Christchurch Shooting: Thread for Discussion

[Content Note: Gun violence; Islamophobia; white supremacy.]

On Friday, a 28-year-old white male Australian citizen named Brenton Tarrant, who was a virulent white supremacist, killed 50 people and injured dozens more at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two homemade explosives were found in his car.

I don't have adequate words to convey my sorrow and rage for the survivors of this massacre, for the loved ones of those who died, for the members of the community attacked, for everyone across New Zealand and beyond who has been traumatized by this heinous act of violence. I am so sorry, and I am so angry.

I will not recount any further details of the shooting here, because they are already everywhere, and if I can offer anything it is a respite from having to encounter those details for people who need that space.

The only thing I will mention is this: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that there would be an inquiry into what law enforcement knew or should have known about the attack and whether it could have been prevented, and, further, that her government would immediately overhaul the nation's gun laws, saying at a press conference that "within 10 days of this horrific act of terrorism we will have announced reforms that I believe will have made our community safer."

I admire and envy a government who will do something more than offer "thoughts and prayers" in the wake of such devastating violence. I hope the steps they take are both quick and effective. I hope it brings New Zealanders some comfort in the wake of this horror.

As with any thread about public acts of violence, let's keep it image-free. Thanks.

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