Recently there have been a couple of comments (on other blogs) regarding the censorship issue in Australia along the lines of "Well they let their guns be taken away ...".
This post isn't directed at anyone specifically but this comment has been rattling around in my brain for a couple of days now so I thought I might give it some air time.
The initial gun "buy-back" (read "confiscation") happened in 1997 after the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy (and other multi-victim gun murders that year).
At the time I had only recently been introduced to firearms (shooting shotgun and rifles with my husband) and although I was angry that the "we have to do something" mantra took precedence over any rational thought I didn't seriously consider not complying.
Sure, we attended the rallies, signed the petitions etc etc but when "push came to shove" we handed our guns in.
At the time of Port Arthur, gun legislation varied dramatically across Australia. Western Australia (where I live) had very strict legislation, Queensland (on the other side of the country) had (AFAIK) none. Therefore, pretty much anyone who owned a firearm in WA had it registered already. It is much easier to prosecute those you know about then those you don't, unfortunately.
The alternative to not handing the guns in would have been prison.
It is possible that we will (in the next couple of years or so) see even more stringent legislation passed (since the 1997 legislation there has been other legislation restricting barrel length & magazine capacity - which I wasn't affected by so I'm not too clear on the details).
I am now asking myself, if additional legislation was passed which meant that I could no longer keep any of my guns what would I do?
Given that I have two young daughters, would I be willing to risk going to jail over keeping my guns? If I did not hand them in willingly I would be arrested, jailed and have the guns confiscated anyway. Not sure I would be willing to do that to my girls.
However, the idea of not having any guns due to government legislation frightens me.
Would I participate in an armed uprising to protect these rights? At this stage, I'm not sure I can answer that question.
What about you? How much does owing a gun mean to you?