America has suffered a tragic 74 tragic school shootings since the Newton massacre when 20 year old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 primary school children and 6 adult staff members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
Lanza killed both his parents before going on the shooting rampage on 14 December 2012 after which he committed suicide. America has been reeling in the wake of 74 shootings since then translating to about one school shooting a week since the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident.
US President Barack Obama said, “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.”
“Right now, it’s not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress,” said Obama on Wednesday.
“Most members of Congress – and I have to say to some degree this is bipartisan – are terrified of the NRA. The combination of, you know, the NRA and gun manufacturers are very well financed and have the capacity to move votes in local elections and congressional elections. And so if you’re running for office right now, that’s where you feel the heat.”
But conservative media lashed out at Obama’s comments with The Washington Times reporting: “a country that had outright banned and imposed a mandatory buyback on almost all long guns, including semi-automatic weapons and shotguns”.
“Let me be clear, as Obama likes to say: You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law. When the Left says that we should respond to shootings as Australia did, they don’t mean that we should institute background checks on private sales; they mean that they we should ban and confiscate guns.”
A view shared by the National Review Online that stated: “In other words, the President of the United States just praised a government for forcefully removing all semi-automatic firearms (ie. a remarkable number of the guns in America and the majority of those sold today) from its citizenry.
“No amount of wooly words can change this. Again, one doesn’t bring up countries that have confiscated firearms as a shining example unless one wishes to push the conversation toward confiscation”, continued the National Review.
The United States sees bans and gun buy-backs as much too radical and impractical but those in support of Obama’s gun control have supported his gun reforms which would include increased background checks of gun owners.
The US president said, “Australia has got gun control right,” adding that Americans “should be ashamed” at its inability to address a surge in school shootings.
He raised the fact that Australia hadn’t had a single mass shooting since the crackdown on gun violence in the wake of 1996’s Port Arthur shootings
“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts, there is no advanced developed country on Earth that would put up with this.
“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people.
“It’s not the only country that has psychosis and yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else.’’
“What’s the difference? The difference is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses,” said the US president.