New Zealand vs. America: Gun Violence

Sophia Spoja, Staff

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Just three days after two mass shootings at Muslim Mosques in New Zealand, their government has banned assault rifles.

Just three days for the acts of terrorism to be labelled as terrorism by their Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Only two days for Ardern to cover the funeral costs of all 50 families.

Just one day for her to visit the families of the shooting, wearing a hijab as a sign of respect and grief.

It is very frustrating to see immediate action being taken for this subject in another country, while I still am fearful for my life when I go to school in my own. An example of New Zealand taking the correct course of action is labelling the Mosque shootings as terrorism, which is defined as the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

It seems very difficult for the United States media and government to label mass shootings as anything but mass shootings, even more so when the perpetrators are white.
How is it, when Donald Trump offers victims and their families, ‘’Thoughts and Prayers,’’ it is all he does? Ardern seems to be doing much more than just that.

“One thing I can assure you – you won’t hear me speak his name,” Ardern said, when speaking about the shooter in court.

They also have refused to give noterity to him, blurring his face and voice on TV and they are also urging social media to forget his name.

In the United States, the Congressional Research Service defines mass shootings as, “a multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms, within one event, and in one or more locations in close proximity.” The United States averaged 1.1 mass shootings a day in 2018. According to the Gun Violence Archives Organization, there have been 62 reported mass shootings. There has been 79 days in 2019. Every 1.23 days there has been a mass shooting in the United States on average.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting that claimed the lives of 27 children and faculty, activists and families called for universal background checks. Now only 11 states have that as a law before buying a firearm… six years later.
After Las Vegas shooting that took 58 people, a ban for bump stocks nationwide was two months later.

Three weeks after Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people, the age allowed to buy a long firearm was raised to 21. Only two other states have followed suit.

I am hopeful that now the United States has seen what other nations can and will do to protect their citizens, we will follow suit. It is in our Constitution that we have the basic right of domestic tranquility. I feel as if it is compromised every single day when I go to school, fearful if I am going to walk out alive.

 

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