New Zealand is dealing with its gun problem. When will the US?

A sign for a Christchurch gun shop. Following the massacre of 50 people at two mosques in the city last week, the New Zealand Cabinet has agreed in principle to overhaul gun laws. More Americans die from guns every 10 weeks than died in the entire Af
A sign for a Christchurch gun shop. Following the massacre of 50 people at two mosques in the city last week, the New Zealand Cabinet has agreed in principle to overhaul gun laws. More Americans die from guns every 10 weeks than died in the entire Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined, yet the US does not have gun safety rules as rigorous as New Zealand's even before the attacks, says the writer.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

When a terrorist massacred 50 people at two New Zealand mosques last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately grasped the nettle. "I can tell you one thing right now," she told the media. "Our gun laws will change."

That's what effective leadership looks like. New Zealand's Cabinet has now agreed in principle to overhaul those laws, experts are reviewing ways to make the country safer from firearms and, Ms Ardern promised, "within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2019, with the headline 'NZ is dealing with its gun problem. When will the US?'. Subscribe