U.S.A. — A mass shooting at a construction site in Auckland, N.Z. Thursday has provided plenty of evidence that gun control failure is a global problem, and that gun prohibitionists can be as ignorant of firearms facts elsewhere as they are in the United States.
According to The Guardian, two men were killed and ten others were injured when a 24-year-old man with a pump shotgun opened fire. The killer was identified as Matu Tangi Matua Reid. He reportedly also worked at the construction site. Two of the injured were police officers.
It did not take long for New Zealand anti-gunners to start talking.
The report said Gun Control New Zealand, defending the establishment of gun registration in the country, declared:
“A gun registry makes firearms owners much more accountable for their guns and less likely to lend a gun to their unlicensed mate or sell guns to organized crime groups.”
But the suspect, who was killed, got his hands on a gun anyway, and the conversation ramped up when the gun control group asserted that pump-action shotguns are “more dangerous than a bolt action rifle.” This appears to be straight out of the proverbial “gun control playbook,” which is to simply demonize the specific type of firearm antis want to ban.
The group continued using rhetoric which seems hauntingly familiar to statements made by U.S. gun ban groups looking to whittle down the number of privately-owned firearms, one type at a time. This time around, it’s pump shotguns.
“The Australian government only allows farmers to own them and they are limited to only a single shotgun. In New Zealand, anyone with a licence can buy as many pump-action shotguns as they like,” the group reportedly said.
The BBC noted that the suspect “did not have a license to own a firearm.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has promised a full investigation. It will likely find that all gun control laws cannot keep firearms out of the hands of people intent on committing mayhem.
A separate report in The Guardian revealed Reid had a somewhat violent criminal history and, not unlike some American troublemakers, he was on home detention for a previous crime. According to The Guardian, Reid had been sentenced in March 2021 to five months of home detention related to an assault in which he “struck and strangled” a woman, leaving her with a broken neck bone. At the time, he was also “serving a sentence of supervision following an earlier assault,” the newspaper said.
The report acknowledged authorities in the island nation are now wondering why Reid was on home detention and how he was able to get his hands on the shotgun. These are questions being asked here in the U.S. every time somebody with a violent history commits a multiple killing.
For example, authorities in Louisiana are still investigating a fatal double shooting at a shipyard in Harvey, in which the suspect was arrested in 2018 for “simple robbery,” and he was “under active probation” until earlier this year.
Last month, one of the suspects in a deadly shooting in Lebanon, PA reportedly “has a criminal record and was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the shooting,” according to WGAL News. He was out on bail at the time of the incident, which left two youngsters and a 19-year-old dead.
So far, no motive has been established for the Auckland shooting.
The incident may have gotten additional attention because it occurred only hours before the Women’s World Cup tournament got underway in the city. There did not appear to be any connection between the shooting and the tournament.
The last high-profile shooting incident in New Zealand was in 2019 in Christchurch, in which a killer attacked two different mosques in the city, killing 51 people. After that incident, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared gun laws would “change.” The government quickly passed the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act 2019, according to Wikipedia, resulting in the “buy back” of tens of thousands of firearms.
Based on what occurred last week in Auckland, those gun controls did not prevent another tragedy, but instead of acknowledging this, New Zealand officials will likely double down and push for even stricter laws than are now on the books.
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.