There’s a statistic the police trot out here in the UK as part of the anti knife campaigns that says you’re more likely to be stabbed with the knife you’re carrying than stab someone with it. It’s been a while since I checked but what are the comparative statistics of Americans killed or wounded with their own weapons? There’s also the incidence of children killed messing about with their parents’ weapons…which is one way to stop the 456 getting your kids I suppose… I understand the cultural aspects of gun ownership in the US, but things change. A few hundred years ago we burned witches at the stake but we don’t now. It does interest me, and I really must point out I’m trying not to generalise here, but for citizens of the most powerful nation on the planet, an awful lot of Americans seem awful scared. Scared of terrorists, or home invaders, heck judging by recent events even scared of universal health care. Sometimes I even think some of you are scared us Redcoats are coming back one day As Sci points out, gun ownership doesn’t necessarily equate to a violent society (although interestingly the murder rate in Finland—the most armed European country I believe—is also the highest in Europe, though Switzerland where many citizens keep an assault rifle at home as part of National service, is equally high). There’s the notion that an armed society is a polite society…I’d point to Africa as disproving this. Every other guy has an AK but it’s ain’t a polite place. People also say that if only the kids at Columbine had had guns too, well that’s true, but one could also argue that if the loony kids hadn’t had access to guns that would have sorted things too. Given the 456 scenario, or the notion of a government turning against its own people, I’d argue that even then gun ownership isn’t going to be much help. You can fight off the first group of soldiers they send—maybe—but not the second or the third. Most dictatorial governments are brought down, not by armed civilians, but either by foreign invasion, or else by their own armed forces turning against them. Even the American revolution was less about the American citizenry than it was about our ineptitude, the fact we weren’t that bothered, and the fact that the French sided with you! To bring this back to CoE, if possible, I think what was so fantastic about it was that it generates debates like this, more so than an awful lot of television these days, and that, really, it was the ultimate Kobyashi Maru scenario (until the end which had to have us survive). In most respects the governments’ ability to resist the 456 was about as much use as the citizenry’s ability to resist the government. Little more than pissing in the wind.