Gun lobbyists from the National Rifle Association had some advice for a group of right-wing Australian politicians who wanted to know how they should respond to gun massacres when they met in Washington D.C. last September, according to the findings of three-year investigation by Al Jazeera published online on Tuesday.
The network’s Rodger Muller went undercover and secretly filmed the counsel given by NRA public relations officer Lars Dalseide to representatives of Australia’s right-wing One Nation party, whose platform opposes immigration and supports loosening the country’s strict anti-gun laws. Australia banned semi-automatic and self-loading guns, and stiffened requirements for purchasing other guns, after a mass shooting that killed 35 in 1996, according to the BBC. Australia has not experienced a major mass shooting since then.
But the One Nation party strongly opposes gun regulations, and sent representatives to the United States — where they met with NRA officials in Washington, D.C., last September. As Muller recorded the conversation, Dalseide advised the Australian politicians to manage negative publicity in the event of another mass shooting by “shaming” gun control advocates, as The Daily Beast reported in a summary of the Al-Jazeera investigation.
“Just shame them to the whole idea,” Dalseide was recorded telling the Australians. “If your policy, isn’t good enough to stand on itself, how dare you use their deaths to push that forward. How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?”
Watch the Al-Jazeera report in the video below.
The advice continued, with the NRA official telling the One Nation party representatives that they should seek out gun-friendly journalists and plant stories in local newspapers about the supposed horrors of gun control.
“We want to print up stories about people who were robbed, had their home invaded, were beaten or whatever it might be and that could have been helped had they had a gun,” the NRA rep said. “That’s what he’s got to write. He’s got to put out two to five of those a week.”
One of the two One Nation officials — James Ashby, chief of staff to party leader Pauline Hanson — explained the conversation with NRA officials by saying that he and another One Nation leader, Steve Dickson, were drunk, according to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I will be the first to admit, we’d arrived in America, we got on the sauce,” Ashby said, explaining that he and Dickson had spent the previous three or four hours drinking Scotch.
Following the New Zealand gun massacre carried out on March 15 by a right-wing, anti-immigration fanatic, as The Inquisitr covered, Australian politician Fraser Anning called immigration “the real cause of the bloodshed.” Anning had been affiliated with the One Nation party from 2014 to 2018.
One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson authored a 1997 book in which she predicted that if immigration went unchecked in Australia, by the year 2050 the country would be ruled by “a Chinese-Indian lesbian cyborg named Poona Li Hung,’ according to the opinion site Narratively.
Hanson also wrote in the book that gun control advocates suffered from “retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”
In the Washington, D.C., conversations recorded by Muller, the two One Nation party representatives are heard saying that they hope to raise up to $20 million from pro-gun groups in the U.S., according to a report from The Sydney Morning Herald. The two men said that the funds would allow them to dominate Australian politics.
“If we could get that amount of money, imagine — we could change Australia,” Dickson is heard to say in the tapes. “You’d have the whole government by the b***s.”