By: H. Sampaio
In the 15th of March, there was a mass shooting in New Zealand; the local government later considered it a terrorist attack. The shooter targeted two different Mosques - “a Muslim place of worship” - located in the city of Christchurch: The Al Noor Mosque and The Lind Wood Mosque. The shooter specifically targeted Muslims and immigrants, murdering up to 50 people using a rifle.
After the horrific massacre, the government agreed to reform their gun laws. The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, broadcasted: “I can tell you right now, our gun laws will change”. She then later announced that all of the military-style semi-automatic guns and assault rifles will be banned. The law is expected to become official by April 11th. New Zealand licensing regulations also changed; now it is harder for buyers to get their hands on any gun.
Most victims were killed in the Al Noor Mosque, which was targeted first. One of the victims almost survived the attack but died on the hospital afterward. The Government didn’t release names to the public, however, they were shared to any related family member. Of all of the casualties, 50 people were wounded, 38 remain hospitalized, and 12 are in critical conditions; no bodies were yet released too.
2 days after the shooting, an Australian called Brenton Tarrant was the only person in custody who is related to the attack. Minutes before the attack, the shooter sent an 87-page manifesto to the prime minister. The chief press secretary, Andrew Campbell, said that the manifesto was sent to a general email account kept by staff and was not seen by Ardern. The murderer also posted on social media; his post was filled with anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant content. He made a hand gesture related to white supremacists when he appeared on court. Tarrant will be in court again on April 5th.
One of the 50 killed was a Syrian refugee with his sons. The Syrian was Khaled Mustafa, who migrated to New Zealand in 2018 with his family because they saw the country as a “Safe Heaven”. He was at the Mosque with both of his sons for his Friday prayers when Tarrant opened fire. Sadly, he and his older son died, but fortunately, his other son was only wounded and survived the attack.