The Spur

New Zealand shooting

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Mar. 15 was a dark day for New Zealand, a country that had never experienced a tragedy of this magnitude. I used some of my personal time to read sections of the accused shooter, Brenton Tarrant’s, manifesto that he posted before committing the crime. Written in the manifesto, this attack was a result from the idea called “the great replacement,” which is that Western nations are being invaded against Muslims, and that due to the low fertility rates amongst the white population, Muslims with high fertility rates will replace the white population.

While the shooter claimed that he has traveled the world and appreciated the different cultures, he did not like the mixing within the Western world. He would rather see a world were each culture and ethnic group have their own space to live, without “invading” the lands of the others.

The official responses from the government of New Zealand was appropriate for their people, but as American, I am concerned what these responses mean in terms for future attacks and the continued polarizing and radicalization of some citizens.

My first concern comes from the banning of semiautomatic weapons. I think that to curb attacks based on a racist sentiment, one must attack the racism, not what was used in the attack. Whether or not you take away weapons, the racists will still be racist, those who want to bring harm to Muslims will still want to harm Muslims.

In fact, the reason that Tarrant used guns was to spark the gun control debate again, in particular for the United States. He wanted members of the Left and the Right to fight amongst themselves and make no real progress. Banning weapons is what he wanted, should we give this disturbed person what they want?

My second concern also comes from the government of New Zealand, as well as some people I have seen online. They refuse to say the shooters name, fail to report on his manifesto, and don’t wish to talk about his motivations, all for the reason that it would give the Tarrant popularity.

I completely reject the idea that being ignorant to these facts would make the situation better. I encourage everyone to know the name Brenton Tarrant and to know why he chose to do what he did from reading his own manifesto. Know that these people who wish for a new Crusade exist. Without sounding too dramatic, know who the enemy is and what they want; without knowing this, members of society can’t weed them out, weed them from where they do not belong.

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New Zealand shooting