LJWorld.com weblogs Stop Me If You've Heard This One
How Many Guns Does One Man Need?
Need - noun 1. General: A motivating force that compels action for its satisfaction. Needs range from basic survival needs (common to all human beings) satisfied by necessities, to cultural, intellectual, and social needs (varying from place to place and age group to age group) satisfied by necessaries. Needs are finite but, in contrast, wants (which spring from desires or wishes) are boundless.
A police officer acquaintance once told me no one ever needs a gun until he or she NEEDS one. From that I am left to assume we as individuals need to determine for ourselves what our needs are.
Using myself as an example I will determine my need for a gun.
Plinking - Definitely need one gun (minimum) for plinking. My first choice for a plinker would be a .22 rifle, scoped and in semi-automatic. Plinking can be done alone but for safety concerns and entertainment value is best in groups of two to five. Targets of opportunity, as I refer to them range from hedge balls, green walnuts, empty shotgun shell and of course . . . . golfballs. So I guess I need one. Always leave your plinking site cleaner than when you arrived.
Clay pigeons - Every Thanksgiving the whole Fam Damnly gets together for mountains of great food, old family recipes and new ones too, a chance for five generations of Dapples and the in-laws to get together. After the meal most of the male family (and some of the ladies) load up the four-wheelers and head for the hill overlooking the big pasture. Cases of bluerock, dove and quail loads and shotguns, mostly 12 gauge. My preferred smokepole for this task is a pump shotgun, 12 gauge of course. Guess that means I NEED at least two guns.
Target shooting - Yup, as in long range. Best way to do that is with a bolt action center fire rifle. The old eyes aren't quite what they used to be at ranges past about 80 yards so I have opted for variable power scope(s) in top magnifaction range of 12x to 16x. The count continues . . . looks like now I'm at minimum, three guns.
Three Gun Competition - 3-gun involves timed competition among shooters in Rifle, Shotgun and Handgun, mostly high capacity semi-automatic firearms. Although I've never competed in 3-gun, older gents than I still do so I really should have the correct guns in case I get the urge to try. Suddenly I'm at six guns I need!
Self Defense - Taking the Concealed Carry course five years ago was an unregretted personal choice. Deciding not to follow through and apply for the CCW permit was also a personal choice, however after a recent phone call I was assured there was no time limit placed on the paperwork and I still could turn it in. I'm a big guy, 6'3, 240, so would have no problem carrying any reasonably size hand gun. Or guns. The second one is always a surprise. The count stands at eight.
Hunting - Over the years I have hunted game from squirrel size to white tail deer. The guns mentioned so far will suffice for anything hunted thus far but . . . I've never hunted elephant. Or any of Africa's Big Five. For that I would need a large caliber, say .458 Winchester, That would help assure me coming back of my own power and not a mauled mess in a box.
That brings us to nine. Minimum. Firearms are mechanical devices and as such are prone to failure. With that in mind maybe there should be a back-up for each, and variations in manufacturer, caliber, finish . . . there's no limit to the different ways you can add to your NEEDED collection.
I know a collector who has over 150 Winchester 1894 lever action rifles. His goal is to own one of every variation ever manufactured based on caliber, barrel length, finish, limited production runs, etc. I think he is very close but he continues to scour every source trying to find one or two he may have missed.
My own collection is nowhere near as varied as others (I will admit to more than one but less than 1000). I once commented to a friend, "The secret to a large gun collection is never let the wife see all of them at once." Turns out she overheard me so the collection numbers took an immediate nosedive. Working (slowly) on changing that.
Now I know I haven't listed all the perfectly good reasons to exercise my right as guaranteed by our Constitution but I have much faith in the readers here. Y'all tell me now, another good reason to add to the vault!