What New Zealand's Anti-Gun Crowd Can Teach Us About Ours

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

New Zealand used to have somewhat OK gun control laws, at least compared to other nations outside of the US. You could have about the same kinds of guns we could and if you had to jump through a few more hoops, it was still possible to get them and use them.


Then the Christchurch massacre happened and all that went out the window.

That left a lot of casualties in its wake. Not Christchurch, mind you, though that did as well. No, the reaction to Christchurch.

One of those was gun clubs, which suddenly were vilified and found themselves under attack. Now, though, some are working to repeal at least some of those restrictive measures. In the process, anti-gunners there are really tipping their hands in ways they probably don't intend to.

A proposal to ease regulations for shooting clubs and ranges is welcome news for volunteer administrators - but will do little to address problems around the clubs themselves, gun control proponents say.

Last month, associate minister of justice Nicole McKee announced the Government was consulting on a package of proposals for the “simple and effective” regulation of shooting clubs and ranges.


Club president Martin Ewing said gun clubs all over the country couldn’t find people to fill roles because of the “horrendously onerous administration” that had been put on them.

“[The clubs] weren't a problem to begin with. The problem out there isn't law abiding shooters, it's illegal guns,” he said.

Gun Control NZ co-founder Phillipa Yasbek said the problems they had heard about gun clubs, such as noise issues, environmental impacts, and lead pollution, were not addressed by regulation.

There was no obligation for gun clubs to look out for potential extremists or to report them, she said.

It should be noted, however, that there's no obligation for anyone to look out for potential extremists or to report them anywhere else, either.


Now, Yasbek did note that gun clubs were useful for teaching gun safety, which is good, but that was after a whole list of supposed problems with the clubs, most of which are nonsense.

Noise issues? Folks are moving into homes next to gun ranges and are then shocked to find out they can hear gunshots? That's on them.

Lead pollution? It takes a whole lot of lead to go downrange before it becomes an actual issue. After all, lead is a naturally occurring substance and tends to occur at much higher levels than you'll find at a gun range.

I don't know what else they're calling environmental issues, but the truth of the matter is pretty damn clear. They just don't want you to have a place to shoot at all.

This plays out here as well, mind you, they just don't have the ability to see the government stamp gun ranges out of existence like was happening in New Zealand. That's where the problem really lies.

If they get that opportunity, they will.

Let's be real, the Second Amendment is largely meaningless if we do not have an opportunity to train with the weapons that we have a right to keep and bear. How can we defend this nation and our liberties without such places?

And that, I believe, is the goal.

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