assuklt rifles and on and on. There is no need for guns in which the only thing they could be used on is other people

          2. Jim says:

            That’s an interesting point of view, Jacob.

            I’m struck by how many people here are mistaking Rowan’s “what is it about guns that’s so attractive to you?” question for a declaration that people should not be allowed to have guns. It’s pretty clear to me that Rowan means the former but not the latter, but a whole LOT of people seem to be taking Rowan to arguing for the latter and not the former. I wonder why this is.

          3. Relament says:

            “What role do you think that gun ownership played in blocking George W. Bush from asserting the unconstitutional powers of a tyrant? I don’t see that gun ownership did anything at all to help with that. In fact, the political issue of gun ownership was used to distract American voters from torture, massive government spying against law-abiding Americans, unconstitutional imprisonment, etc.”
            After the above statement from Rowan, I think you are the one mistaken, Jim.

          4. Jim says:

            That’s not a refutation of second amendment rights.

          5. Relament says:

            I wanted you to see that Rowan did not stand on the “what is it about guns that’s so attractive” statement, rather he is using the gun show to question having guns at all. He’s questioning gun ownership in general. Therefore he questions the right to own guns at all. Just because he does so deceptively, doesn’t mean it is not obvious.

          6. Jim says:

            No, that’s what you’d like him to be saying. If I were to use your logic, someone who says, “blech, what good has chocolate ever done anyone? what is it about chocolate that is so great?” must be in favor of banning chocolate consumption.

            Pay attention to what he is actually saying.

          7. Relament says:

            I have paid attention Jim, Rowan says, what good have guns done, I’ve never owned a gun and have been safer for it, when you own a weapon it is more dangerous to you than not owning one, and finally “In the Constitution, the right to bear arms is protected. So, as far as constitutional liberties are concerned, people ought to have the right to collect backyard nuclear missiles if they want to.” All of this points to a person questioning the wisdom behind the 2nd amendment. Your chocolate analogy though, did remind me to make some hot chocolate, thank you.

          8. Rowan says:

            Relament, you’re showing the typical gun nut inability to perceive nuance. That frightens me as a characteristic of someone who owns a gun. There’s a difference between having the legal right to own a gun and having a wise reason to own a gun. One can question wisdom without questioning legal rights.

          9. Relament says:

            I don’t own a gun, I don’t like guns, and I think shooting animals is horrible. I also think the “nuance” of your argument remains hidden in deception. Just because you wanted to manipulate people by questioning the 2nd amendment, bringing children into your “argument”, stating rubbish about one being more in danger owning a gun, you act as though your “true” point is lost in everyone’s inability to understand you. Your game was quite obvious from the beginning, and the majority of the people commenting were aware of it. You’re just full of shit.

          10. qs says:

            Do you eat meat?

          11. Relament says:


          12. F.G. Fitzer says:

            Relament, there’s no game. There’s no manipulation. Rowan’s writing just looks like a manipulative game to you because you didn’t understand it for a long time.

          13. Relament says:

            That’s a great argument F.G. Fitzter! I’ve been waiting for you to say to say that the whole time, thank you for making me finally understand.

          14. ReMarker says:

            Thought provoking is the impression I got from Rowan’s post.

          15. Me too says:

            A gun has no such use? Of course it does. Unless you consider shooting at paper targets violent.
            Who said you had to approve of weapons? You don’t have to own them nor like those who do. However when you ask why anyone would own a gun or attend a gun show or bring a child to a gun show, it sure sounds like you’d rather nobody own a gun, attend a gun show or take a child to a gun show.

          16. Rowan says:

            So what? So what’s your big chip on the shoulder that you need everyone to approve of guns? I sure would rather that nobody own a gun or attend a gun show or take a child to a gun show. You bet. What’s your problem with that? It’s not the same thing as we wanting to forbid everyone from owning any guns. I might as well say that I wish no one would eat mayonnaise. Disgusting stuff. That doesn’t mean I want to ban it.

            Shooting a paper target is not a practical use. I used the word “practical’ for a reason. Shooting paper targets is either mere entertainment, or it’s practice for shooting other target for a violent purpose.

          17. Jacob says:

            Shooting a paper tarhget sounds good but it is bogus many times in practice. I lived in a city of 100,000 people where we had one murder per year in 2000-2005. There were no guns there, not even cops had them. I move to the states and live in a bit larger city but the crime rate here is around 150 murders per year. I am sure there are other factors and guns did not play into all, but the point still stands… Maybe I read my own thoughts into Rowan but he painst a picture of having guns as being stupid

  4. Tamahome Jenkins says:

    There are many reasons to collect weapons, not the least of which being defense. Let’s not forget that the Axis never attacked mainland America during WWII because they knew that most Americans were armed.

    Also, I have to agree that your statement about people’s weapons being used against them has no basis in fact. Until I see some numbers and sources, I’ll have to beg to disagree with you on that. Owning a weapon is a proven deterrent, which might explain why Fort Worth, TX is safer than Washington, DC despite having fewer police officers.

    Finally, why would someone go to a gun show and bring their children? Because ignoring the fact that guns exist, and ignoring the fact that people have a right to them, is far more dangerous than teaching your family how to safely handle firearms. Children who grow up in homes where their parents teach them how to properly handle firearms don’t accidentally kill themselves or their friends. An average-sized woman shouldn’t carry a huge gun for protection because she’ll probably have trouble handling it safely or effectively. These are all things that you can learn at a gun show.

    It’s great that you’ve never encountered a situation in which you needed a firearm, and I hope you never do. As a matter of fact, sane people who own firearms hope to never have to use them against another person. But, we own guns, and are given the right to do so in case of the unthinkable.

  5. qs says:

    “In the Constitution, the right to bear arms is protected. So, as far as constitutional liberties are concerned, people ought to have the right to collect backyard nuclear missiles if they want to.”

    Hell yes. Who was better armed at WACO? Janet Reno and the The National Guard or the branch davidians?

    The main problem is that we allow the Government a monopoly of the right to force.

  6. Relament says:

    Rowan, The government and media in coercion, have used everything under the sun for political manipulation and purposes of distraction- the first amendment is constantly manipulated for political reasons. It is not a reason to rid ourselves of it. Tyranny is a slow work in progress in this country. It did not all of the sudden appear during the Bush administration, even though for many, it was the first time it was noticed. The 2nd amendment makes full-born tyranny quite difficult. Besides convenience I can’t think of why a four-year old is at a gun show, and I don’t think it requires any other reason. Why is a 4-yr. old driving in a car w/ you? Now that has proven to be dangerous.

  7. ReMarker says:

    Rowan said, “So, you have the right to own a weapon. Given that, why would you?”

    Answer; For protection. I live in country and I like having a shotgun in my home (I don’t hunt). I keep it loaded with squirrel shot. In the event of an intruder, loud noises and instant big holes in doors is a convincing deterrent, as squirrel shot is generally not deadly.
    I also have a pellet gun for the pecan murdering squirrels in my yard (The shotgun is to unfair to the squirrels). The pellet gun serves as a “good shot” practice tool as well, and provides square squirrel meals for the osprey and red tailed hawks that nest in the vicinity.
    My son’s mom has a 38 snub nose. She’s originally from rural Tenn. and has a habit of keeping it under her pillow. I had to teach our son gun safty at a very young age. She shot a raccoon on 2 occasions when they got brave enough to come on the deck to steal the cat’s food. She went outside and there they were. Son and I were amused, but it scared the sh*t out of son’s visiting friends.
    We use any of the guns to kill the occasional water moccasin (around the boat dock) and rattle snake (in the garden). This is rare but it has happened. Coral snakes are slow and easy to get with a shovel. Even though we have non-poisonous rat snakes, green snakes, king snakes, black racers, garter snakes, etc., I run interference when the lady of the house wants them dead too.

    All this is having arms, not bearing them. And limited to a strickly defensive posture, except in the case of the pecan murdering squirrels.

    Refer; Children under 4 get in free.
    That is simply a marketing strategy. The sellers of guns know any impressionable 4 year old, accompaning a guardian that is attending their gun show is likely to be a gun buyer in the future.

    1. It is probable that gun manufacturers, sellers, and gun clubs (NRA) support and generate anti-government rhetoric so they can sell more guns and make more money.
    2. “The right to bear arms” is subjective (bazookas, etc. excluded) and should exclude assault weapons, period.
    3. Concealed weapon permits should be restricted to the most qualified and stable among us (mostly law enforcement but not necessiarily exclusively).
    4. The power of the “vote” is much more powerful than weapons.

    1. Rowan says:

      Remarker, how is the right to bear arms subjective? Nuclear weapons are commonly referred to as “nuclear arms”. Do you think that nuclear weapons are not arms? How can you argue that the 2nd amendment doesn’t apply to all arms? You may wish that it didn’t, but it seems to as I read it.

      1. qs says:

        Exactly. The IRS would not be able to steal money if the militias had their arms.

      2. ReMarker says:

        Subjective in the sense that the definition “bearable arms” are decided by someone.

        Per my “non-reply comment entry” (below) up until the 2008 Supreme Court ruling, the Supreme Court had ruled and held that the deciders of “bearable arms” regulations were the individual states.

        In spite of nuclear weapons being “arms”, nuclear arms have never made the “bearable” lists.

        Rowan, you are right about the ambiguity of the 2nd Amendment’s definition (or lack of) to the term “arms” and “bear”. It make me think that the 2nd Amendment may be deficient in its scope of understanding that the future will bring a suitcase sized nuclear “arm”, however canons existed at the time of the writing of the 2nd Amendment. Maybe the construct of the 2nd Amendment was meant to apply to “arms” like rifles and pistols, that are “bearable”.

        The debate continues.

        1. Jim says:

          I agree with you, Remarker, that the 2nd Amendment is deficient because it doesn’t clearly state what “arms” are, what “the people” refers to, and what “bearing” is (ownership? carrying?). I also agree with you that the amendment is of its time, written in the 1700s when there weren’t any nukes or missiles or chemical weapons or even TNT bombs. I think the Constitution needs a new amendment to clarify these issues, but I also think politicians (on all sides) don’t want to touch that project with a ten-foot pole.

  8. qs says:

    The Federal Government continues to restrict the right to bear arms.

    Why does the U.S. military get to have weapons that it does not allow its people or militias to have?

  9. ReMarker says:

    The Constitution says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    It is clear that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” relates to “A well regulated Militia” and NOT a non-Militia person.

    Many Supreme Court cases have rendered opinions that define an individual’s right to bear arms is NOT granted by the Constitution.

    United States v. Cruikshank, 1875

    Presser v. Illinois, 1886

    United States v. Miller, 1939

    And then comes the 2008 case. Wikipedia says, “This represented the first time since the 1939 case United States v. Miller that the Supreme Court had directly addressed the scope of the Second Amendment”.
    District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008
    This “politically motivated” ruling (read the Wikipedia notes) changed the historical “Militia” understanding of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution to a NEW “individual” right.

    It is also good to know that individual states have had the power to regulate “arms” until this ruling.

    1. qs says:

      S.C. shouldn’t be the final word on this stuff though. It should be more of an advisory panel.

      The problem is the president has a standing army (CIA, secret service IRS, U.S. military etc) that he uses to enforce its decisions.

  10. Jake says:

    I live in the smallest province in Canada . 146000 people and around 120000 guns here. We have 1 murder every few years. Usually they get killed by a knife. We have about 50 die a year from drunk driving. And people are concerned about guns??? There are some Places in Canada where they have firearm safety and education in schools, and we have low crime rates . And yes we can have automatics and handguns, takes 1 afternoon in a classroom and a weeks wait to get one

  11. Stephen Kent Gray says:

    I’m not that sophisticated in my argument for it, so I’ll just reccomend reading Claire Wolfe’s books!

    I bought her books via Amazon!

    I found out about her via TV Tropes!

  12. Exergone says:

    Gun owners avoid the real question. The question is “why people LOVE deadly weapons enough to collect them?” You do not answer the question by bringing up the 2nd Amendment defense, or comparing the innocuousness of guns to the fires caused by matches, or comparing gun collections to baseball card collections. Gun owners are not being honest.

    There is a difference between owning a few guns (handguns and assault rifles, and not just sporting guns) for protection, and “collecting” guns for amusement. The gun collectors I know also keep a variety of other deadly weapons. Gun owners pretend they keep guns for the same reason as any other tool or past time, but most people dont collect say hammers and wax defensively about them when questioned about it. There is a fetish going on.

    And there is a big difference between collecting guns, and collecting baseball cards. Baseball cards are not designed and used to kill people.

    Cars are primarily designed and used for transportation, although they may accidentally kill, and occasionally be used as a weapon. Baseball bats are primarily designed and used to hit baseballs, but they may also be used as a weapon on rare occasion. But guns are designed and used exclusively to kill and to practicing to kill.

    To me, a gun is a tool for protecting against the possibility of an extremely unpleasant event that is unlikely to ever happen. Its just a precaution, and not something I WANT to have, or to use, or to obsess over.

    Personally, I dont know a single person that has ever NEEDED a gun, but then most of the people I know live in decent neighborhoods and avoid trouble. Your chances of being a victim of violent crime depend GREATLY on where you live, what you do, and what kind of person you are. Of course, assaults, rapes, and homicides do happen to a small percentage of the population- in the U.S., where the crime rate is SIX TIMES HIGHER THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY, the chances are approximately 17 out of 1000 whites or hispanics, and 27 out of 1000 blacks. Although MANY of these situations could have been avoided, OR they could NOT have been avoided even if the victim owned a gun. But if you ‘play by the sword,’ you are more likely to ‘die by the sword.’

    To me, keeping a gun is like keeping a carbon monoxide detector in my house. It’s just a precaution, although it is unlikely that there will ever be a CO leak in my home. I wont suddenly go out and collect CO detectors, show them off, and go to detector conventions.

    I see that violence is greatly eroticized in U.S. pop culture, and fear is peddled by media. There is an unhealthy obsession with guns, as users get off on the power, and compensate for a deep anxiety. The U.S. is king of the hill because they have the most guns. Might makes right.

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