US President Barack Obama highlighted Australia’s tough gun laws in an impassioned speech from the White House (video above) following America’s latest mass shooting tragedy.
As many as 10 people were killed (revised down from an earlier report of 13) and 20 wounded when a man said to be in his 20s went on a shooting spree at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday. The shooter was reportedly shot dead by police.
A sullen and desperate President Obama took to the White House podium in the hours following the incident to plea with his nation to act on gun control, sighting Australia as an example.
“Somehow this has become routine,” Obama said.
“The reporting is routine, my response here at this podium ends up being routine.
“The conversation in the aftermath of it; we’ve become numb to this.
“We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg; after Tucson, after Newtown; after Aurora, after Charleston.””
He noted that the US was the only advanced nation where these types of mass shootings are a regular occurrence and that stricter gun ownership laws, like those in countries most closely aligned to the US, are required.
“We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have managed to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings – friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours.
“So we know there are ways to prevent it.”
He bitterly rebuked the position of America’s pro-gun lobbyists, such as those from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), that broader gun ownership would allow citizens to better protect themselves in the face of mass-shootings. States with the toughest gun laws tend to have fewer gun deaths, he noted.
“There is a gun for roughly every man woman and child in America, so how can you with a straight face make the argument that more guns will make us safer”, he said
Obama also highlighted Australia’s gun laws as an example of a successful approach to reducing gun violence, in a candid interview with WTF podcaster Marc Maron in June.