Wendy

Will the Crusaders’ brand changes atone for our sins or is the real answer a little more uncomfortable for the government?

The Crusaders have kept their name and there will be some cosmetic changes to branding. Does this atone for our sins? And do we really need to?

In the aftermath of the terrible Christchurch tragedy, the Prime Minister led a response that was more emotive than practical. In the immediate aftermath that was appropriate and she was globally lauded both for her compassionate approach to the event and her treatment of the victims.

However, her emotional response continued with her introducing gun laws at the speed of light, which have since been found to have major flaws. She also swung into action attempting, with a global audience hanging onto her every word, to make changes in technology to stop “hate speech”, terrorist recruitment and associated activities online. The attempted overhaul gave her brand much media exposure but it achieved very little in stopping terrorism.  

My belief, to get to the heart of the matter, is that we need to focus on activities surrounding the gunman and his purchase of weapons and ammunition; perhaps that would be a bit close for comfort for Ardern as her own accountability and that of government agencies will come into question. 

In December 2017 the Prime Minister oversaw a law making it easier for dangerous criminals like Brenton Tarrant to buy guns online. We do not know whether Tarrant used that scheme or if he bought his guns before this.

Also, there was a provision in this bill to allow references to be obtained online without face-to-face interviews. What was she thinking? Is this law still in place and why has more not been said about it? One article by Tony Wall mentioning it was printed in Stuff  March 21 with no further commentary.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern oversaw recent changes which meant gun licence holders did not need to visit police stations when applying for permits for assault rifles, but could instead apply online.[…]

A critic of the change, firearms lawyer Nicholas Taylor, said: “It’s been done for all the wrong reasons – this is exactly an example of the type of problem that’s caused this event [in Christchurch].”

He described it as “crazy” as it meant less face-to-face contact between the applicant and police.

The Prime Minister’s office says the changes were designed to allow for paperwork to be done electronically and didn’t remove the requirement for face-to-face vetting when someone applied for a firearms licence before applying for access to an MSSA.

The accused gunman got his New Zealand firearms licence in November, 2017 and began buying weapons soon after, including online from Gun City in Christchurch.

Stuff

The Prime Minister is not given to deep thought and contemplation about anything, let alone the ramifications. Prior to March 15th she was probably more preoccupied with her image of being innovative, using technology to cut down police leg work, instead of focusing on how important personal police contact is to thoroughly check the individuals purchasing potentially lethal weapons.

The gun buy-back scheme, implemented in haste, has been beset with problems because not enough time had gone into drafting the law. I was gobsmacked when, on announcing the new gun law, the Prime Minister seemed to be more focused on the fact that we had prepared the law quicker than her counterparts in Australia had after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. I didn’t know it was a competition. Attention to detail was sacrificed in the name of virtue signalling; she’s always mindful of her global brand.

In November 2019 a submitter to a parliamentary select committee on the gun buy-back scheme described selling 2,300 rounds of ammunition to the accused mosque shooter. At this time, Tarrant had no family, no job, no footprint in the community; yet he’d been vetted as being fit and proper and obviously given a full licence which allowed him to arm himself. The police knew about his firearms.

A minute into the five-minute submission process, which was being broadcast live, a Labour minister shut the submission down and, shortly after, the written submission was removed from the government website. Jacinda Ardern’s ministers are protecting her and her ministries using the excuse that this will be used in the formal investigation and should not be publicised, which is chilling.

This submission should be publicised and questions asked, both formally and publicly, about how this dangerous individual was able to arm himself in order to carry out his terror attack. As Sean Plunket so eloquently put it “The internet didn’t kill 51 people”. But will it ever see the light of day?

Ardern has successfully, thus far, deflected her audience away from such blatant and confronting evidence which puts her and her police force and other agencies at the centre of this case. ‘Brand Ardern‘ has been protected.

The BFD. Our Lady of the internet: Photoshopped image credit Pixy

We should be concerned about her reach and influence and, like the overdue report into alleged sexual offending in her own office, how much will we eventually be publicly told about the real reason this murderer succeeded in his terrorism?