Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just revealed the changes in a press conference.
"On March 15 our history changed forever. Now, our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place," Ardern said.
"Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the horrific terrorism act in Christchurch. Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military-style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand."
- NZ Herald, 21st Mar 2019
Less than a week after the white supremacist terrorist monster who shall not be dignified with a name by the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the Beehive has moved with swift action and passed legislation that bans automatic and semi-automatic weapons as well as other kinds of assualt rifle.
Unlike the United States where even trying to suggest the barest of background checks is likely to have you targeted online by all kinds of vile wingnuts, the New Zealand Parliament moved with relative ease on the issue and it was met with bipartisan support.
The right to bear arms has of course existed, and been world famous in New Zealand since ages ago. One of the things that came out of Waitangi was that the Maori were more or less given the same rights as Pakeha. The law of the Pakeha already included the Bill of Rights Act 1688, which conferred the right to bear arms among other things.
That the subjects which are protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.
- Section 7, Bill Of Rights Act 1688
Note those two caveats. The Bill of Rights Act 1688 already contains the admission that the ramifications of the law could very well be different for different people with the words "suitable to their conditions". It can be argued with a fair amount of reasonableness that a farmer might need guns for the purposes of destroying pests which might kill their livestock. Likewise it can be argued that killing rabbits is a reasonable justification for owning a weapon as they might damage both crops and the land itself. If you live on the land, then eliminating the threats to your livelihood, is both reasonable and suitable to their conditions. I think that this also passes the reasonableness test of the man on the Clapham Omnibus.
I think that it is also reasonable to arrive at the conclusion that an assault rifle or a semi automatic weapon, where the intended purpose is the hunting of people, that these things are not suitable to anyone's conditions.
This brings us to the next few words in that section "and as allowed by law". The New Zealand Parliament, when confronted with an incident of terrorism, which should not be acceptable or excusable, has with due reasonableness passed legislation. It has been presented with the evidence which carries a lot of gravitas and has deemed that certain kinds of weapons are not suitable to anyone's conditions and therefore should not be allowed by law.
This is what should like at the heart of deliberative democracy. In a rare occasion where the perpetual football game of politics has been set aside, elected members of a 'thing' in the old Nordic sense of the word, have come together and listened to the hue and cry which has arisen as the result of a deeply troubling national injury and have made a decision to change the law. Now whether or not laws should be passed after the fact or passed before an event happens as part of norm forming policy is kind of irrelevant here because the offence is so deep that it has warranted immediate action.
The response from the New Zealand Parliament has been one of swift action where the intent is to protect the lives and liberties of New Zealanders and I think that it stands as a shining example of what proper leadership looks like. Right from the very top, from the Prime Minister's office, the actions of the New Zealand Government have been about trying to help heal the injury. Granted that no government action can ever hope to make amends for the shocking atrocity but offering to pay for the funeral expenses for the fifty-one victims is a practical start and the actions of practical love which includes the provision of meals for the families of the victims and the public displays of the haka by various community groups has at least part way said that the mosques are part of the collective 'us' of New Zealand. That's Kiwi as.
The response from the Australian media and particularly from News Corp newspapers has been kind of schizophrenic. On one hand they have tried to condemn the murderer, while at the same time been trying to make statements about immigrants and refugees who do not integrate into society. News Corp papers in particular, along with Sky News and Seven West Media to a lesser degree have tried to almost wash their hands of anything that they may have done, to outright attacking people likeTim Soutphommasane for not speaking up sooner despite the fact that he very clearly did.
This white supremacist terrorist attack has happened in the midst of two election campaigns (though officially the Federal Election campaign remains undeclared) and I have now seen no fewer than fourteen articles blaming immigration policy on the Labor Party.
The white supremacist terrorist monster said in his manifesto that among the reasons for doing this was to not only highlight that terror can strike anywhere but to stir up racial. cultural and religious tensions in the United States and specifically spark more debate about the Second Amendment. The problem there is that that is settled law.
America is completely fine with sacrificing its children and vulnerable on the altar of its modern Molech. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of children and innocent lives. It is its natural manure.
The Supreme Court has effectively reduced the words of the Second Amendment to "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" and nothing else. Heller v DC 2008 struck off any hopes of the words "well regulated"; which means that whatever the intent of the framers had, is long irrelevant. It also completely destroys the terms "suitable to their conditions" and "as allowed by law" from the 1688 Bill of Rights.