A far-right mass assassin opens fireplace on a crowd of worshippers. His weapons discharge a whole lot of rounds in a matter of minutes. Bullets enter dozens of our bodies indiscriminately. Fifty-one individuals die. An extra 49 are injured. It’s the deadliest home assault in fashionable historical past.
Inside days, lawmakers vow to take decisive motion. Laws is drafted to ban almost all semi-automatic weapons. Excessive capability magazines are prohibited. A gun buyback program is introduced. These measures obtain widespread, bipartisan help, and are signed into legislation lower than a month after the assault.
Oh, what it have to be wish to stay anyplace besides america.
The sequence of occasions transpired earlier this yr in New Zealand, the place a white supremacist zealot gunned down greater than 50 individuals at a mosque within the metropolis of Christchurch. It was the deadliest mass capturing within the nation’s historical past, and inside hours, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation and vowed to take swift motion to forestall future atrocities.
One of many first steps she unveiled was to announce a voluntary gun buyback program, whereby gun house owners might commerce of their firearms in trade for money at as much as 95% of the worth of their gun. They included an amnesty clause as properly, which means anybody with a gun obtained illegally might additionally flip it in with out authorized repercussions.
Only one month into the buyback program, authorities have taken greater than 10,000 weapons out of circulation.
Almost 100 completely different buyback occasions have been staged to this point all through the nation, and officers count on to carry at the least 150 extra between now and December, when it formally turns into unlawful to own semi-automatic weapons, excessive capability magazines, and different newly banned weapons.
The effectiveness of the buyback program is a blow to pro-gun teams in New Zealand and overseas. They had been gleeful at first, after Arden’s preliminary name for the voluntary give up of weapons was met with a tepid response. Within the first few days after her extensively lauded public deal with in March through which she requested individuals to show of their lethal weapons, simply 37 weapons had been was police. By the tip of June, the quantity had solely risen to about 700, in a rustic with greater than one million firearms.
However because the buyback program was launched, the charges have shot up. “Now we have been actually proud of New Zealand’s engagement and response to this course of and we look ahead to extra individuals participating within the buyback scheme over the approaching months,” learn an announcement issued by New Zealand police.
Gun buybacks have been tried elsewhere, together with in america, with various levels of effectiveness. When administered correctly although, there’s proof to recommend a gun buyback program can have a measurable impression on violent crime.
In Boston, a 2006 buyback program gave individuals $200 reward playing cards in trade for a handgun. The next yr, the variety of shootings within the metropolis fell by 14%, and continued to fall for years afterwards.
In Australia, a compulsory gun buyback program applied within the wake of a mass capturing within the mid-1990s resulted in a discount of gun-related suicides and homicides of roughly 80%, in response to an evaluation from researchers at Harvard College.