You know what the percentage of gun owners in Australia is? It's about 5%
I know they're available but mostly what would be on the shelves would be rifles and shotguns, things suitable for hunting the selection of animals that our citizens are allowed to hunt.
As far as I'm aware we don't really have a large selection of handguns available and even if we did I think you'd have to really proved that you were in a profession where you needed it in order to get licensed and be allowed to purchase it.
If somebody asked you 'Why do you want to buy this gun?' and you said 'Self-defence' they'd blink at you and say 'You're shitting me right? Who are you? Bloody John Connor?' and they'd carefully jot your name down on the Whackos List because you're obviously paranoid and delusional and think that someone is hunting you down. Nutbar.
As a country we haven't needed guns much in our day to day.
Apart from hunting and our early adventures in genocide we haven't had to protect ourselves against many aggressors, haven't thrown off our colonial overlords (ie, the British) and as a result there are some mind-sets we just haven't developed.
A lot of self-defence/home-defence examples given when describing personal use of guns in the USA is in relation to home invasion and the like.
I don't know if America is just riddled with crime but honestly the idea of someone breaking into your house or threatening you on the street and you saving the day with your gun...
Well, in Australia it's just not something we think about that much.
Obviously home invasions occur but they're not regarded as that common outside of bad neighbourhoods, are seen as freak occurrences and don't often end in death.
Possibly because we don't have guns to point at each other, I don't know.
Articles like this one make for interesting thinking about how guns are the new 'speak softly and carry a big stick' and what that can mean for good and bad.
I had a bit of a google around to see if there were any gun ranges in Victoria that I could visit to have a proper go at shooting and see a few guns and therefore have at least some experience with which to back up the comments I've been making.
I know that at the moment my inexperience may cause some of my observations to come across as naive and possibly a little insulting to some people.
Heck I may even be wrong about the types of guns available and legal for purchase in my own country, I simply don't have the information yet.
In any case, the only ranges I could find were for sport shooting, either Olympic style pistols or clay pigeon ranges.
No easily found gun shops with ranges and no gun shops that seemed to be offering hand guns at all.
I'm curious, I would like to know more but I think I might have to leave the country to get any kind of hands on experience.
Assuming foreign nationals are allowed to handle firearms in firearm friendly countries.
I don't know that either!