People check out handguns at the Nation's Gun Show in Chantilly on Oct. 3. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

According to his Oct. 5 op-ed column, “On guns, aim higher,” Fred Hiatt thinks the United States should strive to be a gun-free society, like Australia. But Australia is not entirely gun-free; its 1996 law banned automatic and some semiautomatic weapons, not all guns. There was a massive weapons buyback, but it did not capture all outstanding firearms.

The Aussies, led by conservative then-Prime Minister John Howard, were so outraged by a massacre in the community of Port Arthur that they agreed as a nation to do something.

They then did the something in a matter of weeks; no handwringing, moral turpitude, feckless excuse-making, gun lobby obfuscation, etc. They got the job done.

The United States needs comprehensive, national, strict gun regulatory reform, and we should use Australia as the template. We should do it quickly.

Remember: Each day that passes without us doing what needs to be done means more lives lost. Public safety is Job One for government. What are we waiting for?

Tim Shank, Bethesda