We have all by now heard about the terrible Christchurch shootings New Zealand which happened on the 15th March, killing 50 people in two Mosques with dozens injured. Now, the PM of New Zealand (Jacinda Ardern) has announced that she plans to bring in a new ban on a range of semi-automatic and large ammunition rifles which came just six days after a mass shooting, hailing New Zealand as having one of the “fastest response ever by a government after a tragedy”.

The 28-year-old killer bought the weapons "through a simple online purchase and took a significant number of lives using primarily two guns." The shooter, whom the PM will never name, has been charged with one count of murder in the attacks, which became New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting in modern history. He is expected to face additional charges at his next court appearance on 5th of April. Ardern’s announcement came as more of the dead were being buried and preparations for a massive prayer service was held on Friday, with nearly 4,000 attendees.

To combat these atrocious events from happening again, the prime minister said that "all assault rifles," and other firearms will be banned, and the legislation is currently being drafted and she expects the law to take effect by the 11th of April. "We will ban all high-capacity magazines. We will ban all parts with the ability to convert semiautomatic, or any other type of firearm, into a military-style semi-automatic weapon," the prime minister said. "In short, every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country." Furthermore, those who still possess banned guns will be found breaking the law and penalties will include fines of up to $4,000 and/or three years in prison, with the draft legislation proposing stiffer measures. The only reason New Zealand would keep assault rifles would be for the “rural community that manage pests, use for animal welfare and also for recreation,” Ardern says. Ardern said she believes the vast majority of these owners will support the ban because it’s about “national interest” and “safety.”

Nevertheless, in the US, where conservative politicians have blocked even moderate gun control for 25 years, it could be said that New Zealand’s action right now is a reminder of how far behind the country is. “Sandy Hook happened six years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says, the New York congresswoman, referring to the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 children and six educators dead.

On the other hand, pro-gun activists in the United States said that New Zealand’s action to ban ownership of previously legal guns would never be viable in the United States. “The US isn’t New Zealand. They do not have an inalienable right to bear arms and to self-defense, we do,” Dana Loesch, a prominent gun rights activist and National Rifle Association spokeswoman tweets. In another tweet, she wrote: “To ‘follow these examples’ the US would need to repeal the Second Amendment, ban all semi-auto, force gun stores to show all purchases to gov’t, and spend $200 million taxpayer dollars to confiscate firearms.”

But the why is that that it took the British government seven months after the massacre of 16 children in Dunblane, Scotland, in March 1996, it announced a partial ban on handguns, which parents of the children had demanded as part of the Snowdrop Campaign. Moreover, it took the Australian government 10 days after the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996 to announce the National Firearms Agreement. Now, New Zealand announces the new ban on military-style weapons after only six days. Regardless of the size of the country, all these countries have one thing in common. It is the willingness in wanting to change and revolutionise their gun laws to protect their people from such dangerous acts by limiting and further restricting the crazy individuals that commit them. Not looking at one’s self-interest but for the betterment of the society as a whole.

Therefore, New Zealand’s strictness on gun laws and its changing legislation can be seen as an inspiration and a step forward in the right direction in achieving a safer environment which unfortunately politicians in the US continuously block despite frequent high-casualty mass shootings. While there are restrictions on “assault weapons” in some parts of the US, in many places today, Americans can buy an AR-15-style rifle before they are legally allowed to buy a beer, which can be seen concerning, as a country with such power.

If a country like America cannot change, what can we do to change their minds?