The worst shooting in New Zealand’s History


Manage episode 229457037 series 59345
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Special note: Since this article was written, media have been asked not to share the name of the shooter so that he does not get the attention that he wants. For this reason, I’ve replaced the shooter’s name with “Sad Boy”.

New Zealand was shocked on Friday when 50 people in Christchurch were killed by 28-year-old “Sad Boy” .

At 1.40pm Sad Boy entered the Christchurch city mosque and opened fire on the congregation, killing forty-two people. He then drove to another mosque in nearby Linwood and killed eight more people. He was then arrested.

Sad Boy’s involvement in social media shows that he has been expressing white supremacist views for some time. White supremacists as a group tend to encourage violence towards people who are not caucasian.
Sad Boy had a gun license, although the type of guns that he had were not legal. When he applied for the gun license, his views about society were available on social media, but police have no procedure in place for checking people’s digital footprints. Over the last two days New Zealanders have been holding vigils and rallies against racism in response to the shooting. To date, sixty-five thousand people have donated just over four and a half million dollars to a victim support page.

The response of the government has been to increase the
number of police at community events. Only a few weeks ago, Christchurch police
had started carrying guns as they had noticed there was an increasing gun
problem in the area. The prime minister now says that gun laws will change in
order to prevent this kind of attack in the future. We can hope that there will
also be an increase in use of the internet to prevent crime. Police have warned
that anybody who shares videos of the shooting will be arrested.

If you want to attend a vigil, there are several coming up. There will be one at 8:30pm on Thursday the twenty-first of March in Cathedral Square in Christchurch, and one at 6:00pm on Friday the twenty-second of March in Aotea Square in Auckland. There will also be a rally against Islamophobia and racism on Sunday afternoon, the twenty-fourth of March in Aotea Square, Auckland.


mosque: a place of worship for Muslim people

social media: twitter, weechat and facebook are all examples
of social media

caucasian: if people are “white” or look “european” they can
be described as caucasian.

to have procedures in place: this means that you have a set
way of doing things for all staff in an organisation. For example, if there is
a fire, everybody knows what to do because they have procedures in place.

digital footprints: the information that people can find
about you by searching for you online

vigil: a meeting to share grief

rally: this is similar to a protest but the purpose is to
build community support

victim: somebody who suffers from a crime

Islamophobia: the fear of muslim people

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