The struggle for defence is all too real.

BARTHOLEMEW William Barclay Masterson was known for his exploits in the 19th and early 20th-century American Old West.

Multi-skilled, he was also a US. Army scout, lawman and professional gambler.

Mid last century his alter-ego Bat starred in a TV series with trademark cane and business card, “Have gun, will travel”.

A pelvic wound in a gunfight necessitated the cane, which in Australia might prompt DVA to ask, “But was it service related?”

He certainly couldn’t advertise a gun for hire, as some Australians have discovered at great personal cost.

Nor would he be able to travel with one in his luggage, when airport security takes a dim view of small pocketknives, nail clippers and knitting needles.

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The struggle for defence is all too real | Australian Defence History, Policy and Veterans Issues (

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