President Obama spoke out against violence in the wake of the tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on Twitter. Obama said there was "no other advanced nation on Earth" that tolerated mass shootings. “When Australia had a mass killing – I think it was in Tasmania – about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking the entire country said ‘well we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.”
Australia banned automatic, semi-automatic, and pump action shotguns after a mass shooting in 1996, which saw 35 people killed and 23 wounded. Obama was not optimistic that he would be able to push similar measures in the United States. “I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress,” he said. “And I don’t foresee any real action until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change and we’re going to change it’.”
Obama followed up his statements with a tweet that read: "Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel."
President Obama's numbers come from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The data he used is old, however, coming from 2007. It's also not standardized, and another set of data from the World Health Organization shows slightly different results, albeit still the same trend in overview.
But are utilitarian arguments against guns enough to justify the decimation of a principle? Today's Freedom Report podcast looks at the history of the 2nd Amendment in light of many of the quotes from the founding fathers on the subject, as well as an overview of the nuances of the law.