New Zealand shooting

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New Zealand shooting

Many around the world have decried this hate crime.

Many around the world have decried this hate crime.

Many around the world have decried this hate crime.

Many around the world have decried this hate crime.

Marley Burwell, Features Editor

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On March 15, 2019, New Zealand faced a terrible event when an Australian man shot and killed 50 people, injuring 50 more, and affecting so many more lives. The 28-year-old had two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns, a lever action rifle, and car bombs. The number of weapons this person had is insane. The fact that one single person even owns all of that and is able to own all of that is even crazier.

The shooter targeted the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, with the majority of people losing their lives at the Al Noor Mosque. Adults and children were victims of this senseless hate crime. The shooting was fueled by white supremacy and islamophobia, a topic that is all too common in the United States. This shooting is the worst one in New Zealand history, after a 1990 shooting resulting in 13 deaths of innocent lives.

The news of this terrible even spread very quickly around the internet and on social media. It was trending on platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr. A video of the crime, filmed by the shooter, was live streamed on Facebook and posted on YouTube. The video had many views before it was finally taken down.

Around the world, people were posting things about the horrible occurrence. A lot of people in the U.S. were filled with empathy at what happened due to the unfortunate frequency in which mass shooting occur in the U.S. A famous YouTuber, popularly known as PewDiePie, said on Twitter “I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person,” due to the shooter telling people to subscribe to PewDiePie before the crime began. Prime Minister Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, stated that it was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

World leaders spoke out about the event and condemned what happened. It is an obvious issue that is gaining notoriety, which in the long run can be a good thing for the progress of countries. However, leave it to President Trump to say that white nationalists are not a growing threat when 50 people were just murdered by one. Considering the many issues the U.S. faces with ideologies of white supremacy, this statement is disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising. A Pakistani emigrant that was killed after confronting the gunman would garner a national award for his courage in Pakistan.

In the aftermath, New Zealand introduced a change in gun laws. The banning of semi-automatic rifles was proposed. Gun sales in New Zealand rose after that was announced, but steps are trying to be taken to get New Zealand to a safer place. Considering it is ranked the second safest country by the Global Peace Index and only 1 in 10 homicides are due to a firearm out of around 40-50 people killed in a year, an event like this really shows the dangers of extremist thinking and just how damaging guns can be. New Zealand is doing a good thing by trying to ban the semi-automatic rifles. Maybe other countries should consider this course of action as well.

 

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New Zealand shooting