101 Reasons Why You NEED an “Assault Weapon”

By Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law

I survived the assault weapon ban
101 Reasons Why You NEED an “Assault Weapon”

Eatontown, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)-  When I was Counsel to the NJ Coalition of Sportsman I wrote this piece for the April 1991 issue of THE GUARDIAN which was the group’s newsletter.

It was later published by Harper’s magazine. Here is an updated version as the issue is being pushed again by the blood dancing anti-gunners.

A question we are all tired of hearing in the so-called “debate” over so-called “assault weapons” is, “why does anybody need one?” Here is the answer once and for all.

You need an assault weapon—

  • 1. to help continue the American tradition of citizen/soldier.
  • 2. for recreation.
  • 3. to collect military small arms.
  • 4. to get quick extra shots at more game while hunting.
  • 5. to get quick extra shots at the same game while hunting.
  • 6. for more fun plinking.
  • 7. to defend yourself against a street gang.
  • 8. to defend yourself against mob violence.
  • 9. to defend yourself against looters.
  • 10. to shoot in a Civilian Marksmanship Program competition.
  • 11. to shoot in an “Action Rifle” or “Practical Rifle” target match.
  • 12. to assist the police in an emergency (e.g. 1966 Texas Tower Sniper incident, citizens assisted with M1’s).
  • 13. to help defend the country from a foreign invasion.
  • 14. to help defend the country from an internal takeover.
  • 15. to help the firearms industry remain economically strong.
  • 16. to pay the federal tax on guns that goes to aid wildlife.
  • 17. to encourage further research into new firearm technology.
  • 18. to save time while shooting.
  • 19. to have increased reliability in functioning.
  • 20. to have a longer-lasting firearm.
  • 21. to have a less costly/ more affordable firearm.
  • 22. to have an easier to manufacture firearm.
  • 23. to have an easier to repair firearm.
  • 24. to have an easier to take apart and clean firearm.
  • 25. to have a more versatile firearm.
  • 26. to own a highly weather-resistant firearm.
  • 27. to appreciate the evolution of firearm technology.
  • 28. to defend your business.
  • 29. to defend your home.
  • 30. to defend your boat.
  • 31. to defend your camp.
  • 32. to defend your ranch.
  • 33. to defend your farm.
  • 34. to defend your family.
  • 35. to have reduced recoil when shooting.
  • 36. as an investment.
  • 37. as a military souvenir.
  • 38. as a hedge against inflation.
  • 39. because criminals statistically prefer revolvers over all other firearms.
  • 40. to have a more psychologically intimidating firearm. (often the mere presence of a firearm will stop a crime)
  • 41. to own a firearm least likely to be used in a crime. (less than 1% are assault firearms.)
  • 42. to own a firearm that purposely functions slower than other firearms thereby reducing recoil. (e.g. Remington 1100.)
  • 43. to own a firearm used in Olympic competition.
  • 44. to appreciate the mechanical genius of firearm designers.
  • 45. to have a firearm which uses external magazines.
  • 46. to shoot at the National Matches at Camp Perry.
  • 47. to reject anti-gun bias.
  • 48. to challenge “Big Brotherism”.
  • 49. to protect yourself against a pack of feral dogs.
  • 50. to own a firearm better for the physically handicapped.
  • 51. to save all firearms by not giving in to “salami” tactics.
  • 52. to do trick shooting (e.g. multiple aerial targets).
  • 53. to shoot military ammunition. (Inexpensive surplus)
  • 54. to be part of an armed populous, creating a tactical disadvantage for any potential enemies.
  • 55. to familiarize yourself with your country’s military rifle.
  • 56. to familiarize yourself with a foreign country’s military rifle.
  • 57. because they are interesting.
  • 58. to hang on your wall.
  • 59. to shoot clay targets.
  • 60. to shoot paper targets.
  • 61. to shoot Metallic Silhouettes.
  • 62. to exercise your constitutional rights.
  • 63. to exercise a natural right.
  • 64. to exercise a civil right.
  • 65. to exercise a fundamental right.
  • 66. to exercise an inalienable right.
  • 67. to exercise a human right.
  • 68. to defend yourself after a New York City-type blackout.
  • 69. to defend yourself against a Miami-type riot.
  • 70. to defend yourself after a St. Croix-type hurricane in which both officers and escaped prisoners have run amok.
  • 71. to avoid a “Tiananmen Square” in the U.S.
  • 72. to own a firearm in common use and therefore protected under the Heller decision.
  • 73. to protect livestock from predators.
  • 74. to show support for political ideals of the founding fathers.
  • 75. to own a firearm designed to wound rather than kill (according to the Dir. Of the Wound Ballistics Laboratory).
  • 76. to own a firearm not readily convertible to full automatic.
  • 77. to own a firearm with that “shoulder thingy that goes up.”
  • 78. to own a “state-of-the-art” firearm (e.g. FN SCAR).
  • 79. to own a “turn-of-the-century” firearm (e.g. Borchardt).
  • 80. which is more pleasant to shoot (lighter and less recoil).
  • 81. because all of your other firearms will be banned next.
  • 82. to own a firearm which is difficult to conceal.
  • 83. to own a firearm which the media glamorizes.
  • 84. to own a firearm which might be banned.
  • 85. to own a firearm which is banned.
  • 86. to own a firearm that is no-frills and practical in design.
  • 87. to own on of the most mechanically-safe firearms. (e.g. Uzi).
  • 88. to own a firearm that is a “work of art”.
  • 89. to own a Valmet M-76 which the BATF says has no sporting use.
  • 90. to own a Valmet Hunter which the BATF says has sporting use.
  • 91. to own a firearm that made history (e.g. M-1 Carbine).
  • 92. to shoot a firearm that made history.
  • 93. to own a firearm that can be dropped and still function.
  • 94. to own a firearm that can be coated in mud and still function.
  • 95. to own a firearm that can be dunked in water and function.
  • 96. to own a firearm that can be frozen solid and still function.
  • 97. to own a firearm that can be buried in sand and still function.
  • 98. to be a prepared member of the unorganized militia as defined in the US Code (10 US Code Sect. 311 (a)).
  • 99. to distinguish between an object and its misuse.
  • 100. because you believe in freedom.
  • 101.if YOU say you need one. In America, an individual’s need should not be determined by the state. There are approximately 100 million firearm owners in the country. That’s 100 million more reasons for owning any firearm.

About Evan Nappen

Evan Nappen (www.EvanNappen.com) is a criminal defense attorney who has focused on New Jersey firearms and weapons law for over 23 years. He is the author of the New Jersey Gun Law Guide. Visit his website at www.EvanNappen.com

Evan Nappen

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john farabaugh

Many of you obviously miss a lot of his point. It doesn’t have to be a need. When did we become a country of only buying based on our needs? Should we give you a new list of things we have we don’t really need? Do you now want to start taking away honest good americans rights to buy and have what they desire? Where to we stop? You don’t need a Mercedes? A yacht? Rated r movies? ….what do we really need? Good citizens should decide..right? It my right to have and buy an AR-15 to use for target… Read more »

The Utah man

I like how every time the negative facts are pointed out to gun nuts, they start calling names and saying your a liberal. I always like the “defend myself from government take over”. Really? Have you seen what they have. Your weapon is not going to win no matter what it is. Nothing on this so called list is of any value. The question I want answered is “how many crimes have been prevented by owning an automatic military type weapon?” I support the owning all gun type weapons except military. You may be responsible and everyone you know may… Read more »


These reasons make no sense at all. Mainly, you own an Assault Rifle because it’s your toy. A very dangerous toy. Your reasons are not backed up by anything. Let’s just look at 2 of your reasons. 7. to defend yourself against a street gang. For an assault rifle to be any good you would have to carry it around with you all the time. Which is illegal. If a gang assaults you on the street. What are you going to do, go home and get your rifle, go to your car and get it? Well, even if it’s in… Read more »

The Right Side

All of these are “wants”. You have not given any real facts or information here. You haven’t done research. Therefore, you are wrong 😉

William Johnson

To those who’ve expressed the opinion that this list makes no sense, they are either lace pantie liberals or brain dead!


A lot of “Wants” have been listed here. I don’t see any real “needs.” You left out
a reason, here it is: An American citizen should be able to go out and mass murder as
many adults and children in as few seconds as possible. It’s inconvenient to use low
capacity weapons such as handguns in order to murder a large number of people in
just a few minutes.

Wild Bill

@Sally, it is not up to you to decide for me what is need and what is want. I need to defend my life from totalitarian government, criminals, the AntiCivil Rights Movement, or Sallys that would take my life is the exact equivalent of I want to defend my life from totalitarian government, criminals, the AntiCivil Rights Movement, or Sallys. I decide. The founding fathers saw it this way, and I have adopted their view.


#15 is the only one that makes any sense.


Still waiting for one VALID reason. Wake us up if you think of one.


Yeah…..what Bobby here said…..nice creativity…way to step out of the box………..WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY OUT of the box …….of reasonability and rational thought…. kidding….. somewhat …..can’t deny the creativity though…….

Goo’ Ruck…..


I hope people aren’t so naive to thank that sandy wasn’t an acted out, played out, false flag.


Its so amusing to see the Libs crying about the rights they want to take away from everyone. They seem awfully eager to lay down, and submit themselves to any government that promises to make them safer. It's too bad that gun bans have proven to do absolutely nothing to make anyone safer from criminals wielding illegal weapons. If laws could help then Chicago would be as safe as DisneyWorld. Even more amusing is the way in which they stomp their feet and scream and curse when they don't get their way. What ever happened to adults having a mature… Read more »


Have as many guns as you’d like ….gun yourself to the hilt….a saying I’ve heard when one wants to let someone know they should load themselves up to load up on as much or more product as they could possibly handle…goes like this….”gun yourself ….gun yourself to death” …not to be taken literally. And yet there still lies one more question: who really needs an automatic assault rifle….you’re right…most criminals do not use assault rifles…just the mass murderous ones…that’s where the problem lies. Other than those….and I’m not suggesting people can’t have them…just should be harder, if not impossible, for… Read more »


what if I told you it was already very difficult and extremely expensive to legally get an automatic rifle (“assault” or otherwise), and it’s been illegal to make them for civilian sales for over 30 years?

Wild Bill

@ELS, Other than the fact that ” an automatic assault rifle” cost thousands of dollars, is subject to a special tax, you will never even see one out side of a federally owned museum, a company that rents them to Hollywood, or the military, ” an automatic assault rifle” is already hard if not impossible to get.. Oh, and it is not your place to decide for me what I need.



I appreciate your passion. Please consider a little history: legitimately elected government officials once passed an act that allowed a certain chancellor(who had been appointed by a legimately elected president)to exercise dictatorial power without legal objection. The year was 1933, the act was the Enabling Act, and the president was Paul von Hindenburg. Oh and the chancellor was a man named Adolph Hitler.


Over the last year I've given this question a lot of thought and done a lot of research regarding violent crime, home invasions and the like and for me it boils down to one simple reason: it sucks to run out of ammo before the bad guy does.


The leftwing nutjobs posting on this thread is reason enough.


Several of my ancestors actually fought in militias in the Revolutionary War. Shamefully, the Supreme Court misinterpreted the second amendment to the Constitution (for entirely political reasons), deciding that the clause tying the right to bear arms to the need for well-regulated militias is irrelevant. But they were wrong, wrong, wrong. As the Constitution was written, the right to bear arms depends entirely on the need for well-regulated militias to defend our country (in the absence of a standing army). And that doesn't mean "militias" of traitorous nutcases who think they need to defend themselves against our legitimately elected government.… Read more »


Bob Dole,

Once again, you show how uneducated you are by lack of being able to present an adult-like argument. Like the rest of the anti-gun zealots, you resort to name-calling, and childish banter, rather than facts.

Bob Dole

Man these reasons SUCK. Then again what can you expect from an NRA turds who can't come up with any excuses beside "my…my.. RIGHT…wahhh"… because Tinament Squarre!!!

Merlin coffee

I am willing to give up my right to own any semi automatic weapon to keep my children and grandchildren safe. And I believe that they would be safer if they were NOT legal to own.


102. Because I need a visible penis substitute to go along with my oversized SUV/pickup.

Seriously, you think your AW is going to hold off a foreign invasion or the National Guard? You think you'll *need* to? Put down the "Red Dawn" DVD (it's fiction). At the best your list is repetitive nitpicking; at best it's delusional.



This is supposed to be serious? It reads like poorly thought out irony.


Excuse me fellows,but you see the constitution is the supreme law of the land.There's this little clause at the end of the second amendment that says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed keeps getting in you gun grabbers way.Ha Ha you! Seriously though,No one should lose any rights because of what someone else does.If that be the case,no ones rights are safe.Our founding fathers wrote a constitution to keep people free from tyranny, and the second amendment to enforce the constitution.The militia is the peoples army, and they need assault rifles.Now everyone… Read more »


As far as I am concerned there is only one reason to own an assault rifle: Revolution against an oppressive government.

Jerry Tar

You would need more than an assault rifle. Most modern military have air support.


102. to use as an unusual (and kinky) anal sex toy.

103. to protect AMERICUH! against an invasion by the inhabitants of Monster Island.

104. to look like an inbred, mentally deficient, goon.

105. to shoot yourself in the head when black, homosexual, jewish, left-handed, actors take over AMERICUH!


I honestly can't tell if this is satire or not. that scares me.


102. Because your ass itches and you don't need to explain to some guy pushing pencils as to why you feel the need to protect yourself, loved ones, and property against criminals that don't seem to understand 29 warning shots.

Oh, and I'll pay you $20 for a t-shirt with that picture. I'll pay in cash or Target gift cards. It's all I got.


You're a very funny man.


Dave, before you go underestimating your fellow citizens against " a squad of trained soldiers", you must remember that there are a hell of lot more former trained soldiers that still know what to do, and some of those are battle hardened. Just wanted to remind you of that.


Well hate to disappoint ya Mr. Eric (not really) but don't you think 30+ million semi-auto weapons owners are going to take exception to your wish? And what about the U.S. Congress…??? Or is your commie buddy obama the supreme law of the land now? Pesky Constitution just keeps getting in the way doesn't it?


Allowing assault weapons isn't working. They will be banned. Get over it. My right not to send my kids to school safely trumps your right to compensate for your lousy aim. I'm loving watching the NRA implode though.


Let me know when the president tells the Secret Service not to carry guns around his children or even himself!


@ dave: Here's the only reason you need smartass. Its none of your business what anyone owns.

Harry A. Fullerton

I saw your comments so here is mine!FORTIETH CONGRESS. sess.II Ch. 249,250 1869 This and the Nevada superior court common law venue this set me free. I have all info if you need anything. Retired Chief Justice 3 yr. retired Harry A. Fullerton


bill stagemeyer

I have seen so many times…the ar15 was found in the trunk of the car…the kid never used it..so ..if the victims were killed like the coroner said…then there was a second shooter..eye witness accounts from the surviving children says that as they passed the police there was a man on the ground in handcuffs…also what about the man in the woods wearing camp……?this whole thing is sad but nothing adds up…..fishy….


I need it because I said so. I'm a citizen, not a subject. I am a part of the militia, just like every other citizen. Therefore I need a personal weapon that is capable of being used in battle. The AR-15 uses mostly the same parts as the military variant, therefore repair can be completed by military armorers should the need arise. Most lowers can accept an m-16 trigger group, also installed by said armorers. It can accept military ammunition, and military magazines. The second amendment exists for this very reason. The populace must remain armed with battle-ready weapons should… Read more »


Do you REALLY think that you would last for more than a couple of minutes against a squad of trained soldiers when the tyrannical gubmint decides to do whatever it is that you think they're going to do?

An American Tiananmen square? My god, you people are delusional.

Basically, you want one for the same reason dogs lick their balls: because they can.

Why Does Anyone Need

To everyone asking “why anyone would need a such-and-such weapon”; I would answer that it’s because you asked that question in the first place. It’s not a Bill of Needs. It’s the Bill of Rights. Would you ask why blacks and women need to be able to vote too? Why would anyone in Colorado and Washington need to smoke weed? Are you also planning to ticket me because the guy in front of me was speeding? I’m sure they’ll be lots of snappy comebacks from the trolls but I don’t mind that. Rest assured that I will defend your right… Read more »


Why is everyone looking to restrict gun ownership? He stole those guns after he was denied the purchase of one legally. I live in Alaska where the gun to people ratio is 7 to 1. You can conceal carry without a permit. with almost 300k people in my city of Anchorage, we had 18 homicides, all had previous criminal histories. Making the "shootings" from legal gun owners 0%. Maybe along with mental health and secure schools, we should look at "true" rehabilitation programs of criminals in our prisons and stricter gun laws on those who stole, did not register and… Read more »



“If you've ever driven a Ryder truck, bought fuel or fertilizer, then you must be thrilled to pieces that you’re affiliated with Tim McVeigh, a special piece of history that killed 19 children in OKC.


102. So everybody may continue shooting each other and killing children, all the while being blind enough to think this means Liberty and Patriotism.

Freedom Warrior

Reason 102: We are the "first responders" and the police are the "second responders" – "when seconds matter, the police are minutes away". I need the same rifle, magazines, and accessories that the second responders show up with in order to be effective as a first responder. Put a trained first responder in every school tomorrow and the carnage will stop (see Israel). Discuss it ad infinitem in legislative committees, and the carnage will continue ad infinitem!

Bring it

@johnnyB…the M1 Carbine from WWII is on the ban list. Why do I want one? Because it is american history and should be preserved. If you can't understand that then go collect Hummels. What serious law abiding tax paying citizens collect really isn't anybody's business and note I said law abiding.

Bring it

Well said Flatlandr. Punishing the many for the sins of the few always results in resentment. Isn't it amazing that every time something bad happens to this country the feds solution is to take away another constitutional right.


I'm not particularly worried about renewed "assault weapons" legislation. History has proven that legislation like that only last as long as the political winds blow its way. We are obsessed with guns as a culture and I am not embarrassed to say that at all. I feel for the families of the people that are killed by these lunatics. But that's just it, you can't stop crazy. Crazy people have a knack for finding ways to do unexpected things without warning. That is why we call them crazy. Reactionary thinking is not going to reduce these types of events. At… Read more »


Also – are we not acting to make cars safer? They are much safer these days. Laws were passed limiting teens ability/freedom to drive, but no one cares because they're kids so their rights don't matter I guess?

Gun rights supporters really disservice their cause by not being able to engage in a rational, common-sense discussion…


Joe – that argument really is irrelevant. We are working to fight drunk driving deaths. Sure, more could be done but that doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to excessive gun ownership. I did not see any reason why a person "needs" an assault type weapon, but rather why they "want" one. Ultimately, do you want it so badly you are willing to turn a blind eye to murdered children? No one is proposing to take guns away, but it doesn't hurt to take a look at sensible reform. Just because the status quo isn't perfect and the… Read more »


Actually, the Bushmaster was the gun he used to shoot everyone, excluding himself. He put the bullet through his head with the Glock.


I am not saying if assault rifles should or should not be banned. I know I have 2 that I use for recreational purposes. I do think it is worth some further research. My question is that with the number of people killed by guns in general in 2010 was less than 9000 and over 10000 were killed by drunk drivers. While neither numbers are acceptable why are we so dedicated to eliminating or controlling firearms and not about reducing the number of DUI deaths? There are options to reduce drinking related deaths such as increasing the drinking age, control… Read more »


Pablo Pancho,the Bushmaster was found in the trunk,not used !


Janie,you are one libturd bitch !


In Texas all my friends have at least one AR15 ! My favorite is my LMT w/10.5 SBR !


"If you own or have shot a Bushmaster, then you must be thrilled to pieces that you’re affiliated with such a special piece of history that killed 20 children yesterday."

I doubt we'll be seeing that one again. It has exactly nothing to do with the millions of rifles that weren't used to hurt innocent people. Logic is not your strong suit.