Tim Fischer, Australia’s former deputy prime minister who pushed through legislation banning all automatic and semiautomatic firearms in his country, called the United States for failing to take any common sense steps to reduce gun violence, telling Vox “There has to be some leadership” on the issue of gun control.
“The results speak for themselves,” Fischer said of gun control in Australia. “We managed to get the right legislation through, and the results speak for themselves.”
Fisher and former Prime Minister John Howard oversaw radical changes to gun laws in Australia after a 1996 massacre in Tasmania that killed 35 people. The Australian government pushed through a gun amnesty program that pushed gun owners to turn over their weapons in exchange for money.
“It was very hard work persuading people to surrender their guns, but it was the correct call,” Fischer explained. “I took the argument to the public square, and the Australian people chose to step back from laissez-faire dysfunctionality, which now exists in the USA.”
Fisher also offered a sharp critique of the National Rifle Association in the United States, expressing solidarity with Richard Ford’s description of the organization as “a domestic terrorist organization that tacitly supports the killing of children more than it supports reasoned gun legislation.”
“The NRA have blocked people on the USA’s no-fly list [from] getting gun background checks,” Fisher said. “The NRA are pushing anti-silencer legislation, not just in hunting areas but right across the USA. Enough is enough. There is a great Italian word, basta, which means enough. My message to the NRA is: Basta!”