A Sunday editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette, reacting to a high-profile shooting incident last week in Auckland, N.Z., was on target when it stated, “Better control over known lawbreakers is likelier to forestall the next such tragedy than is another attempt to control guns.”
“Our state knows the pain of such seemingly random madness,” the editorial acknowledged, “so the incident was all too relatable. But it also offered a reminder of the limits of gun-control laws — repackaged nowadays in the U.S. as ‘gun safety’ laws — in curbing such violence. New Zealand’s crackdown on gun ownership in recent years obviously didn’t prevent this tragedy.”
In 2019, following a bloody attack on two mosques in Christchurch, N.Z., the government there cracked down hard on law-abiding gun owners. New laws forced gun owners to turn in—as part of a “buy back” which many have referred to as “compensated confiscation”—of thousands of firearms. As the Gazette editorial pointed out, those gun laws did not prevent last week’s shooting.
A man identified as Matu Tangi Matua Reid walked into a construction site, where he was employed, and opened fire with a pump-action shotgun, as reported by The Guardian. He killed two people and wounded several others including two police officers. He was found dead, possibly of a self-inflicted wound.
New Zealand authorities acknowledged Reid was on home detention but was allowed to go to work. He was doing time for a previous domestic violence offense.
The Gazette editorial was sprinkled with advice to Centennial State lawmakers, noting with no small irony how earlier this year, majority Democrats were congratulating one another for the gun restrictions they passed, including bans on so-called “ghost guns,” establishing a three-day waiting period on gun purchases, and raising the age for buying guns to 21 years.
“If only such measures could make a difference in heading off mass murder,” the Gazette editorial lamented. “If anything, they create a false hope.”
This is not a first for the newspaper in terms of going against the grain politically. Earlier, the Gazette published another editorial telling the Legislature to make fighting crime a priority.
Colorado Springs is located south of Denver via U.S. 25.