Kiwi the People

Like their American counterparts, New Zealand politicians offered thoughts and prayers following last week’s mass killing. Unlike Americans, they followed up with almost immediate action. From Buzzfeed: New Zealand is banning military-style semiautomatic weapons following the Christchurch terror attack. I know, I know. It’s strange that obstinate New Zealand politicians seem stubbornly unwilling to wait for a few hundred more mass murder incidents before banning the weapons designed for mass murder. Places of worship were hit, but this rash move threatens to cut off the weapons supply without allowing the cycle of violence to fully run its course at malls, workplaces, and of course, schools. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explained the strategy: “In short, every semiautomatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.” Crazy, right?

+ Vox: It took one mass shooting for New Zealand to ban assault weapons. (It took America a few hundred to ban bump stocks.)

+ Not satisfied with taking weapons of war off the street, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also thinks global leaders need to do more to address the rise of hate and role of social media platforms. “Social media platforms have been used to spread violence, material that incites violence. All of us need to present a united front … I would have hoped from all of the evidence that we have seen to date that the moral rationale for self regulation already exists and it hasn’t happened. So if what has been seen in the past week isn’t enough to score self regulation, I’m not sure what will.” (Lately I’ve been wondering … If Elon Musk can be CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and Jack Dorsey can be CEO of Twitter and Square, why can’t Jacinda Ardern be Prime Minister of New Zealand and President of the United States?)

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