Christchurch Terrorist Attack’s Second anniversary – New Zealand No Safer Despite Undemocratic, Draconian New Gun Laws

An Opinion by Stewart Hydes

Recently, the Secretary of SSANZ (Sporting Shooters Association of New Zealand) sent out an email to members as follows:

Dear SSANZ members,
On the second anniversary of the Christchurch terrorist attack New Zealand is no safer despite draconian new gun laws.
Gangs continue to wage war on their rivals with almost daily shooting incidents and gun crime continues to rise. 
Meanwhile the Prime Minister and Minister of Police continue with their platitudes.
And our justice system is soft on those who are caught.
Foreword:  I write this as a member of a small group who has spoken to literally hundreds of “grass roots” Firearms Licence Holders about recent Firearms Law Reforms (through attending A&P Shows all around Canterbury, and organising the three highly successful Firearms Law Reform Protest Street Marches, in Ashburton).
The SSANZ comment is 100 percent correct.
Totally predictably .. totally foreseeably .. things have turned out almost exactly as the government were warned they would, by the protestations of a concerned Firearms Community.
And that should come as no surprise.  Law-abiding Firearms Licence Holders come from a broad cross-section of New Zealand’s society – fine, upstanding individuals, including many professionals – and those who stand up and advocate for this large group of legitimate New Zealander’s are not silly.  Apart from having a very good, first-hand knowledge of how things work in New Zealand – they are also very well-informed about overseas experience.
As the Firearms Community tried their best to inform lawmakers – Firearms Law Reforms were knee-jerk, rushed, ill-advised, and unbalanced in their impact.
Firearms Law Reforms rode rough-shod over our democratic due processes (particularly around meaningful consultation, the results of which are taken into account in drafting of laws) and those processes exist for a reason.  History tells us – sound process produces sound law.  Sound laws are laws those affected are generally happy to comply with.
Instead, rushed law-making has failed to get the buy-in of legitimate, law-abiding Forearms Licence Holders.   This is simply because resulting laws do not pass “reasonableness tests” in the minds of many who are affected.  We all felt the need to do something after the Mosque attacks .. but laws that are unfair, unreasonable and unjustified .. simply result in poor compliance.
Old Junk
The largely failed, so-called Gun Buyback is a good example of a resulting outcome.  It resulted in the destruction of a lot of guns that didn’t need to be destroyed.  Taxpayers paid for a lot of old junk.  And only a small proportion of “target” Firearms were handed in.
We now have a Firearms Community that has a high proportion of people who feel alienated.  How does anybody think that possibly helps what the government has tried to achieve?
The response of the Norwegian government after their 2011 terrorist attack is a far better example of how to get it right .. in a country with a similar level of firearms ownership to New Zealand. They have taken a far more measured approach .. which has done a far better job of keeping people onside .. largely avoiding the sense of alienation amongst law-abiding and legitimate Firearms Licence Holders.
As a result, Norway will see a far higher level of buy-in, cooperation .. and ultimately, compliance.
Failings Missed
Worst of all .. NZ’s Firearms Law Reforms have simply missed the target.  Imposing unnecessary, superfluous law reforms on the law-abiding .. has done very little to address the real issues.
They don’t address the failings of the Police to follow pre-existing process.
They don’t address the failings of our security surveillance authorities .. to pick up on a person of such obvious concern.
And criminals are laughingly unaffected. We reap what we sow.

Government’s rushed firearm law has failed miserably

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6 Responses to Christchurch Terrorist Attack’s Second anniversary – New Zealand No Safer Despite Undemocratic, Draconian New Gun Laws

  1. Charles Henry says:

    Switzerland has one of the most relaxed and liberal firearm regulations in the world, yet has one of the lowest gun crimes committed.
    Likewise in the US, states with the most draconian laws have the worst gun crime records – conversely states with relaxed gun laws and open-carry have some of the lowest.
    Is it me, but could it possibly be that the thought of meeting an armed home defender puts many crims off? Maybe the thought of getting shot during a burglary aint worth it!!!

  2. James Broagh says:

    The rushed firearm law of government had the appalling tone of being totalitarian and anti-democratic. Over 12,000 submissions considered in two days? Pull the other leg.
    Worse still National went along with it. NZ First could have blocked it by withdrawing support and forcing Adern to put it through a proper select committee process with democracy recognised. As it was the law was stupid with gangs reported to be buying military style weapons at prices bettering government offers. Government hit the law abiding public but through clumsy law gave gangs more weapons. Blame government and blame the police heads and law drafters. Rants from police association president Chris Cahill against firearm winning public were injudicious and not professional. Well put Stewart Hydes. Thank you.

    • Stewart Hydes says:

      Thanks James.
      You’re quite right.
      There’s been a lot about our current government that’s been quite totalitarian and anti-democratic, hasn’t there?
      National’s clumsy handling of support for the government’s rushed and highly undemocratic Firearms Law Reforms in turn cost them a lot of their own support – which contributed significantly to their disastrous result in the Polls.
      Lots of Firearms Licence Holders (and their Supporters) are rural people .. and some of them even perversely ended up voting Labour (ostensibly to keep the Greens out .. but fuelled in no small part by their disappointment at National’s handling of support for Firearms Law Reforms).
      NZ First paid dearly for their perceived failure to use their influence to proper effect. Firearms Licence Holders abandoned them in droves .. deservedly moving to support ACT instead.
      The influence of Firearms Licence Holders showed up more markedly in this last election than ever before .. most noticeably in the meteoric rise of ACT.
      Overseas research has suggested a swing of 2-3% can be enough to bring about change. Firearms Licence Holders are fully 5% of the population .. and 10% of the vote. With our Supporters, we have the influence of more like 20% of the Community (far higher in rural areas .. and importantly in a country with such a small number of people spread over most of its geographical spread .. in more rural electorates).

  3. Roger+Dewhurst says:

    The new gun laws are NOTHING to do with safety. They are about a communist, like all dictators, who wishes to have as few firearms in society as she can achieve. For her, none are her ideal, except for those in the hands of her thugs, but she knows that she cannot do that in one hit. Ban a few at the start, ban a few more later and delay the issue of new licences and renewals. Notice well that there has been no enquiry into why and how Tarrant got his licence.
    Roger Dewhurst

  4. Chaz Forsyth says:

    Not for so long has the spectacle of craven politicians opting for a ‘quick fix’, when the reali issues, of (a) law enforcement, (b) social alienation, deprivation, unemployment and widening distinction between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, apparent since the late 1980s, remain.

    Even the opposition did not oppose recent legislation, succumbing as it/they were to the hysteria which clearly impeded rational thought in the Chamber of the House!

    The taking of urgency, a ploy to ensure the tiny vocal minority ‘gun lobby’, sidelined from mustering real opposition, was effectively marginalised (and maligned) by the MPs of the central government, has been repeated when pressing other legislation!

    Aided and abetted by a gullible news media, at times intent of pursuing its own agenda, our political leaders, egged on by our police, have created a plethora of laws, and now strive to impose fresh regulations which, as well as creating victimless offences, will in no way deter the criminally inclined.

    A predictable (and predicted) mess.

    Trust the politicians – yeah right!

  5. Alex Cubro says:

    There new firearm laws achieved nothing, in fact, quite the opposite with gangs buying military style weapons under the table because they paid higher prices than government.
    It is rather ironical, for governments running on Rogernomic lines, good healthy competition with the highest bidder getting the goods.
    Meanwhile the law abiding Kiwis are having firearms taken away by stupid anti-firearm law. Well put Roger Dewhurst.

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