'This is what leadership looks like,' Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said after New Zealand banned military-style weapons just five days after terrorist attacks.
New Zealand's swift action on banning weapons of war from its streets five days after a mass shooting at a pair of mosques in the island nation is putting GOP lawmakers to shame.
Now, Democratic lawmakers and other gun control advocates are pointing out just how possible it is to take action after a deadly attack, and not just the GOP standard vague offer of "thoughts and prayers."
"New Zealand will ban all military-style, semi-automatic weapons," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference. "We will also ban all assault rifles. We will ban all high-capacity magazines. We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semi-automatic or any other type of firearm into a military-style, semi-automatic weapon. ... In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country."
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has announced that "every semi-automatic weapon used in the [Christchurch] terror attack on Friday will be banned" in the country: https://t.co/wYi5Zv5N2j pic.twitter.com/ugAOFthGIF
— CNN (@CNN) March 21, 2019
Democratic lawmakers were quick to point out that Arden's response to the shooting is much different than that of Trump, who has refused to call out white supremacy or speak about the costs of allowing weapons of war to be sold to civilians.
"Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can't even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, referring to a background check bill House Democrats passed but that the GOP-controlled Senate won't bring up for a vote. "Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like."
Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8.
Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market.
This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
Others used more direct language to attack Republican inaction on guns.
"Q: How did New Zealand ban assault weapons 5 days after a mass shooting?," Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) tweeted Thursday morning. "A: Their politicians aren’t bought and paid for by the gun lobby. (cc: @HouseGOP, @SenateGOP, @NRA)."
Q: How did New Zealand ban assault weapons 5 days after a mass shooting?
A: Their politicians aren’t bought and paid for by the gun lobby.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) March 21, 2019
"See @GOP - turns out you can respond with thoughts and prayers - AND ACTION," Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) tweeted."
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) March 21, 2019
While Democrats are shaming Republicans on their inaction on gun control amid a crisis of mass shootings in the U.S., don't expect the tactics to work on the GOP.
Don't forget, even the slaughter of 20 six- and seven-year-old children in an elementary school wasn't enough for Republicans to act.
Still, New Zealand's action is proof that change can take place if the will exists.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.