(The Gist) -- The following essay is adapted from an episode of The Gist, a daily podcast from Slate about news, culture, and whatever else you’re discussing with your family and friends.
In the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand, slaughter, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately vowed that gun law would change, then followed up with details on how the gun laws would change. Then the gun laws were changed. To most Americans, this is a striking example of how government should respond to a crisis with policies that reflect the national consensus. It is, in a word, functional.
Is New Zealand better, nicer, kinder, or more bureaucratically nimble than the U.S.? Maybe. New Zealand is also smaller and more homogenous. It is nice to live in a country of 4.5 million basically like-minded people who can come together after a tragedy. Of course, Connecticut’s a state of 3.5 million people, with less diversity than New Zealand, and it passed stricter gun control measures after the Sandy Hook shooting.
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