Obama cites Australia’s gun confiscation program as example for US


The Obama administration could also be trying for an example in Australia as the White House considers potential new firearm legal guidelines for the United States within the wake of the newest in a sequence of devastating college shootings.

US President Barack Obama cited gun guidelines in America’s down underneath ally throughout remarks that have been broadcast on the internet Tuesday afternoon solely hours after a gunman entered a highschool close to Portland, Oregon and opened hearth, killing a pupil.

“My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage. We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this,” the president mentioned.

“A couple of decades ago Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown, and Australia just said, ‘Well, that’s it. We’re not doing — we’re not seeing that again,’ and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since. I mean, our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no other advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this,” Obama added.

The president was doubtless referring to a 1996 rampage close to the Port Arthur jail colony in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia by which Martin Bryant, 28, killed 35 individuals and wounded 23 others throughout an hours-long capturing spree. Upon the overwhelming assist of the Australia inhabitants, the 1996 National Firearms Agreement was handed quickly after, in flip outlawing long-barreled semi-automatic weapons and establishing a 28-day wait interval for firearm purchases. The authorities additionally started an enormous obligatory buyback program that’s reported to have reduce in half the variety of gun-owning households.

Upwards of 95 % of Australians polled after the Port Arthur bloodbath mentioned they favored extra stringent gun legal guidelines like these, and mass shootings haven’t occurred within the continent within the almost 20 years since.

“Overall, the firearms homicide and firearms suicide rates had been trending steadily downwards through the 1980s and early 1990s, but the fall accelerated after the buyback. Analyzing variations in the amount of guns turned in for buyback between states, we again found the same result: in states where more firearms were bought back, there was a bigger drop in gun deaths,” Andrew Leigh, the assistant treasury spokesperson for the Labor Opposition in Australia, wrote in an op-ed for Time journal revealed earlier this month—forward of Tuesday’s capturing in Troutdale, Oregon. “In the decade and a half since the Australian gun buyback, the number of firearms per person has stayed constant, and gun deaths have remained thankfully low.”

If a buyback program and the introduction of recent legal guidelines have been thought of within the US, the identical have an effect on seen in Australia would imply that as many as 40 million firearms can be taken away. Nevertheless, public assist within the states is much from what was evident in post-Port Arthur bloodbath Australia. After two-dozen individuals have been left useless in late 2012 when a mass capturing occurred at a highschool in Newtown, Connecticut, solely 52 % of Americans surveyed by the Washington Post and ABC News mentioned they favored stringent new gun legal guidelines. A 12 months later, these wanting reform have been as soon as once more within the minority.

On Tuesday, White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest instructed reporters that “The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer.” The administration says hurtles, nevertheless, have been the results of lawmakers who need little to nothing to do with the White House’s efforts.

“We’re always looking for those opportunities,” Earnest added. “But none of those opportunities when they present themselves is going to be an acceptable substitute for robust legislative action.”

“If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change,” Pres. Obama mentioned throughout Tuesday’s question-and-answer session hosted by the web site Tumblr. “We don’t have enough tools right now to make as big a dent as we need to.”

“The question I think really facing lawmakers right now is what common sense steps can Democrats and Republicans take to reduce the likelihood of gun violence,” added Earnest. “And there are some, and they have unfortunately been bottled up in Congress and that is a disappointment to the president. But that’s not going to stop the president from continuing to push for administrative steps that we can take to help reduce gun violence.”