Following Friday's terrorist attacks at two different mosques, Newsweek has reported that Australians have taken to voluntarily surrendering their personal semi-automatic guns, in the hopes of personal safety. Many of those who have surrendered their semi-automatic weapons have even taken to social media to spur others to follow suit.
In a tweet by a farmer, John Hart "Until today I was one of the New Zealanders who owned a semi-automatic rifle. On the farm, they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn't outweigh the risk of misuse."
Tweets have even designated a hashtag to the surrendering of the weapons of #NeverAgain. Hart added a picture to his tweet, that showed the gun that was surrendered, and authorized its destruction, along with its magazine and a surrender box of ammunition.
The weapons surrendering movement came about due to the Fridays terrorist attacks, which took the lives of fifty Muslim worshippers, at two separate mosques. A lone killer all injured dozens more, making him the first mass murder in that country in almost three decades.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, was reported by Reuters as pledging that within ten days of the shootings, new gun reform would be introduced. He then stated on Monday that new gun law would indeed be announced soon. During a news conference, Ardern said: "The clear lesson from history around the world is that to make our community safer, the time to act is now."
Although Ardern had made no statements on precisely what the new gun reforms will entail, she has stated her support for the complete ban on semi-automatic rifles. She also continues to encourage gun owners to surrender their firearms voluntarily.
As for those in the general public who have taken to Twitter, more are for the voluntary surrender it appears rather than against. Since posting his tweet on the issue of his surrender, he states he has received many supportive messages, along with some negative replies as well.
The owner of the gun shop that the 28-year-old shooter had purchased his guns, legally from, stated to reporters Monday that he would stand behind and support stricter gun laws. As for the shooter, he has been charged, and it is reported he may face additional charges as well. He's currently expected to make his court appearance on April 5th.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Is the voluntary surrender of weapons going the fix the problem, or is fear creating a knee jerk reaction?