FEDERAL Member for Murray Damian Drum has weighed in on the recent shooting of 17 people at a Florida high school, saying the United States must start somewhere on gun control.
More than 20 years ago under the leadership of former prime minister John Howard, tougher firearm laws were introduced in Australia, dramatically restricting the range of firearms available following the Port Arthur massacre.
‘‘We look across to America and wonder how they do not get it. Not understand that less guns means a safer environment,’’ Mr Drum said.
Recently, teenage survivors of the Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre wept in an emotional address at the White House, imploring US President Donald Trump to follow Australia’s lead.
Mr Drum said Australia had the balance right in relation to gun control laws, with those on the land able to use them when needed.
‘‘We made a tough decision and 20 years down the track we are reaping the benefits of those tough decisions,’’ he said.
‘‘America has to start somewhere, the opportunity to do it in one foul swoop (like Australia) is not likely to happen. The American situation will be very slowly worked on.’’
Mr Drum said in Australia, ‘‘we looked at media reports on gun massacres in numbers’’.
He said it was wrong to do that.
‘‘It’s easy to talk about it in numbers, but every one of those represents an entire family ripped apart, an entire social network ripped apart,’’ he said.
‘‘There was an enormous number of lives lost but a huge number of others have been destroyed.’’