Last Wednesday, the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the nation with a population shy of five million would immediately ban all “military-style semi-automatic weapons” following the horrific Christchurch massacre, in which 50 people were murdered.
Ardern went on to proudly state the rationale for the confiscatory policy, stating that the vast majority of firearm owners in the nation would support the ban due to it prioritizing “national interest” and “safety.”
There are approximately 1.5 million firearms owned by civilians in New Zealand. Between the years 2008 and 2017, there were 69 occurrences in which a murder was committed through the use of a firearm; that is equivalent to less than eight murders with a firearm per year. Civilians do not own firearms to commit horrific terrorist attacks or perform politically motivated catastrophes; civilians own firearms to protect their households.
The notion propagated by Ardern that confiscation would cause firearm owners to feel safer is asinine; it is purely an emotional response to the unprecedented and horrific event that occurred just a week prior. Taking firearms from civilians — people who purchased them in the first place to be safer — will not make the country, on an objective basis, a safer place.