Australia must maintain current levels of gun controls to avoid ending up like the United States according to former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer.
Mr Fischer delivered the Sir Albert Coates Oration at Federation University where he spoke about the lessons modern Australia can learn from World War I and how this approach can be applied to gun violence.
“It was a great privilege to speak at the third oldest higher education university in Australia,” Mr Fischer said.
“We can learn from what has happend 100 years ago and to this day.”
He said military leaders such as John Monash’s and Arthur Currie’s holistic approaches to the problems on the ground of the Western Front were the key to the breakthroughs that occurred in 1918.
Mr Fischer believes that the approaches these men took to military problems can be applied to modern day community issues.
“Issues such as the Ballarat railway station precinct or the dual gauge projects in this part of Victoria for example; always a holistic approach is best to answer community concerns,” he said.
Following the recent gun massacre in Las Vegas where almost 60 people were killed, Mr Fischer said its is the responsibility of the rest of the world to pressure the United States to change their gun laws.
“Australians are being killed in the US so we have a right to speak up,” he said.
“I think that the US must take action this time, post Vegas, I think that because you will have more and more massacres of 50 people dead and 500 wounded and the NRA cannot stand still.”
“I respect the right for farmers, and recreational and Olympic shooters to own guns but we must drain the suburbs and towns in Australia and the US of automatic weapons.”
It is through the holistic and measured approaches used 100 years ago in World War I battles that Mr Fischer says gun violence in the US should be addressed.
“The first step is to make illegal bump stops that convert semi-automatic guns to full automatic; bring back limitation of gun magazine size, there is no justification for massive magazines; and third is comprehensive background checks, these are not applied to people on the no fly list in the USA,” her said.
“These are very modest things that do not cut across the second amendment.”
He also said now is not the time for Australians to become complacent about our own gun laws.
“Australia must maintain harmonisation and update gun laws from time to time,” he said.
“There is no guarantee we won’t have a gun massacre in the future but the simple fact is we have had 21 years with zero gun massacres; none in 21 years.”
“l’ll bank that and keep working to ensure we don’t have another Port Arthur.”