i find it fascinating how australia and the US have such different views on guns, as both countries share many of the same cultural values. i never claimed to be enlightened; i said that i think australian gun laws are reasonable.
oberon - self defense is legal in australia, but there is a reasonable/proportionate criteria.
you just can't cite self defense as being a reason to own a firearm. if you really wanted one for self defense you could go join a firearms sporting club and cite that as a reason. would take a bit more time/effort, but i don't see that as being necessarily a bad thing - kind of like a cooling off period. would also mean you're forced to associate with people who presumably already know how to use them safely etc.
i see most americans justify having a gun at home on the grounds of protecting one's family rather than defending oneself from the government.
are people honestly that afraid of home invasion? this isn't me being provocative - it's a genuine question.