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Gun Control Is ‘Apolitical’: An Interview with John Howard

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard talks about gun control and the fate of the U.S. Republican Party.

John Howard was the prime minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. The leader of the center-right Liberal Party, Howard championed free-market economic policy and sweeping restrictions on guns after a gunman killed 35 people in the town of Port Arthur in 1996. He spoke with me over the phone on Monday from Sydney to discuss the progress of federal gun-control legislation after the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as the future of moderation within the Republican Party.

(This interview has been condensed and edited lightly for clarity.)