There are a lot of Americans with a very deep respect for New Zealand.
No, it’s not because they’re huge Lord of the Rings fans and feel obligated to respect the land that gave us the landscape in those films. Oh no, it’s nothing quite like that. It’s because, following a rare mass shooting, the government swung into action immediately to curtail the rights of thousands and thousands of New Zealanders who did nothing wrong.
Complicit in that nonsense was the New Zealand media who, must like our own, aren’t big fans of the right to keep and bear arms.
Now, they’re trying to sell the people there on a gun registry.
The gun lobby has opposed gun registers for the last three decades. So, we at Gun Control NZ had a look at recent evidence from Canada, Australia and the European Union.
In Europe and Australia (combined population 537 million), gun registration has been a success. In Canada (population 38 million), cost over-runs and mass resistance from gun owners forced the cancellation of their scheme.
Registration makes each firearm owner personally responsible for every weapon they own. New Zealand has had a laidback gun culture. While safety has improved, many owners have been too relaxed about security. When police looked at stolen firearm reports, they found that in more than 60 per cent of cases, the owners were not complying with basic security requirements. Nearly a third of the stolen guns were left unattended in vehicles. Most of the cars had been left unlocked, some with the keys inside!
Almost every black-market gun in New Zealand was once a legal gun. People with firearms licences buy guns for the unlicensed. In 2014, a licensed firearms owner was jailed for six years for selling 72 firearms to people without licences.
The problem, however, is that once a gun is stolen–even if security requirements are followed to the letter, they can still be stolen–the registry is less than useless. It may tell you who had the gun before, but it doesn’t tell you who has it now, and that’s where the problem has always been.
Further, make no mistake. Gun registries exist for one reason and one reason above all others, that’s to make it easier to round up the guns should the “need” arise. Don’t believe me? New Zealand police decried the lack of a registry when it was time to round up AR-15s in that nation. That’s the real reason this subject has come up.
And make no mistake, it will come up here as well.
There are already a lot of people who are big fans of registration here in the U.S., and for a lot of the same reasons. They actually think they’re going to round up all the guns someday and why go house-to-house when you know where they’re at? Of course, that’s also a pipe dream, both here and in New Zealand.
As it stances, New Zealanders are buying up new guns to circumvent the laws or they’re just ignoring them. Either way, they’re not interested in just rolling over and complying with the government’s wishes. You’re deluded if you think they’d register them.
Much like how the only thing I’d register here would be my strong objections.