Yoan Valat/Pool Photo via AP

New Zealand is in the midst of its compensated confiscation program, ordering legal gun owners in the country to hand over their semi-automatic rifles in exchange for a small bit of cash. It’s still an open question as to how many New Zealanders are complying with the new law, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is moving ahead with more legislation blocking foreigners from legally purchasing firearms as well as establishing a gun registry.

Ardern said the legislation further restricting guns in the country will enshrine in law that owning a firearm is a privilege” rather than a right.

The new rules would mean any foreign visitors to the country, classified as anyone planning to stay in New Zealand for less than a year, would be barred from buying guns. Those wishing to hunt in New Zealand would be forced to rent guns or bring their own and register them with police.

I guess they do things differently down under.  Here, we talk about registration leading to confiscation, but in New Zealand, the confiscation came first and registration second.

After the Christchurch massacre and the subsequent gun ban in New Zealand, we saw American politicians embrace the ban and confiscation of legally owned firearms. “If New Zealand can do it, why can’t we?” they asked. As it turns out, there are several answers to that question, including:

  • We won’t let you.
  • Unlike New Zealand, in the U.S. gun ownership is a right, not a privilege.
  • Gun owners are unlikely to comply with unconstitutional laws restricting their 2nd Amendment rights.

I wonder how many of the American politicians who praised Ardern for her “bold” stance will be as quick to echo her statement that owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right?

Will Bernie Sanders, who said “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,” now follow Ardern’s lead and publicly state that he believes the right to keep and bear arms isn’t a right after all?

What about Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, whose response to New Zealand’s gun ban was “See. It’s not that hard“? Is he going to admit that it’s not that hard to ban commonly-owned firearms when you treat gun ownership as a privilege? Or will he continue to offer up mealy-mouthed support for the 2nd Amendment while supporting every gun control bill under the sun?

If these politicians (along with their anti-gun activist enablers) are going to embrace sweeping gun confiscation, why not just go all in and declare their belief that SCOTUS got it wrong in the Heller case, there they think there really is no individual right to keep and bear arms, and they’ll do everything in their power to turn our rights into something that requires pre-approval from the State? They’re almost there anyway. All they have to do is drop their lies like “I support the 2nd Amendment, but…” and be honest about what they really support: forbidding law-abiding Americans from owning the most effective means of self-defense.