Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend was interviewed on New York-based hip-hop/talk radio show The Breakfast Club when he pointed to Australia as a shining example of gun control.
“You travel a lot,” host DJ Envy said to Legend in the interview. “You’ve been to Toronto, you’ve been to Japan, and you notice when you go to a lot of these countries, people are not allowed to have guns.”
Legend inserted: “Yes, and their murder rates are way lower. Their suicide rates are lower, too, because when people have guns, they end up using them.”
“So banning guns in full, you’re saying?” the radio host asked.
Legend then pointed to Australia:
I’m not saying that necessarily would work. But if we look at Australia, they did something over there. They had a few mass shootings, and they said, “You know what? We’re going to take a pretty significant approach to reducing the amount of guns on the streets.” And it worked. They didn’t have another mass shooting, their murder rate went down, and we won’t do it here because we got the Second Amendment. We got the NRA that’s going to lobby against it. And maybe it won’t be constitutional to do that, but at the end of the day, it actually worked. And if we want to talk about what makes us safer, that would make us safer.
Australia confiscated as many as a million firearms in 1996 and 1997. But they didn’t call it that. It was a national gun buyback program. And it was mandatory.
While Legend’s intentions may be good, what he may not know is that Australia is again in the midst of a gun control debate amid shootings and other crimes involving firearms. Not only has Melbourne, Australia had to deal with more than one shooting on average since January of 2015, but according to The Age, “Crimes associated with firearm possession have also more than doubled, driven by the easy availability of handguns, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and, increasingly, machine guns, that are smuggled into the country or stolen from licensed owners.”
If people are determined to be violent, they’re going to be violent, and they’ll use whatever weapon they can get their hands on. Confiscating everyone’s guns isn’t going to do anything.
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