Australia is often held as a model for gun control. That doesn’t make it immune to mass shootings.

A mass shooting near Margaret River, Australia, in the small village of Osmington, left a family of seven, including four children, dead. It’s the worst mass shooting in Australia since 1996, when a gunman in Port Arthur killed 35 people and wounded 23 others at a cafe. Police found the family dead of gunshot wounds on Friday. Police have not confirmed whether the shooting was a murder-suicide, according to the Associated Press , but the authorities are not looking for a suspect. The shooting has drawn attention in the US because Australia is often touted in America as a success story for gun control . Conservatives on social media quickly pointed to the mass shooting as evidence gun control does not work. In an article for the Washington Examiner headlined “Despite gun control, Australia suffers worst mass shooting since 1996,” Siraj Hashmi wrote that “ while some data suggest that super-strict gun control has cut down on gun violence and gun-related deaths in some cases, there’s still no guarantee that you’re safe.” Hashmi’s conclusion is basically correct: Gun control can help, but it can’t stop every single shooting. It’s important to not get carried away here: Given that the research is pretty clear that gun control can make a big difference, this kind of mass shooting does not mean, as many people suggested on social media , that Australia’s stricter gun laws are futile. The research is clear: gun control works In 1996, a 28-year-old man walked into a […]

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