Was pondering this with a fellow club member on the weekend while at the range.
I can understand in the US and more 'gun-friendly' societies there is family tradition, national custom and a natural drive for self defence to help provide some explanation. But doesn't it possibly go deeper than just that?
When I first fired that lil .410 shottie way back when I was 17 while up the country, it was instant
obsession, I'm not exagerrating. From that moment I wanted a gun bad...started plotting how to obtain a replica (as you could do back then under 18 with no licence required) until my parents very firmly said NYET! So I suppressed the urge...the 1996 laws came in...20+ years went by....
Last weekend, we were discussing how we all came to fall into this weird (to the vast majority of Aussies) enthusiasm...and why it hits so hard when you do catch it. I feel it's kind of like a contagion, that you are inherently disposed to the disease in the first place, but need that first exposure for it to become active
Otherwise, why does it descend upon certain people with no prior experience or exposure to firearms, who most likely have never ever seen one, except on TV/movies?? Very often no one we know has ever handled a gun, and the society around us is largely either indifferent or downright antagonistic towards the idea...so only the most afflicted prevail
It's an intriguing mystery I can only put down to something somehow weirdly biological/neurological that gets triggered (no pun intended lol)
So there you go, my theory: Gun lust as beneficial pathology