Gun-related crime and fatalities are up in New Zealand, according to a detailed report from Radio New Zealand (RNZ), despite last year’s crackdown on gun ownership following the March 15 attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
The report noted the violent crime rate went up in both 2018 (before the mosque attacks) and in 2019. RNZ quoted Auckland City councilor Alf Filipaina, who blamed gangs for much of the rise in gun-related crime.
“I don’t know whether it’s about the accessibility to firearms … all I know is that we need to get the details behind the offences,” Filipaina said. “It’s hard to pinpoint, [if] it’s because of the gangs or because of drugs, or domestics, without knowing the details behind.”
What is clear to American gun rights activists is that gun control has failed again as a response to a violent crime. That is, disarming law-abiding citizens hasn’t had an impact on criminals using firearms.
In the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks—the work of a single killer from Australia—Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern quickly pushed for a ban on certain firearms. Gun prohibitionists in the U.S. immediately hailed her reaction, but now the numbers suggest she wasn’t right after all.
According to the RNZ report, “On a global scale, gun crime remains incredibly low in New Zealand. For instance, in the United States there are about 106 deaths per 1 million population each year. In each of the last two years, New Zealand recorded 2.4 gun-related deaths per million people.
“But if you go back to 2014,” RNZ stated, “New Zealand had less than 1 death per million people, so there has been a steep rise over the past few years.”
While Ardern may not have made any friends in the New Zealand or U.S. firearms communities, RNZ is reporting that her popularity, and that of the Labour Party, are up following the nation’s COVID-19 lockdown as the pandemic spread worldwide.
When leading U.S. anti-gunners warmed up to the idea of gun confiscations, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms publicly chastised them and reminded the country that there is still Second Amendment protection against such a gun grab.
More recently, the Canadian government responded similarly to the mass shooting in Nova Scotia, ignoring the fact that the killer in that spree evidently owned his guns illegally because he did not have a gun license. The reaction—to disarm law-abiding citizens who had nothing to do with the crime for which they are being penalized—has been heavily criticized by U.S. gun rights advocates.