Quantcast
New Zealand Leads The Way: Prime Minister Announces New Ban On Assault Rifles In Wake Of Massacre

Jacinda f61c9

Just one week after the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques, which killed 50 people, New Zealand’s cabinet has committed to strengthening the country’s gun laws by banning military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high capacity magazines, CNN.com reports. At a press conference in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced;

“On 15 March our history changed forever. Now our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place. Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned. This legislation will be drafted and introduced in urgency.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Earlier in the week, she called for social media companies to be held accountable for the content published on their platforms. While recognizing that social media was not the direct cause of the massacre, she argued that it has become an environment where hatred and racism flourish. The white supremacist gunman livestreamed the shooting on Facebook which remained available on various platforms hours after the murders took place, as companies rushed to erase the footage.

New Zealand’s response to the attacks are strikingly different from the attitude of the National Rifle Association and its supporters in the United States. Decades of mass shootings and recent polling, in which 73 percent of Americans say more action is required to stop gun violence, have not convinced the government. It took one mass shooting for New Zealand’s government to take concrete measures against gun violence.

Ardern showed the U.S what exemplary leadership looks like on account of her reaction to the tragedy. She didn’t tweet empty “thoughts and prayers” sentiments. She visited victims’ families and listened to their grief. She spoke candidly at Cashmere High School where some of the victims attended and condemned racism and bigotry. She refused to mention the suspected gunman’s name saying, “He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name.”

These actions set an incredible precedent for governance. And, they leave many Americans wondering if our nation’s leadership will ever reach that standard.

Header photo courtesy of Christchurch City Council Newsline/Kirk Hargreaves via wikimedia commons

Free Download: 
A Feminist Guide to the Resistance

Don't give up the fight! Featuring inspiring interviews with resistance leaders; how-tos on community organizing, running for office, and much, more. Plus, get the latest from BUST.

More from BUST

How To Run A Voter Registration Drive

Don't Get Mad, Get Elected: The How-To Guide For Launching A Political Campaign

Rashida Tlaib And Uncivil Disobedience

 

 

 

Hi there! I’m a comedian, writer and actress living in New York City. I’m the only person to have a subscription to Nickelodeon Magazine without access to the Nickelodeon channel. My favorite movie is George Of The Jungle. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @stonecoldvolpe and check out my website francescavolpe.com for more of my writing and silly videos! 

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.

SUPPORT FEMINIST MEDIA

If our bold, uncensored reporting on women's issues is important to you, please consider making a donation.

donate button