The United States acts as a perennial example of where an abundance of firearms in the hands of unfit individuals can lead to. Yes, the United States has a very different gun culture to New Zealand, but the importing of the same Gun Control arguments used in the US has led to importing some of the same rebuttals of those arguments, and it’s only going to make NZ a less safe place.
Let’s start by looking at a fundamental difference in attitudes between Yanks and Kiwis; the purpose of firearms. In NZ, firearms are for pest control, hunting, sport shooting, and competition. Stateside, firearms are used for the same but importantly they add personal defense to the list. And that’s a biggie, because it legitimizes the use of guns against people. Kiwis have always held that firearms are not ever to be used on people, save in wartime against the enemies of our nation. The notion that individuals could carry guns for use against others has been rejected.
The reason that rejecting the use of firearms against other citizens is so important is that if allowed, people will exercise that option, but against who? well, the bad guys right? Sure, it’s fine to use guns against bad guys… except that like beauty, bad is in the eye of the beholder. Imagine you are bullied every day at school. Imagine that you’ve sought help and been ignored by your fellow students, the teachers, the principal, your parents – everyone you can turn to has failed you. Who are the bad guys in the eyes of such an individual? And since using guns against bad guys is an option… well, you can read about the results regularly, and it disgusts us.
So what does this have to do with New Zealand? by and large we don’t think the same way. But there are two major problems heading our way:
Firstly, NZ Police are more routinely carrying firearms, and there are calls for front line officers to be armed. Police should have access to firearms in case they need them, but to routinely carry sends a message; What reason would a police officer have for carrying? to shoot people. Not deer, or possums, or targets, but people. If an acceptable use of guns is now to shoot people then who could claim to be surprised when the incidents of gun violence rise? and if criminals know that police are armed, they’re not going to stop being criminals as the naive politicians would hope, they will start to carry firearms routinely too.
Secondly, in response to the unfair treatment of firearms license holders in NZ under the Ardern government’s firearms confiscation, the right of self defense is starting to rear its head. Not because firearms owners want to shoot people, but because the lawmaking process has been abused and there are few options for law abiding citizens to resist persecution.
The increasingly absurd anti-gun rhetoric will inevitably be met with increasingly absurd pro-gun rhetoric in order to just maintain some kind of balance, and it’s not the firearms owners who keep raising the bar of absurdity. So now we find ourselves reading about the English Bill of Rights which specifically grants rights to arms for defense, and in so doing we are re-introducing the idea that guns are for shooting people, and it’s worth repeating; not because Kiwi’s believe in firearms for self defense, but due to the lack of options left open to law-abiding New Zealanders under the dictatorial mandates from above.
It is obvious to everyone with knowledge of firearms and the “buyback” that the criminal element of our society will still have access to firearms. The “buyback” will utterly fail to remove access to firearms for those who wish to do harm, and the shift in culture being pushed upon New Zealand will make it increasingly acceptable for guns to be turned on us by both Police and criminals.