I love America, But We Can learn From New Zealand and Canada

I love America, But We Can learn From New Zealand and Canada March 24, 2019
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

In the aftermath of the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand moved swiftly to enact gun control laws. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau gave a heartfelt speech at the parliament, calling this a terror attack motivated by Islamophobia. Therein lie two lessons for our great country, America. I urge you to watch the short video of the speech by Justin Trudeau embedded at the end.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the day after the shootings at a press briefing in Wellington:

“There were five guns used by the primary perpetrator…. While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of this gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now. Our gun laws will change.”

Three days ago on  Thursday, a day after the first victims were laid to rest, Jacinda Ardern announced a national ban on all military-style semiautomatic weapons, all high-capacity ammunition magazines and all parts that allow weapons to be modified into the kinds of guns used in the terror attack.

The ban was announced 6 days after the mass shooting!

One such attack was enough for New Zealand to realize that the automatic weapons have no place in a civil society. They serve one purpose only- to kill. Why else would one carry these weapons? To hunt birds?

In contrast, we had nearly 40,000 innocent people dying in 2017 in the United States.

We are still waiting for our law makers and the president to take action to enact gun control laws.

We had 20 elementary school children dying from gun violence at the Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012. The polls at the time showed that well over 90% of the Americans favored some form of gun control laws.

We are still waiting for our law makers and the president to take action to enact gun control laws.

Why? I have three letters for you: NRA

It’s not just the Republicans, but many Democrats also are funded by NRA. It is one of the strongest lobbies in Washington, DC. These representatives tend to forget about people who put them in the office.

Then there is this case of Canadian prime Minister Justin Trudeau making a passionate speech at the Canadian parliament following the terror attack. He expressed his total support. I am attaching a  video link to his speech (an abbreviated version of a long speech). Following are few excerpts but I urge you to watch the video to feel the passion and sincerity behind these words.

Just a few days ago, our friend and ally suffered the worst terrorist attack in their history, an attack motivated by Islamophobia.

50 men, women and children murdered while praying. Gunned down by a monster, a terrorist, a coward.

To our Muslim friends here in Canada, New Zealand and around the world, know that we mourn with you. We feel your pain and we love you.

People are tired of fighting this alone without the full backing of their leaders. But we can take a stand here and now in Canada and around the world and say that enough is enough. That the days of spewing hatred and inciting violence without consequences are over. We owe it to the people of Christchurch, and the people of Sainte-Foy, of Pittsburgh , and of Manchester.

I am calling on like-minded countries  of the world to stand with Canada in this fight: Muslims, Christians, Jewish, Black, White, all of us, we must fight this hatred as a team….. a team tired of sending our thoughts and prayers

Prime Minister Trudeau even quoted from the Qur’an and the Gospel of Matthews (not part of the abbreviated video embedded here, and he used a slightly different translation than the one below).

The Servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on Earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply ‘Peace’”  The Qur’an 25:63

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. Matthews 5:39

In contrast, President Donald Trump had to be prompted and said a few words, when asked if white supremacists are a threat.

I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. It’s certainly a terrible thing.

He did not use any of the words by Prime Minister Trudeau, such as terrorist, monster, and Islamophobia. he never called the country to unite against hate or gun violence. Never expressed words of solidarity to the Muslims in New Zealand or here in the United States.

The United States is considered a world leader but in this instance it’s pretty clear that we need our leaders to follow the example of the two Prime Ministers in New Zealand  and our neighbor, Canada.

 

Here is an abbreviated version of Justin Trudeau’s speech.

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