New Zealand mosque shooting

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New Zealand mosque shooting

Paramedics attend to one of the many injured in the shootings.

Paramedics attend to one of the many injured in the shootings.

Paramedics attend to one of the many injured in the shootings.

Paramedics attend to one of the many injured in the shootings.

Tyler Burleson, Staff Writer

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March 15th marks a dark day in New Zealand’s history. Known as the Christchurch mosque shooting, this was two consecutive terrorist mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. During a Friday prayer the attack began at the Al Noor Mosque at 1:40pm and continued at the Linwood Islamic Centre 15 minutes later. The death toll of the shootings is now at 50 as is the number of injured victims. Currently only one person is held in custody for the shooting and his name is Brenton Harris. Several other suspects have been arrested and released as they were not involved. Before the attack Harris emailed an 87-page manifesto to the prime minister as well as broadcasting to Facebook live and spreading it to YouTube and Twitter. Harris is also believed to be a white supremacist.

The government is responding quickly to the shootings as the prime minister has announced a ban to military-style semiautomatic weapons, high capacity magazines, and tools to modify firearms. Brenton Harris used two legally purchased semiautomatic rifles in his attack and the government claims the opposition party also supports the ban on these weapons. The law passed could potentially have major fines and prison time for those in possession of these weapon as well as a buyback process where citizens will be compensated for their return of the weapons already owned. Out of the 1.2 million firearms owned by citizens it is estimated around 15,000 of them will be affects by the ban. While this may seem like a large amount of firearms, there are usually 10 or fewer gun-related deaths per year in New Zealand.

Many people have reached out to the small Muslim community to express solidarity such as a biker gang that has offered to guard Muslims at mosques during prayer. This biker gang is called the Mongrel Mob. Their president Sonny Fatu personally reached out to the Muslims. This has prompted other groups such as Black power, King Cobras, and the Hells Angels to also promise protection to their Muslim communities.

 

 

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