The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been tweeting since the Oregon Gun Massacre, arguing against not even one change in America’s gun laws, and offering no solutions to stem gun violence, according to Think Progress yesterday. President Barack Obama made a statement on the day of the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, on Oct. 1, 2015. The statement and remarks he delivered that day caused heads to explode at the NRA and the The Washington Times, which wrote just this week, “Obama is finally out in open as an advocate not of gun control, but of eliminating guns in the hands of the people.” That is in response to Obama’s statement, “We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia . . .”
Australia is now code for “hell no, we don’t want gun control.” In fact, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is in the business of selling guns, representing gun manufacturers in its lobbying effort. The NRA takes advantage of every opportunity to promote the purchase of guns and more often than not uses ‘fear-mongering’ tactics to do so. One of those ‘fear-mongering’ tactics that the powerful gun lobby uses is promote a narrative about the “Australian-style gun control” and how President Barack Obama wants to impose it on the American people, going as far to claim that the Australian law, the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) passed in 1996, doesn’t work.
It does work.
Obama described the failure to enact gun control legislation as the “biggest frustration” of his presidency. The president added, “A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting… And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not seeing that again. And basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws.”
Vox.com said on describing the events leading up to the NFA, wrote that on “April 28, 1996, a 28-year-old man with a troubled past named Martin Bryant walked into a cafe in Port Arthur, a tourist town on the island of Tasmania, and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle. He killed 35 people and wounded another 28.” Australia’s prime minister at the time, John Howard, had taken office just six weeks earlier and took quick and decisive action passing the NFA.
Since that time, gun violence in Australia has been significantly reduced and there has not been one mass shooting there since.
The NRA claims that Obama shares “misleading and inaccurate comments regarding current U.S. gun regulations.” The NRA adds, “But the idea that, for example, we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you’re going to buy a weapon you have to actually go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are, so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semiautomatic weapon – it makes no sense.”
In arguing against the law, the NRA-IL used a block quote from Foreign Affairs in making an argument against “Australia,” implying it is too high a price to pay to save 33,000 lives per year:
The National Agreement on Firearms all but prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, stiffened licensing and ownership rules, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took some 650,000 assault weapons (about one-sixth of the national stock) out of public circulation. Among other things, the law also required licensees to demonstrate a “genuine need” for a particular type of gun and take a firearm safety course. After another high-profile shooting in Melbourne in 2002, Australia’s handgun laws were tightened as well.
However, the NRA left out this little tidbit from the very same article, in fact the next paragraph of the “Australia” section. The reasons for the omission obvious upon reading:
Many analysts say these measures have been highly effective, citing declining gun-death rates, and the fact that there have been no gun-related mass killings in Australia since 1996. Many also suggest the policy response in the wake of Port Arthur could serve as a model for the United States.
Yes indeed. It works.