Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised the leadership shown by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on gun control in the wake of the deadly Christchurch mosque shootings by a white nationalist.
Ardern announced that as a result of the far-right terror attack that left 50 people dead and dozens more injured, New Zealand would ban a swath of what she called “military-style” weapons and parts that allow other guns to be converted.
Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat known for her outspokenness, compared the lack of action on gun control in the U.S. after mass shootings, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 26, and Ardern’s swift action.
“Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, referring to a House bill that would require background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions.
“Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like.”
Last Friday, Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspect in the Christchurch mosque shootings, allegedly streamed live to his Facebook page as he entered two different mosques in the city of Christchurch while heavily armed, and began shooting at Muslim worshipers, killing men, women and children indiscriminately.
Tarrant released a manifesto alongside the alleged attack detailing his white supremacist beliefs, his hatred of Muslims and his desire to see more acts of violence. He referred to immigration in white-majority countries as an invasion. Tarrant has been charged with one count of murder and is in custody awaiting more charges.
“Today I am announcing that New Zealand will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons,” Ardern said at a news conference on Thursday.
“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. We will ban parts that cause a firearm to generate semi-automatic, automatic, or close to automatic gunfire.
“In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country,” Ardern said.