The U.S. is again reeling in the wake of another school shooting, with at least 13 people killed after a gunman opened fire at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.
Addressing media today, U.S. President Barack Obama said the American people had become "numb" to such violence, pushing the case for gun law reform and praising gun control legislation in Australia and Great Britain.
“We know that other countries in response to one mass shooting have managed to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours," he said.
“So we know there are ways to prevent it.”
Australia's gun control laws are often mentioned in the American gun control debate. Laws passed in the wake of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre saw Australia restrict the sale and possession of rifles and shotguns. The government also instituted a buy-back scheme where owners could surrender their guns. Since the laws were introduced, Australia has not experienced a single mass shooting of the type experienced so often in America -- the Gun Violence Archive website claims the Oregon shooting was the 264th in 274 days in the U.S.
In the wake of the latest shooting, Americans took to social media to debate the possibility of the U.S. adopting Australian-style gun laws.
Republicans are preventing us from making common sense gun control laws like those in Austalia. It wked in Australia & it could wk here too!— Tracy (@NYTupelo7) October 1, 2015
@BarackObama Guns need to be registered & insured like cars. DUI's, etc, lose your gun/car for a while. WE need regs like Australia!— Grrace (@Grracy) October 1, 2015
If anyone needs me I'll be moving to Australia where I may be killed by a rabid Dingo but not a sicko with easy access to a gun #UCCShooting— Gillian Abrams (@gill_abrams) October 1, 2015
Australia can keep the animals and creatures, but I wouldn't mind their gun control laws.— Kaelyn Michelle (@butimnotfunny) October 1, 2015
Anyone who says stricter gun control laws won't make a difference are 100% wrong. Just look at Australia.— Gabe (@gabefergy) October 1, 2015
Australians were also bewildered that such gun violence is allowed to happen so regularly in the U.S.
NRA says Australia's gun laws have failed as knife crimes are up. Can't remember the last time 13 people were knifed to death #UCCShooting— Errol Brandt (@e2mq173) October 1, 2015
From the safety of Australia, America's gun laws & opposition to reform make absolutely no sense. https://t.co/73nBSsm7Gb— Jayne Azzopardi (@JayneAzzo) October 1, 2015
Obama has hailed Australia as a role model on gun laws. About time his people listened. https://t.co/fMOPskAQWr— Col James (@ColinJamesTiser) October 1, 2015
Following Obama's repeated references to Australian gun laws over the years, American media has examined Australia's laws closely, including this memorable series from then-The Daily Show correspondent John Oliver.