During an interview with The Breakfast Club, John Legend praised Australia’s gun confiscation plan and lamented that the U.S. cannot follow suit because of “the Second Amendment and the NRA.”
When asked about policing and how to make neighborhoods safer, Legend said, “I think we do have to do something about guns. We shouldn’t live in a society so awash with guns that [it] makes the cops fearful and makes them suspicious of everybody.”
The Breakfast Club host DJ Envy said, “You travel a lot. You’ve been to Toronto, you’ve been to Japan, and you notice when you go to a lot of these countries, people are not allowed to have guns.” Legend interjected, “Yes, and their murder rates are way lower. Their suicide rates are lower, too, because when people have guns, they end up using them.”
Envy asked, “So banning guns in full, you’re saying?”
I’m not saying that necessarily would work. But if we look at Australia, they did something over there. They had a few mass shootings, and they said, “You know what? We’re going to take a pretty significant approach to reducing the amount of guns on the streets.” And it worked. They didn’t have another mass shooting, their murder rate went down, and we won’t do it here because we got the Second Amendment. We got the NRA that’s going to lobby against it. And maybe it won’t be constitutional to do that, but at the end of the day, it actually worked. And if we want to talk about what makes us safer, that would make us safer.
First, Australia’s gun confiscation scheme was fashioned as a gun buyback–a mandatory buyback–where people with guns the government wished to ban were required to turn in those guns. The scheme resulted in the confiscation of somewhere between 650,000 and 1,000,000 firearms during the years 1996-1997. (Figures vary.) On September 13, 2016, Breitbart News reported that Australia is considering a new body of gun laws to fight the rising gun crime that is marring Melbourne, Australia, and much of Victoria. In fact, Melbourne has had more than one shooting a week since January 2015.
But the Australian model is Legend’s solution?
Second, part of what Australia is now considering to fight gun crime is an “amnesty” whereby criminals will have a period of time to turn their guns in without penalty. Ironically, during Legend’s appearance on The Breakfast Club, he was told a lot of people do not turn in their guns during buybacks because they are afraid that the gun–and the crimes committed with it–will somehow be traced back to them. Legend responded by suggesting some type of “amnesty” period to get guns off the street.
So he is pushing the Australian gun buyback that did not prevent criminals from having guns in the first place and is also pushing the second phase of that failed policy: “amnesty” for criminals with guns.
Legend also blamed Chicago’s gun crime on Indiana, claiming that criminals in Chicago go to Indiana to buy their guns. This opened the door for him to criticize the differences in gun laws from state to state in the U.S. He said, “We’d have to do something nationally that was much more pervasive to get rid of guns.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.