New Zealand Makes Swift Change to Policy After Terrorist Attack

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New Zealand Makes Swift Change to Policy After Terrorist Attack

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At least 50 people were killed and 50 were injured in a hate-filled terror attack during a Friday Prayer, targeting two Christchurch mosques. The shooter targeted two mosques in New Zealand: the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque. The event was carefully planned by the shooter with the purpose to incite hatred in the peaceful nation of New Zealand.  He ensured this by live-streaming his attack on social media. Footage shows when he entered the Mosque and the worshippers that were shot and struggled to flee the scene. Thankfully, New Zealand officials removed the video from Facebook as quickly as possible.


In a mere 72 hours, the government of New Zealand decided that gun laws should be tightened. “On 15 March our history changed forever. Now our laws will too. We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. As a result, New Zealand banned all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines. With this ban in place, the citizens of New Zealand will have their guns turned in to police stations, and if any citizen is found with certain guns they would be prosecuted. The country has been united and sympathetic. After the massacre, around 1.2 million guns have been turned in voluntarily.


This incident shook the world. However, the country’s reaction to it was very surprising compared to gun massacres in the US. Here is what has New Zealand has done differently:

  • The shooter’s name was never released from government officials
  • Parliament started with an Islamic prayer
  • New Zealand paid for the victim’s funerals
  • People were charged with islamophobic posts online
  • Change in gun legislation
  • New Zealand will ban military-style semi-automatic weapons but some semi-automatic guns will be used for the sole purpose of hunting

Many citizens of the US have stated that our government must learn from New Zealand. Here in the US, politicians argue that it is too early to discuss politics right after a tragedy but as time goes on, it is too late. The US should learn from New Zealand because it’s shown that it is possible for gun control to happen peacefully. Sadly, this change may take much time. Even after Parkland and all the school shootings… nothing has moved our government to make the political change that our communities are looking for.