Citizens of New Zealand were encouraged to voluntarily surrender their firearms in the wake of the deadly shooting at two Christchurch mosques that left 50 dead and dozens more wounded. So far, a few people have turned over their weapons — and the American media is happy to make it seem like it’s some national wave.
On Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden told reporters at a press conference following a cabinet meeting that new gun control measures would be proposed by next week, but acknowledged concerns among law-abiding gun owners that their guns would be confiscated. Arden then encouraged them to “surrender” their weapons to law enforcement.
It looks like a few citizens have taken her up on her offer and are getting the media attention they desired for doing so.
CNN wrote an entire article about one man who tweeted about giving up his gun. John Hart told the outlet that the gun he turned in never hurt anyone and now knows for sure that it won’t.
“Until today I was one of the New Zealanders who owned a semi-automatic rifle. On the farm they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse,” Hart wrote on Twitter.
Does he not trust himself with a gun?
In an article titled “New Zealand Gun Owners Are Voluntarily Handing Over Semiautomatic Rifles To Police: ‘We Don’t Need These In Our Country,’” Newsweek quoted Hart as well, and found two more tweets from people who self-righteously gave up their firearms.
One, identified as Fey Hag, said she inherited the guns when her husband died, but turned them in for destruction.
“When my husband died his guns were handed to family holding the requisite license. Daughter of crack-shot food hunting parents, I have used guns from the age of 9,” she wrote.
Another person on Twitter, calling themselves “Blackstone” turned in his or her gun of 31 years.
“Since I first heard about the atrocity on Friday afternoon I have reflected and reserved my thoughts. Monday morning – this is one of the easiest decisions I have ever made,” Blackstone tweeted. “Have owned a firearm for 31 years.”
Buzzfeed reported how many firearms have since been surrendered: 37. Thirty-seven guns have been turned in, by an unknown number of people (at least three). New Zealand has a population of nearly 4.8 million and has an estimated 1.2 million registered guns.
The media is obviously trying to make this look like a trend.
Prime Minister Arden has said recently that banning semiautomatic weapons was an idea she was considering in proposals for additional gun control. New Zealand already has some of the strictest laws in the world, and it is unclear how nonviolent, law-abiding citizens giving up their safely stored guns will make the country any safer.
The mosque shooter legally obtained his guns but used them illegally (to murder). Law-abiding people giving up their guns does nothing to make the country safer, it just keeps them from being able to defend themselves from people committed to breaking the law.