While New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced there will be new gun control laws within ten days because of the mosque attacks last Friday that left 50 people dead, the head of the New Zealand Police Association has declared that gun advocates should not have a voice in the process.
It’s a scenario that gun prohibitionists in the United States would welcome, but for that pesky Bill of Rights. The First Amendment protects the right of firearms advocates to speak, and the Second Amendment protects the right to have firearms, while also protecting the First, say rights activists.
According to CNN, Police Association President Chris Cahill declared over the weekend, “There is no place in the upcoming debate for the radical gun lobby which has made its presence felt in previous attempts to make our country safer. We have seen what happens in the United States when gun radicals are involved. Nothing. That is not good enough for New Zealand.”
This seems to be precisely the scenario that massacre suspect Brenton Tarrant hope for when he wrote his “manifesto.” In that document, the suspected killer cited as one of his reasons for the mayhem the hope that a conflict over the Second Amendment would erupt.
“Finally,” he apparently wrote, “to create conflict between the two ideologies within the United States on the ownership of firearms in order to further the social, cultural, political and racial divide within the United states (sic). This conflict over the 2nd amendment and the attempted removal of firearms rights will ultimately result in a civil war that will eventually balkanize the US along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines. This balkanization of the US will not only result in the racial separation of the people within the United States ensuring the future of the White race on the North American continent, but also ensuring the death of the ‘melting pot’ pipe dream.”
The suspect has been described as a “white supremacist.” He now faces at least one charge of murder.
New Zealand already has tight gun laws, so it is not clear what additional restrictions Ardern will suggest that might make a difference.
According to CNN, “Many New Zealanders are shocked that someone could acquire so many powerful weapons legally.” However, other New Zealanders presumably own multiple firearms and they haven’t harmed anybody, same as in the United States.
There is something else going on in New Zealand that is similar to the U.S. experience. According to CBN News, gun sales are up “as residents believe their rights to own a gun could change.”
New Zealand does not have anything similar to the Second Amendment protection for gun owners.