Tragedy Strikes

Staff Writer: Arie Mitchell

As many of you have heard, there was a horrific shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The tragedy occurred March 15 leaving 49 dead and 50 injured. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has already taken steps to make sure something like this does not happen again.

The gunman was identified as a 28-year old male named Brenton Harrison Tarrant who was an Australian citizen; however, he will still be tried in New Zealand. When searching through his belongings they found an 87-page manifesto dedicated to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim ideas.



This is terrorist Tarrant Photo Credits:

The manifesto also mentions that the attack was his sole purpose for going to New Zealand. Turks were also targeted in his manifesto, saying they should be forced out of Europe, and all mosques in Istanbul swill be demolished.

Tarrant openly supports Trump and sees him as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” He also mentions supporting Anders Breivik, the Norwegian white supremist who murdered 77 people in Norway back in 2011.

Back in 2010 Tarrant traveled to Europe after his father passed away due to cancer. During this time, Islamic extremism was a popular topic in the news. At this time, he was sensitive and seeing the attacks allowed him to associate his father’s death with Islamic religion. Thus, leading him to look at this religious group as some sort of blame or a target for his sorrow soon turned rage.

Ms. Ardern has already taken many steps into making sure this doesn’t happen again. “There will be changes to our gun laws,” exclaimed Prime Minister Ardern. These changes include restricting the selling of military style semi-automatics, assault rifles and high capacity magazines from being sold, and paying citizens to turn in their firearms. These laws are expected to be in place by April 11.


New Zealand news anchors, and even the prime minister herself, have taken to wearing hijabs when broadcasting. Photo Credits: Pakistan Observer

The most disturbing part about the shooting itself, is that the shooter was welcomed into the mosque with open arms. At the door he was met by a Pakistani immigrant, who has yet to be identified, who said, “Hello, brother,” to the gunman right before being shot three times. He was the first victim.

New Zealand has handled this situation with flying colors. Within a week of the shooting, there have been many changes for the better. America has had 61 reported mass shootings this year alone up to March 19 and no difference has been seen. The last reported massacre in New Zealand dates back to February 8, 1997, with six casualties.


The shooter is still awaiting trial. Photo Credits:

Stephan Thomas Jackson, a Woodstock High School junior says, “If a someone wants to get a gun they will. Gun laws will not make a difference, and it is not fair to the citizens because he wasn’t from New Zealand himself.” And when asked if he thinks the U.S. should mimic New Zealand in their new gun laws, he responded with, “No. Once again, if someone wants to get a gun they will. Even if they were sold in less places, yes it would be harder, but if a cartel or some illegal source manages to get guns in the hands of these crazy people, then the law-abiding citizens will have nothing to defend themselves with. Would you rather shoot up a bunch of kindergarteners and military base? Exactly.”

Jorge Heoga, a Woodstock High School junior doesn’t have the same view on the situation. He says, “I don’t think there’s a reason for people to have military style weapons anyways. I agree with what the prime minister is doing. It is to protect her people.” And when asked asked if he thinks if the U.S. should make stricter gun laws, he says, “Honestly, I just think we should make people who apply for guns take exams to test their psychological health before their purchase.”


This is one of the mosques that the shooter attacked. Photo Credits:

There are a few people, however, who do not agree with the prime minister. Samuel Pierre, a college sophomore, says he thinks the prime minister is doing too much. “I think by trying to limit that control it’s only going to fix things temporarily. If people want guns they’ll get their hands on them, illegal or not.” A lot of people seemed to have this opinion.

In the United States, there have been many protests just to get the slightest bit of change regarding the restrictions of certain types of firearms. The student survivors in the Parkland shooting have become activists and are still seeking the justice, not only that they deserve, but also their classmates who did not make it to see how they’ve grown today.


This is Calvin Desir, the first student to commit suicide after the Parkland shooting. Photo Credits:

Restricting gun distribution is not taking away from, nor violating anyone’s rights. But maybe if they weren’t so easy to obtain, Calvin Desir and Sydney Aiello would still be here. They were two students who committed suicide after their school was faced with terrorist Cruz.


This is Sydney Aiello, the second student to commit suicide after the Parkland shooting. Photo Credits:



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