Following the Christchurch, New Zealand, attacks on two mosques by Brenton Harrison Tarrant, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned to a plan from which our Second Amendment protects us: her government banned:
military-style semiautomatic weapons, assault rifles and accompanying parts such as magazines and ammunition for these weapons. Gun owners will have until the end of September to hand them in through a buyback program, after which point amnesty will end.
In what should be a lesson for liberals in the United States, things have not gone quite as planned. From The Washington Post:
By Emanuel Stoakes | December 20, 2019 | 7:35 a.m. EST
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — New Zealanders had until Friday to surrender banned firearms under a mandatory government buyback after the country’s deadliest terrorist attack. But not all gun owners have heeded the call, raising questions about its effectiveness and offering lessons for gun-control advocates in the United States. . . .
To get guns out of circulation, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned to a method Australia implemented in the 1990s — buying back existing firearms while giving owners a grace period before their weapons would become illegal. Ardern’s center-left government set aside about $110 million to compensate owners.
The editors of The New York Times were thrilled, saying that:
New Zealand’s prime minister moved swiftly to ban weapons of mass killing after a gunman attacked two mosques.
By The Editorial Board | March 21, 2019
The murder of 50 Muslim worshipers in New Zealand, allegedly by a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist, will be long scrutinized for the way violent hatreds are spawned and staged on social media and the internet. But now the world should learn from the way Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, has responded to the horror.
Almost immediately after last Friday’s killings, Ms. Ardern listened to her constituents’ outrage and declared that within days her government would introduce new controls on the military-style weapons that the Christchurch shooter and many of the mass killers in the United States have used on their rampages. And she delivered.
On Thursday, Ms. Ardern announced a ban on all military-style semiautomatic and automatic weapons, parts that can be used to turn other rifles into such weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. “It’s about all of us,” she said, “it’s in the national interest and it’s about safety.”
Earlier in the week, she told Parliament that social media sites must address the ease with which the internet can be used to spew hate and images of violence. “We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published,” she said. “It cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility.”
There’s more at the original. Put in American terms, she attacked the freedoms we are guaranteed in both the First and Second Amendments. But the Kiwis are about as far away from the United States as it’s possible to get, and it is not our Constitution but their Bill of Rights which controls, and the Bill of Rights Act of 1990 does not grant to itself any special status; it has no more authority than any other Act of Parliament.
And so we have Miss Ardern, who not only wants to ban high efficiency firearms, but to curtail freedom of speech and of the press, to disallow speech with which the government disagrees to be disseminated. That the Prime Minister wouldn’t really appreciate the freedom of speech is hardly surprising; a politician from the left, she is simply echoing what so many politicians from the left have said in the recent past.
But it is surprising that the editors of The New York Times, whose predecessors fought so hard to defend freedom of the press in New York Times Company v United States, 403 US 713 (1971), would be telling us that we need a leader like Miss Ardern, someone who would curtail other people’s freedom of the press; I’m sure that the editors would never think that such restrictions would ever apply to them!
As was noted last March, it was the Times which published an opinion piece claiming that some speech actually constitutes violence, stating that “we must also halt speech that bullies and torments.” That the editors of the Times would like the views of a socialist like Miss Ardern is unsurprising.
But it seems that while the political leadership in New Zealand has little respect for the rights of individuals, individuals might have little respect for a government which tramples on those rights. Back to the main Post article cited:
About 47,000 firearms have been collected, and about 2,000 others have been modified to become lawful, New Zealand police figures show.
But a government-commissioned assessment by the KPMG professional services firm estimated that the number of banned guns could be between 50,000 and 170,000. If the median of that range were correct, more than half of the prohibited firearms would be unaccounted for; the precise figure is unknown because New Zealand until this year lacked a registry for military-style semiautomatics.
With the amnesty expiring, the nation’s largest gun-rights group this week declared the buyback an “unmitigated failure,” citing the group’s research. Some two-thirds of weapons banned after the Christchurch massacre remain in the hands of New Zealanders, according to the Council of Licensed Firearms Owners, making those gun owners liable to five years’ imprisonment.
Free Americans are feeling the same things:
By Kelly Mena, CNN | Updated 6:14 PM ET, Friday December 6, 2019
Washington (CNN) –Less than a month after the Democratic takeover of the Virginia state legislature, nearly half the state’s counties have passed resolutions in support of Second Amendment rights.
This week, Surrey and Craig counties declared themselves “Second Amendment” sanctuaries, joining the more than 40 counties across the state that have passed such resolutions in recent weeks. The resolutions are not legally binding, but rather are declarations of support by county officials for local citizens to exercise their right to carry weapons.
The moves come as Democrats prepare to push forward gun reform legislation in 2020.
“The counties and gun groups are asking the jurisdictions and the commonwealth to support gun rights and their Second Amendment to make sure they [the state legislature] aren’t going to do anything to take that away,” Jonathan Lynn, county administrator and clerk of the Board of Surrey County, told CNN.
“We as the county of Surrey we want to make sure we support the fundamental right of citizens,” Lynn added.
According to Lynn, gun rights groups and local residents alike have been in a rush to push for the public stance in the last month, including the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a statewide organization that is dedicated to advancing Virginians’ right to keep and bear arms, due to the insurgence of Democrats who ran on strict gun control platforms last month.
This is what happens when you elect Democrats! The left, which used to be absolutist on freedom of speech, no longer care about your constitutional rights. They would restrict your freedom of speech and they would virtually eliminate your right to keep and bear arms. Conservatives cannot be complacent, and the (supposedly) conservative #NeverTrumpers who would vote for Democrats just to get rid of Donald Trump will find that they’ve lost more than a President they hate.
Please visit my Red State story archive for more of my articles.
My personal website, The First Street Journal, includes articles not necessarily in Red State’s paradigm.
You can follow me on Twitter.