Ross: Ban guns now, but is enslavement next?!
To many American gun owners the words were like a waking nightmare when the Prime Minister of New Zealand said “Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country.”
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern was making an announcement that would start a rebellion in the United States. But in New Zealand, both the Labour and National parties supported such a ban. Gun owners and gun dealers seemed resigned to it.
And it sets up an interesting social experiment.
Here we have an entire nation (albeit the population of Louisiana) deciding that the best way to prevent gun violence is … fewer guns. Compared to our approach, which is more guns.
The rate of gun deaths per capita in New Zealand is already less than a tenth of the United States. But if our approach is the right one, their rate should go up.
And we can also test another concept: the idea that guns protect citizens from government tyranny. Some of our founding fathers really did seem to believe that – at least until about 1794 when 500 armed farmers decided to oppose the new whiskey tax. President Washington sent the real militia to shoo them away.
But we shall see if this gun grab turns New Zealand’s prime minister into a tyrant who enslaves her newly-disarmed subjects. She seems pretty laid back, but you never know — she might wake up one day and start tweeting random insults.