Would you feel safer or threatened if you knew your neighbour kept guns? A lot of them. Specifically one handgun for everyone over the age of 21 in the home plus a variety of rifles and shotguns - all bought legally for "personal safety."
Guns and the topic of gun control is back in the U.S. news in the wake of the massacre of innocents in Newtown, Conn.
The thought of seven-year-old children taking multiple bullets from an assault rifle has many expecting President Barack Obama to initiate some form of gun control legislation.
Australia moved to ban assault weapons and shotguns in 1996.
At the same time it granted an illegal weapons amnesty and financed a gun buy-back program, while tightening gun licensing regulations. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there had been 13 gun massacres killing 102 people in the 18 years prior to the new gun laws. There have been none since.
Meanwhile, close to 400 people were killed by guns this summer in Chicago alone. This continuing carnage has been accepted till now in a country at peace, a country that has more guns per capita and more deaths by guns than any other in the Western world.
Gun lobbyists often argue gun regulations will make little difference to crime because there are so many guns out there and that only 60 per cent of U.S. gun sales are legal.
But consider this too: the cost of the search for non-existent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was $758 billion according to the disputed figure of the U.S. defence department. What if that money had been spent on a search for actual weapons closer to home?