U.S. Deserves A Leader As Good As New Zealand Prime Minister: NYT Editorial Board

Jacinda Ardern "has shown the way” for other world leaders by banning military-style weapons after the mass shooting in Christchurch, the board says.

The New York Times editorial board praised New Zealand’s crackdown on military-style weapons after last week’s mass shooting as the U.S. neglects to take such action after dozens of them.

On Thursday, in an op-ed titled “America Deserves a Leader as Good as Jacinda Ardern,” the board applauded the New Zealand prime minister’s ban on the guns in the wake of the attack on two Christchurch mosques in which 50 people were killed. 

“That attitude stood in stark contrast to the way the National Rifle Association and its political allies in the United States have resisted any restrictions on weapons like the AR-15, the semiautomatic rifle used in several mass killings,” the Times board wrote, denouncing U.S. politicians’ ties to the gun lobby.

Ardern made the policy announcement on Thursday, only six days after the massacre, which was allegedly perpetrated by a white supremacist who espoused hatred for Muslim immigrants.

“Every semiautomatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned,” she said in a press conference.

The board said Ardern’s swift move was the right one, calling on world leaders to “unite in clearly condemning racism, sharing in the grief of the victims and stripping the haters of their weapons.”

“Ms. Ardern has shown the way.”

Though the number of mass shootings in the U.S. varies depending on how you count, a Mother Jones analysis released in February identified 111 cases since 1982. The most recent was at a Henry Pratt Co. plant in Aurora, Illinois, where five people were killed last month. It was the third this year and the 15th since the start of 2018, according to the outlet.

Many of the shootings involved assault rifles.

Still, President Donald Trump has shown no interest in an overhaul of gun laws, aside from his support for a ban on bump stocks, which enable shooters to fire semiautomatic weapons at a faster rate.

Last month, the House passed a universal background checks bill, but it likely won’t receive enough votes in the Senate.

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