The Playbook For The Modern Man

Ben Simmons’ Response To NBA Journalists Reveals Why Americans Don’t Get The Aussie Perspective On Gun Control

We like to call a spade a spade.

Since Saturday’s March for Our Lives Protest, everyone from Pope Francis to LeBron James have been showing their support for (or against) stricter gun-control legislation.

However it was Ben Simmons, a 21 year old Aussie NBA sensation from Melbourne, whose stance best illustrates why Americans and Australians often struggle to understand each other.

After warming up and sitting on the bench in a March for Our Lives shirt, Simmons was asked by reporters what the issue meant to him.

Advertisement

“For me growing up in Australia, I think there was a gun ban way back in the day where they bought back all the guns, and there hasn’t been a major shootings or anything like that—no one carries around guns. To me I think that’s very important. Just where I come from, you want kids to feel safe going to school and the parents [too]”

As a dual citizen, Simmons has spent a lot of time in both countries. In fact, as reported by the Daily Telegraph, he attended high school in Monteverde, Florida, the same state in which the recent Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting—the one that kicked off the latest round of protests took place.

This, contrasted with his upbringing in the more laid back Aussie culture (the only thing you have to worry about in Melbourne is getting stuck in conversation with a coffee or quality-of-life-relative-to-Sydney snob), means that Simmons is part of a select group of expats who actually know what it’s like to live in both places.

After the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996, gun control was seen as an obvious solution to gun-violence by the majority of Australians, on all sides of the political spectrum (the policy was actually implemented by a conservative government).

However, in America many on the political-right, such as Paul Allen, a retired construction worker, see this movement and its advocates as, “Ignorant sheep who are being spoon fed by liberal teachers”, as he told The New York Times.

Although it is less prevalent, this attitude not limited to older generations. Kyle Kashuv, student and survivor of the Parkland, Florida mass-shooting, also believes that the solution is not stricter regulation, but to better enforce existing laws.

Whilst it would be easy for an Aussie to dismiss this as a lack of imagination, and say that someone who grew up in an environment full of guns is bound to be cynical about the governments ability to successfully remove them, Kyle has a point: America in 2018 has a very different culture to that of Australia in the 1990’s.

So is America too far gone to change it’s legislation? Whilst there is substantial evidence that shows what is really needed is pressure to be put on law-makers, the way responses like that of Ben Simmons have been portrayed in the media as the only morally legitimate position, and the way in which the other side of the debate has been demonised, betrays an overconfidence in what is an educated guess, say many politically neutral Americans.

Advertisement

The difference with Aussies is we’re more likely to call a spade a spade. What Americans call demonisation we call legitimate criticism of a flawed viewpoint. Oh, and none of us harbour a deeply held belief that we could form a militia with our neighbours that would be able to hold off our national army if it ever went corrupt.

RELATED: Gucci Donates $500,000 To Gun Control Cause

  • craigvn

    I will make one point, gun’s are not actually banned in Australia. Saying they are banned is something that scares many Americans into thinking if they go down the route of Australia the government are going to wrestle their guns out of their hands. That never happened in Australia. What really happened is assault style weapons and other guns that have no useful purpose other than killing people were banned. People who had excess guns voluntarily handed them in to the government in a buy back. Sporting shooters, farmers etc still legally own guns.

  • Keith

    Sorry Craig but that is not correct. Assault rifles were banned many years ago, what the government did was to confiscate .22 rabbit rifles & semi-auto & pump action shotguns that were useful & needed by people who live on the land. This confiscation has done NOTHING to stop crime, but now Australian citizens are left defenceless. Rapes, home invasions, car jackings, muggings, murder, from what I see in the news every day seem to now be on the increase.
    The Australian government have made it illegal for law abiding citizens to own or carry or use ANYTHING intended for self defence! Even if one owns a firearm that person is not legally allowed to use that firearm to defend themselves or their family in an armed home invasion! To me this goes against human rights, the right to defend ourselves & our family. The Australian government is corrupt to the core.
    Keith. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/02013b1eec2a6e87e73363c52ef8b6312d07322b60e536cd81a4bdb480bd33ab.jpg

  • Keith

    Assault rifles were banned many years ago, what the government did was to confiscate .22 rabbit rifles & semi-auto & pump action shotguns that were useful & needed by people who live on the land. This confiscation has done NOTHING to stop crime, but now Australian citizens are left defenceless. Rapes, home invasions, car jackings, muggings, murder, from what I see in the news every day seem to now be on the increase.
    The Australian government have made it illegal for law abiding citizens to own or carry or use ANYTHING intended for self defence! Even if one owns a firearm that person is not legally allowed to use that firearm to defend themselves or their family in an armed home invasion! To me this goes against human rights, the right to defend ourselves & our family. The Australian government is corrupt to the core.
    Keith. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/310d48a432a701ad8a0cf43c71e66f36ffac8fa8c7cf802cf9f18d00d7bc2a23.jpg

  • craigvn

    Hi Keith. It seems like you have been told a few pork pies. Guess what, I live on a farm in Australia and we still have our .22 rifles, they were not taken.

  • Keith

    So you are telling me craig that you still legally own semi-automatic . 22 rifles? Sorry again craig but I don’t believe you. Why should everyone else in Australia have their semi-autos confiscated & not you? Don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about, you know damn well that semi-auto rifles were confiscated & banned. I still have a .22 rifle, but it is NOT semi-automatic, & I am a land owner.
    Keith.

  • craigvn

    Farmers don’t need semi-automatic weapons. If we need to destroy an animal it takes one shot in the head, we don’t massacre it like Rambo. When controlling vermin we don’t use semi-auto, it is not even practical.

  • Keith

    That’s what I thought Mr. From your reply I can tell that you are inexperienced, I doubt you even know what a semi-automatic is, & I am not saying this in a spiteful manner, but your comment shows that you don’t know what you are talking about. Your earlier comment was misinformation, you DO NOT own a semi-auto rifle unless you are a professional shooter, & the fact that this restricted licence is available to professional shooters proves my point that you know very little if anything about using a semi-auto rifle. Right now in Tasmania the government are considering allowing farmers to own these rifles again because farmers have been petitioning. If you don’t need or want a semi-auto, fine, but do not speak for others.
    Keith.
    NECLHG.

  • jb1123

    Keith, bad news buddy our constitution contains no rights to protect. You have only the rights that our elected representatives choose to bestow on us.

    Oh, and have a look at at the gun crime statistics across the world, and if you still want the freedom to own these weapons, you are free to emigrate.

  • Keith

    No I don’t want to own these semi-automatics jb, I want to be able to use a flintlock, matchlock & wheellock pistol on my property without having to apply for a restricted “H” firearms license!!!
    Keith.

NEW ON D'MARGE


Show More

Subscribe

Close

The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again