In a move that we would literally never see from some American gun owners following a major act of gun violence, New Zealand gun owners are actually turning in their weapons following the Christchurch Mosque shooting that left 50 people dead.
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has already set several examples, including openly grieving with the New Zealand Muslim community and introducing legislation to ban all assault weapons in the country.
But the way that New Zealanders are rising to the occasion is unparalleled.
Since I first heard about the atrocity on Friday afternoon I have reflected and reserved my thoughts.
Monday morning – this is one of the easiest decisions I have ever made.
Have owned a firearm for 31 years. pic.twitter.com/fBFqfd0gTm
— Blackstone (@SirWB) March 17, 2019
Until today I was one of the New Zealanders who owned a semi-automatic rifle. On the farm they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse.
We don’t need these in our country.
— John Hart (@farmgeek) March 18, 2019
When my husband died his guns were handed to family holding the requisite license. Daughter of crack shot food hunting parents, I have used guns from the age of 9. Today I requested that those guns be handed in for destruction.
— Fey Hag (@FeyHag) March 18, 2019
The bravery of these people is resonating strongly with some in the western hemisphere.
Love from Canada. 💛 You’ve set quite an example!
I wish my neighbours down south were as intelligent and compassionate as you.
— Katzen Sunshine (@I_am_Katzen) March 21, 2019
You Sir, are a legend. And I hope your actions inspire many more around the world to do the same. Thank you.
— mihir (@mihirsclick) March 19, 2019
Well done x
— Kirsten McKenzie (@Kiwimrsmac) March 18, 2019
Thank you for leading the way. Thank you. 💜
— Lin Nah (@lin_nah) March 18, 2019
New Zealand has had one mass shooting in its history—this one.
The USA has had 65 in 2019 so far.
Yet very little progress has been made on gun legislation in the United States.
Thank you for your ability to be open minded. Many thanks from Canada
— Graeme Cox (@rgraemecox) March 18, 2019
You glorious human… if I've learned something this week, it's that I want to be a Kiwi when I grow up
— Claire Murphy (@ClaireMurph) March 20, 2019
Wow you are great my friend 👍
— Mohammed Mujtaba (@mujtabasaif786) March 20, 2019
That's awesome… I hope people around the world follow… pic.twitter.com/pQ5VxEGMDT
— Irfan (@ayefi7) March 21, 2019
Thank you! You are a hero!
— Anna Cronshaw (@SBAnnaC) March 19, 2019
— Jas (@stuckWithCrohns) March 20, 2019
In addition to private citizens surrendering their guns, hunting store “Hunting & Fishing” has removed all military-style assault weapons from their stock.
“As far as we are concerned, they will never return,” chief executive of H&F: New Zealand, Darren Jacobs, said.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow New Zealanders in condemning this cowardly attack, and in grief and solidarity with the loved ones of all those killed and injured. We are ready to play our part.”
From Canada: Thank you for being a role model in putting the good of society first.
— Lisa Sweeney (@lrwsweeney) March 20, 2019
"When lawmakers don't do the job, conscious regular Citizens point our heading".
This is the way to prevent future tragedies.
Mr. Hart's lesson might save lives in the future if we all learnt it well.
— Dos Santos Dias PR (@DosSantosDiasPR) March 20, 2019
Great. This is what is called Wisdom
— A/rhman Mhmd A/rhman (@arahman39) March 22, 2019
Maybe the USA will follow New Zealand’s example.