What Is The Mood In Your Area?

I was looking for news stories and came across this: Guns outnumber people in suburbs.

Now as many of you know, I am a licensed target shooter. I've been a shooter in one form or another all of my life, but my current passion is pistol shooting, which in my opinion, is the most challenging form of shooting - almost pure "zen". But the news that my sport seems to be enjoying a sudden popularity does not fill me with joy. I wonder what has prompted this sudden enthusiasm? I may regret starting a gun-debate in Australia... but I think that the motivations, intentions and outcomes are worth examining.

kids revolver

In Australia, pistol shooting is a very hard sport to get into. You need a fair bit of spare cash, a flawless history, good connections, and plenty of spare time to devote to gaining and maintaining your skills (your permit depends on constantly competing, and it will take about a year of constant participation before you will be allowed to buy your own pistol - which is likely to be a low-powered air pistol or .22). Yet I have seen an influx of new people, even in pistol shooting.... and they are not the people I usually see. I see the determined-looking mother who brings her two young sons to the range and brooks no argument when she tells them that they WILL learn to shoot. Or the tired-looking business-owner who would obviously rather be home with his family.

What are they doing here? Few will give me an answer. The few who do refer guardedly to "the situation at the moment" or some similar concept.

I have said elsewhere that people who are depending on guns for security should sell them and buy a dog. A dog is less expensive, more loving, and won't be locked up in an inaccessible gun-safe when needed most!

I have also said elsewhere that I believe Australia is a safe country, only a high-impact threat such as war or pandemic could change that. Is there something in "the situation at the moment" that could change this situation so much that a gun is a better investment than solar panels?

Is there some reason to believe that we need to become an armed society? That may be fun in arcade games, but I wouldn't want to live it!

Armed society

Anyhow, enough ranting. Over to you guys - let's open a discussion. I have never really heard anyone define what they mean when they talk about "the situation at the moment".

So what is your perception of "the situation at the moment"?

What is the perception amongst the general population of "the situation at the moment"? How does it differ from your view?

Is there some specific threat associated with "the situation" that could change Australia's fundamentally safe, friendly and sensible attitudes?


If "the situation" does justify drastic action, what offers the best return on investment?

What is the "big picture" problem that our government faces? What are the priorities at the government level? Dmitry Orlov talks about breaking the problem down to basics - food, shelter, transport and security - should they be tackled in that order?

Has there been a change in the mood of Australia's population?

My view of the situation at the moment is that we're in the shit, but sinking very slowly indeed, and in no case will firearms help us paddle through it.

And I say that as the "green with a gun".

Firearms are like cars: everyone should know how to use them safely, but that does not mean everyone should have one, and nobody needs to use one every day. Though some people will say they do, really, honest.

The nature of our problems is economic and cultural; our culture of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste. These are causing us problems both social (crime, stress) and environmental (resource depletion, pollution). Again, none of those will be helped by firearms.

What sort of numbers are we talking about, here, in people at your clubs? These clubs are pretty small to begin with, as I understand it. What's the most, maybe 1,000 extra Australia-wide? Mate, that could just be people who watched some article on Today Tonight about home invasions and got scared. Those idiots won't be around a year from now to pick up their first firearm.

Hi Kiashu,

Yes, handgun clubs are rare. At a guess, I would say that handguns represent 1 gun in about 40 in Australia. Once you eliminate air pistols and guns held by security firms it is probably less than 1 in a 100.

And I think you are right about the number of new starters who will last a year and actually qualify to buy a handgun. Even fewer will stay long enough to qualify for a handgun larger than an air pistol or .22. Anybody who gets that far is likely to be a responsible, genuine enthusiast for the rather difficult discipline of pistol shooting. They don't worry me.

My interest was not really in the influx of new starters at my club, but in the fact that there seems to be a non-specific anxiety about the future. The fact that people are concerned, yet can't seem to articulate what - specifically - they are concerned about is interesting.

Is there some kind of underlying change in mood? A non-specific anxiety or concern? Is there an underlying mechanism here? Do rats on an island feel a nameless concern as their population starts to strain the bounds of their island? Does this contribute to some mitigation/stabilisation?

I only have questions - no answers :-)

I was just curious about numbers because it shows how widespread the feeling is.

It's a bit like that thing I once read a state MP saying, that if he got more than 30 letters on any one subject he'd bring it up in Parliament, because he knew that for every 30 people who wrote there were 100 who felt the same way but would never write. But 30 to one MP is a different thing to 30 across the country.

So really we need some grasp of numbers to see whether your bump in membership represents anything significant, or is just - as I said - a few exciteable people who watch Today Tonight or listen to Alan Jones on the radio too much.

Because I'm just not seeing that anxiety. The working class people I know are worried about losing their jobs. The middle class people are carrying on oblivious to any troubles, spending their baby bonus on iPhones. Maybe the upper class are nervous but I wouldn't know I don't meet them.

I'm not seeing any "let's put guns and spam in a bunker in the hills" sort of anxiety at all.

The middle class people are carrying on oblivious to any troubles, spending their baby bonus on iPhones.

I support changing the Baby Bonus to the No Baby BOnus. $10,000 for any woman who has a Tubal Ligation, $20,000 for any woman who has a Hysterectomy, $1,000 for any man who has a Vascectomy

I'm not seeing any "let's put guns and spam in a bunker in the hills" sort of anxiety at all.

I'd call it nervousness, not anxiety. Although, in my darker moments (usually after reading too many Doomer web pages (and even web pages that tell the truth), and hearing about the latest gang-rape), I dream of a full-sized basement under my house, connected by an underground passageway to a similar basement under the backyard shed, filled with long-term food storage, batteries, etc etc...
Fortunately, I now generally know my 'Doomer Limit' and stop reading before I get to that point. :D

Guns and Australia are an interesting topic to me. I’m an American who spent four months backpacking around Australia in 2002-2003. Around the middle of my trip, I went to see a movie called “Bowling for Columbine” at a theater in Brisbane. Columbine was the site of a school massacre in the U.S. and the topic of the movie. After the movie, people were grumbling about how crazy Americans are as they streamed out of the theater. The mood was downright unfriendly, something I had never experienced in Oz up to that point or since. I kept my mouth shut and my accent hidden.

I live north of Seattle in a liberal part of the U.S. I have gone target shooting twice in my life: once as youth at a camp and more recently during a bachelor party. Guns are not as big a part of the Seattle culture as they are in other parts of this country. However, an incident last summer has me reconsidering my position.

I caught three sisters, ages about 9 to 14, stealing from my vegetable garden. They had come in through the gate from the alley and were helping themselves in my backyard. Young girls do not particularly threaten me, but I did see a man, who I assume to be their father, hiding in the alley behind the fence. Their family probably really did need the food. This makes me wonder at what point do people start breaking into houses.

Local unemployment was 5.5% last summer. It is 8.1% now. Collapsing air travel will decimate our biggest local employer, Boeing, and I can easily imagine unemployment in the 20-30% range in a couple of years. Things will get a lot worse and the next group of burglars could be a lot more threatening than some little girls and their coward dad.

I would still argue that dogs are a better protection than guns. Dogs are like a big sign that says "Trouble". It is easier for a casual burglar to just go to the next house. Prevention beats cure every time.

Of course a burglar who is seriously targetting you can neutralize the dogs, but even then owning a gun is likely to be useless because his gun is going to be in his hand, and yours is going to be in your safe (so that some teenage boy can't just pocket it and take it to school).

owning a gun is likely to be useless because his gun is going to be in his hand, and yours is going to be in your safe

As a possessor of a concealed-pistol permit, I can tell you with assurance that you don't know what you're talking about.  I have two safes.  I also have two holsters.

Dogs are alarms.  Guns are threats.  Both have their place.  Australia (and G. Britain) have done what they can to drive the gun culture into extinction, but the USA's ruling class has been remarkably unsuccessful at imposing the same on the nation as a whole; the progress of "shall-issue" laws and the decision in D.C. vs. Heller have set their efforts back by a couple of generations at least.  The claims of blood running in the streets have been made so many times, and so falsely, that they are laughed at more often than not.  The "gun problem" is a phenomenon not of guns, but of social pathology; the parts of the USA with high gun ownership and strong gun culture have low crime and criminals are timid, while the hell-holes are usually cities with gun prohibitions where criminals feel empowered.

Why do I have the permit?  It's the same reason I buy insurance.  Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Why do I have the permit? It's the same reason I buy insurance. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

Most US states don't require ANY registration of firearms.
You probably mean a permit to carry concealed guns.
(The desire to conceal-carry is another sign of mental instability IMHO)
It's weird that you don't think that following the law
is a good enough reason but fear that the law will
prosecute you if you're caught without your 'insurance'.

The "gun problem" is a phenomenon not of guns, but of social pathology; the parts of the USA with high gun ownership and strong gun culture have low crime and criminals are timid, while the hell-holes are usually cities with gun prohibitions where criminals feel empowered.

What a silly fantasy, EP.
Here are statistics showing that hellholes like New Jersey are much less murderous than say rural Mississippi.


What is more interesting to me is the number of law enforcement deaths by state.

The gun-loving South
killed 50% of all the cops in the last 10 years and the
biggest number was in gun-crazy Texas. It also has about 50% of all assaults on police.

Yet the South has about 36% of US residents(Don't mess with Texas). As I remember during Katrina the NOLA police deserted en masse.

I agree that a remarkable social pathology toward legal authority makes guns more dangerous to society.


BTW, Australia has homicide rates about 20% of the USA average.

For that reason, I think Peak Oil is liable to be a rather dull affair in Oz, which in the good ol' USA it will be rather exciting.

Most US states don't require ANY registration of firearms.
You probably mean a permit to carry concealed guns.
(The desire to conceal-carry is another sign of mental instability IMHO)

Gee, ya think?  This sentence of mine might have given you a hint:  "As a possessor of a concealed-pistol permit, I can tell you with assurance that you don't know what you're talking about."

Among your other mental deficiencies, chalk up "cannot read for content".  Oh, and you might want to stay out of my neighborhood; after all, it's got one of those dangerous pistol-packing wackos in it.  Better yet, why don't you just stay home where you'll be safe, and turn off the computer so all these worrisome things will not bother you so much?

This thread was never intended for US consumption because, while the topic is debated hotly in Australia, in the US the debate is downright rude.

I'm not singling out any person here, but discussions that stray from civil will be deleted - all of the discussion, not just the bit that finally goes over the line.

There are a lot of reality challenged people in this world.

It is factually true that crime rates and hand gun ownership rates tend to be correlated. Long arm ownership and crime rates are not correlated. The northern rural areas have more crime than the city areas, and more long arms, but the northern city areas have higher crime rates than the rural areas and lower gun ownership rates, even including pistols.
Both urban and rural northern areas have lower crime rates than rural and urban southern areas.
What really drives the crime problem in the north is immigrants from the south, both black and white. It's a cultural thing.

Gun ownership doesn't seem to affect crime rates, but crime rates seem to affect gun ownership.

My opinion? I'm a moderate libertarian. I do not believe in private ownership of nuclear weapons in a biosphere (like a space habitat, or a planet), but light antiaircraft and antitank weapons should be available in vending machines.

As a possessor of a concealed-pistol permit...

Then the authorities know that you're packed, and will act accordingly when they come to get you. NEVER get a license or permit for your guns.

Dogs are alarms. Guns are threats.

No, guns are NOT threats. If you use them as such you will get yourself into situations were you have to fire when you did not intend to kill, only intimidate. NEVER consider a gun to be a threat. Consider it as a tool designed to kill.

Mood in my area. (Esperance,WA)
It has gone subconcious. No-one talks about it. I am condemned for raising the issue of the end of civilisation. Why? Because people feel the change, but do not articulate it. I wonder if this is a reflex created by the evolutionary process. It would make sense not to alert potential rivals. Am I deficit in this area?

Weapons? I am an immigrant from the failed frontiers of civilisation. Weapons were a way of life, and death.(My brother was killed by an SKS).
I needed to buy a rifle to kill kangaroos that were eating my trees. When looking down on the beautiful offering on the shop counter, I felt revolted. And the lack of respect shown by the vendor to his wares! (He called it a "Gun").

Civilians do not respect weapons. They are religous objects. Sex is a religous act. (The creation of Life) Shooting someone is a religous act. (The taking of Life) The rifle is a religous object. It has only one use.

You will find the word "gun" used commonly among civilians in Australia. It surprised me a little when I made the transition from military to civilian shooting. The use of this word seems to stem from a desire to avoid the word "weapon". Gun may be a little less threatening (after all we have paint guns, nail guns, staple guns, etc).

Most people understand what is meant by the word gun but might be confused by using the more generic "weapon" as a descriptor. Lots of things can be weapons.

A religious act? I think I'd rather not join a faith which has putting rounds into centre-of-mass as a ritual, thanks very much.

As thirra says, it's a tool, nothing more, no more special or glamorous than a chisel or rolling pin.

The taking of human life is a religeous act. It is the opposit of creating life.

Mass is a cultural thingy, to do with magic and entertainment.

It is important for us to grasp the significance of the following prediction.

The cull rate is going to be very high. According to James Lovelock the population will drop to 1 Billion. That is, for every 9 people on the planet only 1 will survive. Am I relishing the thaught? No.

When I joined the SAS I wrote:
"Sold my soul to the Devil,
And the fault is only mine,
Sold, with a little squiggle,
on a little dotted line."

I hate with a passion Holliwoods trivialisation of violence. Civilians are incontinent. They are incapable of controlling their bowels.

The very opposit of Holliwood is "The Art of War" by Tsun Tsu. The greatest general who ever lived. He could take an entire city without spilling a drop of blood.

The taking of human life is a religeous act. It is the opposit of creating life.

Not something I expect to do with any privately-owned firearms. You may be different.

According to James Lovelock the population will drop to 1 Billion.

Yes, he's another doomer who talks of "dieoff" but doesn't explain precisely what'll cause it. Perhaps some "religious acts"?

Your presence and comments are somewhat unnerving, giving the air of someone spending a bit too much time on his own with his assaults rifles and spam in the bunker in the woods.

Please, no ad hominem attack.

He thinks "'tis better to play the man".

I do not have a weapon.

James Lovelock?
Sorry, Proffesor James Lovelock.
Have you read his works? Are you his peer?

Did you go to the New Scientist site that I provided?

You have got to read the literature.

Not all literature is accurate of course. One has to research the claims being made for validity.

For instance, the interesting map of the world at your link shows fertile farming areas across the boreal regions of the world. Now I do not know what the soil is like in Siberia, but the soils of northern Canada are not particularly fertile and will not support mass farming as seen in the American midwest.

I suspect the map at the site needs some modifications.


This prediction is the best of a bad lot.

They are all hopelessly flawed.

It is a crapshoot.
Roll the dice, Sam.

Are you seriously quoting Zardoz?

The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds and makes new life to poison the earth with a plague of men, as once it was.
But the gun shoots death and purifies the earth of the filth of brutals.
Go forth and kill!
Zardoz has spoken.

As for the mood - frankly I don't think the mood in Australia has changed much, or needs to change much. Australia is in the catbird seat. Everyone needs our resources. We have plenty of food and a low population. We have enough LPG to keep all our industries going for at least another couple of human generations. And we're far enough away from all the crazy nations that we won't get invaded or atom bombed. While we'll see some disruptions when the rest of the world hits Peak-*, the fact is we're in a lifeboat.

As for guns, all the trends for violent crime in Australia have been steadily dropping since 1991. That could change ... but not because of "mood".

As for Lovelock - if he's right, my son will like as not become King of Antarctica. He's that kind of boy. No worries.

Mate you must be smoking some of the good stuff.

1)Lets begin, for one no one needs Australia's resources if there is no end demand for the products. The AUD was at 98c to the USD in July, it's not playing in the 60's. Demand for minerals has dropped dramatically. Rio Tinto and BHP are actually shedding jobs.

2)Australia has one of the highest levels of debt in the world. According to Steve Keen's excellent site www.debtdeflation.com.au ,Australia is facing a depression. I'm talking about 25%+ unemployment and 30-40% drop in GDP. This is a result of a 25 year debt binge. Australian Household's debt to gdp ratio is 176%. This does not bode well for social stability.

3) All of Australia's trade partners are in a dramatic downturn - the EU, US, Japan and China and NZ. If your main export partners are declining by implication you decline as well.

4) America was able to invade Japan in WW2, Chinese military spending is up 15% and Japan can't feed it's people without energy, if Australia has energy resources worth taking than the Chinese or Japanese could simply do that.

5) As for being "atom bombed", just because you can't conceive of it, doesn't mean that it can't happen.

6) The decline in violent crime since 1991 didn't just happen in Australia, it happened in the US, Britain and Canada as well. Social mood has a powerful effect, Elliot Wave theory does the best job of explaining it. We were collectively on an up phase, now we are on the down phase. Expect crime to soar. Social mood calls for it.

7) The need to change will soon be a FORCED to change, the average Australian consumes 32 times more resources than the avg Bangladeshi or third world country folk. Such a level of consumption is unsustainable meaning it won't be sustained regardless of any action taken by the people or government. In the next decade 25-35% of Australia's population must return to the farm as petro-agriculture is doomed.

I don't have a clue as to the mood in my area but my mood is the same as always.I was raised in a farming family,rifle in one hand and bur chopping hoe in the other to exaggerate a bit.Also,as an ex Army Vietnam vet,a firearm,to me, is just a tool to do a job.Also to be used responsibly and safely.

In addition,I regard it as my right as a citizen to bear arms.This is not recognized in the Austalian constitution as it is in the US - a pity.

It is a pity because,ultimately,an armed,politically conscious,responsible citizenry is the last defense against lawlessness whether it emanates from the mob or from their proxies,the government.

If this makes me guilty of sedition then so be it.I was accused of as much in 1996 by the late unlamented Member for Longman,The Hon Mal Brough,MHR.Better known as Barking Mad Brough post NT intervention.The perils of being a Service Corps captain,eh?

Cheers from thirra - still a (licensed)firearm owner.

Thirra writes: “I regard it as my right as a citizen to bear arms”.

The past thirty years or so has seen the growth of the self-ascribed rights industry. Everybody and his dog seems to be unilaterally proclaiming new rights for themselves and for their favourite causes. Other people, however, do not always accept these proclamations, particularly when these so-called “rights” are not accompanied by appropriate concomitant duties. The word "right", which is now improperly used to mean little more than "want", has a long and valuable history and should not be used to describe a mere preference. As you say, in Australia you have a provisional, legislative, right but not a constitutional right to possess a weapon. To assert that you have a natural right to do so is to invite Bentham’s response that natural rights are "simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense,—nonsense upon stilts."

Another of your comments worries me. My memory may be wrong on this, but I have a recollection that a gang of blokes in brown shirts in Germany in the 1930s believed, as you do, that, "an armed, politically conscious, responsible citizenry is the last defense against lawlessness whether it emanates from the mob or from their proxies, the government."

The terms “politically conscious” and “responsible” are ambiguous and raise more questions than they answer, having overtones of vanguardists such as Lenin. The notions that Australian citizens who elect a government are a “mob” whose views can be disregarded by “politically conscious” people with guns who have a “right” unilaterally to decide what is “lawlessness” are ones that are more akin to the red- neck south of the USA than to the Australian political tradition (that egregious minority, the New Guard, excepted).

I acknowledge your war service, but would argue that just because you used a gun to serve the interests of a particular government during the time of the Vietnam War does not give you a “right” to use guns against a properly elected government in a democracy. Given the hard times ahead, your mood is one that worries me considerably.

Hello Thirra and Tasman.
I agree with you both.

There are no Rights.

Not one.

There is an ancient implicit contract with "society" that we will surrender our weapons and leave the defence of the peace to profesionals. (My brother was a policeman. I am on their side.)

I agree with Thirra. In the event that society is unable to defend us, we have a responsibility to revert to a more archiac mode. The parents have a responsibility to provide food, shelter and security for their children. Mr Darwin says so.

I have said it before, weapons are a numinous. They fill me with revulsion. It is my duty to own one.

Tasman,I should have been more specific in my use of the word "mob".I meant the current extra-political group which actually runs this country - Big industry,developers,banksters,the Growth at any Cost lobby,the Boosters Club.Very similar to but much more dangerous than the common garden variety criminal mobs.I did not mean the proletariat.

I agree with you about the confusion of rights with wants.There are many examples.However,that does not detract from the fact that certain fundamental rights exist,regardless of the current government spin and political correctness,aka,fashion.

I am not au fait with the exact history of the Nazi party in Germany and I thought the New Guard in Australia more or less died at the onset of WW 2.You have used Fascism as a broad brush to paint patriots and lovers of liberty who are prepared to fight for it in a derogatory fashion.I stand by my contention that citizens have the ultimate right to rise up against tyranny,and with more than stones and clubs.I repeat,an armed and responsible citizenry is essential for the maintenance of a democracy.

Finally,I did not use the example of Mal Brough and the NT intervention by accident or because I am especially familiar with this particular species of political germ. I am not of Indigenous origin nor am I sympathetic with a lot of Indigenous issues.I have had quite a lot of contact with Aborigines over many years.Some good memories,some bad.However,when I heard about this Howard/Brough action I was extremely offended,to put it mildly. That a whole section of the Australian population could be subjected to such a blatant and far reaching infringement of their rights on the flimsiest of grounds with obvious extraneaous motives really got my back up.The Rudd government has not repealed this legislation.Significant?

Beware,Tasman,where our black brothers have been,we white trash could easily follow.

The holocaust could not have happened had every jew had a gun.

First of all, the right to keep and bear arms as stated in the constitution is more than 200 years old, it is not a new thing. The concept did not even start then. The right to personal weaponry has been one of the defining characteristics of sovereign individuals forever, slaves and subjects were usually denied the right to weaponry.

The Nazi's were fanatically anti-gun, for everyone but themselves. The first thing they did was disarm the population and put all the weapons in the hands of the government. Sames goes for Soviet Russian and communist China.

Taking on the responsibility of owning a gun does come with many responsibilities and obligations. Misuse of guns is strictly punished, both by society and by government.

The Nazi's were fanatically anti-gun, for everyone but themselves.

This is totally incorrect.

I've seen this silly-sounding claim of 'anti-gun Nazis' repeated before. It's false except that the Nazis made it illegal for Jews to have guns, which makes sense.

The previous law(pre-Nazi) dating from 1928 mandated gun registration.
That law replaced an extremely anti-gun dating from 1919 where those possessing of guns or ammo faced a 5 year jail sentence and fines.

However I doubt that true gun fanatics will accept this fact and will keep repeating their own fictions which are vital to their worldview.

I have to wonder if people who own dozens of military weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition are not demonstrating obvious mental illness. Even the NRA says that people who are mentally ill shouldn't be allowed to have guns.

Some gun fanatics won't visit a psychologist because they are afraid the state will have cause to take their guns away--so in the end sick people remain highly dangerous and don't get psychological help.

The 1938 German Weapons Act, the precursor of the current weapons law, superseded the 1928 law. As under the 1928 law, citizens were required to have a permit to carry a firearm and a separate permit to acquire a firearm. Furthermore, the law restricted ownership of firearms to "...persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit." Under the new law:

Gun restriction laws applied only to handguns, not to long guns or ammunition. Writes Prof. Bernard Harcourt of the University of Chicago, "The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition."[4]
The groups of people who were exempt from the acquisition permit requirement expanded. Holders of annual hunting permits, government workers, and Nazi party members were no longer subject to gun ownership restrictions. Prior to the 1938 law, only officials of the central government, the states, and employees of the German Reichsbahn Railways were exempted.[5]
The age at which persons could own guns was lowered from 20 to 18.[5]
The firearms carry permit was valid for three years instead of one year.[5]
Jews were forbidden from the manufacturing of firearms and ammunition.[6]
Under both the 1928 and 1938 acts, gun manufacturers and dealers were required to maintain records with information about who purchased guns and the guns' serial numbers. These records were to be delivered to a police authority for inspection at the end of each year.


Some gun fanatics won't visit a psychologist because they are afraid the state will have cause to take their guns away--so in the end sick people remain highly dangerous and don't get psychological help.

Project much, Mr. Hoplophobe?

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." -- Sigmund Freud

I should qualify and clarify that statement. The Nazis were fanatically anti-gun toward all groups which they saw as a threat to them and which they planned to (and did) violently oppress and murder. Groups such as jews and people of occupied countries. They rightly concluded that german nationals could be trusted not to threaten their power or take violent action against them so they did not restrict them as much. You're also correct that firearms restrictions in Germany did not originate with the Nazis, the restrictions were already in place from previous government the Nazi's just continued it. Which means that they were in fact anti gun, at least by US standards.

It is very instructive that the people who they made a point of taking guns away from were the same people they rounded up and murdered.

So of the people who have many guns and many rounds of ammunition are mentally ill? Please spare us the ad hominem attacks. That is a sillier comment than the ones you call silly.

My brother had two gun cabinets and 40 pistols. He is mentally ill, as am I. We are collectors/hoarders. This is an obsessive/compulsive disorder not subject to medication. Both our parents had it, and most of our brothers and sisters. Anybody who has three storage containers full of books has too many books and the same thing goes for gun cabinets. I mean, seven motorcycles?
You really don't need more than perhaps 5 guns. One varmint light gun, one heavy shotgun, one light shotgun, one concealable pistol, one heavy rifle.
Unless you are hunting elephant, bear, or soldiers, that's about it!

"My memory may be wrong on this, but I have a recollection that a gang of blokes in brown shirts in Germany in the 1930s believed, as you do, that, "an armed, politically conscious, responsible citizenry is the last defense against lawlessness whether it emanates from the mob or from their proxies, the government."

--Wrong group.
The group that needed to be armed, politically conscious and responsible were the very people who were disallowed those things, the Jews.

I am in BC, in the upper Fraser Valley. The depression has not yet hit here, or maybe we just can't tell the difference.

The U.S. constitution gives the right to bear arms to "well-regulated militias". I am all for that, but no so excited about every Tom, Dick, and Jane owning a weapon.

I was given my first .22 at age 12, so I grew up with guns and still own them. I am amazed that the vast majority of people in my town don't own a gun.

Crime is a big issue here, but mostly of the petty variety. A baseball bat is the weapon of choice in dealing with it.

One minor correction to your statement about the US Constitution. In the Heller case last year, the US Supreme Court held that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, not a right granted to state militias as you assert.

Militias, by their very definition, are not part of the state. They are a body of armed citizens, not professional soldiers in the employ of the government.

Boy seligne, you just stepped directly into the "doodoo" that is the second amendment to the U.S. constitution. The actual amendment reads:

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.

Most U.S. Supreme Court ruling have favored the interpretation that the individual right to bear arms is guaranteed and that participation in a militia is unnecessary, and since the federal usurpation of the state militias, undesirable.

Given that Thomas Jefferson(the guy who penned the Bill of Rights, which includes the second amendment) was "on record" supporting concept that armed citizens should overthrow a government which had become tyrannical, I think the "supremes" were probably correct in their interpretation.

But seeing as how this is an essay about the mood in Oz, who cares what the yanks are doing...bunch of wan***s anyway.

Per the historical meaning of the term in the jurisprudence of the USA, "the militia" is everyone trained to arms who is not part of the military, save a few public officials.

Having never been in the military but having sent my share of lead downrange, I'm part of the militia by definition.

The mood here in north central Vic is grimly cheerful. We 'dodged a bullet' with the bushfires but are still desperate for rain, and the global economic crisis is way down the list of concerns. No surge in gun ownership that i've heard of, but theres a growing us(locals) & them(strangers) vibe, due to fear of arsonists. Nobody expects hoards of city refugees or zombie bikers - i think the parlous situation of rural Oz makes that unlikely.

All seems fine here. I'm in greater Brisbane, and have not yet ever felt a desire to own a gun, despite a lot of indoctrination from nasty video games (which I make). I can't currently conceive of a situation what would bring Australian society to true anarchy; even peak oil is too slow a process that can be actively combated with market forces and technology. Not to say it won't suck if you live in the exurbs and drive a V8, but it won't stop the flow of food, which is mostly grown locally.

Okay I can think of a few, but it would have to be a real shock to the system, like America declaring war against china, or the sudden collapse of the wais. And those threats will be much better faced with active community building than a gun.

Well said Baz. Community building is something that we need to foster. Whatever the future holds, I know this for sure:

Regardless of whether it is good, bad or indifferent, you don't want to face it alone.

My brain is an active one, constantly hopping from one line of thought to another, so you'll forgive me if this reply is somewhat disjointed (it took me forever to write the 'Breakfast with the Green Car Forum' article in a somewhat coherent manner (kudos to Phil Hart for the title).

I work in Retail, so I see both the best and worst of the locals. It's an average town, now more like a small sattelite city than when my family moved back here when I was a young tacker, after several years overseas. Most people are polite, if stand-offish. Like all other things, however, it's the minority who ruin it for everyone else. And the minority can be downright hostile.

There's a rush to get things done at the moment. Vehicle traffic is increasingly pushy, desperate to get wherever they want to go, and on more than one occasion, I've watched someone weaving in an out of traffic for several kilometres, only to pull into a servo or shopping centre car park, having 'made up' perhaps 100m on where they started. I drive sedately, although at the speed limit, my asthmatic 4-potter simply not being capable these days of swift accelleration, and this brings me the occasional ire of other drivers. With the number of traffic lights dotted around town, hard accelleration just gets you to the next red light quicker. I'd rather save fuel. In the shops, people are less polite than they perhaps used to be. Groups spread out across aisles and walkways, blocking others wishing to go past in either direction, or stop in the middle of walkways with no warning, or try to jam prams and trollies in gaps that simply aren't there. I'm not seeing any measurable (by eye) slowdown in the economy, though. Perhaps people are just window-shopping instead of buying, but the shops are still seeing a lot of people walking in and out the doors, especially the entertainment retailers, like EB, Angus and Robertson, and JB Hi-Fi (JB are, by the way, pure evil. Far too many ways to spend money you probably shouldn't).

Basically, locally, things are hectic, and going to get worse. Developers are still pushing hard for a massive residential/industrial development on what is basically a floodplain (prospective buyers should probably check the historical flood records before signing on). The roads are filled to capacity, the Council has no spare funds to build sewerage and water supply lines. Southerners are moving up in droves so they can die somewhere other than Melbourne or Sydney, in a state with a still-functioning, although increasingly rickety, Health System (in my experience, the Health workers 'at the coal face' do an admirable job in the face of Managerial and Government incomptence). Fleshed-out plans for the future from the Council are non-existent, save for an unwavering belief in the Perpetual Exponentional Growth Fairy.

At night, things change somewhat. Everything, save the pubs and cinemas, closes around 9pm. The streets are practically deserted, if moderately well-lit. But there is a palpable sense of non-specific danger. I've heard more than a few storied lately about unprovoked bashings, assaults, random violence, and the like. My other halfs brother was attacked himslf just a few weeks ago, because someone (who had apparently already been in a fight earlier that night), mistook him for an Pacific Islander. Sure, he's a big bloke, but he's white. Even in the dark you've never mistake him for an Islander. Despite the potential fight being two-on-two, he's smart enough to just run. No sense getting involved if you don't have to. This is because it seems like everyone has a 'gang' these days. Get involved in even the smallest incident, and twenty minutes later there's half a dozen blokes there looking for a punch-on. I don't know if they think it'll impress the ladies, or if it's some machismo 'stand by your mate' bullshit, or something... darker. My other half's father recently, with he help of another motorist, saw off three teenagers who were harassing a young girl walking her dog. I've been harassed and threatened at work by a 'gang of three' who ride their pushbikes through the shop (like all bullies, however, they backed down when bluffed), and I also did a 'drive-by' late one night when I saw one young girl walking with three boys (I shouldn't worry, after all, it's all probably innocent, but I'd have never forgiven myself if I hadn't checked and later found out there'd been an assault).

The local flea-market is flourishing, with crowds of people descending on it every weekend, although the stall-holders seem to be the same people, week after week, flogging off old tools, car parts, ornamental plants, and obviously bootlegged CD's and DVD's.

And amongst all this, the local rifle range has gone strangely quiet. I don't know wether this is just that I don't hear them because I'm asleep, or if there's a genuine reduction in use. I do know, however, that to get a gun in this town doesn't require much work. I've never owned a gun, never fired one (unless you count the 'Shooting Ducks' arcades at the annual Shows), and only held one or two, but it's not hard to find people who are able to get you something.

My family has been in the area for nearly a hundred years. When my immediate family moved back here, it was a sleepy country town. My other half's family are from western Sydney, and moved here 20-some years ago. Only last week, we had a conversation about how much the local area (and the population) are starting to resemble the area they left. The other halfs' Father is the original rough diamond. Always a happy smile, comes from a dirt-poor (and I mean poor background), and has 'seen it all', but even he's starting to worry. And if he's worried, I'm worried.

Often it is said "Those Germans should have known better. I would have not been fooled by Hitler."

Well have a read an excerpt of the following book which gives us a glimpse of how it all happened.


I'm sorry that you all in Australia have to jump through such onerous hoops in order to get a pistol. Here in Texas, USA, you fill out the form, do the 10-day waiting period, and pick it up at the store. And it's not licensed nor registered, and neither are you (unless you want to carry it conealed for self defense, in which case you take an 8 hour course and shoot 50 rounds).

But what I really want to communicate is that the current economic downturn has not brought with it more people seeking access to guns in Texas. I have many guns as I want at home, plenty of ammo, no plans to buy more of either. People are worried about Obama putting more restrictions on guns, and there are purchases being made on that basis... but NOT because of the economy. In fact, some people in debt may be selling off some of their guns. But I bet they'll always keep at least one.

Cheers and good luck

Why are you sorry?

Australians in general see no particular virtue in gun ownership. We don't fool ourselves that it will prevent tyranny. We know only mateship and democracy will prevent tyranny. We use guns for sport, but leave them locked up in the gun clubs where they belong. We use guns to deal with feral cats and dogs - maybe the occasional wild pig - but we don't need automatic weapons or handguns for them. We use guns to give authority to our police. And most of the time they don't seem to abuse that.

Otherwise Australians generally see America's fascination with guns as a kind of fetishism. Nothing wrong with enjoying your fetish. But it's not safe to assume people not raised in your culture get their kicks the same way.

Here in the US, after the Obama win, I've observed several acquaintances becoming new gun owners. The general story seems to be that since we now have a President that's not to the right of Attila the Hun, society will be going down the tubes quite quickly.

On a related note, I think sincere gun hobbyists in the US are in quite an ethical quandary. I know that they care deeply about things like responsibility and gun safety. Unfortunately, though, the main representative of their hobby in the US does not, and exerts a vicious and pernicious effect on our political system here.

To be fair, the NRA does care about the technical aspects of gun safety and training, but otherwise you're correct.

As far as I can tell, they've opposed every gun safety initiative mooted during my lifetime. This seems pretty unequivocal to me.

You might want to check a little more closely into what is characterized as "gun safety" by the anti-gun lobby.  For instance, Kennedy's "cop-killer bullet" law would have explicitly banned the 30-30 rifle cartridge, the most popular deer-hunting round in the nation.

The places where people own lots of deer rifles tend to be rather peaceful compared to the big cities with all the prohibitions in the name of "gun safety".  People still display the bumper sticker "Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my guns"... and they're right.  The "gun safety" initiatives pushed by the political left in the USA tend to have very little to do with actual safety.

The other day a couple of short scrawny "kids" in line to by soup were talking about shooting, what guns they had, what version of the 45 is their next purchase.

I mean they were freshman university, babyfaced geeks talking about their arsenal like it were video games.

Around here all you need is a valid drivers license, 18 years old, have a pulse.

One of my employees said her BF has loaded guns hidden all over his house.

Some scary $hist

I think people who buy guns are like people who by lottery tickets. They are buying into a fantasy. In the case of guns it is a fantasy of macho power and self-defense, perhaps inspired by video games or Rambo. In reality, you come out behind because you spend a lot of money and end up less safe (and endanger many other people, like in Stuttgart the other day). Just like with the lottery, the fantasy beats the reality and the statistics.

When I bought my gun it was a bit of a lottery purchase, but not in the way you describe. I was hopping I'd scratch off a few geese, not shoot some "bad guys".

I have been around firearms all my life. Northern Michigan, USA, is hunter's country. We had hunter's safety classes in high school! Accident's are rare, fatalities almost unheard of. While the NRA often comes across as a bunch of loonies, the people that I know who support them are not. They are hunters and sportsman who don't want to lose their heritage because people in the city are shooting each other.

There is a subculture of people who are gun collectors. There is a subculture of people building their bunkers and preparing for World War 3. There is a subculture of gangsters prowling the inner-cities. There is Joe Homeowner wanting "security" for his family. There are lots of reasons to buy and use firearms. Lumping all gun-owners together does not paint a true picture.

I own a shotgun now and have been considering buying a rifle, and I wouldn't mind owning a handgun either. I'm not thinking about protecting my horde, I'm thinking about supplying meat for my loved ones. Though, if i lived in a more urban setting I would certainly be thinking about what might happen if the supermarkets run dry for a few days.

The truth is that we don't know what the future holds. If the SHTF there are going to be those who have firearms and those who don't. Assuming that there will be blood is cold; assuming there wont is naive.

Guns really work for self defense. Their is no fantasy or astronomical odds about it. Guns are a very direct and effective form of crime deterence.

The only lottery level odds that you'll find is the number firearms owned per mass shooting. Easily more than 10 million to 1. I can't think of more than 20 mass shootings in the US in the last 50 years, but there are more than 250 million guns.

Borrowed from Newsvine concerning American gun ownership:

FACT: you are more likely to be shot with your own gun than by an assailant. One out of 55 gun owners shoot themselves at least once because of 'owner error'.

FACT : every year in this country more children are killed by firearms left 'hidden' than are killed by childhood disease. Adults fail to realize children CAN and DO find the guns, CAN and DO find the bullets and CAN and DO shoot themselves or their best friends or siblings.

FACT: less than 1% of gun owners have ever taken a gun safety or gun training class. People buy guns 'to make them safe' yet have no idea of what they've bought. They don't understand recoil & how it affects aim; how to clean their gun; how long bullets can be safely used; how to aim a gun (which accounts for drive-by shootings); or how far a bullet travels. ( a .22 bullet can easily go 1/2 mile and pass through standard siding and drywall)

FACT: because you can NEVER know if the person you hear in the dark is an intruder or a member of your family, a neighbor, a cop come to warn you of a gas leak, etc. the innocent gun/homeowner is ALWAYS at a disadvantage. The innocent person will always hesitate a moment before shooting at an unknown person. (The bad guys know who they are and will shoot first if they see a gun)Those who don't usually shoot some kid who snuck out during the night and was sneaking back in. ( My neighbor did exactly that: he shot his own 12 year old son).

FACT: most people are shot by someone they know vs. someone they don't.

FACT: virtually every person who shoots their spouse, friend, etc says the same thing once they've calmed down: "'I'm sorry. I wish I could take it back. I didn't mean it. If that gun hadn't been there I wouldn't have killed my....."

FACT: you are more likely to be shot with your own gun than by an assailant. One out of 55 gun owners shoot themselves at least once because of 'owner error'.

This must be from the clown who says that 93.72% of all statistics are made up.

Total accidental shootings in the USA in 2001 numbered 802.  If we multiply this by an 80-year life expectancy and by a 1 in 55 lifetime chance of an accidental shooting, we get a total of 3.5 million gun owners in the USA.  The actual figure is about 1.5 orders of magnitude greater.

FACT: you are more likely to be shot with your own gun than by an assailant. One out of 55 gun owners shoot themselves at least once because of 'owner error'.

See the reply below, the 1 in 55 statistic is bogus. Gun ownership is a responsibility, be careful, don't shoot yourself!

FACT : every year in this country more children are killed by firearms left 'hidden' than are killed by childhood disease. Adults fail to realize children CAN and DO find the guns, CAN and DO find the bullets and CAN and DO shoot themselves or their best friends or siblings.

Adults who fail to realize this are being negligent. If a person has both guns and children they have a responsibility to teach their children gun safety. Children can be taught respect for the dangers of guns the same way they are taught the dangers of busy streets, strangers, wild dogs, electricity, gas ovens, etc.

FACT: less than 1% of gun owners have ever taken a gun safety or gun training class. People buy guns 'to make them safe' yet have no idea of what they've bought. They don't understand recoil & how it affects aim; how to clean their gun; how long bullets can be safely used; how to aim a gun (which accounts for drive-by shootings); or how far a bullet travels. ( a .22 bullet can easily go 1/2 mile and pass through standard siding and drywall)

Once again, if you choose to own a gun you need to understand how it works, this is the owner's responsibility. The inherit pitfalls of guns are made up for by their utility. All those things you've listed are easily learned. If someone doesn't understand how recoil works then they haven't even fired their gun yet. It is unreasonable to make the assumption that people are so stupid they cant learn these things.

FACT: because you can NEVER know if the person you hear in the dark is an intruder or a member of your family, a neighbor, a cop come to warn you of a gas leak, etc. the innocent gun/homeowner is ALWAYS at a disadvantage. The innocent person will always hesitate a moment before shooting at an unknown person. (The bad guys know who they are and will shoot first if they see a gun)Those who don't usually shoot some kid who snuck out during the night and was sneaking back in. ( My neighbor did exactly that: he shot his own 12 year old son).

This is false on its face. There are many times you can know an intruder is an intruder. Such as if you live alone and hear glass shatter than footsteps, for just one example. A responsible gun owner will turn on the light to see who is there before shooting, or better yet shine a flashlight in the person's eyes to identify and also dazzle them before pulling the trigger.

FACT: most people are shot by someone they know vs. someone they don't.

Like a stalking ex-boyfriend maybe? All the more reason to be armed to protect yourself.

FACT: virtually every person who shoots their spouse, friend, etc says the same thing once they've calmed down: "'I'm sorry. I wish I could take it back. I didn't mean it. If that gun hadn't been there I wouldn't have killed my....."

Once again, be responsible and identify what you are going to be shooting at before pulling the trigger. Learn the 4 rules of gun safety, its really not difficult. http://www.bobtuley.com/safety_rules.htm

None of these "FACT"s address the legitimate and very important uses for personal gun ownership or negate them. They are just pitfalls which every gun owner has to be careful of and avoid. Kind of like how car drivers have to look both ways before turning and not cross the double yellow lines, common sense safety.

Yeah, having guns and kids in the house is a bad combination. Not as bad as having a pool and kids in the house, but still dangerous enough that you really shouldn't do it.

Here in the backwoods of Missouri, USA almost everyone owns guns, mostly for hunting, but also for target shooting and home defense. When it might take an hour for someone to arrive from a 911 emergency call, you are, for all practical purposes, on your own, and everyone knows that.

When Obama was elected the sales of pistols, semi-automatic "black" rifles, and high capacity magazines went through the roof, and now you have much difficulty finding them. The price in some cases doubled. And sales of ordinary guns like shotguns and hunting rifles are strong also.

Ammunition for pistols has disappeared. As soon as it hits the store shelves someone buys it and people are who might have bought 1 box are now buying 3, 4, or even more if they can find them. Ordinary hunting ammunition for rifles and shotguns is also scarce. You can't find much .223 or .308 at all, since this is what you feed through "black" rifles. But 30/30, 30.06, .270 and shotgun slugs and 00 Buckshot have also mostly disappeared also. What formerly cost $9 is now $13. If you look at most of the online sites for ammo suppliers where people buy bulk ammo and imported surplus ammo, you see plenty "out of stock". Even reloading equipment and supplies are scarce. The only thing which seems to be plentiful is very high priced specialty stuff that nobody buys, ammo for odd calibers, and bird shot which is not useful against anything much bigger than a bird.

If you talk to people they will tell you that they are buying because of Obama's anti gun attitude or they might tell you they expect riots and a lot more crime once the winter is over, as a result of bad economic conditions, and some even will tell you they expect civil war a lot sooner than they ever guessed before.

If you read the discussion groups for some of the popular gun sites you will see that this is all over the country. They say that applications for Concealed Carry Permits and the related training courses are way up, and that there is often a long wait to get into gun ranges to practice.

I have all the same observations mentioned above, and have all the above here in my safe, though I have yet to do the concealed carry permit (planned, just not done yet).

If things get worse, guns are a savings plan right alongside gold, only more utilitatarian. I could sell almost everything I have bought at a profit today. If the gun market turns down, it'll mean the nation has stabilized, and I'll be more than happy with the trading loss!

Upthread somebody said that 1000 rounds of ammo is a sign of psychological issues. I've seen articles in the paper of late, after a shooting, about the gunman having an "arsenal" at home -- yet it consisted of a shotgun or two, a pistol or two, and -- get this -- 550 rounds of 22 ammo. I probably have the same 550 round box in my safe -- it's the best deal on 22 ammo at Wal-Mart! It cost $12 bucks IIRC.

1000 rounds is a "modest" store of ammo for a gun you intend to use. It's easy to go through 100 rounds in a hour or two at the range, even at a buck or two per shot. 1000 rounds would barely be a year's supply if you're a pretty casual shooter.

I'd wonder about a person's priorities if he had 10 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo but no cash, no gold, and no food. If he has $10K in cash, $10K in gold, $10K in guns, and $10K in food, seems like a well-rounded prepared guy.

Knowing how to shoot is like knowing how to ride a bike, a horse, a motorcycle, or a tractor -- most people don't NEED to very often, but it can come in handy sometimes, and it can't hurt.

I'll share my perceptions, living in an older 'inner burb' and working in an inner city high school in the US.

In the past couple of years we have lost 6 of our students to gunfire, most commonly from AK's. Unfortunately the hip hop 'thug life' philosophy has a lot of adherents amongst the young people here, both male and female. I showed Dmitry Orlov's latest speech to a class; one of the students said that what Orlov speaks of has already arrived in his neighborhood, and that he wants to get the hell out as soon as he graduates.

Many of the students have been programmed by advertising to be infantilized consumers, with a deep sense of entitlement. I'm pretty sure they're not going to respond well to a greatly lowered standard of living going forward.

Most of our students are African-American; due to their awareness of previous slave and sharecropper circumstances, I'm afraid many of them will 'get rich or die trying' as Fiddy Cent put it, rather than pick up a hoe and grow their own food. If I told them that in 20 years they'll being swinging a hoe if they want to eat, they would tell me I'm trippin (hallucinating).

One of my colleages was the victim of a home invasion robbery a month or so ago. His brother came over just as they were getting started with him, so he got away with 'only' lacerations to the head and face and shots fired at his brother.

I think there's good reason to expect a ferFAL type urban experience in the US within a few years, with a lot of home invasion robberies and kidnappings for ransom. I'm staying put for now because I have a stable, good-paying career, but I expect I'll have to leave town in a couple-three years because, as Clint Eastwood put it "Son, dyin ain't much of a living."

ferFAL advises people who want to stay in big cities to get body armor and a concealable handgun; I consider him a time traveler from a US city in the near future.

Errol in Miami

Clint Eastwood

I think that's the question.

My hope is that the ammunition supply runs out pretty quickly.

With all the manufacturers running at full capacity, and many gun owners buying hundreds, if not thousands, of rounds for each gun they own, just to hoard, I seriously doubt that you will get your wish. The supply is going up, not down. There is a bottleneck right now at the wholesale and retail levels because of excess demand; there is just plenty of competition to get the new production which makes it appear that supply is short.

You might as well wish for unlimited energy supplies and eternal peace. That might sound good for a Miss American contestant, but has little likelyhood in reality.

Might be worth looking at how sales of reloading supplies are going... When I was a kid, I used to collect lead bars and weights for my dad, for reloading.


Some of these comments are sadly predictable - like this last submission by biophiliac. Tell me, Sir, what exactly do you know, versus what you've been told? Whose programming do you carry?

If you'd like to check out some real US data, I'd recommend the work of Prof. Gary Kleck:
Read first - then respond. This site is to the hand-wringers what realclimate.org is to the AGW deniers.

Personally, I've changed my mind several times on the subject over the past few decades. I now have concealed-carry permits for both Oregon and Washington. So does the wife. As I age and become more vulnerable (and more wealthy), it made simple sense to me. You make up your own mind - but don't use words like "fantasy" to describe the thought processes of millions of others whom you will never know.

It's not a fantasy, and it's certainly not all that unlikely that I'll dissuade a perp at some time with my weapon. It happens somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million times each year in the US, cf. Kleck. Is it my passion, an all-consuming preoccupation? That would be ridiculous. But I also wear a seat belt every time I travel in an auto, despite the fact that I've never been in a serious wreck in the half-century of experience.

Anyway, I'm being deliberately inflammatory here, because it strikes me that this typical Rambo accusation from an ignorant gun-phobe carries as much water as the Pope prohibiting oral sex between married couples. Learn first, then spout - this isn't a faith-based forum.

I think your Prof. Gary Kleck pretty much confirms my Rambo hypothesis. But seriously, I am a scientist (like you, I think) and I try keep my ideas evidence-based and my understanding of the statistics is that they do not support the position of the guy above or you. Even your use of the word "perp" suggests that you watch to many crime shows.

I also wear a seat belt because the statistics are also clear in that regard. This site is heavily frequented by people heavily armed and with postpeak armed survival fantasies inspired by Mad Max, so I don't understand your hand-wringers point or for that matter your AGW point. The AGW hypothesis is as robust as quantum mechanics or evolution, but yet there are also plenty on this site who don't know enough science to understand.

Don't take any of this personally, the culture of guns and fear in the US bothers me, but I understand perfectly that guns give some people a feeling of safety.

My 2 cents,

When my field flooded a few years back, snakes (cottonmouths) were everywhere. Went and got a 22 revolver with holster and loaded it with those bird shot rounds. Back at the field, straped that sucker on and it felt cool - out on the Texas plains wearing a gun, YEE-HAW lets go get em. Went out to check wells, after about an hour of carrying it, I was tired of the weight and it catching on everything. After the second hour, it was on the seat beside me. So much for fantasy vs. reality.

Now it sits locked in my desk out there and I use it to run off coyotes when they start singing in the parking lot or to shoot crickets. Also it's far faster to hit a snake over the head with a shovel than shoot it. Cheers

I'd recommend the work of Prof. Gary Kleck

Unfortunately, the type of surveys he conducted suffer from severe methodological shortcomings, rending their results questionable at best. (To be fair, though, it's not clear how to avoid those problems; if you expect only 1% of your respondents to answer "yes", even a very small bias can have a huge impact on the results.)

Fortunately, it's possible to perform an independent check of Kleck's results by comparing the number of people killed or wounded by defensive gun usages (DGUs) predicted to the number actually seen. This was done in a 2004 journal article.

Kleck's numbers predict 96 DGU woundings or killings; only 2 were found, both stemming from cases of "mutual combat".


A quick nation-wide calculation gives the same result. Kleck's results say:

  • There are 2.5M DGU/yr.
  • 8.3% of DGUs wounded attacker.
  • Thus, 200,000 DGU woundings per year.
  • Approximately 22% of hospital admittees with firearm wounds die.
  • Thus, 200,000 DGU woundings should result in roughly 40,000 DGU deaths per year.

The US saw 12,704 non-suicide firearm deaths in 2001.

Moreover, a large number of those non-suicide firearm deaths will be due to the actions of criminals, rather than DGUs. The FBI reports approximately 200 justifiable homicides per year, and any figure more than a few thousand is very implausible. Similarly, there are approximately 100,000 total firearm woundings per year in the US, many of which are accidental or self-inflicted, well under the 200,000 DGU woundings Kleck predicts.

Kleck's survey results make predictions that are at least an order of magnitude different from observed reality. Accordingly, it can be said with high confidence that Kleck's results contain one or more large errors, and hence cannot be considered to be reliable.

Interestingly, using the National Crime Victimization Survey's figure for DGUs (~100,000) in the above calculation results in about 2,000 DGU killings, which is within the realm of possibility. (It's likely, however, that Kleck's figure for wounding rate is too high - he reports a hits-to-shots rate well above what police officers achieve - and that the rate of DGU killings is significantly lower than this estimate.)

"The US saw 12,704 non-suicide firearm deaths in 2001."

So, four 911s every year!!! strange place:-(

It is interesting to me that Australia is so limiting on firearms. I live in Texas, work in the O&G Industry. I am educated and live in an urban setting. I grew up hunting birds with shotguns, but was never a deer hunter and never into rifles. The last few years I found assault weapons interesting (went to military school) and have made a habit of purchasing AK47's.

The current political situation lends itself towards hoarding. There is legitimate concern that bans will come. Commodity prices pushed ammo from $0.18/round to $0.21. War provides scarcity of certain rounds which push them higher in price. Political concern has since pushed them to about $0.31/round. A considerable increase at the lowest ends of the cost spectrum. Some other rounds now go for near one dollar per round.

Motivations are wide spread; fear of banning, fear of civil meltdown, fear of occupation/marshall law. Some are unfounded conspiratorial theories. But the concern is there. I personally now have at least five weapons in the house and over 3000 rounds. I am hoarding more as an investment assuming bans and for what I view as the slight potential of societal meltdown.

In any case I know that I have them, and that their value may outstrip inflation or other commodity gains (gold). Protectionist/survivalist tendencies are an inherent inclination, and no longer for the camouflaged conspiracy theory back woods folk.

I try to avoid buying weapons which require governmental registration, as I prefer for the transaction to be entirely off the books. I pay cash for ammo. I tend toward AK47's because they are reliable and their ammunition is the most prominent in the world(behind 9mm). But in the states, I think perhaps holding NATO weapons and rounds would be most wise. If a meltdown arose those would be the most prevalent in this hemisphere I think. AK's are reliable, but the most common weapons on this side of the world are AR15's (.223, 5.56) and handguns which fire .40 caliber and 9mm. The idea of true conspiratorial groups is that Nato forces and Law enforcement would enforce any marshal law, and people would be forced to feed off of the ammunition they could reap from fighting off those forces.

Gun nuts are out of their minds.
The odds are 3:1 that you will end up shooting a friend or a relative.
When Peak Oil comes you will be more dependent on people you know than before. Guns reduce cooperation(except in mutual expressions of paranoia---'I'm okay but I'm not sure about you'.

Gun nuts are waiting for the Night of the Living Dead, when they can murder those (other) flesh-eating zombies with a clear conscience.


"They're us".[62] Romero confessed that the film was designed to reflect the tensions of the time: "It was 1968, man. Everybody had a 'message'. The anger and attitude and all that's there is just because it was the Sixties. We lived at the farmhouse, so we were always into raps about the implication and the meaning, so some of that crept in".[58]

Firearms are for the most part illegal to purchase or possess in Canada.
Everyone here is quite happy with this.
There is no single place in the country I would fear being.
The world should adopt this model.

"Firearms are for the most part illegal to purchase or possess in Canada."

Wrong. What is the purpose for the misformation? Long arms are not difficult to buy or own in Canada. I have taken shotguns into Saskatchewan--no problem getting through customs. Pistols and revolvers are more restricted.


Los Angeles county, outside the dense or down regions: It's pretty calm here. No real increase in aggressive tension that I've been able to detect, no violence outside the ordinary. People aren't shopping, they're spending less, nearly every conversation I hear on the buses is about money. If anything, there's less machismo and posturing, more grim calculation of where every dollar is going. I get stunned looks for being willing to loan someone even a single dollar, for which not even the beggars (who a year ago would ask for $10) would bother asking. People go far out of their way to find me a coupon for bread, insist on doing so in fact, when I didn't ask and would never have bothered. No-one is talking about the drought, despite warnings that we may face mandatory restrictions soon. They talk about money, about short hours, few jobs, and where to find the cheapest food. Bus ridership is way up. Lottery sales don't seem to have changed though.

What concerns me here at the moment isn't guns, it's mental health. I see people, once in a while, in conditions I wouldn't have seen them in before. Perhaps they ran out of money for medication, perhaps they are eating worse, or the stress got to them. I worry for people who try to conserve, but do it wrong, and in the process hoard or don't do something critical, like bathing.

Because you seem to have a genuine interest in what "the situation at the moment" is, let me lay it out for you. Most likely the view point I'm going to tell you is the same shared by people who are joining these gun clubs as a way of legally getting a pistol.

The world as a whole and most every local area are on the verge of radical change. This change will likely be a significant restructuring of society and the transition is going to be very uncertain and violent. Since you are on the oil drum you are aware of resource depletion and over population. This will lead to food shortages and starvation. Most people will kill others for food before they starve themself. The people who join your gun club so they can legally get a gun in Australia are aware of this and trying to prepare. They won't tell you specifically why they are preparing for fear of being seen as mentally unstable or unfit to own a gun, which would defeat their purpose of getting a gun.

Food shortages (even if only temporary) are just one danger. Another is overly aggressive government. The moves by most governments toward totalitarianism are becoming more and more apparent. The situation in the US is one where the government has tripled the police force in the last decade and is calling for accelerated expansion. Mass detention facilities are built and waiting. Constitutional rights which should protect us from government are being repudiated rapidly (4th, 5th, 2nd, 1st, 10th ammendments, posse comitatus, habeus corpus, and more). The government is being pushed into a situation where they have to default on promises to the people. Social security, Medicare and the dollar itself are in jeopardy due to long term over spending and under production. The near future holds the strong possibility that large numbers of people will be homeless, hungry and broke. Crime will be rampant. Even worse, the government response will to this crisis will see many people abused and destroyed (look at what happened during hurricane Katrina for a small preview of what is to come). Many people feel that they have a need to protect themselves from a government that may be about to turn tyrannical. Up to and including the use of deadly force against agents of said government. This is another reason people want to be armed. I don't know about Australia but the US was founded specifically with the intent of being armed and having the people overthrow the government by force of arms should it become an enemy to freedom and liberty. This is the spirit of the founding fathers, it is enshrined in our constitution very clearly and a good chunk of the population still feels this way.

In the US gun sales are higher than any time in history. It is only one component of being prepared for the coming crisis. Stored food and water are very important too. Solar panels area luxury. You are welcome to see these dangers as unrealistic, just as the majority of the population sees the concept of oil depletion as unrealistic and not something to worry about. What I have layed out is the mindset of people who are preparing by getting armed though.

Peak Oil?
Been there, Done that, got the T shirt.
Henry Kissinger managed to shut off the Oil to Rhodesia.
Instant collapse.
Mass emigration.
When I left I had people lining up for my dog.
I had an Oozi. (A useless fixed firing pin cheap thing).
I could not get rid of it.
I sent my friend to the armourer to sell it.
No go.
The armourer showed my friend the floor. It was 3 foot deep in weapons.
Africa is awash in weapons.
Well, you lot sold them.
You go get them back.

Here in Massachusetts, no gun mania. There is some renewed interest in hunting, (including on my part - I intend to go to hunting safety classes, get an appropriate firearm, and start, um, making the Commonwealth's roads safer, yes, that's the ticket) in time for the next season.

Lots of granola headed activity gearing up, though.

Here in Perth, Western Australia it is normal and quiet. I am completely and totally happy with the gun laws here in Australia. As ex-military myself I was appalled at the gun stupidness of most people here in rural areas that had rifles. Guns were under kids beds (I kid you not) and they knew where the ammo was stored. After just doing RAAF rookies and having gun safety drilled into me for eight hours per day it was only self restraint that prevented telling these people what I thought of their gun safety.

I do not have a weapon nor do I propose to obtain one. If the fertiliser hits the ventilator I intend to join a small local community and become an integral and valued member of a relocalised community which is the only true self defence. After all you can have all the guns you want however you have to sleep sometime. Societies are all about having people you trust to guard you when you sleep. At the moment I trust the police to keep me safe and they do a magnificent job. I also trust healthcare professionals to take care of me when you are sick and so on.

I may be a member of their armed militia or whatever they think they need in such a situation however I would then be subject to the same discipline that binds our armed forces together. Lone Rangers might look good on screen however I would not want to associate with such types as they would end up being the greatest danger.

Lone Rangers might look good on screen however I would not want to associate with such types as they would end up being the greatest danger.

I know quite a few Lone Rangers whom I would trust with my life and if you ever get to meet this one you will feel the same I'm sure. I take your point, however.

Thinking back on my days as a child, those guns were under the bed and the ammunition was readily available, but accidents did not occur. Yet today that thought is scary. What has changed. I have been pondering this thought quite a bit lately. Why are we no longer, en masse, capable of being safe with power, perhaps it has something to do with being disempowered.

Earnest Lux - "Why are we no longer, en masse, capable of being safe with power, perhaps it has something to do with being disempowered."

Guns are not powerful and do not give you power. Empowerment comes from your self worth not from a piece of metal. If you think that guns give you power then you are on the wrong track. Your next post in this thread sends cold shivers up my spine.

Guns allow people that normally are cowards to be powerful. Any projectile weapon allows non-powerful people to bring down others at little risk to themselves. A knife takes some degree of personal courage to use as you have to get up close and personal to use it.

There is some truth to the NRA's mantra that "Guns do not kill people - People kill people" However guns allow cowards to kill people from a long way away, so restricting guns cuts down on the number of killings because people, other than people with mental problems, that are brave or foolish enough to be able to kill with a knife are few and far between so there is less deaths.

Also the reason we cannot now trust kids with guns is that we have always not been able to trust kids with guns. Responsible gun owners have always locked up their guns and controlled access to them. You cannot take the norm from irresponsible people.

Really if you want to shoot guns and love them so much as you obviously do you really should have joined the armed forces where you would have been taught about guns by professionals. I guess however you had problems with the psych.

Dear me I have annoyed you. Apologies. I must explain further.

I was considering "power" in a much broader sense than "metal". Like the power to take a respectable piss in public without fear of prosecution or the power to express an idea without fear of persecution. I concur, guns have no "power" in the sense that you specify.

I will never have to use long range firearms against humans and I hope not against animals either. Food supply may however dictate terms in the final analysis.

I am perfectly trained and capable of using "bare hands" to do the unmentionable task in a situation where the agressor is unarmed or lightly armed. I have recently been faced with a situation where I had to make a choice of using "bare hands" to resolve a situation or use wisdom and patience: I chose wisdom and patience and all worked out well.

I am all for restricting guns to those who have shown themselves capable of reasonable decision making processes, as per Australian Gun Control legislation and the peer assesment process that it includes.

In my childhood and around the parents and children at that time, firearm safety was taught at an early age, I'm not talking 5 year olds therabaouts or younger.

Perhaps you mis-associate responsible people with the norm - to intentionally change the order of your syntax. I had good gun sense by the age of seven due to my fathers insistence upon it. I agree that guns should be locked up in this day and age, and folks like that boys dad in Germany have to serve time for failing to implement that rule.

Why would I want to join the armed forces, to travel to foreign lands and kill their people, give me a break. I have been and am being taught about guns by professional people, hunters, long in the tooth because they have understood gun safety.(edit. A couple of the lads at the club are ex military and one has done time on the front line, gave me a couple of dozen reloaded rounds last week, they worked real well, am going to extend social relations there.)

And the really amusing bit mate, is that I was a psyche in my professional life and the intensity of your response suggests... well what was that quote on this thread about Freud stating that fear of guns equates with fear of sexual encounter. I'm wondering if you have post traumatic stress disorder of some kind at this point. Indded, the first day that i was left to manage myself with a pistol this time round (as an old fella) long removed from childhood I had a "moment" of intense fear and was asking myself two questions: "Can you do this without harming others" and "Will you take your own life prematurely". I came up with two very definite answers "YES" and "NO" respectively.

Recently, on contemplating potential collapse of society, I undertook a "one small meal per day" regime to "see what it's like" which ultimately ended with symtoms of stomach ulcers. IF TSHTF I'll be in a position to aquire food. End of story. As Aldrec hinted at, it's all about "The Zen of the Gun" and target shooting for me.

What I was really saying is "I know I am trustworthy and I will act upon that trust to ensure my community is armed". It is just a big headed over the top thing to state explicitly, however, some folks appear not to be able to draw out my absractions.

Get a Life, Get a gun and prove to yourself that you can handle it in civilian life and get off my back when all I was trying to do was reassure you that those that take the time and make the investment in legal guns are your friends and "protectors and providers of last resort". (For Australians only - God only knows what goes on inside Yankee heads)

Dear me, I have probably annoyed you more but thanks for demanding clarification.

I live in Melbourne, in a middle-class suburb. No one voluntarily brings up the subject of the recent change in "mood" of the economy, let alone truly serious issues such as peak-oil and climate change. When the economy finally comes up in conversation, the base assumption is that this is just another recession, it will pass and we will return to "business as usual". I don't know anyone personally who has lost their job, nearly everyone I know is in fact benefiting from low interest rates, lower petrol prices, tax cuts and stimulus payments. But the statistics shows us that car sales are down, with most of the rest of retail is holding up well here in Australia (so far). I know of people who have lost money in their share portfolio or super account, with the exception of one person I know, who has wisely gone into 100% cash, no one is selling, they are all hanging on for the long run, but don't log-in everyday to see how much things have gone down, because it is to painful to find out. To me there seems to be a total lack of consciousness in the world that surrounds these people, there is an extreme self-centredness in there own existence, i.e. the total opposite of community.

At some point in time, I'd say between 6-18 months unemployment will crank up to a level that will really be noticeable, and maybe the current unconscious middle-classes will start to wake up. The sad thing is that this rump of the population controls our government, they are the aspirationals whose votes are desperately targeted my the major political parties. Some of them will end up very angry and resentful, others will be more accepting and will act positively

In Germany everyone got shocked again at a teenie massacre by a video game spoiled brat with a low IQ and lesser feelings of self worth. Calls for banning the games and restricting weapons still more will probably have some results though basically change little. Materialstic pressure on youth to succeed in school and have everything. Boys are video game addicts and girls do better in school. Sense of spontaneous community ( go play with life long friends stick ball in the street after school,etc.) or male values of handyman trades waning. Female values of sitting and rote learning and obedience and politeness only thing valued by society. So they turn to killer games for only outlet where they are allowed to be male, secretly. The kid in Stuttgart was a loser in terms of modern society, whose papa wanted him totake over his factory, but he was a dummy, so no chance. So he lived out his fantasy, as papa left a gun lying around. He had been to a shrink and had practiced shooting rounds in papa's basement. The gun was not locked up so he took his chance to play Rambo. Now papa will go to jail for letting a psycho alone with a weapon and ammo and lose everything. Good riddance.

If kids and everyone else learns that everything works at the push of a button, that you can't play outside as the cars are always taking all public space, that friends are always only far away by appointment or else to be reached electronically(internet, SMS, mobile phone) then you have a life of zero physcial activity, a life frozen in your mind, eating junk food and fantasizing of being a neanderthal or killer to experience normal workaday existence of a simple sort. Weird.

The automization of life has come in stages:
Telephone/Radio/TV/Internet/Mobile phones
Manufacture- major household appliances/fruniture/prepackaged foods/clothing

Each stage over the last hundred or so years has "freed" us from the slavery of work but trapped us in our minds, separated us from community, enslaved us to corporations. The human body was meant to be used. If it is not used then we exist at a limited level of consciousness, in a sort of cage. We could just as well be a disembodied brain in a glass like in a sci-fi film, eventually.

Just take making say, jam from berries you grow in your back garden or washing the dishes or clothes by hand instead of in a machine. Even simpler is the act of handwriting. Many young people can't write cursive at all and hold the pencil or pen in a cramped unnatural manner anyway. The brain gets trained, developed, by interaction with the body, like say people used to memorize poetry and now they are just flooded with tons of information and respond in forums with extremely short answers in an internet shorthand with hundreds of superficial "friends". They can do without real friends if they just have internet according to surveys. So reality as we know it has been replaced by a virtual reality for the very young. Everything demanded from then is mental in terms of schooling. Value of physical work or movement or contact with real friends is unneccessary. Life happens all upstairs in their heads. Societal Autismus in the automatic matrix thanks to hi-tech andd cheap energy. Luckily as I read in the paper over the weekend internet/computers take up 8% of global energy supplies(same as airplanes). So when the blackouts come the autists from earth will lose their frustration of being put in body straitjacket and get back to household chores and creativity in jam making or calligraphy or a bit of woodwork and stickball with local boys from the neighbourhood on empty streets. Hard work is what we need for satisfaction in life. Freedom from work is no fun if you just rot in frustration in the cage of your mind.

Your friend who has gone 100% into cash is going to get ruined big time. The dollar is on the path toward hyperinflation. Tell your friend to get his money out of cash (and any cash type assets like CDs and such). Tell him to keep only enough for 1 or 2 years of expenses tops. Unfortunately the faults of the dollar force people to invest their wealth in order to retain it rather than taking what would be the easy route of holding cash. I would recommend gold or silver as the closest thing to cash but which will not lose its value to inflation, its not like other types of property that have upkeep costs. Although there certainly are many other alternatives to invest in. Solar panels/geothermal systems/windmills are solid bets. Land and real estate is not too bad, but there is upkeep and taxes involved with that.

He was referring to Superannuation. In Australia, Super is compulsory. We have the largest amount of money invested of any country in the world. It was originally implemented to provide a buffer for retirees and to reduce the burden on the Government Pension. But it's only as good as where it's invested. And you can't withdraw it except when you retire, or under exceptional circumstances. So a person has a choice of where they can invest the money, but not wether they invest or not.

I've gone 100% cash as well. My family think I'm nuts, even though my Super is now stable, while theirs is falling like a brick.

If we get to the point where 'money' collapses, we're stuffed anyway, because most people won't have a clue what to do without money (myself included, unfortunately).

Pension plans are such a cruel hoax. Your money is taken today, that is guaranteed. But there really is no telling wether you'll get anything back later. What if you never get anything back? Wouldn't that mean that all throughout your working years you were a slave, toiling away while someone else took the fruits of your labor. Voluntary schemes are one thing, but to force everyone into a scheme... unconscionable. Woe unto the land down under :(

I'm not sure how well Australian fiat money is doing or will do, I haven't studied it much. Looks to be just about the same arrangement as we have here in the US. I wouldn't count on being able to make use of it too far into the future, like 1-5 years.

When the current fiat currencies stop being used, that is, they collapse; other forms of money will immediately take their place and there will be a chaotic transition period while businesses and people adjust to the new exchange paradigm. People will spontaneously seek out new methods of exchange, just as they have done since the first humans first traded with each other. Most likely governments will use the crisis to impose a new fiat currency even more oppressive and deceitful than the last which grants them and their cronies even more power to dominate and control. Stopping them will depend on honest people understanding the scam and speaking out. Watch a short film called "Money as Debt" (google search) if you want to learn what money is and how you're being cheated out of the wealth you've earned.

Pension plans are such a cruel hoax. Your money is taken today, that is guaranteed.

Incorrect (in Australia, at least). Here, Super payments are an additional 9% that is paid into the Super Fund of an employees choice. That is, if a employee earns Au$1000/week, their employer has to deposit (every three months) the eqivilant of AU$90/week. It isn't 'stealing your money' because without Super, you wouldn't get it anyway.

Further to this, there is the opportunity to Self Manage your own funds (not practical unless it's over several tens of thousands of dollars). You can them invest your funds exactly how you choose, including, thanks to new rules, land and housing.

Besides, we're being 'cheated out of our money' anyway. Airport expansions, roads that serve no purpose but to encourage more car use, Arts grants for things that are of interest to no one bar the artist, fact-finding trips, inquiries that 'find' the startlingly obvious, endless blame-shifting, new coal terminals, etc etc. Our Governments spend so much money on things that serve no useful purpose. What's a little more going to matter.

If an employer is willing to pay $1090 to hire you for a week then that is what you should be paid, not $1000. The same way that sales taxes cost sellers money because buyers are not able to buy as much.

So if you wanted to you could use your own funds to buy yourself a plot of land and a house that you can live on immediately? That wouldn't be as bad. I have the feeling that you actually mean that you can 'invest' in land/housing which you cannot claim ownership of until you retire.

You're right about getting cheated in many different ways.Forced retirement programs are not the only way that people are being cheated out of their money. Just one of many.

The notion that money paid by the employer on your behalf is not part of your compensation is a very popular misconception, fostered by the state to get their hands on more of YOUR money. In the US that goes for social security, medicaid, and even health insurance. Yet the company includes all of that expense in their calculations for the cost of labor, and employing you specifically, and if they weren't paying it all to the gov't they could very readily pay it to you instead.

Mood in suburb of Kansas City? My neighbor thinks things aren't so bad, most people he knows are just fine. People need to stop being so negative. Everyone needs to start buying things again, and we'd be okay... Jesus wept.

Firstly I must say, I LOVE MY GUNS.

It was not that difficult to get a 357 Magnum revolver licenced as my first gun last year. Nine very enjoyable months, once a week, at my local pistol club banging off fifty mini-orgasms in an hour. If your going to do something you need to be serious.

The club owners and therefore those who had to figure out if I was trustworthy / sane were very cautious about me for the first six months, possibly because of that old fashioned Tasmanian twinkle in my eyes that tells you what the sweetest flesh to eat is. But after several police checks they let me loose unattended with my beautiful baby and sent me off to the cop shop with a letter of approval a few months later.

Then the coppers went over my gun safe installation and house with a fine tooth comb. They desperately wanted to reject me I'm sure, but could find no reason. Relax folks, my name is not Martin Bryant and pork is not that sweet, you should be more concerned with being head butted by psychos full of booze and meth really.

My grandfather died when my father was 10 years old and dad had to feed a family of 8 with what he could get out of the bush. No surprise he bought me a rifle for my tenth birthday. We used to go hunting a lot and never came home with less than we could carry. Rabbitts, Roo, Parrot, Duck and a few other bits and pieces. Those were the days. Guns are usefull if you're hungry.

My initial motivation to revisit Guns after a 40 year break was the "remote possibility" that our social fabric might disintegrate within my lifetime, I was thinking decades ahead. Our social fabric is slowly disintegrating you know. I mentioned that to one of the range officers at my local club and he replied, "Just don't write that on your licence application". Most of the range officers are rifle owners that are active hunters as well as pistol buffs.

The way my house is securitised, I could have my guns ready to help me with section 244 of the WA criminal code in plenty of time. As to the perverse sugesstion that my dog would be better security: far too important a person to put at risk, the guns protect the dog. He is the best alarm system.

IF, and that's a big IF, we get to the stage of no food on the supermarket shelves, then matters could get real tricky, real quicky. I'll have lots of sweet meat to select from as per the Alexander Pierce Doctrine. Tasmanians keep meat fresh until the moment before consumption.

If I develop a really nasty degenerative illness, no need for a trip to Sweden for medical euthenasia, no trips to Mexico for barbituates, no slow and painful carbon monoxide in the sealed garage. Nope, BANG - all over.

Firearms and ammunition will (have) also increase(d) in value, and I'm thinking better than currency and equities in a world gone mad.

I have increased my armory with: 357 SIG semi auto pistol, 22 rimfire semi auto pistol, 22 rimfire rifle, 357 Mag lever action carbine. I'm looking at a 9mm semi auto pistol and a 12 gauge short double barell shotty at the moment. Then I want to move on to an open licence with a 270 hunting rifle and hopefully one day I can look at a Steyr Aug 5.6mm assult rifle, a 308 sniper, and a rotary mag combat shotgun on a collectors licence. Big plans for my retirement career.

I LOVE MY GUNS and as one famous Yankee said famously "From my cold dead hands".

I'm in a small country town in southern Victoria, Australia. Our economy has just taken a big hit due to the recent fires, one of which has burnt most of our adjacent national park, Wilsons Promontory. That's been on top of the downturn which we started to notice in our business about six months ago. But very few seem in the slightest bit concerned about the longer term.

I started talking about Peak Oil down here about a year ago and held a public meeting as an information session towards the end of last year. I got 25 locals along and they listened very politely. Some decide we should have a regular meeting to discuss PO and associated matters and I've had two meetings since with 10-12 attending, but they are hardly a cross-section of the community. Mostly old hippies!

I'm secretary of our local Chamber of Commerce and have attempted to talk about Peak Oil with members, particularly the two supermarket owners who are both very approachable intelligent people but nothing has come of it. I wrote to three of the local trucking companies and asked if they had any contingency plans for diesel price hikes/shortages (I was hoping they'd say they were looking at LNG fuel options) but got only one reply which was somewhat belligerent in tone ("I've been in the trucking business forty years: I know what I'm doing" sort of thing).

So basically it's BAU down here: nearly everyone thinks life will go on pretty much as it is. Even my wife thinks I'm a nutter, despite the fact that ABC Radio came down and spent a week making a documentary about me entitled "The Peakist" which goes to air on Radio National this weekend on "360" (the re-badged Radio Eye).

I've got a blog at http://southgippslandfutures.blogspot.com/ which I was hoping would become a place where locals would discuss the issues but I misunderstood the nature of the beast: lots of hits from overseas but hardly any from locals and virtually no comments.

So I think nothing will happen until the press of events is right upon us. The government is sharing the mad "let's stimulate" delusion of most world governments. Political commentary is almost all a beauty contest. I asked our local Federal member for a meeting next time he's in town because I need to know if anyone in Canberra has a clue: I've talked to him before about the issue but haven't followed up. I'm working with some clued in people on a local government committee which is working to strengthen public transport in the area. I'm also having some input into local government planning via a number of avenues. But until we reach a critical mass of people who understand the real issues (and talk about it just doesn't seem to achieve a thing), nothing much will change. And we are very vulnerable down here, with the economy largely dependent on export industry and being at the end of long diesel powered supply chains!

This is a very low crime area, with a long established local population and most newcomers being middle class or upper middle class professionals doing the Sea Change thing. Guns and Law and Order are not a topic: the crime column in the local paper is all drink-driving and chainsaws being stolen from sheds on bush blocks.

Nothing to report here, yet!

With all due respect, you Aussies should never have changed your gun laws.
You should have kept them the way they were.

Checkerboard, I suggest you look at WHY Australia changed it's gun laws. A young man struggling with his sanity was allowed to access firearms without review of his fitness to bear such arms. This resulted in the deadliest civilian massacre of the 20th century.



Except the holocaust maybe. That was a pretty large civilian massacre as well. The murders at Waco were bad too, more deaths than in the Bryant event.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the holocaust was perpetrated by a government of nazi thugs and Waco was compounded by FBI flamethrowing tanks in the midst of suicidal religious zealots. They do not constitute "civilian" in my perception.

They constitute mass murder.

If you're not familiar with the events at Waco yet, watch "Waco, Rules of Engagement". Waco is just one instance. I could list literally a hundred thousand others from the 20th century.

It is events like these that are the prime reason for personal firearms.

Also, the best defense against the freak occurance of mass shootings by a lunatic is to have responsible armed people there to stop them. If that happens very rapidly because common citizens are armed or if it takes the 5-10 minutes for the police to show up, the only difference it makes is how many people get killed. Trying to keep guns out of everyone's hands is a futile effort. Even if you wanted to put the genie back in the bottle there is no way to do it.

Read my extensive rants upthread mate.

Australia has implemented a system wherby responsible people do have access to firearms, hopefully a system that will guide those who may be a danger to themselves and others into more appropriate therapeutic endeavours.

In South Dakota the mood is a little edgy. We're not doing as poorly as other states in terms of unemployment - whatever the reason. But housing starts are way down, which in my attractive little retirement-and-growth based community is shocking. Even if it is a great relief to me. But it's idling a lot of construction workers.

A lot of people around here were nervous about Obama's election. Some aren't going to get over it but some will. I think that people are a little more willing to publicly spout hyperbole about things like the UN taking us over, even some elected officials. But this state is not known for balanced or nuanced political discourse.

Despite these indicators, most people I talk to assume that the Stimulus Package is going to Save The Economy and we'll get back to normal - for awhile. Because nobody seems willing to consider the evil C-word - Conservation.

However, something has created an opening in people's minds. A green group is starting up and it is getting support in the community. A member of the local Chamber of Commerce recently invited me to give my gloomy PO presentation to a meeting of business owners. If these people are willing to even consider my message, then they definitely have changed their position. To what I don't know, however.

I thought the price of cartridges was going up because of the rising prices of copper and all manufactured goods. I haven't tried to buy any since the election though.