Eugene Robinson: Gun control should include buyback program like Australia’s

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said the U.S. gun control debate should include a discussion on whether the government should buy back some guns, as has been done in Australia.

Robinson’s remarks on NBC’s “Meet the Press” came on a Sunday morning when political talk shows across the dial were dominated by the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 wounded. 

“It’s not going to stop. And, you know, these things happen, they’re awful, they’re tragic. And then we start the gun debate nondebate,” Robinson told Chuck Todd. “Because one reason it’s a nondebate is that we debate, ‘Well, what specific piece of legislation could have stopped this incident?’”

{mosads}“And you can never put your finger on it,” he continued. “And therefore you can’t talk about any piece of legislation that might have stopped the last one or might stop the next one.”

Robinson, who is also an MSNBC analyst, cited gun control measures in Australia as a possible remedy. 

“Meanwhile, there are 300 million guns in this country,” he noted. “And so a real gun debate has to look at that fact: 300 million guns. And we need, you know, to look at what was done in a place like Australia, where they had a gun buyback,” he said.

“And gun control is permissible, according to the Supreme Court. And so if Congress were to decide, it won’t happen, were to decide that automatic assault rifles, long guns, are something that, military-style weapons, are something that citizens should not have, they should be police and military only, and we’re going to buy them back, that would have an impact.

“It’s not going to happen. But that would have an impact. And that’s what the debate ought to be.”

Banning bump stock devices, which the Las Vegas shooter used, appears to be gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Bump stocks  allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire more rounds per minute and effectively act as a fully automatic weapon.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has introduced legislation to ban bump stocks, said there is “Republican interest” in the bill but that she only has Democratic sponsors so far. 

“I have nobody lined up, we have 38 cosponsors, they’re all Democratic. We’ve had individuals that have indicated an interest and particularly for a hearing,” she added. 

Tags Dianne Feinstein Gun control Gun rights Mass shootings
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