Promoting the latest action film in the Bourne franchise, Matt Damon said he agreed with Australia’s response to gun violence.
“You guys did it here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it’s such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly. We just can’t,” Damon told media Down Under.
“People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK47s to people on terror watchlists, that’s a non-starter. I don’t know what needs to happen,” he continued.
“Obviously mass shootings aren’t going to do it,” he added.
The Australia gun ban in infamous in gun rights circles. The country pass laws prohibiting semiautomatic weapons following a mass shooting in 1996.
After enacting the law, Australia held buyback programs and law enforcement strictly enforced the law by filing criminal charges and imposing hefty fines on the non-compliant.
A recent study found that since its enactment, Australia has experienced zero mass shootings and gun deaths from homicide and suicide reduced. However, researchers were unclear if the reduction in gun deaths was a result of gun law reform.
Critics of the gun ban point to a spike in the rate of other violent crime following its enactment. However, supporters would refer to a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology that shows the rate beginning a sharp decline in 2001 and continuing the trend through 2012.
Damon, 45, has starred in three other Bourne movies. In 1997, alongside his hetero life mate, Ben Affleck, he won an Academy Award for best screenplay Good Will Hunting.