America Obfuscates and New Zealand Acts

America Obfuscates


New Zealand Acts

© David Burton 2019

Gun Murders Continue in America?

     On Friday, 12 March 2019, some 50 people “were shot to death at two mosques during midday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand.” (Ref. 1)

     “Here in the United States of America, land of the free, we have developed a now-familiar ritual to move past each incident of mass death in our national bloodletting, the sacrifice for freedom. Each time one of our citizens murders people with a gun at a mall or a school or a movie theater or a church or a concert or a club, we count the dead and wounded; we send our thoughts and prayers to their families; half the country calls for changes to the current regime of gun laws that allow anyone easy access to incredibly powerful weapons of war; and many others insist it's too early to politicize the tragedy, until it's far enough in the rearview that the public's demand for action has receded. Then you count the days until the next mass murder.
     “It seems New Zealand has decided the United States is not a model on this issue. A white supremacist committed an act of terrorism at two Mosques in Christchurch last week, using two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and a lever-action firearm to kill 49 people. In response, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that ‘military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles’ will be banned. The government will institute a buy-back program, where citizens can drop their now-illegal firearms at local police stations.” (Ref. 2)

     On 22 March, less than a week after the Christchurch Mosque massacre, “New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans to ban nearly all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles . . . , six days after a gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch.
     “At a dramatic news conference, Ardern lamented that previous attempts to reform the country's gun laws had fallen short and declared that ‘the time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end, and today they will.’
     “While Ardern characterized the policy as an immediate ban, she then clarified that it would be submitted to Parliament as legislation the first week of April.
     “In the meantime, Ardern said, the government will sharply restrict access to ‘virtually all’ such weapons by reclassifying them to require a police permit — which will be denied. [Emphasis mine]
     “ ‘I can assure people that there is no point in applying for such a permit,’ she said.
      - - -
     “Police Minister Stuart Nash said the legislation would include ‘narrow exemptions for legitimate business use,’ including use by police, the military and ‘professional pest control.’ “ (Ref. 3)

     New Zealand’s rapid and forceful response to the mass shooting “seems eminently reasonable to pretty much anyone in the developed world outside of the United States, where any gun restrictions are dismissed by a significant share of the country as a tyrannical government's assault on constitutional rights. This operates on the premise that The Founders - who fought the Revolution using muskets with which the most highly trained soldiers could only fire three rounds per minute - believed every citizen has an inalienable right to an AR-15 outfitted with a bump stock, which fires 600 rounds a minute. This logic even extended to the feeble attempt, after 20 five- and six-year-olds were murdered in the hallways of their Connecticut elementary school, to pass a law mandating that anyone who wants to buy a gun has to pass a background check on their criminal and mental health histories.
     “. . . it seems New Zealand has gone with the blueprint drawn up by their oceanic neighbors in Australia.  . . .
     “After Australia implemented a similar ban, the country destroyed more than a million weapons, and additional gun buybacks and amnesties have been conducted since. [Emphasis mine] Last year, more than 57,000 weapons were handed in, including a rocket launcher and a World War II machine gun. In the wake of the reforms, mass shootings in Australia dropped to zero, gun suicides declined by an average of 4.8% per year, and gun-related homicides declined by an average of 5.5% per year. [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     “Maybe it's time we took a page from another country's book. Or we can just keep tallying up the bodies. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been 62 mass shootings-where four or more people are shot-in America in the year 2019. 2,982 Americans have died at the end of a gun since January 1. 112 children are dead. 487 teenagers are dead. 61 police officers have been injured or killed. [Emphasis mine] . . .” (Ref. 2) All these victims of gun violence in America are just part of the sacrifice we are continuing make to gun lovers, gun crazies, pandering politicians, and gun makers! The unalterable truth is that “In the United States, people who want to kill a lot of other people most often do it with guns.” (Ref. 4)

     “On Feb. 14, 2018, a former student slaughtered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
     “The next day, David Hogg, a student who survived the attack, expressed his frustration at the pattern of political inaction that seems to follow mass shootings in the United States. He was not surprised that there had been another school shooting, he said, and that fact alone ‘says so much about the current state that our country is in, and how much has to be done.’ “ (Ref. 5)

     Over the course of the following year, much was said about gun violence and mass shootings in America, but nothing of any value was done to prevent similar future senseless killings! There were mass pronouncements of sympathy for the ever-increasing number of victims, their families and their friends. There was much pontification in high places about the need to do something, but no meaningful action ensued. [6]

     While New Zealand’s Prime Minister responds with meaningful action, America’s Presidents – both present and former - react with meaningless words. Just a day after the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, we read that, “A 15-year employee being fired from a manufacturing company opened fire in its suburban Chicago plant Friday, killing five co-workers and wounding five police officers before he was fatally shot . . .” As usual, “The White House said U.S. President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting and monitoring the situation as he prepared to depart for a weekend trip to his home in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump tweeted his thanks to law enforcement officers in Aurora and offered his condolences to the victims and their families. ‘America is with you,’ he said.” (Ref. 7) Just another example of the all-too-familiar meaningless blather and no meaningful action!

     It’s more than 60 years since mass shootings in America began, when a student sniper fired down on passersby from the observation deck of a clock tower at the University of Texas. By the time police killed him, 17 other people were dead or dying. [4]

     Since the University of Texas clock tower shootings, the number of mass shootings has exploded. Just a few of the more recent and well-known shootings (since 2013) include the following: 12 killed in Thousand Oaks nightclub shooting – November 2018; 11 killed in Tree of Life synagogue shooting – October 2018; 10 killed in Santa Fe, Texas High School shooting – May 2018; 17 killed in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – February 2018; 26 killed in Texas First Baptist Church massacre – November 2017; 58 killed in the Las Vegas Strip massacre – October 2017; 49 killed in Orlando nightclub massacre – June 2016; 14 killed in San Bernardino mass shooting – December 2015; 12 killed in Washington Navy Yard shooting – September 2013; 27 killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre – December 2012; 12 killed in Aurora, Colorado theater shooting – July 2012.[8]

     It’s now 10 years since the Columbine shootings. In the intervening 10 years, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now nearly 7 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. In the intervening 6 plus years, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now nearly 3 years since 49 were killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre. In the intervening 3 years, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now 1-1/2 years since 58 were killed in the Las Vegas Strip massacre. In the intervening 18 months, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now a full year since the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the intervening 12 months, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now 11 months since the mass shooting at the Santa Fe High School shooting. In the intervening 11 months, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now 6 months since 11 were killed in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. In the intervening 6 months, what have we here in America done in response to that tragedy? What have we accomplished in the struggle to end gun violence in America? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

     It’s now 1 month since 50 Muslim worshipers were murdered in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Within 1 week, what was done in that country in response to the tragedy? What have the New Zealanders done to prevent more gun violence in their nation? NEW ZEALAND BANNED ASSAULT WEAPONS!  NEW ZEALAND SHARPLY RESTRICTED ACCESS TO “VIRTUALLY ALL” SUCH WEAPONS BY RECLASSIFYING THEM TO REQUIRE A POLICE PERMIT — WHICH “WILL BE DENIED.”

     New Zealand has no Second Amendment which gun advocates in America use as their argument that ownership of guns is a God-given right and, therefore can never be rescinded. New Zealand has no major pro-gun lobbying organization like America’s NRA to foil any effort to restrict gun ownership. What New Zealand does have is a proactive Prime Minister who can take nearly instantaneous action in response to a real crisis. Consequently, New Zealand can very quickly move to rectify a major problem that has caused the unnecessary deaths of its citizens. Decades after the same problem first surfaced in the United States, Americans are still being victimized by the NRA, gun-wielding murderers, mealy-mouthed politicians and an outdated and misinterpreted amendment to the U.S. Constitution that has long needed to be repealed.

     The truth that all Americans need to face up to is that: THE ONLY REALISTIC WAY TO END GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA IS TO GET RID OF THE GUNS! The solution consists of three steps: 1) Repeal the second amendment to the Constitution, 2) Ban the possession of all guns except by law enforcement, the military and those who need guns to protect the public, i.e., security guards and similar individuals and, 3) Severely punish anyone who illegally possesses or traffics guns.[6]

     America, “we are rapidly losing the battle against gun violence. The lunatics, the fanatics and the malcontents are winning and the vast majority of honorable and law-abiding American citizens are losing.(Ref. 9)

     “Where do we start to end gun violence and mass shootings in America? We start by repealing the second amendment to the Constitution! Every time there is an attempt to institute meaningful gun control legislation and to end or, at least, to reduce the number of gun deaths, injuries and mass shootings, the gun owners, the gun lobby, and the plain gun nuts invoke the 2nd amendment, as if it was some law engraved on tablets of stone that was handed down from God and which is immutable, sacred and unchangeable. It’s time to refute such argument! The 2nd amendment is no such thing! It is simply an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. . . . Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Constitution was designed to be amended, i.e., changed, and that amendments to the Constitution can and have been repealed. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not sacred and it is not sacrosanct – it can be changed and it can be repealed! The time has now arrived when it must be repealed! (Ref. 10)

     “In one week and after just one massacre, Jacinda Ardern has radically reformed New Zealand. America, it shouldn’t be this hard.
     “In the end it takes just two things: A leader with compassion and vision, and a community prepared to care more about the common good than individual rights.
     “When New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern instituted new gun laws after just one week and one massacre, she not only showed what could be done but what should be done.
     “That America, after decades of debate and thousands of deaths, can’t act similarly to ensure peace and safety shows what a morally deficient nation {we continue} to be.
      - - -
     “America{, we} might as well be another planet. {Our} constitution, {our} mindset and {our} sense of what sort of nation {we} want to be are drastically in need of radical reform.
      - - -
     “. . . The world’s most self-satisfied nation is imprisoned in a time warp dating back to the War of Independence when America was a ragtag bunch of communities full of individualists suspicious of all government interference. The right to bear arms was enshrined in their constitution. In essence, it was every man for himself.
      - - -
     “. . . {There can be} no doubt that there is a sickness in American society that allows this deadly travesty of a gun culture to continue unchecked.” (Ref. 11)


  1. Southern California Muslims react to New Zealand massacre: ‘It could have been us’, Sarah Parvini,
    Los Angeles Times, 15 March 2019.
  2. New Zealand Is Taking Away Its Citizens' Military-Grade Weapons. Good., Jack Holmes,,
    21 March 2019.
  3. New Zealand seeks quick ban on nearly all semi-automatic weapons, Alex Johnson, NBC News, 21 March 2019.
  4. The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting, Bonnie Berkowitz, Denise Lu and Chris Alcantara,
    The Washington Post, 16 February 2019.
  5. Parkland Shooting: Where Gun Control and School Safety Stand Today, Margaret Kramer and Jennifer Harlan,
    The New York Times, 13 February 2019.
  6. For Shame, America!, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 350, 21 Febuary 2019.
  7. Gunman who killed 5 at Illinois workplace 'was being terminated,' police say, CBC News, 15 February 2019.
  8. US Mass Shootings, 1982-2019: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation, Mark Follman, Gavin Aronsen, and Deanna Pan, Mother Jones, 15 February 2019.
  9. The ONLY Way to End Gun Violence in America, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 339, 1 November 2018.
  10. When it Comes to Mass Shootings, There are Doers and Then There are Politicians, David Burton,
    Son of Eliyahu; Article 318, 8 March 2018.
  11. NZ PM Jacinda Ardern shows America how gun reform is done, Angela Mollard,,
    22 March 2019.

  8 April 2019 {Article 353; Suggestions?_20}    
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