Be sure to check out the ultimate issue of my History of Bolt Guns series over at Glibertarians!
Speaking of guns, New Zealanders are by and large ignoring their government’s new gun laws. Excerpt:
New Zealand politicians who rushed to enact nationwide gun confiscation following the Christchurch mosque massacres are befuddled by the lack of enthusiasm from citizens who have yet to comply with the new law. The so-called “gun reform” was expected to rid the vast New Zealand countryside of most semi-automatic firearms, magazines over a specified limit, and shotguns.
Two months ago, Reuters breathlessly reported, “New Zealand police expect tens of thousands of firearms to be surrendered by a guns buy-back scheme.” Law enforcement authorities averred that “it could be more.” Pregnant with the expectation that gun owners would trade their firearms for cash, the political class is nonplussed by the results.
Only 530 guns have thus far been turned in to the authorities.
Figures released by the New Zealand police had politicians and law enforcement officials scrambling to comprehend what just happened. Michael Clement, the police deputy commissioner, assessed the situation by telling the media that the number of guns expected to be handed over is “a great unknown question,” primarily because the firearms the government is confiscating have never been registered with authorities.
Could it be that the brain trust in Wellington needs to up the ante and offer more money? Is this a statement of personal liberty? Could it be considered “ostriching,” Brit-speak for a friendly ability to ignore unpleasantness? Or in psychological parlance, could it merely constitute passive-aggressive behavior? All of these socioeconomic factors may have played a part in the first wave of the buy-back fizzle.
Let’s set aside for the moment that the Kiwi government can’t “buy back” firearms that they never owned in the first place. This is simply a grab; no due process, just an overly intrusive government telling the perfectly law-abiding
citizens subjects to “hand them in, or else.”
The offer of a token payment doesn’t make this any less a confiscation.
What’s more interesting about this is the continuation of a trend seen all over when governments at any level pass overly restrictive laws; massive non-compliance. General Douglas MacArthur was said to have claimed that the most valuable advice he ever received as a military officer was from his father, General Arthur MacArthur: Never give an order that you know won’t be obeyed.
The same applies to laws. When governments, at any level, pass stupid laws that people won’t obey, they cheapen respect for the law in general. New York did this with their “assault weapon” ban. California and our own Colorado have done this with “high-capacity” magazine bans. Now New Zealand has done it as well.
Look for Kiwi gun owners to continue to ignore this new law. How it all ends up is up to the powers that be down there.