Less than a week after a madman opened fire in two New Zealand mosques killing 50 people, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a ban on “all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines,” and two prominent Capitol Hill socialists are calling that “leadership,” suggesting the United States should do likewise.
Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressional lightning rod Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were busy early Thursday tweeting their approval of Ardern’s announcement.
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. https://t.co/lSAisDG9Ur
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 21, 2019
In reporting the story, CNN referred to this move as a “gun reform proposal.” But U.S. Second Amendment activists call it “gun control.” According to CNN, the “reform” proposal will be introduced to the New Zealand Parliament during the first week of April, and changing the gun laws will require an amendment to the Arms Act of 1983.
Meanwhile, the country’s Governor General has “signed an order to reclassify some semi-automatic weapons as ‘military style’,” the report noted.
“As a result,” the CNN report acknowledged, “many people who legally owned certain firearms will no longer be able to possess them on their existing license conditions.”
This is precisely the kind of scenario that gun rights activists in the United States have resisted and warned about for years; gun owners being essentially turned into criminals by the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen.
Ardern contended that the massive gun ban will “make our country a safer place.”
So, according to rights activists weighing in on social media, the New Zealand government has officially blamed the guns used by the suspect, rather than putting the blame entirely on the man who stands accused of pulling the trigger.
And in the United States, presidential candidate Sanders and firebrand Ocasio-Cortez think this is a grand example of leadership. Second Amendment advocates will remember this as more evidence that Democrats are now the party of gun prohibition.
Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.
Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.
This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
The New Zealand plan reportedly will include a “buyback,” although the government never owned the firearms in the first place. According to Fox News, the new law should be in place by April 11.
In an exchange on the USA Today editorial page Wednesday, the newspaper’s editorial board and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, presented sharply contrasting viewpoints on the New Zealand massacre. There are online polls with both statements, and Thursday morning saw more than 75 percent approval for Gottlieb’s position, while only 44.88 percent supported the newspaper’s pro-gun control statement (while more than 53 percent opposed it). Only 23 percent disagreed with Gottlieb’s contention that gun control laws do not deter madmen.
What this unscientific survey clearly suggests is that respondents to both surveys concur far more with the opinion bylined by Gottlieb than with the position taken by the USA Today editorial board. Neither will have any impact on the New Zealand decision to ban an entire class of firearms, but they just might suggest how U.S. voters will react to the radical gun control positions taken by Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez.