SJB Gilmour Writes

…and rants and ruminates…

Month: December, 2012


Ever a hot topic, guns.  So many opinions and arguments for and against their availability and use.  So much fuss in political arenas.  Regardless of one’s opinions; whether you’re pro or anti, one fact cannot be argued: so many injuries and deaths that could have been avoided or prevented had guns not been in the hands of those who used them improperly.

Now, I consider myself and my family among the lucky ones.  We live in a country where guns are harder to get than say, in America.  Also, shooting deaths and injuries here are relatively low compared to that country.   But, they are obtainable.  Kids as young as twelve can obtain a licence to use a gun for hunting.  Right now there’s a kerfuffle about New South Wales National Parks being opened up to hunters — something I personally find abhorrent — but I digress.  There’ll always be a kerfuffle about guns.  Until we no longer have a need for them.

Interesting word that: “need”.  I may feel I need a gun, but let’s define that.  Why do I need a gun?  Do I need it to protect myself and or my family?  Do live in a country where the right to bear arms is an issue and feel I need a gun to exorcise my right to bear arms?

NO, I do not and would not need a gun in any of those instances.  If I need to protect my family, I should contact the police.  They have guns, and are trained and protected and required by law to use them when necessary, and their “when necessary”, I guarantee you, is a helluva lot different from mine.  If I want to protect a right I have as a citizen of a country, I should vote in favour of it.  I don’t need a gun.  I may want one, but I sure as hell don’t need one.

It seems like a lifetime ago, but in my early twenties, I was a member of The Royal Australian Navy.  I was trained to use,  and did use guns.  I was a fairly good shot, actually.  So much so that at one point during my training, I was offered the chance to do further, advanced training to obtain a marksman’s certificate.  I declined.  I just wasn’t interested.  I can’t remember why.  What I do remember was a conversation with the crusty old Chief Petty Officer who suggested I go for my marksman’s ticket.

He asked if I wanted a gun.  I replied that I didn’t.  He pressed (and I’m paraphrasing here — it was a long time ago) ‘Not even to protect your family?’

Again, I said no.

Then I asked him why he asked me that, and he replied, and this bit I do remember very clearly, ‘Anyone who thinks they need a gun is exactly the kind of person who shouldn’t have one.  We don’t want that kind of mentality in our marksmen.’

I didn’t think much more about it then, or indeed for decades.  But now I remember it and now, it makes sense to me.  I can’t do anything about the gun issue in America, and it’s pointless me even getting involved.  I can do something about the issue of guns here in Australia.  Let’s go back to the current storm about hunting.

I call “bullshit!” on the right and or need to hunt game in Australia’s National Parks.  If you want to eat duck and don’t have them paddling about on your own property, go to your poultry butcher and buy one.  It’s cleaner, safer and cheaper than buying a gun and using it to hunt your fowl.  If you want to practice hitting a target with something, and that something has to be some sort of projectile, play golf.  If you really must use guns, join the military if they’ll have you.

I call “bullshit!” on the decision to allow private and or recreational shooters into National Parks, regardless of their targets.  If the government wants to control feral animals, then it should employ the Park Rangers solely to use firearms in our parks and reserves.

There.  That’s my two cents on guns in Australia.





Starting My New Year’s Resolution Early

We’ve all got them.  The plans we make to do during the coming year.  Lose weight. Give up this vice or that. Finish that book…

Well mine will be to spend more time with the kids, and to write more.  This pas year I’ve put out three novels and three shorts.  I see no reason I can’t do that again.

I’m also going to get fitter.  Over the last two months, I’ve lost 6 kg’s and managed to increase my exercise – apart from riding my bike, which I do a lot anyway – when it comes to  sit-ups,  push-ups, curls, dips and other exercises.  I’ve got to keep that going and increase it.

With the day-job and writing and kid-time, that means I’ll have to cut out social media time.  I’ve already experimented with that and it’s worked.  I’ve proven to myself that I can do it.  Now I need to do it some more and keep on doing it.

Twitter, FB, G+ – they’re all getting some serious limits.  Twitter – I’m only following writerly folk who follow me, and then only if they actually tweet interesting things instead of just “buy my book!” tweets.  FB’s  getting 10 minutes a day unless I’m involved in a blog tour.  G+ will be used purely as a re-posting board for tweets and FB posts.

So, if you’re following me on Twitter, and suddenly find I’m not following you back any more, you know why.  If you think I’m ignoring you on G+, I am unless you actually engage me in a conversation.  Same goes for FB; you’ll need to engage me if you want my attention, otherwise I’ll mostly just be in and out every now and then and that’s it.




I Reject You

I reject you.

I reject your paranoia and grandiose sense of entitlement.

Are you a policeman on duty?  Are you security guard?  Are you in a war zone?

Are you a hunter-gatherer?  Is hunting game the only way you can feed yourself and your family?

No.  You are a civilian and you live in a civilised society.  You do not need to carry a gun.


I reject you.

I reject the way you cling to an idea that was necessary centuries ago but no longer holds true.

Your ancestors were not under threat from bandits with high-powered and semi-automatic and automatic weapons.

Your ancestors did not have such a vigilant and fast-responding police force to serve and protect them as you do.

Yet you feel you need these weapons.


I reject you.

I reject your claim that you need guns to protect yourself and your children.

Your children at school or kindergarten do not carry weapons.  They cannot carry weapons.

How are they to protect themselves?  How are you, when your guns are at home, accessible by any who would use them for evil?

Your claim of responsible ownership is invalid.


I reject you.

I reject your use of statistics about attacks involving non-ballistic weapons as an excuse to own guns.

“Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.”  True.  But, goldfish do not kill people; people kill people.

There is no article in any law regarding your right to own a goldfish.

If your argument is that the user, not the device, should be blamed, then you are to be blamed.  You.


I reject you and your right to bear arms.

I pity you, living in a society where some of your fellows think as you do.

I fear you and your casual acceptance of violence.

I loathe you for allowing the proliferation of guns.

I respect your right to speak and think as a free person, but I do not accept that you or anyone can always do so without consequence.  Stand up against gun-control and tragedy will occur again and again.


I do not weep for you and your perceived loss of any rights.

You are free.

You are free to leave the land in which you live for any number of other countries where, like my own, guns are legal, but harder for dangerous individuals to acquire.

I weep for those slain by those with guns who should not have them, but I do not weep for you.

I reject you.  I reject you.

I reject you.  I reject you.


The Great IAP Giveaway!

Check it out!

Nobel Winner Defends Censorship. WTF???

It’s a good thing Voltaire wasn’t a communist Chinese.  Just saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” to Mo Yan would be enough for him to have received the same fate as Liu Xiaobo.

Censorship is wrong.  It baffles the reader, frustrates the writer and threatens the freedom of all.




KW McCabe ( is organising The Great Indie Authors Project Giveaway! If you’re a writer and want in, get in touch. If you’re a reader, Put Dec 10-30 in your diary as days to watch for some great giveaways from really talented authors!


Want A Good Anti-Depressant? Try Fan Mail

So this morning I got to work feeling like crap.  I had no reason for it.  I’d had a good night’s sleep.  My calorie count from the day before was under my target (yes, I’m actually counting calories!) and I knew I had a relatively free day for me to write.  See, that’s the thing with being bi-polar.  It defies logic.  It’s an imbalance of chemicals in my brain that sometimes makes me see the world in dull black and white, saps my energy makes me feel just rotten.  There’s no upside.  I feel  so down it actually hurts.

Other times, I’m on top of the world.  Unstoppable.  You know Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen?  Well multiply that by a thousand and that’s how good I feel when I’m on a high.  Today, I wasn’t on a high.  Until I saw this in my inbox, that is:


I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that I enjoyed Book 1 & 2 of the Sarah Coppernick series.  I was dismayed when I reached the end and Book 3 wasn’t  available yet.  As I searched the Internet, I found one quote of you saying Book 3, The Armies of Nine, should be ready by Christmas.  Is this true?  If so, what a wonderful present I’ll getting myself!

Bravo!  The books are excellent and I will be lending them to my 12 year old daughter as soon as her book list from school is completed.  I even used the word “chocking” on a few occasions which caused a few raised eyebrows.  It cracked me up when I read the pages that Isaac had a meltdown in and he couldn’t swear. Nicely done Sir!

Continue with your craft.  You do it well. “

(name withheld)


Now, let me tell you, my headspace is most definitely in a good place!