by Geoffrey Churchman
When the news broke of the mosque shootings in Christchurch on 15 March 2019, initially reported on the radio as a ‘serious incident’, the assumption was a local manifestation of the sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims that often occurs in countries like Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
But more details made clear it was a terrorist mass-shooting by one 28-year-old visitor from Australia, opposed to what he saw as an invasion by people who don’t share the two countries’ values and even worse, to him, had dark skin. Just prior to showing up at the scenes with a few semi-automatic rifles, he had posted an on-line manifesto and live-streamed the first attack on Facebook, the video of which could for a short time be viewed on several websites. PM Jacinda promptly ordered that both be banned and the government censors obliged, thereby ensuring their circulation would be boosted, being ‘forbidden fruit’.
It wasn’t the first terrorist incident in NZ, but it was the most serious with a high fatality count even by American gunman rampage standards — in fact only the Las Vegas mass shooting of 2017 has had more fatalities there. However, several (nearly all Muslim) terrorist bombing incidents in various countries, such as the Bali nightclubs bombing of 2002, or the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing of 1995, had much higher death tolls — an inconvenient fact for Jacinda & Co. which they unsurprisingly ignored.
The perpetrator of the Christchurch attacks specifically stated in his manifesto that he wanted semi-automatic rifles to be banned in America as a result of his exploits and so cause a revolution there. That was never going to happen, but in NZ it suited Jacinda’s avowed Hard Left ideology — maximum government control and domination of people’s lives — to do so.
Within hours she announced at a news conference “our gun laws will change.” Never mind that this was the first incident in 29 years of anyone behaving like this; never mind that the U.S. Justice Dept decided in 2004 after a 10 year ban on MSSA’s there it had made no difference to homicide statistics or even crime statistics and there was thus no justification for continuing the ban. No, she and her ministers were going to ram this through parliament as quickly as possible, regardless of cost in every way. The National Party timidly decided it would be a better look to go with Jacinda’s ban than adhere to what they had said in their manifesto. Only Act leader David Seymour opposed it.
But that wasn’t the worst of it: to deflect attention from their own major failings that allowed the event, police boss Mike Bush and his deputy Mike Clements saw it was in their interests to please the Dear Leader — and justify their enormous salaries — by ordering their troops to mount an all-consuming vendetta against Jacinda’s most political opponents, on the pretext that they might have one such, or indeed any kind of gun. Even though the police website made clear that its stations were not at that stage in a position to receive the newly banned guns and to wait, that wasn’t going to halt these terror raids — and the wives and children of the unfortunates on the police hit list got the same treatment.
Worse still is Andrew Little’s announced intention of severely restricting freedom of speech and expression, or at least that he’s going to try. National Party leader Simon Bridges says they aren’t going to play ball on that and existing laws are fine.
The main consequence of all this Far Left Fury, apart from the widespread aggravation of and resentment by tens of thousands of law-abbiding citizens, is that trust and confidence in the police by the public have plummeted and will take years to be restored, assuming that the Jacinda government and the Police Union care.