Last night an Australian man walked into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and opened fire murdering 49 people. Another 48 were wounded, many of them gravely. In addition to firearms, police discovered and disarmed explosive devices in a car nearby.
From the Associated Press:
Police took three men and a woman into custody after the shootings, which shocked people across the nation of 5 million people. Police later said one of the arrests didn’t relate to the shootings. …
A video that was apparently livestreamed by the shooter shows the attack in horrifying detail. The gunman spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with bullets again and again, sometimes re-firing at people he has already cut down.
He then walks outside to the street, where he shoots at people on the sidewalk. Children’s screams can be heard in the distance as he returns to his car to get another rifle.
The gunman then walks back into the mosque, where there are at least two dozen people lying on the ground. After walking back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his car, where the song “Fire” by English rock band “The Crazy World of Arthur Brown” can be heard blasting from the speakers. The singer bellows, “I am the god of hellfire!” and the gunman drives away. The video then cuts out.
The self-proclaimed racist who live-streamed an attack on a New Zealand mosque opened fire with rifles covered in white-supremacist graffiti and listened to a song glorifying a Bosnian Serb war criminal. https://t.co/YG9Ax58LUJ
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 15, 2019
The shooter, a self-described eco-fascist, also published a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto explaining his motivation (you can read the entire rant here). Buried in the document was a justification for his use of firearms for the mass murder.
His stated goal was to prompt a greater push for gun control and the abolition of the Second Amendment in the US, sparking a schism that would irrevocably divide the country.
I could have chosen any weapons or means. A TATP filled rental van. Household flour, a method of dispersion and an ignition source.A ballpeen hammer and a wooden shield. Gas, fire, vehicular attacks, plane attacks, any means were available. I had the will and I had the resources.
I chose firearms for the affect (sic) it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states (sic) and thereby the political situation of the world. The US is torn into many factions by its second amendment, along state, social, cultural and, most importantly, racial lines.
With enough pressure the left wing within the United states will seek to abolish the second amendment, and the right wing within the US will see this as an attack on their very freedom and liberty.
This attempted abolishment of rights by the left will result in a dramatic polarization of the people in the United States and eventually a fracturing of the US along cultural and racial lines.
And here’s something that isn’t getting much notice today. After murdering 41 at the first mosque, the shooter met armed resistance at the second one he attacked.
A second shooting happened at a mosque in the Linwood area of the city.
One Friday prayer goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots around 1.45pm.
A well known Muslim local chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off.
He was heard telling police officers he was firing in “self defence”.
The armed resistance no doubt saved lives at the second mosque where seven people were killed.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s PM:
“Many of those who will have been directly affected by the shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here.
They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”pic.twitter.com/ne8ozkVUtZ
— Alexander Verbeek 🌍 (@Alex_Verbeek) March 15, 2019
Charleston, Pittsburgh, and now Christchurch.
— Kris Brown (@KrisB_Brown) March 15, 2019
This was an act of pure hatred.
We don’t yet know how the killers obtained the gun. What we do know is that innocent blood has again been shed for NO reason other than hate and rage.
— Brady (@bradybuzz) March 15, 2019
“New Zealand’s weapons legislation is considered more relaxed than most Western countries outside of the USA. Gun owners do need a license but they aren’t required to register their guns, unlike in neighboring Australia.”
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 15, 2019