Friday, December 20, 2019

New Zealand's Experiment

New Zealand ended a national gun buyback program after failing to achieve its dubious objectives:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern banned semi-automatic weapons and launched a gun amnesty and buyback scheme earlier this year, after a March shooting in Christchurch where a suspected white supremacist gunned down 51 Muslims in two mosques.
More than 56,346 prohibited guns have been removed from circulation so far, within the range estimated by consultancy KPMG in an independent report, Police Minister Stuart Nash said in a statement. “However police have consistently warned the problem is we just don’t know exactly how many guns are out in the community,” Nash said.
Gun buybacks are favorites of clueless politicians who want to use taxpayer money to "do something" about "illegal guns."
The problem is, many of the guns turned in are non-functioning or worse, have been used for a crime but are then eliminated from evidence after the typical "no questions asked" gun is exchanged for money or gift certificates.

The New Zealand case is instructive, for certain firearms were declared "prohibited." Once that is done, anyone who continues to possess a "prohibited" firearm is by definition a criminal.
The National Police Minister Stephan Nash declared: “Those in breach of the law face risk of prosecution and up to five years jail, as well as the loss of their license..."
The pattern is clear:

  1. Offer a "voluntary gun buyback" for "prohibited" firearms
  2. Act surprised when the buyback is not 100% effective
  3. Warn those who don't comply with the once "voluntary" system

This approach links the term "prohibited" with an entire class of firearm (in the NZ case, all semi-automatics). Law-abiding people equate "prohibited" with "criminal."

Congratulations on now branding a significant portion of the population criminals.

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