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Why We Should Follow New Zealand’s Lead on Gun Control

The violence needs to end.

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Why We Should Follow New Zealand’s Lead on Gun Control
Kirk Hargreaves for the Christchurch City Council Newsline

A few days ago, New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the country was to ban semi-automatic and assault rifles. The announcement came after the country's cabinet came to an agreement on the matter only 72 hours after the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, NZ.

The quick turnaround is receiving acclaim from politicians and citizens alike. It is a major step in eliminating mass shootings. This move, in my opinion, is something that desperately needs to be emulated by the United States.

Unlike New Zealand, we have been having mass shootings for many years. These have happened in schools, churches, newsrooms, and just about any setting you can think of. This is because 65% of the gun-owning population in the US (which is about half) own more than one weapon, and many of these are semi-automatic military rifles. If these were not available, these mass acts of violence would quite simply not be happening as often, or at all.

The recent Christchurch shootings, which occurred in two mosques, were also demonstrations of Islamophobia in the country. The new tightened gun laws also act against violence against Muslims in their place of worship. Religion is often a controversial topic that impassions people to commit violence—this could be seen at the First Baptist Church shooting in Texas in 2017.

Through banning multiple forms of assault weapons, New Zealand has shown that they do not tolerate this violence against innocent people, including people of any race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. While to some, limiting gun ownership is a violation of rights, it is evidently necessary for the safety of civilians. If any civilian has access to a military rifle intended for mass destruction, it is important to think of the type of damage they intend to inflict. Anyone that is buying this level of a firearm is most certainly not acting in self-defense.

Thus, in order to prevent the wrong weapon from getting into the wrong person's hands, it is imperative that we follow in New Zealand's footsteps. It is the only way to prevent these atrocities from happening.

So, what's stopping us? It is not only our current President but the NRA, which funds a myriad of political campaigns and companies behind the scenes. People need the money and aren't willing to find alternative sources, so they hid behind their "second amendment" rights in order to hold onto their cash.

Right now, it seems impossible for this organization to be removed from so many other campaigns and organizations without causing chaos due to a lack of funding. In my opinion, we can and will find another option. Once the NRA loses its footing, we can, at last, create a safer society with heavier restrictions on guns. Because no one should feel unsafe at school, in the newsroom, in their place of worship, at the movies, or simply going about their day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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