After every mass shooting in the United States, the narrative plays out the same way.
Many people cry out for changes to America’s gun laws.
Many others shout that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Oh, and have you heard of the second amendment?
Listen to Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky, on why the NRA are interested in Australian politics. Post continues after audio.
Those who want gun laws say that change can make a difference. Without the guns, there would be less opportunity to kill in such large numbers. They point to another country that successfully transformed its gun legislation: Australia.
And it is that example that may be the reason powerful American gun lobby the National Rifle Association (NRA) bothered to meet with One Nation’s James Ashby and Steve Dickson – a meeting that rocked Australian politics when it was revealed by an Al Jazeera investigation this week.
In the latest footage released from the investigation, Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff James Ashby and Senate candidate Steve Dickson are shown visiting a gun shop.
“I lost all my guns,” Dickson says, referring to Australia’s buyback scheme after the Port Arthur massacre. “Mate, that was a bad time for us. It was like hell on earth.”
Later, Dickson tells senior members of the National Shooting Sports Foundation how political correctness is affecting Australia’s gun laws.
“By killing (political correctness) in our country, we’ll kill it in your country,” he says. “If I said that to the public I’d probably lose everything I ever worked for in my life, but that’s the truth.”
Australia already has its own gun lobby, and per capita it spent more than the NRA did in 2018.
But in Al Jazeera’s How To Sell A Massacre investigation, senior NRA lobbyist Brandi Graham lamented Australia’s swift and successful gun law change after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 as a constant obstruction to the group’s lobbying efforts.
Days after the Christchurch massacre, New Zealand banned assault rifles.
But in Australia, the right-wing @OneNationAus party wants to weaken gun laws with the help of the NRA.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 25, 2019