New Zealand — The Roman poet Juvenal famously said that the emperors of Rome could do whatever they wanted, so long as they provided the Roman population with bread and circuses.
That is, fill their bellies and keep them entertained and you can be as tyrannical as you like.
It would seem that the tactic was working, if you listened to New Zealand’s media.
A recent buyback in Taranaki, New Zealand saw 92 more people show up to turn in guns and gun parts.
The Taranaki buyback event took place at the local horse racing track and lasted from Thursday to Saturday.
There were 143 guns and 370 banned gun parts surrendered to police.
New Zealand has had hundreds of similar events since the Christchuch shooting in March that left 51 people dead at at Mosque.
Gun owners arrived at the racetrack to find a free BBQ event, and plenty of cheerful government officials there willing to take their weapons from them.
Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan said while there were a number of armed police on site they weren’t expecting any trouble. “They are all coming in voluntarily to participate in the buy-back.”
Ryan lamented that the numbers weren’t as high as at other events held recently.
During a recent buyback in New Plymouth, 209 gun owners handed over 343 firearms and 1160 accessories and parts including magazines but it wasn’t as busy this time.
“It’s steady numbers but we are not seeing the numbers we first saw in the buy-back operation.
Then, spoken with a tone deafness that only a gun-grabbing bureaucrat can manage, he spoke about the attitudes of the people being forced at gunpoint to turn over their weapons to New Zealand’s government:
“Obviously a few people are attached to their weapons, some have sentimental value and have been in the family for a long time. There were a few grumbles as people handed over their firearms, but that was to be expected. Most people realize the effect of the law change and have left reasonably happy with how the process has gone.”
The grace period for turning in your guns ends on December 20th, so the New Zealand government is planning several long buyback events near the end of the year.
Now from the media accounts and these select quotes, it seems as though all of New Zealand is just tamely buying into the bread and circuses act.
But as of September 30th, a total of16,723 people have handed in 26,338 banned firearms and 96,279 parts.
Out of 1.5 million guns that were subject to the ban, those are still staggeringly bad numbers.
In fact, Americans should be darn proud of New Zealanders. 26,338 guns out of 1.5 million guns is roughly 1.88% compliance. Not bad.
Here’s hoping they stand up to their elected officials and toss them—and this law—out before anybody gets hurt in the confiscation process.