New Zealand is the Latest Gun Control Failure
[Following the worst mass shooting in their nation’s history, New Zealand immediately moved towards implementing gun control. So-called “assault weapons,” and the majority of the country’s semiautomatic weapons were to be banned, forcing New Zealanders to sell their firearms to their government. Of course, a buyback is simply confiscation by another name (and with a cash rebate). Neighboring Australia was often cited (incorrectly) as a place where this worked before.
VICE News released a documentary in April titled “How to Ban a Gun in 28 Days” that showed the progression of how quickly gun control was passed by a 119-1 vote on the island. I interpreted the title as a criticism of America’s politicians for not doing what they see as enough about gun control, but in reality, New Zealand is a case study in how gun control can only be applied to a public that wants it (which is seldom the case).
As the hipsters over at VICE now put it, the buyback “might not have gone so well.” They report:
New Zealand has managed to collect more than 56,000 guns in its ambitious, mandatory buyback program prompted by the Christchurch mosque massacre. Police said more than 30,000 people participated in the program, with the government shelling out more than $60 million for the weapons turned in since the program started in July.
Authorities are calling it a success, but it’s not clear how many of these guns were owned by the public. And by the estimate of one New Zealand advocacy group, about two-thirds of the banned guns were not turned in, despite owners now facing up to five years in prison with the amnesty period closing.
That’s roughly 33% compliance among gun owners – compared to a 99.2% consensus in New Zealand’s Parliament.
This raises the question of how far New Zealand actually is willing to go to enforce gun control. They already received 100% of the guns that people are voluntarily willing to give over – and they’re going to be met with resistance by those who won’t. So what’s the plan? Does New Zealand’s legislators plan on arresting and jailing tens of thousands of individual gun owners? While that is currently the consequence, that’s bound to provoke public outrage if enacted en masse.
There’s a parallel here to the rise in “second amendment sanctuary” counties popping up in Virginia, which now encompass 90% of the state. It goes to prove that gun control is only as effective as its enforcement, and while liberals don’t like to admit it, it’s simply impossible in many cases.