“Yes, I was hung in effigy at a place called Gippy in Queensland.” That’s what former Australian deputy prime minister Tim Fischer told us. The reason? Guns. As part of a conservative government in Australia (yes, a conservative government), Fischer helped push through landmark gun reform legislation in 1996.
Here in the U.S, the creaky workings of Congress may have put a stop to bipartisan gun control, but the debate is far from over. On a recent trip to Mexico, where guns smuggled from the U.S. fuel a bloody drug war, President Obama described the legislation’s initial failure as “just the first round.” Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association’s new president, James Porter, told members at the group’s national convention in Houston: “(You) here in this room are the fighters for freedom. We are the protectors.”
Is there any way to break the stalemate on guns? In our very first Local Global Mashup Show, we look at three countries with strong gun cultures that have nonetheless passed meaningful gun reform—and are proud of the results. What can we learn from Australia, Switzerland and South Africa? And is it possible to reconcile their experiences with America’s omnipresent Second Amendment?