On Saturday, July 13, 2019 New Zealand launched its gun buyback program.
150 gun owners turned over the recently banned semiautomatic weapons and parts in exchange for money.
This buyback came in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, where a madman claimed the lives of 51 people in several Mosque shootings.
According to NPR, the Christchurch buyback is the first of many buybacks planned for this year.
Police commander for the Canterbury Region, Mike Johnson, claims that gun owners turned over 224 semiautomatic weapons, as well as 200 gun parts.
Johnson told reporters that he was “ecstatic” by the amount of gun owners that showed up to turn in their guns.
After the massacre, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country would ban the sale of so-called “assault weapons” and semi-automatic guns. While announcing this gun control scheme, Ardern said that a buyback program would be enacted to offer “fair and reasonable compensation” to gun owners.
Ardern estimated at the time that the buyback program was expected to cost between $100 million and $200 million but justified it by saying that it was a necessary price “to ensure the safety of our communities.”
NPR highlighted how 250 buyback exchanges are expected to go through this year.
Despite the zealous calls for gun control, New Zealand has very strict gun control laws. Firearm ownership is a regulated privilege and the country features universal background checks on all gun sales and transfers.
None of these laws prevented the murderer from committing his atrocity. Nor would additional laws do any better in future instances of gun violence.
For countries such as New Zealand, who have no real tradition of gun ownership, these inconveniences will likely be ignored by its political class.
Such ignorance comes with a price to pay for would be victims of gun violence.
BREAKING: Roger Stone is a Free Man, President Trump Commutes Sentence
The story is developing.
On July 10, 2020, commentator John Cardillo reported that conservative operative Roger Stone received a commutation of his prison sentence from President Donald Trump.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) July 10, 2020
Over the past few days, President Trump has considered commuting Roger Stone’s sentence a few days prior to his report to prison.
Stone is expected to report to a federal prison in Jesup, Georgia by July 14 where he will serve out a three year and four month prison sentence for allegedly lying under oath to U.S. elected officials during the politically contrived Russian interference investigation.
Trump has had a relationship with the Republican political operative for decades.
For some time, Trump has discussed the potential of commuting Stone’s sentence.
When asked by reporters earlier on July 10 about reports of his plan to pardon Stone, Trump remarked, “I’ll be looking at it. I think Roger Stone was very unfairly treated, as were many people.”
Reuters reported that back in November 2019, a “Washington jury convicted Stone on all seven criminal counts of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness.”
The same report added that “Stone was convicted for lying to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks, the website that released damaging emails about Trump’s 2016 Democratic election rival Hillary Clinton that U.S. intelligence officials have concluded were stolen by Russian hackers.”
Stone’s commutation, while not a full-blown pardon that erases his conviction, is a solid victory for the Rule of Law.
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