New Zealand –-(Ammoland.com)- New Zealand has had relatively moderate firearms restrictions for most of its existence. As an extremely peaceful nation that evolved from the conflict between a collection of warring, cannibalistic tribes and the British Empire, it is a very successful nation. From 200 years ago to the 1990s, it was dominated by farmers and hunters. New Zealand has a proud tradition of military prowess on both the Maori and British sides of its ancestry. The English pioneered the concept of individual rights in the modern era. Those rights were transferred to settlers in the English colonies. The English colonies also pioneered the modern version of gun control, in order to keep the natives subjugated.
With peace, prosperity, urbanization, and protection from invasion by the American nuclear umbrella, New Zealand has forgotten the days in 1940-43, when Kiwi yeomen prepared to repel a Japanese invasion with axes and crowbars. Most military-aged men had gone to war to protect the British Empire. The reserve ammunition supply was sunk by a German merchant raider on its way to England, just outside of Whangarei, in New Zealand waters, on 19 June 1940. The ammunition was desperately needed to resupply the English homeland after Dunkirk.
England said it had its hands full. No help would come from the homeland. America did not enter the war until December of 1941.
While a restrictive gun registration regime was imposed after the war, it was mostly ignored. The police found it to be expensive and without merit. It was done away with in 1983, in favor of licensing of gun owners.
In the last 40 years, there has been a sea change in political climate. The far-left media has gained political ascendancy in all of the West. Except for America, voices that championed an armed citizenry have been shut out, shut down, and shut up. The Leftist Media speaks with one voice on the need to disarm its population.
New Zealand has a long tradition of gun ownership, farming, and hunting. In spite of the rise of the urban power structure, there remains a core of rural yeomanry, a significant voting block.
The National Party in New Zealand is primarily their party. The Nationals were unwilling or unable to resist the media storm to outlaw most semi-automatic rifles after a political terrorist killed 51 people on 15 March, 2019. In the New Zealand Media, the possibility of using rifles for the defense of self or homeland is considered out of bounds.
The official New Zealand Censor will not allow the fact the terrorist predicted the gun ban in New Zealand, and hoped to precipitate a similar gun ban in the United Sates, to be published. Renowned researcher on guns and crime, John Lott, had his twitter account shut down when he mentioned the fact.
In spite of these handicaps, New Zealand gun owners are fighting back with logic, reason, and facts.
After pushing through the gun ban in record time, Prime Minister Ardem is attempting to change the entire regime of gun laws in New Zealand, from one of moderation to an extreme of political control. Most New Zealand owners of semi-automatic rifles have not turned them into police. The rifles are not registered.
The proposed system imposes strict registration on all legal guns in New Zealand. There is a raft of extreme restrictions placed on gun owners, gun clubs, gun shops, farmers, and even visiting sport hunters. It is modeled after the extreme system of controls imposed on Australia in 1996.
Prime Minister Ardem is in a weak electoral position. She is head of the Labor Party, the far-left party in New Zealand. Labor holds 46 seats. 61 seats are needed to form a majority government. National, the more conservative party, has 56 seats. The far-left Green Party, who normally teams with Labor, has 8 seats. NZ First, considered a populist/conservative party, has 9 seats. ACT, a libertarian party, has 1 seat.
In the current government, Labor formed a coalition with the Greens and NZ First. That is 63 seats, a majority. It depends on the inclusion of NZ First. But members of NZ First are not happy with the coalition. Many wanted NZ First to form a coalition with National. That would have given a National-NZ First coalition 65 seats, and a majority government. From thespinoff.co.nz:
New Zealand First voters and members lean socially conservative, and many of them would have preferred to go into government with National, which is why the leaked documents reveal a party deeply shocked to learn that (a) their leader chose Labour and (b) he was filing legal papers against National while affecting to negotiate with them to form a government.
National has decided to oppose the draconian gun law changes and registration scheme. Polls show some increase in National’s favor, with drops in Labor, Green, and NZ First popularity.
National is up, New Zealand First Down in the latest poll in October:
In tonight’s result National is on 47 – up two percentage points – while Labour has dropped three to 40.
New Zealand First would not make it back with just four points, while the Greens are on seven.
This poll would give National and ACT’s one seat in Epsom enough to govern while Labour and the Greens together would not be able to form a government.
This is the first time in two years of Colmar Brunton polling that the National Party has been in a position to form a government.
It’s also the worst result in 18 months of the same poll for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who has hit an all-time low for preferred prime minister.
The National Party is opposing most of the extreme restrictions in the new gun law. However, it warns farmers and gun owners to follow the law banning semi-automatic rifles. From stuff.co.nz:
The Act proposes to introduce a gun register, which would store information about firearms and link them to licence holders so that every firearm legally held in New Zealand could be monitored.
But Hudson said the register, as it stood now, did “little or nothing” to stop firearms falling into criminals’ hands, and increased regulation for lawful firearms owners.
He said the 13 changes the party wanted were likely to become party policy going into next years’ election.
“They are absolutely our bottom line.”
Hudson said firearms owners who were considering holding on to firearms until after the election in the hope that National would win, rather than handing them in under the current buy-back operation, should think again.
The New Zealand government appears to be of the absurd belief the U.S. nuclear umbrella will protect them forever; that no other nations covet their fertile lands, fishing, and deep harbors.
They seem to believe that international agreements are stronger than armies, navies, and force of arms. The West saw a similar philosophical development prior to WWII. At the beginning of the war, New Zealand’s faith in the British Empire was shattered.
Farmers and hunters have always had a firmer grasp of physical reality than urban dwellers.
Will this result in New Zealand resisting the urban, media-driven call for all guns to be held at the whim of government bureaucrats?
The 2020 elections in New Zealand will answer that question.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.