New Zealand Shooting

Megan Watson, Staff writer

On Friday, March 15, 2019 a massive shooting happened at Christchurch in New Zealand and killed 49 people with many others being severely injured.

The suspected shooter, Brenton Tarrant has been charged with murder for the attack. The suspect intended to continue his attack and had powerful weapons but was arrested after the first emergency call.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28 year old Australian man, was a member of a South Otago gun club and practiced shooting at its range. Later in his lifetime, he became obsessed with terrorist attacks created by Islamic extremists and in 2016-2017. He started planning an attack about two years before the shootings. He chose his target three months in advance. Australia had tight gun laws so he moved to New Zealand which had looser gun laws.

Sadly four of the 49 people that were killed died on the way to the hospital. 34 patients are still receiving treatment at Christchurch Hospital. “12 remain in intensive care and one girl was transferred to a children’s hospital. Many patients require multiple surgeries.” said by Greg Robertson, the head of surgery.

Since this happened, there is a heightened police presence across the country, including at public events. Leaders from around the world have offered sympathy to those affected and injured.

In response of this horror, the New Zealand government has announced that it will unveil plans for tightening gun laws that could potentially a ban on military-style rifles and require registration of all guns.

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern referred to the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” New Zealand has often been considered as a safe country and has a low level of homicide. The shootings in Christchurch were the first massive shootings since the Raurimu Massacre in 1997. The previous massive shooting was in 1990 and left 13 people dead; Aramoana Massacre.

According to the city gun store in New Zealand, Brenton bought all of his weapons online. No explosives were found on the gunman.

When asked if anything could have prevent this attack, 7th grader Bonnie Campbell responded, “World leaders need to tone down the hate that they spread constantly and they need to stand up and point out when something is clearly wrong instead of trying to shrink it.”

She added that governments need to,“Have strict background checks before someone wants to buy a weapon and make sure the person has no criminal and/or mental issues before purchasing.”