Australia is a “nation of victims” with citizens unable to properly protect themselves with weapons, pro-gun crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm has warned.
The Liberal Democrat said he wanted a calm, measured discussion about the right to “practical self-defence” in the wake of the deadly Sydney siege.
“What happened in that cafe would have been most unlikely to have occurred in Florida, Texas, or Vermont, or Alaska in America, or perhaps even Switzerland as well”, Senator Leyonhjelm said.
He told the ABC’s AM program, “statistically speaking” in those jurisdictions “one or two of the victims” would have had a concealed gun.
“That nutcase who held them all hostage wouldn’t have known they were armed and bad guys don’t like to be shot back at,” he said.
He said the Lindt Cafe hostages were helpless because they were not allowed to carry a lethal or non-lethal weapon.
“It would have been illegal for them to have had a knife, a stick, a pepper spray, a personal taser, mace, anything like that for self-defence,” he said.
“I regard that [as] an absolute travesty. To turn an entire population into a nation of victims is just unforgiveable in my estimation.”
Senator Leyonhjelm has long argued Australians should be allowed greater access to weapons.
He left the Liberal Party because of John Howard’s crackdown on guns following the Port Arthur massacre and says the public cannot be confident police or tougher laws will stop violent crime or acts of terrorism.
“We’ve got tougher laws, they were introduced by the Government just in the last few months, they did nothing to prevent this bloke from committing evil acts in the name of Islamism”, he said.
“They didn’t prevent him from getting a gun. It’s just not acceptable that we are all disarmed victims.”