On March 15, 2019, an Australian man opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 people and injuring 50 people. The shooter walked into the first mosque, Al Noor, where he started to live stream the attack on social media. The shooter claimed that he identified as a “white identity.”
That he killed these innocent people, all military style, with semi-automatic weapons, and assault rifles, are to be banned in New Zealand. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern made the decision because this was the worst mass shooting that had happened in the country’s history. Ardern said that the terrorist charged the killings to continue his attack, when he was interrupted by police.
39 people remain in the hospital, 11 who are in critical condition, and in intensive care units. A four-year-old girl, that is in critical condition, is to require multiple surgeries. Christchurch hospitals chief of surgery, Dr. Greg Robertson, said many of the victims will need multiple surgeries as well.
Ardern said that she will not say the killer’s name, “He obviously had a range of reasons for committing this atrocious terrorist attack. Lifting his profile was one of them. And that’s something that we can absolutely deny him.” Ardern met many of the families of the victims on Saturday, March 16. She said that authorities were working to ensure that the bodies could be identified quickly to allow proper Muslim burials.
Authorities in Australia and New Zealand have been asked why the suspect was not listed as a terrorist in the media watchlist. He was planning this attack for many years. The terrorist identified himself as member of a white supremacist group. It is believed that the terrorist was alone, but that there were at least two people helping him. The Christchurch police had two other people in custody, a man and a women, it was later confirmed that they were let go and didn’t have any connections on the attack.
People around the world were devastated about the attack and they couldn’t believe that people that were in a place of worship, that thought were safe, were killed. They were killed by someone who hated them, and for him to live stream the attack of killing innocent people from ages 3-70 was heartbreaking.
Many people were scared to attend the mosque and pray, but wonderful people ensured their safety, and while they prayed they stood behind them during prayer. Others also stood in front of mosque doors so that this will not happen again, in any other mosques in the U.K., U.S., etc., and that the Muslim citizens were be protected during prayer.
The news was devastating, and instead of saying “hopefully this doesn’t happen again, we need to make changes,” Jacinda Ardern made a change. She banned semi-automatic weapons so that something like this will never happen again. And that’s what a lot of countries need to do. Change starts with us.