It's a brave move for anyone who relies on mass appeal in America to advocate gun control, but Matt Damon has done just that.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald while in Australia promoting the new Jason Bourne movie, he said:
"You guys did it here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it's such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly. We just can't.
"People get so emotional that even when you make a suggestion about not selling AK47s to people on terror watch lists, that's a non-starter. I don't know what needs to happen. Obviously mass shootings aren't going to do it. There have been so many of them at this point. Sandy Hook, when those children were murdered, if that didn't do it, you know, I just don't know. Maybe we just need to evolve further before we can have that conversation, I don't know.
"It's wonderful what Australia did because you guys haven't had a mass shooting since you went, 'No, we're going to be sensible about this.' And nobody's rights have been infringed, you guys are fine. I wish we could be sensible like that but I don't think that's going to happen in my lifetime."
However, it's equally brave to make comments like that when a large element of his film career has been spent wielding guns of varying sizes, leaving himself open to accusations of hypocrisy. Although, of course, it's not hypocritical at all, seeing as films are not real life and he has never - to our knowledge - spent his time off-set spraying bullets around in his local supermarket.
In his comments, Damon was referring to Australia's famous decision to bring in the National Firearms Agreement following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, which outlawed semi-automatic and automatic rifles, together with pump-action shotguns. It saw a huge reduction in firearm-related homicides (59 per cent) and suicides (65 per cent).
Naturally, there have been a host of 'sensible', un-'emotional' and considered reactions to his thoughts on Twitter after the NRA got wind of the story:
Do America a favor stay where you feel safe in Australia🖕mars sucked!!! Was going to see new Bourne movie f-that never agin 🖕🔫— HELLFIRE (@HELLFIRE7647) July 6, 2016
Interesting Twitter handle
Hi, I'm Matt Damon, I've made millions off of movies exclusively about gun violence but I believe firmly in gun control— Ethan (@StienYoGirl) July 6, 2016
Oh God let's not even get on to knives
Not really sure that's what he's saying
Matt Damon is a pussy liberal POS - wants all guns banned. Give back millions of dollars made off guns -then we'll talk HYPOCRITE.— Pete Shelby🍾2018 🇺🇸 (@pisstestme) July 6, 2016