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This Debate Shows The Massive Difference Between America And Australia On Guns

As the US debated preventing toddlers access to guns, Australia fretted over banning one single, specific shotgun model.

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During the third presidential debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred over a Supreme Court decision that protected US citizens' free access to guns.

Pool / Getty Images

Trump tried to pin Clinton on her opposition to the Supreme Court's 2008 District of Columbia vs Hellar decision, which struck down a handgun ban by ruling that the Second Amendment protected citizens' right to bear arms.

Clinton is on the record as being "upset" with the decision because she believed it limited states' abilities to make safe storage laws that could keep toddlers from accessing guns.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

"I disagreed with how the court applied the Second Amendment in that case because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns," said Clinton.

"[I] was upset because unfortunately dozens of toddlers injure themselves, even kill people, with guns because, unfortunately, not everyone who has loaded guns in their homes takes appropriate precautions."

Meanwhile in Australia, there's also a national gun debate going on. But it couldn't be more different. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is getting jammed in the parliament this week over the temporary ban of a single, specific shotgun model.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

Australia brought in strong gun laws after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, which saw 35 people killed and 23 wounded by a lone shooter.

The National Firearms Agreement, which was passed 12 days after the massacre, kickstarted a national buyback scheme and bans on high-powered automatic weapons in Australia.


Even entertaining a discussion about allowing the gun into the country kicked off condemnation from all sides of politics, and the prime minister has made it clear he has no plans to water down the country's strong anti-gun laws.

Disturbing to see reports of horse-trading on gun laws. ABCC should be supported on its merits.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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