Once again, New Zealand shows the world how to bring about consequences for unthinkable and unforgivable actions perpetrated by the murderous few in their midst. On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced action, in the form of new laws that will ban military-style semiautomatics and assault rifles. Further, there will be a buyback program encouraging people who own them currently to surrender them. All this in less than one week after the brutal murders of 50 Muslims while they were in their sacred places of prayer by a white supremacist.
According to The Washington Post:
“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now, our laws will, too,” Ardern said. “We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place.”
“Yes, there will be some interest in the terrorist who did this. But if I can make one request: Don’t say his name,” Ardern said. “Don’t dwell on who he is. Dwell on your students and friends, on the Muslim community.”
What a contrast. Here, in the land of the free, where there are mass shootings weekly, and the most we can do is take baby steps towards strengthening background checks, and even that is likely to fail. Seven years after Sandy Hook, where twenty 6- and 7-year-olds were slaughtered, along with 6 of their beloved teachers and caregivers. One year after Parkland, where 17 high school students and staff members were robbed of their futures. And the last significant gun legislation in our country was 20 years ago.
It took less than one week for New Zealand to take measurable action to protect their citizens from the ravages of gun violence. They put us to shame.