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Tomi Lahren Accidentally Proves That Gun Control Actually Works

Conservative pundit Tomi Lahren probably thought she “owned” Rep. Eric Swalwell on the gun debate on Twitter earlier this week. In actuality, she proved his point, demonstrating flaws in her own argument and proving gun control measures in another country actually had positive effects.

 (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon )

It started out with a tweet from Lahren, who blasted Swalwell, a proponent of gun reform in the U.S. and a Democratic presidential candidate, for pushing gun buyback programs.

Swalwell responded to Lahren’s tweet with one of his own, asking her to give a “one word answer” on how many mass shootings have occurred in Australia since that nation implemented a ban on assault weapons? “Is it fewer than the 2,031 we have had since Sandy Hook?” he added to his line of questioning.

Lahren didn’t oblige Swalwell with a one-worded answer, as he requested, but instead responded with what she must have thought was a clever response, pointing out that gun ownership in Australia was actually higher than it was in 1996, when the assault weapons ban was put into place.

While seemingly making a point in her favor, Lahren’s comment doesn’t actually do much good for her own argument. Indeed, as political commentator Edward Hardy pointed out, gun reforms in Australia actually proved that gun ownership could still coincide with reasonable and lasting changes in gun laws.

Even though gun ownership may be up, the restrictions put in place in Australia have seemingly helped reduce the number of gun deaths in that nation.

Following a mass shooting tragedy in 1996 where 35 people were murdered in a single incident, Australian government leaders — which included a coalition of left- and right-leaning lawmakers — sought to make rules concerning gun ownership stricter.

The new set of laws passed in the aftermath of that mass shooting required 28-day waiting periods for anyone wanting to purchase a gun. It also created new licensing requirements for individuals to own weapons, and banned outright automatic and semiautomatic guns.

And yes, it included a gun buyback program, in which the nation bought more than 600,000 guns from owners and destroyed them, The Atlantic reported.

How did it all turn out? The results speak for themselves. From 1996 to 2016, the rate of gun deaths in Australia dropped by more than 63 percent, according to GunPolicy.org.

Much of that drop took place soon after the gun reforms were passed: within two years of the mass shooting and implementation of the new rules, gun deaths were down by 40 percent in 1998.

It’s unclear whether such reforms in the U.S. could yield similar results, but what is evident is that Lahren was ignorant on the background of the issue she was trying to discuss.



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