Politicians Totally Miss Points Of Gun Control, #Illridewithyou

Speaking with The ABC’s AM radio program this morning, cross-bench Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has labelled Australia a “nation of victims” who would’ve been better equipped to defend themselves during this week’s Martin Place siege were we able to conceal lethal weapons. 
But first, a primer. Leyonhjelm is a senator we’ve previously likened to #auspol’s closest possible proxy to Ron Swanson for his noted Libertarian stance which favours a laissez-faire, absolute minimum approach to government intervention in the lives of its citizens, is anti-tax, staunchly in favour of marriage equality. He also left the Liberal Party in 1996 after John Howard implemented his legacy gun control laws in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre.

Said Leyonhjelm on radio this morning:
“What happened in that cafe would have been most unlikely to have occurred in Florida, Texas, or Vermont, or Alaska in America, or perhaps even Switzerland as well. Statistically speaking one or two of the victims [would have carried a gun]. That nutcase who held them all hostage wouldn’t have known they were armed and bad guys don’t like to be shot back at. It would have been illegal for them to have had a knife, a stick, a pepper spray, a personal taser, mace, anything like that for self-defence.

I regard that [as] an absolute travesty. To turn an entire population into a nation of victims is just unforgivable in my estimation.”

Leyonhjelm’s comments follow on from confusion yesterday stemming from Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments regarding the hostage taker’s possession of a gun license. The AFP yesterday provided a brief to Abbott regarding the existence of a registered firearms licence belonging to the siege hostage taker.

They’ve since confirmed that the gunman was not a registered firearms licence holder and that there is no record of his ever having held a licence.

John Howard has also this morning spoken out in response to Leyonhjelm’s comments, telling The ABC’s The World Today “It’s just an exercise in logic to understand that the more guns there are in the community, the greater the likelihood of mass murder.” 
“I’m convinced from applying common sense and also from the experience of other countries, sadly the United States is the most prominent example, the more guns there are in circulation, the greater likelihood there is that they’re going to be used to kill people because you can never guarantee that a seemingly sane, calm person who’s got a license to hold a weapon can then, not at some time in the future, go berserk and use it… 

We are all shocked and saddened by the terrible events of a few days ago but it’s very important in the wake of that terrible event for us to keep calm and understand what the right responses are but to also understand what the wrong responses would be and I don’t think a right response is to make guns more freely available in the community.”
You can read and listen to Howard’s remarks in full here.

In related news, while US President Barack Obama has today used a phone call with Prime Minister Abbott to praise “Australia’s rejection of any violence taken in the name of religion and the fear this violence seeks to stoke” through the “public’s embrace of #Illridewithyou and the Muslim leaders who have disavowed the actions of the hostage taker,” Queensland backbencher George Christensen last night issued a series of increasingly insensitive missives that would set the tone of much of the day’s ensuring discourse [batshit insane]: 

Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty