Why Australia's Gun Ban Wouldn't Work in the US, According to Australians


In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, many point to Australia's outlawing of guns as a policy that the U.S. should emulate — but not all Australians agree.

Australia placed a complete ban on guns in 1996 after a mass shooting known as the Port Arthur Massacre that left 35 people dead and 18 wounded (Orlando saw 50 people killed, including the shooter, and 53 injured). The vote to outlaw the sale and ownership of the weapons was unanimous among both political parties. 


In a Reddit thread that asked Australians who were around in 1996 to share their experience with what was then a new law, some Aussies pointed out several differences between the U.S. and Australia that they said make it more difficult for the U.S. to accomplish a complete ban on guns than it was in Australia.

User Smileedude thinks there's not as much of a need for guns in Australia:

We have much less crime, violent robberies are almost unheard of.

Australian culture also doesn't identify with guns like people in the U.S. do, user AbandoningAll believes:

Australia never had a strong culture of gun ownership outside of farmers or hunters.

Reddit user Limberine added that they think Australia doesn't have nearly as many large and dangerous animals as the U.S. does, so Australian hunters didn't have a strong enough argument to prevent outlawing guns:

The truth is that we just don't have the large dangerous carnivores that some countries have.
I wouldn't want to be in close quarters with an angry kangaroo but avoiding getting into close quarters with an angry kangaroo is pretty easy and you don't need the sort of stopping power you would need if you were facing a black or grizzly bear or a cougar or a pack of wolves.

One user compared the U.S. gun control situation to a scrambled egg:

Gun control is like a scrambled egg. I'm glad our egg never got scrambled and we don't have a situation like the U.S., however I am really unsure if the U.S. can ever unscramble the gun egg.

Piggybacking on some points in the thread, one user suggested the U.S. find a solution "in the middle." But another user offered an explanation to why it's impossible to negotiate a solution on gun laws in the U.S.:

"The problem here in the U.S. is that there is no middle. I spent all afternoon on Wednesday talking to a gun owner and He was convinced that if the AR-15 and guns like that are made illegal that every criminal here will get a hold of one and everyone will be defenseless. His answer is everyone should carry a gun."
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Many Australians said that when they hear about tragic mass shootings in the U.S. they take comfort in knowing massacres like that likely won't happen in their country.

It's nice knowing only the cops and farmers have guns. It'd be an awful thought knowing every dickhead on the block has a handgun, and considering most Aussies are morons it'd get ugly pretty fast.

User Ecl1pse is thankful for Australia's stringent gun law:

If they changed the laws here and made it like the U.S., I'd feel super unsafe.
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