The hostage situation at a Sydney cafe proves that Australia has become a “nation of victims” because of its stiff restrictions on gun ownership, an Australian lawmaker said.
Sen. David Leyonhjelm of Australia’s Liberal Democratic Party said the siege by the lone jihadi-inspired gunman this week would have been less likely if Australians were free to arm themselves.
A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
“That nutcase who held them all hostage wouldn’t have known that they were armed and bad guys don’t like to be shot back at,” Leyonhjelm told Australia's ABC radio on Thursday.
The gunman, Man Haron Monis, and two hostages died in the hours-long siege, which ended when police stormed the building in a hail of gunfire and explosions. Since then, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested the country have more gun control. But that’s the farthest thing from the solution, Leyonhjelm said
“It would have been illegal for them to have a knife, a stick, a pepper spray, a personal Taser, mace, anything like that for self-defense,” Leyonhjelm said. “To turn an entire population into a nation of victims is just unforgivable.”
Abbott has said the problem may be in how the gunman obtained a license to own a gun, despite his history and said gun control laws may need to be changed, The Age reported.
"I do want answers to some obvious questions," Abbott said, announcing a government review of how Monis evaded law enforcement.
Monis, who came from Iran in 1996, had permanent residency in Australia, was getting welfare payments and obtained a gun license, The Age reported.
Abbott said he would "not rest" until he was confident that Australians were as safe as the government could make them.
(H/T: The Guardian)