“As we extend our expressions of condolence to the families and victims, of the community of Christchurch, New Zealand, we know that our prayers and tears must lead to the path of awareness, understanding and action. During this moment of tragedy, as the people of Earth focus on this heinous act, let us envelope the concept that we are one. All of humanity must embrace what unites us and stand together against those who would divide us. What makes our community, our state, our country and our planet “great” is diversity. Diversity of ethnicity, faith and culture enriches us all. The moral compass, the golden rule, the ten commandments are shared by all peoples and must be invoked against those few who would divide us. That individual chose New Zealand to send a message that no place on Earth is safe from gun violence. We shall not hide in fear but speak out with hope and compassion.”
— Toni Wellen, Chair, Coalition Against Gun Violence (CAGV)
New Zealand has banned military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday, just six days after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. A gun buyback program will be launched to take existing weapons out of circulation, and gun owners who do not comply will be subject to fines, she said.