Upping the ante on the gun control issue, President Obama used the shooting at a High School in Oregon to advocate for stricter gun control, saying he admired steps taken in Australia where they banned all firearms.
During the shooting, which occurred on the last day of school at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, the shooter killed a student and injured a teacher before killing himself.
Following the shooting, Obama called for more gun control, saying he wanted to have a law where a person could not go to a gun store and buy a semi-automatic rifle without having to “go through a fairly rigorous process so we know who you are, so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon.”
However, just as the president frequently claims he is not aware of what is happening in his administration until he hears about it in the news, he likewise appears ignorant of existing gun laws. Under existing federal legislation anyone wishing to buy a firearm from a store must undergo a background check. Yet the president suggests that people are unable to buy guns without any check at all.
Then, while speaking to users of Tumblr, the president went on to reveal what he would ultimately like to accomplish in the gun control debate.
“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”
“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country that would put up with this.”
Obama is referring to what occurred following a mass shooting in Port Arthur in 1996 which killed 35 people and wounded 23 others. Following the shooting, the Australian government embarked on a massive gun confiscation following the ban of all semi-automatic rifles as well as all semi-automatic and pump action shotguns.
Charles Cooke, writing for the National Review, noted that the president’s statements were carefully chosen and says they were plainly an attempt to move the gun control issue towards confiscation.
“You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun-laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law,” Cooke said. “One doesn’t bring up countries that have confiscated firearms as a shining example unless one wishes to push the conversation toward confiscation.”