Former President Barack Obama slammed America’s lack of gun control in a recent interview with CBS, claiming that the U.S. should respond to mass shootings by implementing gun laws like Australia, where there is no legal right to own a firearm.
When asked why America can’t emulate Australian gun control, Obama made no mention of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the right to bear arms, he merely claimed that gun rights have become an “ideological” and “partisan issue.”
In the same interview, the former president also lamented the “splintered media” environment Americans live in, saying it makes citizens occupy “different realities.”
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Obama made his statements during a “CBS Mornings” exclusive, where he told co-host Nate Burleson about some of the biggest dangers to the country, namely gun violence and misinformation.
Speaking about gun violence in America, the 44th president stated, “We are unique among advanced, developed nations in tolerating on a routine basis, gun violence in the form of shootings, mass shootings, suicides.”
He subsequently pointed to Australia as being a nation to emulate in terms of preventing mass shootings. He said, “You know, in Australia, you had one mass shooting fifty years ago and they said, ‘Nope, we’re not doing that anymore.’”
“That is normally how you would expect a society to respond when your children are at risk,” Obama added.
It’s worth noting that in Australia there is no legal right to gun ownership. The Australian Parliament website plainly states, “First, and in contrast to the position in the United States, there is no legal right to gun ownership. Owning and using a firearm is limited in Australia to people who have a genuine reason and self-protection does not constitute a genuine reason to possess, own or use a firearm.”
Burleson then asked, “Why is it so hard for us to do that?” Obama’s answer didn’t mention the existence of the Second Amendment, it noted gun ownership is tied to the “culture wars.”
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He claimed, “Somehow – and there are a lot of historical reasons for this – gun ownership in this country became a ideological and a partisan issue in ways that it shouldn’t be. It has become sort of a proxy for arguments about our culture wars.”
The former president continued, saying, “Instead of thinking about it in a very pragmatic way, we end up really arguing about identity and emotion and all kinds of stuff that does not have to do with keeping our children safe.”
Speaking of “culture wars,” Obama mentioned the division in the country driven by “splintered media” elsewhere in the interview.
After Burleson asked, “What keeps you up at night?” Obama responded, “The thing that I’m most worried about is the degree to which we now have a divided conversation, in part because we have a divided media.”
After noting how Americans only had “three TV stations” for news when he was young, he said, “Today what I’m most concerned about is the fact that, because of the splintering of the media, we almost occupy different realities.”
He added, “If something happens, in the past everybody could say, ‘Alright we may disagree on how to solve it, but at least we all agree that that’s an issue.’ Now people will say, ‘Well that didn’t happen,’ or ‘I don’t believe that.’”
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