New Zealand Terrorist attack. Making it worse

The Department of Health consults its usual sources

It was entirely predictable, and now it has come to pass. In a fatuous, pointless, useless, sentimental gesture, the government of New Zealand is to tighten up the country’s gun laws. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday, “Our gun laws will change.” She amplified her remark: “This ultimately means that, within ten days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms which will, I believe, make our community safer. We have made a decision and, as a cabinet, we are united.” 

This is not an act of policy, but only a publicity stunt. The New Zealand cabinet’s decision reminded me of a line from Beyond the Fringe, a popular satirical revue from the 1960s in which, at a time of crisis, a government minister announces: “We need to make a futile gesture at a moment like this.”

For the point is that if you ban guns, or at least make them harder to obtain, only the bad guys will possess them. Have you noticed: it is only the lawless people who act lawlessly? The great majority of us are law-abiding and quite without murderous intent – and so we don’t need to be told that it’s rather naughty to go out and shoot a few dozen people. No psychopath intent on mass murder will be deterred by a ban on guns. Or are we to suppose that a determined killer will sit down quietly and say to himself, “Oh dear – I was going to create a bloodbath this morning but now I can’t, because the government has banned firearms!”

I find it hard to believe that women and men – even women and men elected to parliament – can be as stupid as this. So I’m trying to burrow beneath the headlines, hoping to discover the real motivation for Jacinda Ardern’s futile announcement. I suspect it is because, deep down, she and her cabinet know damn well that toughening the gun laws won’t prevent mass killings. It never has done before and it never will do in the future. Rather, I suggest, this is how the minds of those women and men in government are working: “Look, we know very well that there are intractable problems in our society which are partly the result of mass immigration and what might, to some people, look like an alien culture and way of life establishing itself so prominently in our midst. This is the real issue which we need to confront and deal with. You must be joking! That’s far too difficult. But we must be seen to be doing something. So we’ll ban guns.”

So massacres like last week’s will happen again – and again on four continents.

To change the analogy: sweeping the muck under the carpet doesn’t get rid of the stink.


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7 Comments on New Zealand Terrorist attack. Making it worse

  1. After a mass murderer struck at Port Arthur in 1996, PM John Howard tightened gun laws. It was a wise move. Once a policeman, I used to go armed in public in Adelaide everyday. I was glad to leave it all, and leave it to those erstwhile colleagues of mine who are trained to use weapons.

    Do not imagine that any licensed gun owner has the midset to defend himself or others against an armed criminal. Shooting at another human being in urban combat requires a soldier’s instinct to kill. Furthermore, haltingly producing a gun in self-defence sometimes results in its removal by an offender who has no hesitation in using it. Would anyone really wish all this on all their fellow citizens?

    Perhaps an enthusiasm for lethal force will see Englishmen respond to the threat of knife attack in London by carrying knives?

  2. I find it hard to believe that women and men – even women and men elected to parliament – can be as stupid as this.
    Frankly many of us do not find this hard to believe. Itis if they are some sort of Driod repeating a pre programmed response.
    And dont forget the people who want to ban guns are protected by people with guns.

  3. Jacinda Ardern, the PM of NZ, was elected Chairman of the International Union of Socialist Youth in 2008. So she is a Communist essentially. 100 million murdered in the 20th century and here she is today, professing outrage at murders. Odd sort of a world.

  4. It’s because we’ve abandoned rational thinking replaced it with feelings, Mr. Mullen, it’s emotions that are at the core of our responses to events, our initiation of events. History teaches it’s not a smart changeover, cultures cannot survive if their governance and lawmaking root in emotions.

  5. And in this same week, in the midst of soul-searching, wailing and wringing of hands, let us turn our thoughts to the thousands of Christians living in constant terror whose plight, from previous instances, will be largely ignored except for a few column inches by the media and, to its eternal shame, the mainstream church.

  6. The handwringing that has gone on all over the media – BBC in particular reminds us of the futile response by Europe and the world to the rapes, abductions, and killing of Christian Yazidis by Islamic zealots has quietly also been swept under the carpet. The Southgate police arrested a Nigerian christian preacher for hate crime – not charged – and said of his confiscated bible, “No-one reads that now.” Had it been a Koran wielding muslim would they have dared to insult it? The police have taken the suppression of “hate crime” as their most important function today.