After a white supremacist terrorist slaughtered 50 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, the country's Prime Minister immediately announced intentions to ban AR-15's and similar assault weapons.
Now, citizens of New Zealand are following her lead, surrendering their assault rifles for destruction and lessening the chance that the carnage inflicted upon New Zealanders last week doesn't occur again.
One of these gun owners was farmer John Hart, who said:
"On the farm [firearms] are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse."
Until today I was one of the New Zealanders who owned a semi-automatic rifle. On the farm they are a useful tool in… https://t.co/MUITHuxvX7— John Hart 🦗🦗🦗🦗🦗 (@John Hart 🦗🦗🦗🦗🦗) 1552879509.0
He wasn't the only one to surrender his firearm.
For Americans especially, it's hard to imagine many gun owners voluntarily surrendering their firearms in the event of mass shootings, which happen at an alarming regularity in the United States.
The internet hailed those willing to surrender the weapons.
@farmgeek If only more gun owners could be this reasonable— Jan (@Jan) 1552879609.0
@SirWB Really proud of you. Such a positive choice.— 2covet (@2covet) 1552875171.0
@farmgeek @WeavingHouse Respect mate, thank you.— Otautau Museum Colle (@Otautau Museum Colle) 1552881541.0
@SirWB I’m impressed! This is the third of these I’ve seen this week. It’s s good pattern— Très Kewl (@Très Kewl) 1552929264.0
However, there were still some naysayers.
Why are New Zealanders voluntarily surrendering their guns? Ridiculous. FYI: Criminals will still have guns!— d'Evreux 🏴 (@d'Evreux 🏴) 1552941359.0
@SirWB Not smart. Congratulations, you just disarmed yourself and removes the ability to protect yourself and famil… https://t.co/CUNQiJ7F6H— Richard (@Richard) 1552899681.0
@farmgeek How exactly is a law abiding citizen turning in his rifle helping?— James v dawson (@James v dawson) 1552935910.0
@SirWB Well unless you were tempted to mass murder I’m not sure how surrendering your guns to the institution world… https://t.co/usaVyoeu1e— Alexander T Dreki (@Alexander T Dreki) 1552864556.0
@SirWB That's fine. Just don't push that shit here in the US.— TCinOP (@TCinOP) 1552921030.0
However, the reactions were positive, by-and-large.
The experience wasn't necessarily without fear. Hart elaborated on bringing the rifle into the police station:
"So, walking up the long courtyard to the Masterton police station, towards a stone-faced policewoman guarding the door holding an AR15 at the ready, while I’m carrying a rifle (in its case) was, let’s say, a puckering experience."
Not all heroes wear capes.