Australia’s prime minister said the country’s fierce gun control laws — enacted after a devastating mass shooting within the Nineties — has led to significantly “less tragedy” in comparison with the continuing spate of gun violence in America.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made the comments in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday when asked what it was prefer to view the U.S. epidemic of gun violence through an outdoor lens. President Joe Biden and lawmakers nationwide have struggled to curb the spate of mass shootings after the recent attacks, including the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and the racially motivated shooting that left 10 dead at a Buffalo supermarket.
“Every one among these tragedies is heartbreaking, and each one among these tragedies keeps reinforcing, as an outsider, the fortunate position Australia’s in of getting these strong gun controls,” Albanese said.
(The U.S. enacted a recent firearm bill in June, nevertheless it fell far wanting the sweeping gun control proposals pushed by some Democrats.)
Australia has only had three mass shootings since a massacre in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996. During that event, a gunman killed 35 people and wounded 28 others with a semi-automatic weapon he bought from an ad within the newspaper. Twenty of those people were killed in only a minute and 15 seconds.
The country responded with dramatic, bipartisan gun reform, introducing a gun buyback scheme that saw 700,000 guns faraway from the community and destroyed. Latest laws imposed severe limits on legal ownership of firearms and the country now has a everlasting gun amnesty program for unregistered weapons.
“I knew that I had to make use of the authority of my office to curb the possession and use of the style of weapons that killed 35 innocent people,” then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard said of the choice in a 2013 op-ed for the Latest York Times. “I also knew it wouldn’t be easy.”
Compared, America has seen 385 mass shootings to date in 2022, in line with the Gun Violence Archive.
Albanese went on to say that for Australians, fewer guns has led to dramatic drops in gun crime and a rise in public safety.
“I’d just say that folks should have a look at our experience,” the prime minister said. “It’s as much as the USA as a sovereign nation what direction it takes, in fact. But the reality is, that Australia’s experience shows that less guns, particularly less automatic weapons, the less crime occurs and the less tragedy occurs.”