Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
We all knew it would happen, once we heard about the Christchurch massacre: the calls for taking firearms away from the people who didn’t commit any crimes. That seems to be the response of politicians everywhere, to assume that everyone is a criminal-in-waiting, and that curtailing the natural rights of free people is the thing to do. From The New York Times:
By Damien Cave | March 16, 2019
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — When the prime minister announced plans to ban semiautomatic rifles following Friday’s mass shootings, it seemed to be the bold response that many New Zealanders wanted — until the country’s attorney general backpedaled almost immediately and said that might not be the government’s final decision.
Even after a massacre that left 50 people dead, the fight over guns and safety will be a fraught one for politicians in peaceful New Zealand, just as it is in the United States.
But there is a crucial difference between the two countries that is already apparent: While Washington struggles to take action even as such shootings become more routine, New Zealand’s government is immediately diving into a detailed discussion of further legislative checks on guns.
The outright prohibition of semiautomatic weapons proposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may no longer be on the near-term table. But she’s made clear that lawmakers will look at a range of options, from gun buybacks to restrictions on magazines for semiautomatic rifles.
At least in Australia, “gun buybacks” meant mandatory buybacks; people had no choice but to sell their firearms to the government if told to do so.
It was a few paragraphs further down, but the Times gave us the most important point:
There is no right to own a gun here, as there is in the United States; rather, it is considered a privilege with responsibility.
That was a few days ago, and now, we see that yes, because 0.0000002086% of New Zealand’s population committed a horrible massacre, 100.00000% of New Zealand’s law-abiding people are going to have their natural rights curtailed.
By Damien Cave and Charlotte Graham-McLay | March 20, 2019
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand on Thursday announced a national ban on all military-style semiautomatic weapons, all high-capacity ammunition magazines and all parts that allow weapons to be modified into the kinds of guns used to kill 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch last week.
“What we’re banning today are the things used in last Friday’s attack,” she said, adding: “It’s about all of us, it’s in the national interest and it’s about safety.”
Ms. Ardern is expected to encounter little resistance to the weapons ban in Parliament; the largest opposition party quickly said it supported the measures.
Ms. Ardern said her goal was to eliminate from New Zealand the weapons that the killer used in Christchurch. She emphasized that it would require a buyback of banned weapons in circulation now, plus regulation around firearms and ammunition.
The entire article simply reeked with not-so-subtle undercurrent that it was the United States, the Constitution of which protects our right to keep and bear arms, is the odd man out, and some kind of international doofus.
Ms. Ardern’s plan for immediate gun policy changes, announced six days after a mass shooting, stands in stark contrast to the stalemate and resistance to change that has stymied similar calls for restrictions on firearms in the United States.
Ms. Ardern’s handling of the massacre and its aftermath have resonated around the world and thrust her into the spotlight as a force on the issue of guns.
There was plenty more, including the quote from the country’s police officers’ union that Miss Ardern’s plan was just what they wanted — the police, everywhere, in free countries as well as authoritarian ones, always want to see other people disarmed¹ — as well as Philip Alpers, a University of Sydney academic who runs GunPolicy.org, an international clearinghouse for gun research, who noted the problems the Kiwis might incur in putting the gun-grab plan into action, who said that while half of Australia’s states had some form of gun registration already in place, letting the gendarmarie know who had what weapons, making the
confiscations buybacks easier to enforce, New Zealand has roughly just four percent of its weapons registered.
New Zealand is at a considerable disadvantage to countries that have had registries, because there’s no way of tracing the firearms because they don’t know who’s got them. We’re relying entirely on the honesty of the gun owner to turn it in.
What an absolutely perfect statement! If New Zealand is relying on the honesty of gun owners to comply with the semi-automatic weapons ban, then the ban will apply only to honest, law-abiding people. Had this policy been in place prior to the mosque shooting, the killer would have been among those who did not simply turn in his weapons, because he intended to use them for evil purposes. And here we have an anti-gun academic telling us that what the old saw, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, is exactly correct.
Of course, since New Zealand didn’t register guns, but did require people who owned guns to be registered, the police already have a list of who legally owns firearms. The authorities may not know what weapons they own, but in a country without constitutional rights,² who is to say that warrants won’t be issued to search the residences of registered gun owners to see if any of their firearms might be banned?
The Democrats are continually saying that they don’t want to confiscate people’s weapons, oh, no, they just want “common sense gun control.” They want expanded background checks, including not just ten business days — up from the current three — for the Feds to do the checks, but an additional ten business days if the job isn’t completed in time. This is backdoor gun owner registration, where the authorities will know who has purchased a firearm. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which the Democrats love, does advocate national gun registration.
Supposedly, National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) background checks are destroyed within 24 hours, but the obvious question arises: are they really? Does anyone seriously believe that, even if a record in a computer is destroyed, a computer technician of even moderate skill cannot go right back in and recover those records? In addition, while federal law requires NICS to destroy those records, several states require such checks to be made part of their records.
The New York Times article is, in effect, advocating everything that Australia and new Zealand have done or are doing to take away the people’s natural rights to own firearms. It should be noted that in both countries, the right to own a firearm is limited to what the government considers to be acceptable reasons, and self-defense is not considered to be an acceptable reason.
The left praised Venezuela’s imposition of a firearms sale ban, while Hugo Chavez’ government said “the ultimate aim is to disarm all civilians,” which has led, just seven years later, to a disarmed public facing the troops of an authoritarian regime using weapons to retain control.
Were it not for our Second Amendment, that’s what the Democrats would do to us!
In one way, the Times article is correct: the United States is an outlier, being a nation with a Constitution which protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The nations the editors apparently consider more civilized don’t have such silliness. And for that, thank God, we are fortunate!
¹ – A photo in the article shows mourners arriving for one of the first burials for the victims being guarded by a policewoman with what appears to be a black assault rifle.
² – The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act of 1990 specifically states that it enjoys no special status over other laws passed by Parliament, which makes it, in effect, worthless.
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