Evan Soltas
Feb 6, 2013

Interview: John Howard

I got to interview John Howard, the former prime minister of Australia, for Bloomberg. We talked mainly about gun control and the future of a center-right philosophy of government Howard has come to epitomize. Here's a little bit of what Howard had to say:

I regard something like gun control as almost apolitical. It’s a question of self-preservation. I think it’s beyond labels of “left” and “right.”

The attitude I brought to it was a common-sense view of community safety. It’s the ready availability of guns that drives the high murder rate through weapon use. Mental health is important, as is improving services and background checks -- but you will never have a society in which people don’t reach snap points. And the problem is that if you reach a snap point in a domestic argument or release a long-pent-up feeling of anger against the way society has treated you, and you have a weapon of mass murder at your disposal, you are likely to use it with devastating consequences.