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Teen Explains Her Frustrations to New Zealand Prime Minister for Banning AR-15s

A 13-year-old girl speaks on the matter.

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The controversy around guns is in no way coming to an end. Countries are divided when it comes to gun rights–who should be able to own them, and what kinds of guns are okay. A gun that has definitely made its way to the “not okay” list is the AR-15. This large weapon can hold 20-30-round magazines and is a common choice in massacres. 

In an attempt to lower the likelihood of mass killings, such as in school shootings, church shootings, etc., countries have banned the dangerous gun. This includes New Zealand, which made the change in March after the Christchurch Mosque shootings. Banning an extremely deadly firearm sounds like the logical thing to do in an attempt to prevent another mass killing, but not everyone is happy about the change.

Teen Shares Her Feelings Through a Letter to the Prime Minister

Having written a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 13-year-old Maddy Millen-Turner speaks for a large sum of New Zealanders who find the ban unfair. In the letter, she complains about the emotional hardship she faced when having to give up her weapons. She writes, “Frustration and annoyance and just very upset. Me and my dad, we went to Waihi and handed in both of our ARs and also some other guns and parts. It was very tough. I did have an outburst of tears and I couldn’t handle it. It was really bad.” To be honest, I can’t take the letter seriously. It sounds like a kid who’s just had to give up her toys and is possibly having a tantrum. 

She explains why she felt the urge to contact the Prime Minister, saying, “I was very angry and I wanted to let Jacinda know that because everyone was like, talking about it and saying ‘I’m very angry, I want Jacinda to know’, but I felt like no one really did anything about it… so I decided to speak up on behalf of New Zealand shooters who thought the same as me.”

What the girl is most upset about is the fact that she can’t do competitions with her dad as she used to. They would also hunt together, and I guess it isn’t as fun without an AR-15, which she had been gifted on her 13th birthday. She believes that people with good intentions should have the right to use these sorts of weapons.  

How the Prime Minister Responded

The Prime Minister’s response to Maddy is that something had to be done following the Christchurch attack, and this includes the banning of AR-15s. 

Ardern explained to the Morning Report, “The question we had to ask ourselves is ‘do you require a gun that can have 20-30-round magazines attached to them… are they necessary to undertake hunting, for instance, and the answer for us was no.”

Ardern’s point is valid, and most citizens of New Zealand would agree, but there are many who struggle to accept this new rule. While I don’t agree with Maddy’s complaint, I have to give her props for actually speaking out when no one else would. 

Want to hear about some more political controversy? Check out Greta Thunberg’s response to her staredown at Trump

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