Many Killed in New Zealand Massacre


 “The real problem, both in discussions of mass shootings and in discussions of gun control, is that too many people are too committed to a vision to allow mere facts to interfere with their beliefs, and the sense of superiority that those beliefs give them.” – Thomas Sowell.

Shootings are becoming increasingly common with the amount of prejudices people hold due to theories that have been spread to them or how they were raised. Some are about religion and some about ethnicity. Most people just keep their prejudices to themselves, while others decide to take action against them. This is what tragically occurred in Wellington, New Zealand. At around 1:40 on March 15, 2019, an armed, white supremacist entered the Christchurch mosque at around 1:40 p.m. and opened fire on praying Muslims, driven by hate towards the ethnicity. He ended up killing 50 innocent people and injuring 12. It’s no surprise that this caused an uproar in the community.

The suspected shooter has now been charged with alleged murder for the attack. It is thought that if he did commit the shooting at the Christchurch mosque, then he also harmed people at the Linwood Islamic Centre.

Reported by Fox News, “A huge group of mourners, estimated to number between 20,000 and 40,000 by local police, came to Hagley Park on Saturday evening to honor and remember the victims of what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called a terrorist attack.” Another large event that took place was a human chain around the mosque. A few hundred people held hands to make a circle around the mosque and prayed.

Mike Bush, New Zealand’s Police Commissioner, reports that the current suspect has been the only suspected shooter so far, but there could have been more people involved in the attack, even if they were not physically there during the shooting. Two other people are thought to have been connected to the shooting and are in custody as police investigate further. I will not be saying anything conclusive until we are absolutely convinced as to how many people were involved, but we hope to be able to give that advice over the next few days,” Bush says.

The shooter was armed with several weapons as he entered the mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, where Muslim prayers were calmly worshipping, having no sight of what was coming their way. Soon enough, the shooter began his killing spree, which he live streamed on social media. He showed everyone how he entered the mosques and shot the worshippers as they tried to save their own life. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has recently banned automatic guns and ammunition for civilians to prevent attacks like this from happening.

According to the New York Times, “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is doing what she can to lead the way. She has hammered social media companies for allowing and amplifying extremism. In addition, she went to a high school this week, which lost two of its students in the attack. She told the students that hey need to fight prejudice.” These actions show that she wants to take immediate action after the devastating shooting that took place.

To get another perspective on this topic, Danielle Wilkinson, a social studies teacher at AdVenture/STEM, says, “I believe it was 100% wrong for this terrorist attack to break out because it was a very tragic event. The shooter might have done this due to unfounded hate and adherence to philosophies that are racist, like white supremacy. Anything that can happen if these shootings continue to occur because they’ve been happening forever now.” Mrs. Wilkinson is conveying that it was a man who opened fire because there was hatred towards Muslim culture. In her viewpoint, it is no surprise that this shooting happened, because they’ve been taking place forever, with or without a gun.

Additionally, a 7th grader at AdVenture STEM was also interviewed about the New Zealand shooting. “It was bad and racist. It was discriminative against Muslim people. He had no real reason to do it and since he was live streaming it, it was even more wrong. They could have done it because they have something against someone of that culture. If this continues, we might have problems in the future with people against other people for having their own, unique ways.” they said.

The New Zealand shooting was a dreadful event that negatively impacted many lives. Shootings are becoming more common with all of the prejudice-causing theories on news websites and social media. Even the ban of fully automatic weapons and ammunition cannot solve hate towards an ethnicity or religion. As Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.