Bleats

An Image Of Jacinda Ardern Has Been Projected Onto The World's Tallest Building

Dubai's 829.8m tall Burj Khalifa was lit up with an emotional image of the New Zealand Prime Minister hugging a woman after the Christchurch terror attack.

In the days following the Christchurch terror attack on March 15 that left 50 dead and several wounded, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has shown everyone just what a great leader she is by keeping everyone calm amidst high tension while managing to waste no time in introducing gun legislation reform.

Ardern has clearly shown that she is the leader the world needs right now and Dubai has decided to honour her in the grandest way by projecting an image of the Prime Minister hugging a woman onto the world’s tallest building, the 829.8 metre tall Burj Khalifa.

The Prime Minister and vice-president of the UAE, and ruler of the emirate of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed, tweeted out an image of the lit up Burj Khalifa, along with a message of thanks for Ardern and New Zealand.

The photo was taken during Ardern’s visit at the Kilburnie mosque in Wellington and was projected onto the tower with the Arabic world “salam” and its English translation, “peace”.

With all the tension that’s going on right now, this Burj Khalifa tribute to Ardern seems quite fitting to honour the one person who is doing her best to hold everybody in New Zealand together while being at the political forefront of Christchurch’s aftermath.

New Zealand Just Banned Assault Rifles, Sets Up Gun Buyback Scheme Following Christchurch Terror Attack

Australia introduced a similar scheme following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

Following the terror attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15 that left 50 dead and several wounded, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to reform the country’s gun legislation as quickly as possible.

Today, March 21, she delivered. Ardern announced at a press conference in Wellington that every semi-automatic weapon used in the Christchurch attack will be banned in New Zealand, starting almost immediately.

Ardern acknowledged that many people would have purchased weapons legally and the government will be introducing a gun buyback scheme in which gun owners will receive “fair and reasonable compensation”.

The Prime Minister also warned that those who don’t hand back any banned guns after the full ban comes into effect will be hit with increased penalties.

Clarifying some aspects of the ban, Ardern stated that people won’t be able to purchase any of the outlawed guns between now and when the ban comes into effect, and the estimated cost of the buyback scheme will range from $100-$200 million, based on preliminary data. More details regarding the ban and gun buyback scheme will be available next month when the legislation is introduced to parliament.

This won’t be the only gun legislation amendment, as Ardern says Cabinet will meet again on Monday to discuss the closing of more loopholes.

The reform of New Zealand’s gun laws echoes back to when Australia introduced its own gun legislation reform back in 1996 following the Port Arthur massacre.

The attack occurred just weeks into John Howard’s first term as Prime Minister and he led a contentious push to significantly increase gun restrictions.

This resulted in the introduction of the 1996 National Firearms Agreement – which introduced restrictions on certain types of weapon and a registry to keep track of gun owners – a mere 12 days after the massacre, as well as the introduction of a mandatory gun buyback scheme that’s not unlike what New Zealand is doing.

Despite fears of violence from gun owners, the buyback scheme was successful with about 650,000 legally owned guns peacefully surrendered. Including the 2003 gun buyback scheme, the whole thing cost tax-payers just under $628 million and the number of gun-related deaths dropped dramatically in Australia.

This is a big step for New Zealand regarding its gun legislation and if Australia is any indication, it will have positive repercussions on the country.

Peter Dutton Is Using The Christchurch Shootings To Stir Up The Debunked Video Game Violence Debate Again

Standard play from the politician's handbook: don't own up to the issue and blame video games instead.

Home Affairs Minister and potato representative Peter Dutton proclaimed that the “extreme left‘ are basically as much to blame as the “extreme right” when it comes to the recent Christchurch shootings the other day.

But just when you think ol’ mate couldn’t say anything more stupid than that, he somehow managed to top himself on ABC Radio National on March 18 by using Christchurch to revisit the well and truly debunked video game violence debate.

“I think there is a further debate, I might say, in relation to the use of computer games and graphic videos, and the way in which that is accessed online.” 

Good grief, Dutto, you’ve done some truly stupid things in your time as a politician and yet you continue to surprise us.

Rehashing the video game violence debate is a standard play from the politician handbook: ignore the real issues at hand and/or deny that you had anything to do with the incident at hand and blame it on video games.

It’s a fearmongering tactic pollies like to use that also has no basis in fact. There have been several scientific studies conducted over the past decade or so that conclusively proves that there is simply no link between violent games and real-life violence.

Just last month, the University of Oxford and the Oxford Internet Institute conducted one of the most comprehensive study into the link between violent games and real-life violence. After collecting data on over 2,000 teens, parents, and carers, the study concluded (again) that there simply is no link between the two.

Having been a gamer for nearly my whole life, defending video games from fact-denying politicians is just exhausting and pointless because it feels like I’m screaming into a void.

So politicians, here’s my response to your constant rehashing of a debunked subject:

It’s an honest question that I don’t think I’ll get an honest answer to.

If politicians really want to deep dive into what caused angry people who happened to play games to go shoot up two mosques, then perhaps they should start looking into the anti-migrant and Muslim rhetoric that’s been peddled by certain parties over the last decade or so.

But that’s a story for another day. For now, let’s just cut the crap on this rehashed video game violence thing before it goes anywhere.

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