Guns and Gear

Australia’s Foreign Minister Gives US Suggestions For Gun Control In Wake Of Las Vegas Shooting

REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
Font Size:

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop offered to give advice to the U.S. about her country’s gun control effort following the 1996 massacre in Port Arthur, USA Today reports.

“I have no doubt that a debate will be raised again about United States gun laws,” Bishop told the “Sunrise” morning show during an interview on Australia’s Seven Network. “Each state has different laws. What Australia can do is share our experience after the mass killing in Port Arthur back in the late 1990s when 35 people were killed by a lone gunman.”

“You will recall that (then-prime minister) John Howard then introduced national gun laws which banned automatic and semi-automatic weapons and included a national buyback scheme,” she said. (RELATED: Five Huge Unanswered Questions About The Las Vegas Shooting)

Bishop added, “So we have had this experience. We acted with a legislative response, and it will be up to U.S. lawmakers and legislators to deal with this issue.”

Sunday evening’s Las Vegas shooting was the deadliest in U.S. history. (RELATED: Key Republicans Now Willing To Outlaw ‘Bump Stock’ Used By Vegas Shooter)

Australian-born author Nick Adams countered Bishop’s assertion, telling Fox News Channel’s Brian Kilmeade Wednesday morning, “Look, there was a suite of measures that was introduced, Brian, reducing gun ownership, banning firearms, onerous regulations, but none of it has really made Australia a safer society.”

He explained, “If you have a look at our murder rate, like the U.S., Australia’s murder rate has dropped, but Australia’s already low murder rate dropped from 1.6 for 100,000 people in the mid ’90s, when this came in, to 1.1 in 100,000 in 2012. That’s a drop of 31 percent. In context that’s a drop from just over 300 murders a year to around 235. Over the same time frame, though, the murder rate in the U.S. dropped a whopping 49 percent, and that despite a massive increase in guns in the U.S. over that same time frame.”

“And you know the one thing that everyone wants to talk about when it comes to Australia, the reason why it’s hailed is this idea about massacres, that there have been no mass shootings in Australia. Well, that is a lie.”

He added, “The reality is that there have been 13 massacres, both with guns and other methods over the last … 21 years that this has been in place.”

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a leading advocate of gun control in Washington since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, told The Daily Caller Wednesday. “I’m not familiar with all of the Australian laws. We’ve proposed a very commonsense set of measures — background checks, a ban on assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and today, a ban on sales of bump stocks that I think are very distinctly suited to America.”

When asked if he would support a national mandatory buyback program on firearms like the one imposed on Australians in the 90’s he replied, “I would really have to see the specifics of a proposal. I can’t comment in the abstract.”

Follow Kerry on Twitter