Friday, March 27, 2020

We are not America

When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal has told them in no uncertain terms that they are wrong:

A legal challenge by firearms owners to the Government's military-style semi-automatic weapons ban claiming New Zealanders have the right to bear arms under the Treaty of Waitangi was "doomed to fail", the Court of Appeal has ruled.


In the Court of Appeal's decision, released this week, Justice David Collins said: "We accept for present purposes that it was customary in ancient times for citizens of England to bear arms ... We do not need, however, to determine if the custom of bearing arms evolved into a common law right.

"An examination of the constitutional instruments relied upon by Mr Minchin quickly exposes the fallacy of his argument that New Zealanders have a constitutional right to bear arms."


"In this country, as in almost all countries, a citizen's ability to possess, own and use firearms is regulated by legislation ... There is no constitutional right to bear arms in New Zealand let alone the arms that are prohibited by the Amendment Act."

So that's that. Meanwhile, I am wondering how people who publicly argue that firearms are for use against the government and their fellow citizens meet the "fit and proper person" test for gun ownership. That is explicitly not what firearms are for in our society, and anyone who thinks that it is is a wannabe terrorist. They should have their licences revoked and their weapons seized.