As someone who has spent years overseas involved in the fight against terror. I'm troubled by the New Zealand governments rapid capitulation to terrorist demands, as this does nothing but embolden the enemy.
On Friday, March 15 around 1:40pm a terrorist with the goal of changing gun laws and to induce civil strife, attacked the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch he then went on to attack the Linwood Islamic Centre. A worshipper named Abdul Wahabzadah is credited with stopping the assault there and forcing the attacker to flee (surely Abdul deserves a NZ Cross).
The terrorist murdered 50 innocent people with the goal "To agitate the political enemies of my people into action, to overextend their own hand and experience the eventual backlash." and to "ultimately result in a civil war that will eventually balkanize the US along political, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines."
The reason he used firearms, "I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United States and thereby the political situation of the world."
Less than 24hrs after the attack on Saturday, March 16 the Prime Minister gave in to the terrorists demands and promised that New Zealand's gun laws will change in the wake of the tragedy. Then on the 21 of March only six days later announced “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” She went on to say “Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after the horrific terrorism act in Christchurch. Now, six days after this attack, we are announcing a ban on all military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand."
None of the law changes address the breakdown in the vetting system that allowed him to get a licence (both of his referees admitted only knowing him from an online chat room) or the fact the shooter was reported to the Police over a year ago.
Make no mistake this is no longer about gun laws, if they need to change lets change them but lets do it on our terms not at the behest of a madman. It does'nt matter if your pro or anti, capitulating to a lone wolf terrorist (in prison) and suspending the democratic process does not make us safer, it only invites further attack. And there are plenty of ways to do this, even the terrorist acknowledged "I could have chosen any weapons or means. A TATP filled rental van. Household flour, a method of dispersion and an ignition source. A ballpeen hammer and a wooden shield. Gas, fire, vehicular attacks, plane attacks, any means were available. I had the will and I had the resources."
Do we really want to tell the terrorists that if they kill 50 of us, we will do whatever they want? As the rest of the world stands shoulder to shoulder in their defiance or terror tactics, we are the first to fold overnight. Please contact your elected representatives and demand that they say no to terror.
We suggest at the least you contact: Jacinda Ardern, Stuart Nash, Chris Bishop, Ron Mark and Winston Peters.
You can find MPs contact details here: https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/members-of-parliament/