Gun Promoter David Leyonhjelm Quick Out Of The Gate To Solve Paris Attacks Dilemma


When lots of people die at the hands of gunmen, that’s the perfect time to make the point that guns don’t kill people. Chris Graham reports.

The bodies are still piling up in Paris, but Australian federal politician David Leyonhjelm is already looking ahead, to prevent the next tragedy, he says.

A few hours ago, in the spirit of every American gun nut known to man, Leyonhjelm retweeted his solution to the attacks in Paris.

Leyonhjelm is a federal Senator by dint of luck, and political cunning. Not only did many voters mistake his party – the ‘Liberal Democrats’ – for the Australian Liberal Party, but he also jagged the number one spot on the Australian Senate ballot paper, guaranteeing himself a strong ‘donkey vote’ from the more apathetic sections of the Australian public.

In September, Leyonhjelm branded people who opposed the spread of guns in Australia as psychologically challenged, in response to news that a lever action shotgun had been banned in Australia.

“These authoritarian types who don’t like guns … we call them hoplophobes,” he told ABC radio.

“It’s a psychological condition. They don’t attack guns all at once. Like slicing pieces off a salami they go after them one by one.”

‘Hoplophobes’ is not a real word – it was coined in 1962 by an American military officer to describe an “irrational” fear of guns, and armed citizens.

Debra Jopson, for The Saturday Paper, provides a very good précis of Leyonhjelm’s love of guns here.

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Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.