Government

New Zealand's Knee-Jerk Response Threatens Liberty

New Zealand's prime minister acts to ban semiautomatic rifles in wake of mosque massacre.

Thomas Gallatin · Mar. 21, 2019

Less than a week after New Zealand suffered one of the worst crimes in its history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that she would act to ban “virtually all” types of semiautomatic rifles. Ardern sought to justify her knee-jerk decision by stating, “To owners who have legitimate uses for their guns, I want to reiterate that the actions being announced today are not because of you and are not directed at you. Our actions, on behalf of all New Zealanders, are directed at making sure this never happens again.”

Meanwhile, authorities in New Zealand have been busy arresting several individuals for sharing a 17-minute video the perpetrator live-streamed as he engaged in his massacre. New Zealand’s Chief Censor — yes, you read that right — David Shanks justified the arrests on “hate speech” grounds, stating, “It is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda.” One of the individuals arrested has been charged with two counts of distributing objectionable material, with each offense carrying a possible 14-year prison sentence should he be found guilty.

The irony here is simply dumbfounding, and it should make all Americans thankful for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. First off, following the massacre, Ardern publicly vowed that she would not name the perpetrator so as to deny him notoriety and instead “give him nothing.” Her desire not to give this criminal notoriety is certainly commendable, but the true irony lies in the fact that she has actually given in to his stated objective. She has acted to revoke the individual rights of innocent Kiwis by acting to ban semiautomatic rifles. In so doing, she unwittingly accepts and implements the murderer’s goals, written down in his trolling manifesto. So much for not naming him.

Among the myriad of motives the perpetrator lists were attacks against individual rights and specifically America’s Second Amendment. Speaking like a true neo-Nazi, he advocated for race-based collectivism over and against individual liberty.

The sad reality is that the New Zealand government’s knee-jerk reactions to this horrific crime only further the impact of that crime. Officials have caved to the will of a madman by robbing the entire population of New Zealand of their individual rights, all in the name of providing the impossible — “safety” from evil. What will result is not greater safety, but rather a greater authoritarian governance where the rights and dignity of the individual will be regularly sacrificed for the desires of the political overlords.

And it comes as no surprise that the Leftmedia in our nation celebrates Ardern’s Liberty-crushing actions. The Washington Post’s editorial board sanctimoniously lectures, “New Zealand is showing America how to respond to mass shootings.” Wrong. New Zealand is showing America how life and Liberty would suffer with no constitutional protections.

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