AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Following the mass shooting in Christchurch, the New Zealand government enacted an “assault weapon” ban. While gun owners get furious over the nomenclature used for these bans, anti-gunners are beating the war drums in the media asking why we can’t enact a law like that here in the United States.
However, New Zealand is having some trouble enforcing the new law.
New Zealand has seen only a fraction of weapons surrendered after its government passed restrictive gun control measures, including a buyback program, following March’s mosque shootings.
About 1,000 guns estimated to qualify as prohibited have reportedly been turned over to New Zealand authorities as part of the country’s gun buyback program as of July 4, according to Radio New Zealand.
Out of 1.2 to 1.5 million guns in New Zealand, the government said an estimated 13,500 firearms are military style semi-automatics, reported Reuters.
That’s just over seven percent of firearms the government believes is out there. That estimate may be wrong, however. You see, New Zealand didn’t have a registration scheme in place, so not only does it not know who has guns, it’s unlikely to know how many there are. In other words, the government’s flying blind.
And yet, gun control activists want to enact a similar law.
My question to these folks is simple. Do they think Americans would somehow be more compliant than New Zealanders are? We have a long history of gun ownership in this country and a constitutional amendment protecting that very right. Most gun owners at this point are militantly refusing to even consider turning their guns in should such a law be passed.
It would be a miracle if such an effort in the United States got half the total number of firearms New Zealanders have turned in.
No, not half the number based on percentage, but whole numbers. Roughly 500 rifles in total.
Americans are far more suspicious of governmental power than most other Western nations. Most stem from monarchies going back centuries which, even if they overthrew those monarchies, left an indelible imprint on the culture. They’re more trusting of power than we are.
As such, we’re not likely to trust the government to be the sole possessor of firearms. There’s no way bad things won’t come of that to some degree, especially since criminals won’t comply with those laws and we’ll be beholden to the criminal class whenever they want us to be. And that’s the best-case scenario. The worst case is total dystopia that makes the Hunger Games and 1984 look like The House at Pooh Corner.
We’re not giving up our guns, and neither are New Zealanders. That tickles me to no end.
Gun rights are human rights, even if most nations refuse to acknowledge that fact. Seeing people refuse to capitulate to the demands of a government to give up their ability to exercise that right sufficiently warms the old heart, you know? I’m damn proud to see it.
The question is, what will the government of New Zealand do next?