In March, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the “first tranche” in a number of moves to restrict the rights of New Zealand citizens to protect themselves with firearms. This move was in direct response to the horrific murders that unfolded on March 15. Coincidentally, this is the exact move the terrorist who carried out these attacks had hoped for and predicted. The good news is, however, that most citizens are refusing to turn in their guns.
The terrorist who murdered 50 people earlier this year was engaging in a classic propaganda of the deed in which he predicted—accurately—that his murder would spark the restriction of gun rights. Lawmakers took his bait.
It is estimated that roughly 250,000 people own the recently-banned semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand. Estimates show that these 250,000 gun owners — who were turned into criminals overnight by their government — own around 300,000 firearms.
Since the government attempted to disarm these 250,000 people, only 530 guns have been turned in.
Government officials are attributing the lack of gun turn-ins to citizens wanting to be properly compensated for their weapons. However, the complexity of this situation is likely far different.
Simply put, guns — in the hands of good people — level the playing field against guns in the hands of bad people. It is this simple. As this tragic case illustrates, bad guys will always have access to guns, even if you use laws to disarm them.
The protectionist attitude of taking guns from law abiding citizens to keep guns from criminals is ineffective, self-serving, one-sided and ignores the benefits of an armed society as well as history. And, it only serves to further the oppression of those who cannot defend themselves.
While it would certainly be an amazing thought to be able to live in a world without guns, that is simply not the case. Until it is the case, anyone who wants to defend themselves and their family, should be able to do so in any manner they see fit — as the only other option is tyranny.