News National ‘Time to call out’ US on gun control failures

‘Time to call out’ US on gun control failures

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Former National Party leader and deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer has called for better security advice for Australians travelling to the US after another tragic shooting.

At least 14 people are dead and another 17 injured after a massacre at a disability centre in San Bernardino, California.

Police killed two suspects following the shootout, while a third was detained.

Mr Fischer told ABC News it was time to “call out” the US on its failure to address gun violence and our “one way” relationship with the nation.

He argued the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) had not reacted satisfactorily to the staggering 352 mass shootings already committed in the US this year, Fairfax Media reported.

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“The US is not stepping up on the public policy reform front,” Mr Fischer said.

“But have we not reached the stage where the Smart Traveller advice of DFAT needs to be muscled up?”

Mr Fischer said the fact the US warned its citizens against travelling to Sydney following the Paris attacks of November because it was a “terror target” was unfair.

Mr Fischer also called for "streamlining" of 'G'day USA' events in America. Photo: Getty
Mr Fischer also called for “streamlining” of ‘G’day USA’ events in America. Photo: Getty

“I’m a bit sick and tired of the US chucking handballs at us, putting into their travel advice that it’s not safe to go to Sydney,” Mr Fischer said.

Currently, Australian travellers to the US are warned the country has “generally higher incidence of violent crime, including incidences where a firearm (gun) is involved”, but Mr Fischer said further measures needed to be taken in light of America’s mass shooting record and failure to change lax gun laws.

“The NRA in particular needs to be called out for their unacceptable blockage of any sensible reform, including [ammunition] magazine limitation,” he added.

Mr Fischer was Australia’s deputy Prime Minister under John Howard from 1996 to 1999.

He was a strong proponent for Australian gun law reform following the tragic Port Arthur Massacre that killed 46 people in 1996.

There has not been a mass killing in Australia since the changes were introduced.

In 2013, Mr Fischer called for Australians to boycott tourism to the US after the 22-year old Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was shot dead in Oklahoma while jogging one evening.

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