New Zealand is a beautiful country that seems far removed, both literally and figuratively, from the problems facing the rest of our troubled planet.
However, the tragic shootings at two mosques in New Zealand this past Friday have demonstrated that there is no place on earth that is immune from the forces of evil and hatred that are tearing apart the fabric of our societies.
As we are writing this, 50 persons have been confirmed dead, with another 31 injured, of whom nine are in critical condition, including a 4 year-old child.
The shootings are typical of the cowardly perpetrators of these deeds: They choose churches, mosques, and synagogues where their victims are unarmed and worshipping their God pursuant to their individual faith in a place where the victims feel most safe.
Are we getting to the point where every house of worship must hire armed guards in order to protect their congregants?
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was unequivocal in her resolve to take action in the wake of the tragedy. “Within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms that I believe will have made our community safer,” Ms. Ardern said.
To be sure, there is no one action that any government can take to prevent this sort of tragedy from happening. Hatred and mental-illness always will exist.
However, common-sense measures can be undertaken regarding the sales and licensing of the sort of military arms that are responsible for these mass shootings. While none of us can predict the future, we do not have to be Nostradamus to know that until we restrict the sale of these weapons of mass murder, they will occur again — and again — and again.