Why won’t the U.S. change its gun laws? New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern says: ‘I do not understand.’

Why won’t the U.S. change its gun laws? New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern says: ‘I do not understand.’

Gun Rights

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, gives a press conference, at the OECD headquarters, in Paris, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Thibault Camus) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week said what many foreign observers of the United States have long been puzzled by: The country’s inability to rein in gun violence. Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the prime minister said : “Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws. To be honest with you, I do not understand the United States.” Ardern was referring both to the 1996 massacre in Australia’s Port Arthur, which resulted in quick changes on gun laws by the conservatives there, and similar action taken in New Zealand after the Christchurch attack on March 15, in which a white nationalist killed at least 51 people. Within days, Ardern was able to temporarily impose tougher gun laws, backed by a broad cross-party consensus that action was needed. The changes were officially passed and made permanent by 119 members of parliament in early April. Only one MP opposed the reform. New Zealand now bans military-style semiautomatic weapons, assault rifles, as well as certain size magazines and ammunition and a buyback program for gun owners will be in place until September. Exceptions were made for certain small-caliber semiautomatic rifles as a concession to New Zealand farmers and regular hunting rifles were left untouched. “I can recall very vividly the moment I knew that we would need to […]

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