New Zealand Prime Minister Takes a Stand Against Gun Violence
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is working to prevent the Christchurch shooter from gaining the notoriety that many mass shooters attempt to gain after their heinous actions.
In a statement days after the shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to never publicly speak the name of the man who murdered 50 and injured 34 Muslims in two Christchurch mosques.
“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name,” Ardern said. “He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”
“And to others I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name,” she said.
The shooter, a 28-year old Australian living in New Zealand, sent the Prime Minister among others an 87-page manifesto minutes before acting on the coordinated attack which he live streamed on Facebook Live. The document touted anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments.
The shooter was charged with one count of murder. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said more charges would be filed. According to CNN, the suspect was remanded in custody and will reappear in court on April 5. Two others remain in custody in connection with the shooting, but their role remains unclear. A fourth person detained in the aftermath of the attack was later determined to be an armed bystander who wanted to help police.
In the weeks since the attack, Ardern announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles and will put laws to parliament formalizing its action immediately. Finalizing such legislation typically takes months, but Ardern said the matter is so urgent it will be done by April 11.
According to DW, a Germany-based news outlet, the ban will “prevent people from owning parts, magazines and ammunition that can be used to assemble prohibited weapons; ban semi-automatic shotguns that can be fitted with detachable magazines, and pump-action shotguns that hold more than five rounds; won’t include weapons used by farmers and hunters, including semi-automatic .22 caliber or smaller guns that hold up to 10 rounds; and will include an amnesty for unlawful items to be handed in by the end of September this year, with a buyback scheme costing up to 200 million New Zealand dollars,” which equates to $136 million.