It’s always the predictable response after a firearms-related human tragedy. Following the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made good on her promise (or threat): starting immediately, the government has banned all assault weapons, which include “militaristic” semi-automatic rifles.
I’m not going to pretend that I know how the law works in New Zealand. From my biased American perspective, such a draconian decree sounds awfully tyrannical. Centuries of tradition and customs have now evaporated, all because of a liberal politician who reacted emotionally.
If Ardern simply took the time to consider her actions, she might recognize that her nation just doesn’t have a mass-shooting problem. The last such incident took place in 1997, in an incident locals call the Raurimu massacre. Prior to that, the Bain family murders rocked the nation in 1994.
In both cases, no one called for banning firearms. Perhaps back then, people reasoned with their minds, not their emotions. Whatever the case, the facts demonstrate that shootings just don’t occur with any frequency in New Zealand.
Moreover, the shooter in the Christchurch massacre wasn’t a local. Instead, he was a crazed Australian man who had traveled strictly on the basis of spreading hate, fear, and destruction. Banning assault weapons – again, something that never really impacted New Zealand – makes as much sense as banning Australians.
Of course, a resonance exists that fuels the fire. Unfortunately, the sentiment levers a carryover effect.
American Liberals Talk Their Own Ban of Assault Weapons
Like clockwork, American liberals praised New Zealand’s bravery, noting that they demonstrated true leadership. One of those voices was Bernie Sanders, who controversially lost out to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Sanders proclaimed in a tweet:
This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.
Of course we do. But nearly everyone on the left fails to mention that a ban on assault weapons already exists. Despite our Second Amendment, U.S. federal law bans specific lists of firearms by name: have one of these “assault weapons” and you’re going to jail for a long time.
So when liberals talk about banning militaristic rifles, they’re wasting their time. It’s akin to their call for higher taxes on the rich. Unless you ban all business deductions and address passive-income taxation rates, “taxing the rich” won’t do anything.
Nevertheless, I still worry about the liberals’ influence on firearms issue, as should many Second Amendment proponents. What Ardern did was essentially crack down on all firearms – not just the militaristic ones.
It’s the same game plan that the leftists here adopt but have never realized success. But with their “success” in New Zealand, they’re suddenly emboldened to finally crack the America nut.