Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Ardern on gun law changes: 'I do not understand the US'

Jacinda Ardern on gun law changes: 'I do not understand the US'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she doesn't understand the United States' position on gun laws.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Paris for the Christchurch Call summit. Photo: RNZ / Jo Moir

Ms Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron are hosting the meeting of world leaders and tech giants to look at how to stop extremism spreading online. The global call for action comes after 51 people died in the Christchurch mosque attacks that were livestreamed on Facebook.

Heads of state from Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Jordan, Senegal, Indonesia and the European Union are attending, though US President Donald Trump is absent.

Speaking to US broadcaster CNN this morning, Ms Ardern said there was no question in her mind that New Zealand's gun legislation had to change after the Christchurch attacks.

"We did have permissive gun laws," she said, as weapons used in the 15 March attacks were easily obtained and modified.

"There was no question in my mind that our laws needed to change."

Parliament supported the change, she said as did New Zealanders by and large.

"It speaks to the strength of feeling in the aftermath of that attack.

"After you witness 51 of your New Zealand Muslim community be attacked in that way the only answer was to to do everything we could to prevent it ever happening again."

Asked by CNN's Christiane Amanpour about mass shootings in the United States and whether other countries could learn from the actions of New Zealand and Australia, Ms Ardern said it was possible to "draw a line" and ban access to military style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles.

"Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws, New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws.

"To be honest with you I do not understand the United States."

'We've had good ongoing engagement with Facebook'

Ms Ardern said co-operation on ending extremist content online was the least that should be expected from Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook is absent from the meeting but the social media company's vice-president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, is there.

"I've spoken to Mark Zuckerberg directly, twice now, and actually we've had good ongoing engagement with Facebook. Last time I spoke to him a matter of days ago he did give Facebook support to this call to action."

Ms Ardern said the fact that she herself inadvertently saw the video of the shootings on Facebook highlighted how available it was.

"I don't think it's enough for us to say, in accepting that we all want an open and a free and secure internet, that we have to accept that these kinds of activities will happen as a by-product.

"We don't have to accept that, but we do have to put our minds collectively to the solutions."

Referring to websites 4chan and 8chan, which have been used to promote extremist content, Ms Ardern said there were platforms which would never going engage with government or see that they had any duty of care or sense of responsibility.

"That's why we cannot take off the table governments looking at the other tools they have."

Ms Ardern earlier attended the the Voices for Action summit, which she said discussed the role algorithms play online harm, and the need for technology companies to be more transparent about that.

But she said governments also had a role to play in preventing radicalisation in their communities.

Tristan Harris, co-founders of the Centre for Humane Technology, who formerly worked for Google, warned that online platforms like YouTube, where 70 percent of video watching time is via its recommendations, pushed people towards harmful content. No matter where you start, he said, the system tilted the viewer towards the radicalising direction.

The prime minister is holding a series of one-on-one meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May, the King of Jordan, Norway's Elna Solberg and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey.

She will have an hour-long lunch with the French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace ahead of the Christchurch Call summit. Tomorrow, she will attend the Tech for Good dinner where she'll make a speech before a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>