WASHINGTON: New Zealand’s swift ban on semi-automatic weapons after the Christchurch massacre showed how political courage can spur change, but in gun-obsessed America, lawmakers and activists desperate to curb firearm violence looked on with both admiration — and bitterness.
“Not thoughts. Not prayers. Action,” urged Ted Deutch, a Democratic congressman from Florida where a deadly school shooting last year galvanized a youth gun control movement, but produced no tangible change to federal laws.
The speed of New Zealand’s response — days after a white supremacist slaughtered 50 people at two mosques — stood in stark contrast to the congressional inaction that has followed a string of horrific mass shootings in the United States in recent years.
Nearly 40,000 people were killed by firearms in the United States…