New Zealand Mosque Shootings

The New Zealand mosque attacks that occurred on March 15, 2019 left 49 dead. This terrorist act has brought about political and social reform.


Natecull [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

The aftermath of this terror attack isn't a broken and beat down community, but a community that is now stronger in their faith.

Horrific attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, left at least 49 dead and many more injured. On March 15, 2019 a 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, stormed into two mosques, killing 41 people in the first and 8 in the second attack. The whole event was livestreamed by the gunman with
200 viewers at all times.

The video of the shooting resurfaced on many websites, even after being banned from almost all websites on the internet.

Brenton Tarrant is believed to be a right wing extremist terrorist, who wrote a manifesto before carrying out this attack. His 74-page book, titled “The Great Replacement”, includes many anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and white-supremacist remarks. He believed in renewing white identity, and the separation of the races. He lived in Australia, where many anti-Muslim political views are held, and moved to New Zealand to train and prepare for the attack.

New Zealand plans on banning all military-style semi-automatic guns.

The attack, occurring on March 15th, was one of the most destructive mass killings that the country had ever had. As people were in the mosque worshipping during Friday prayers, Brenton Tarrant pulled up in his car with a gun strapped to his back. He then went to his trunk, pulled out another rifle, and proceeded toward the doors of the mosque, shooting anyone in his way. Once he was in the mosque, he began firing upon all of the worshippers, who were huddled in the corners of the room. The gunman continued to fire his gun, making sure all of his victims were completely dead. After killing 41 people and injuring many others he drove off to another mosque, killing 8 people and injuring others.

This whole 17-minute event was livestreamed on Facebook and the video was spread around the internet to millions of people, before being taken off of almost all sites. One of the most controversial issues with this attack is that it was livestreamed, yet none of the 200 concurrent viewers reported the attack to police.

The terror attack was streamed live on Facebook, but was later deleted and videos of this were banned.

New Zealand is considered one of the safest countries in the world, but this attack is being called, “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”, by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The Prime Minister of New Zealand announced soon after this terrorist attack that gun reform is on the way. She plans to ban all military-style semi-automatic weaponry from the public. New Zealand also plans to have an immediate nationwide buyback of guns to prevent from stockpiling. The buyback could cost the nation between 100 million and 260 million dollars. New Zealand has the 17th-highest rate of civilian firearms with 26.3 guns per 100 people, while the US leads with 120.5 guns per 100 people. So, although the buyback will be a hard task, it is definitely possible.
Social reform has also begun in New Zealand, by many Muslim activists. They are working to show people that this attack will not divide them, or cause outrage in their community. This event will only make their faith stronger.

Drew Ramos reads an article about the New Zealand Mosque shooting.

In the US, many people are putting blame on the President, Donald Trump, for his comments that were made before this attack. Donald Trump had this to say after the attacks, “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured.” I asked Lafayette students what their response to the shooting was and Aaron Adams said, “This was a disgusting act of terror, carried out by a person with no regard for human life.” Drew Ramos, a junior at Lafayette, added, “This was a horrific terrorist attack and could bring about necessary change.” Lastly, Michael Labella declared, “The government needs to make sure that this never happens again!”

This extremely devastating terrorist attack has turned into a political debate, fueling arguments from pro-gun and anti-gun activists. Many others believe that this attack shouldn’t be used as ammo for either side, but should be reflected upon, in order to keep it from happening again. No matter what people’s opinions are on this topic, everyone can agree that this attack is bound to bring change in New Zealand and possibly the world.