Speed Reads

Gun Laws

Australia's conservative prime minister just posted a video bragging about his country's strict gun laws

Advocates of stricter gun regulations in the U.S. frequently point to Australia, which reacted the the mass murder of 35 people in 1996 by banning all automatic and semiautomatic firearms, buying back guns, and requiring those firearms that remained to be registered and stored safely. Tim Fischer, the conservative former deputy prime minister who pushed through the law with Prime Minister John Howard, told Vox on Thursday that "it was very hard work persuading people to surrender their guns," but he made his case publicly, "the Australian people chose to step back from laissez-faire dysfunctionality, which now exists in the USA," and "the results speak for themselves."

Early Friday, conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull posted a video touting his government's efforts to bolster Howard and Fischer's gun legacy, noting that since he took office, the gun amnesty has taken 51,000 guns "off the streets" and "out of harm's way, so they can't be used in a crime."

Turnbull — who got off to a famously rocky start with President Trump — did not mention America or tag Trump, but he did share his video on Trump's favorite social medium, five days after a gunman shot dead at least 58 people in Las Vegas. Trump — whom the NRA spent more than $30 million to help elect — has shrugged off talk of new gun regulations in the wake of Sunday's deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Since 1996, Australia has had zero mass shootings, defined as more than four people shot dead.