Former Australian Politician: Country Should Issue Travel Warning for US After Shootings

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Australia's former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer thinks the U.S. could take a page or two out of Australia's playbook when it comes to gun control. During his time as deputy prime minister, Fischer pushed for the gun control legislation that has significantly reduced the country's firearm mortality rate over the last couple decades, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In the wake of the San Bernardino shootings that killed at least 14 and wounded 21, Fischer is taking issue with the U.S. State Department's Dec. 2014 travel alert to Americans traveling to Sydney, following what NBC News called a "lone-wolf" attack. Additionally, after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, the U.S. Passports & International Travel website issued an alert to all international travelers from the U.S. The alert did not single out any one country.

Fischer thinks it should be the other way around. 

Source: Mark Ralston/Getty Images
Source: Mark Ralston/Getty Images

Currently, the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade suggests Australians "exercise normal safety precautions" when traveling to the U.S, but notes that there is a "generally higher incidence of violent crime, including incidences where a firearm (gun) is involved."

"It's time to call out the USA," Fischer said to ABC News on Thursday. "Three hundred and fifty two mass shootings in the USA so far this year but about 80 a day you don't hear about." 

Fischer might feel disappointed — and validated — to learn that the San Bernardino shooting was actually number 355 for this year. 

"All [are] unacceptable because the U.S. is not stepping up on the public policy reform front," Fischer said. He went on to criticize the NRA for preventing gun control plans from moving forward, saying that they too need "to be called out for their unacceptable blockage of any sensible reform, including [ammunition] magazine limitation."

When Fischer joined forces with the then-prime minister John Howard, they faced strong opposition much like that of the GOP. But it looks like their push for gun control paid off. As Mic has previously reported:

In 2012, the Guardian published new statistics drawn from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Small Arms Survey showing only "30 homicides by firearm" annually in Australia, or "0.14 per 100,000 population."

The U.S. statistics are bloated by comparison. Over the same period, Americans suffered "9,146 homicides by firearm," at a rate of 2.97 for every 100,000 people. Sixty percent of murders in the U.S. are committed with a gun, according to the Guardian, compared to 11.5% in Australia.

What's more, since the Port Arthur massacre that acted as the catalyst for gun regulation in Australia 19 years ago, there have been zero deaths as a result from mass shootings. 

Fischer told the Sydney Morning Herald that he's "sick and tired." He's not the only one.