While promoting the latest installment of the Jason Bourne series in Australia, actor Matt Damon praised the country’s gun control laws and said he wished America would adopt similar legislation in the wake of mass shootings.
“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 the Sydney Morning Herald.
“People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK47s to people on terror watch lists, that’s a non-starter. I don’t know what needs to happen. Obviously mass shootings aren’t going to do it,” the actor said referring to the recent Orlando massacre which was the largest mass-shooting in U.S. history.
Damon commended Australia’s weapon ban saying, “It’s wonderful what Australia did because you guys haven’t had a mass shooting since you went, ‘No, we’re going to be sensible about this.’ And nobody’s rights have been infringed, you guys are fine.”
Following the Port Arthur massacre in which a young man killed thirty-five people in 1996, the Australian government rushed to pass the National Agreement on Firearms. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the legislation “all but prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, stiffened licensing and ownership rules, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took some 650,000 assault weapons (about one-sixth of the national stock) out of public circulation.”
Damon failed to address the gun violence in the Bourne series which he was promoting at the time. Throughout the first three Bourne films in which Damon starred, his character Jason Bourne killed 22 people using various guns, and is expected to add more to that list when the fifth film premieres later this month.