It's estimated that there are about 1.5 million guns floating around in the previously gun friendly New Zealand. The recent attacks on mosques in Christchurch brought about an intense round of buy backs, a move that was heavily lauded by American anti-gun politicians.
However, something that may not have been thought through by the NZ government before their knee jerk reaction banning guns, is that as of this writing not even 800 guns have been turned in.
In other words, a vast majority of New Zealand's citizens are not compliant in the gun buy back. This leaves many to be criminals. Tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of Kiwis went to bed one night as normal citizens and woke up the next day as criminals.
I guess the saying is true: Once guns are banned, only criminals will have them.
I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad NZ is largely non-compliant here. It brings me hope that maybe our government will see this, knowing that there are hundreds of millions of guns in circulation and American citizens will never give up their firearms.
But, there is something else going on here–something that needs to be spoken about. The New Zealand gun owning population is described as an older generation. This means that they may only be one generation away from removing most of those guns, regardless.
Then, surely, only the criminals-at-heart will have them. At some point, those gun owners will die and those who inherit them will turn them in. That is just a byproduct of not being able to shoot said guns.
Because, yes they still own the guns. But, they cannot do anything with them. Sure, they can protect themselves but will go to prison for doing so. After all, that firearm is now illegal.
They also cannot practice with their newly illegal firearms, because where can they do so without prying eyes?
This makes the number of things one can do with a gun very limited.
Then of course, there is the above spoken about byproduct that the younger generations will not understand the value of owning a firearm because they're unable to grow up shooting them.
So at some point, unless something else is done, all they're doing is buying time. What the Kiwis do with that time is all important. There are only a couple options as I see it.
They can wait out the storm to see if these guns will be made legal again, but something like that very rarely happens unless it's actively pursued–which it won't be because the government will start to learn who hasn't turned in their guns yet.
Or they can stay the current course not turning guns in, waiting for them to die a slow, horrible death where the following generations will not have firearms for protection.
Lastly, and less likely, they fight for their rights. I say “less likely” like that because this current generation of people in all first world countries don't seem willing to give up temporary comfort for lasting freedom.
We live in the age of Netflix and Chill. Most would rather not disrupt their comfort for a little freedom. Time will tell, but I hope they choose to send a clear message … one that our anti-gun politicians may learn from. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.