Just thinking … about sheep?

What do Wallace and Grommit (specifically Shawn), and Lord of the Rings have in common? Sheep obviously! Where do sheep appear in Lord of the Rings? Well I don’t recall anywhere, except the movie filming was done in New Zealand, where sheep farming is a major industry!

The above paragraph, plus the lovely voice of Hayley WestenraΒ  pretty much covers what I know about New Zealand. I have no doubt that New Zealand has many other attributes, but I am not familiar with them.

The recent killing rampageΒ  made headlines seemingly around the world, but I wonder why? With the greatest sensitivity to the people who are suffering as a result, it is not as if this was an isolated mass killing.Β  I tend to think that it was because of its location, New Zealand, that triggered the media response. How could this happen in a relatively small peaceful and democratic sheep farming country, which rarely makes the news except recently with the Lord of The Rings movie?

Well of course it can happen anywhere, as has been proven over recent history however, there is a major difference with the response to this one. Their lady PM (I don’t know her name either!) made a statement that “our gun laws will change.” I love her already! Note that she did not say that the current laws would be looked into, or a committee would be established to review gun law policies, and anything else that could be described as political rhetoric to appease an outraged population … “Our gun laws will change.”

Our democratic system has developed to a point where, in order to “run for office”, a huge financial resource is necessary to cover the costs of promoting oneself. If you don’t have those resources, then you need to attract organizations and individuals who do, because otherwise you cannot run an effective campaign. There is an old saying “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

It would be very difficult (I would suggest impossible) to get the support necessary without offering something in return, which often takes the political direction away from “the people”.

As I noted in another Blog this morning, being raised in post WWII England, and having experienced the posturing over nuclear bombs by the USSR and USA, it is no surprise that my generation were very vocal about a desire for mutual tolerance and understanding … and peace! Sadly, my generation would appear to have been corrupted by the appeal of money and power.

Perhaps my children’s generation will get things right, or perhaps their children’s generation? If the basic concepts of love and mutual respect and understanding do not become forefront in our future, then I would suggest that a really major catastrophe will remedy the situation … for anybody who survives it.

There is an aspect of our species which is very interesting, and holds hope for our future. If you want to see a group of people “pull together” as one …. threaten the group. History has proven that countries will unite to defeat a common enemy. History has proven that races, religions and cultures will work together to combat a mutual threat. It would be a shame if we had to wait for such a major catastrophe … but the future will tell.

In the meantime, and to the PM of New Zealand, I offer my admiration for taking such a decisive stand, and really hope that not only do you get sufficient support to see your gun laws changed, but that other countries will see that a precedent has been set, and perhaps they should follow.

Just thinking.

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20 thoughts on “Just thinking … about sheep?

  1. Hello, Colin

    I live in Christchurch and our PM is Jacinda Ardern. On Friday, our city was in turmoil with residents advised to stay inside as we did not know if the gunman was a lone wolf or if we had a terror cell roaming our city intent on doing maximum damage. It appears at the moment that it was the former. NZ legislators are moving quickly to review the gun laws and we can only hope that sales of automatic weapons, etc. are curtailed. They are not necessary to enjoy life and happiness. But, as with all legislative processes, time will tell. There are vested interests in the sale and use of guns. NZ is a beautiful country and one that welcomes immigrants and refugees and is generally tolerant of a wide range of beliefs – we also have a number of white supremists in our community as well. We were targeted because of our openness and the landscape of our community has been changed forever. May your city or town never experience the heartache of a mass shooting – it is profound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi DM. It was lovely to hear from NZ directly, and thank you for those kind thoughts. I hope we never experience it either but, being on Toronto’s doorstep means we are not immune from such madness!

      Like

  2. Jacinda Ardern (I think that’s the way you spell it) is the New Zealand PM. Her most welcome statement following the horrific mass shooting is similar to the reaction Australia had after their 1996 shooting. It seems only thoughts and prayers are offered as a viable solution to this insanity in the US 😑

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was refreshing to hear her decisively state that the NZ gun laws would change. If a politician said that, even with great sincerity, in our country, that politician would be scoffed at. Even those who very much want our gun laws to change recognize just what an uphill struggle it is. Our culture must change first, and that requires a great amount of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Our gun laws will change!” Oh yes, I love her already too. She is taking a bold stand! Not only is she not talking about forming a committee to to appoint a committee to think about what needs to be done, but this is her response after 1 mass shooting! How sharply that contrasts to the response of the US, where multiple mass shootings have happened! We are still too busy forming committees and letting the power of Money talk!
    Good post. I hope for the best for New Zealand, and that the PM can get the support she needs to make changes!

    Liked by 1 person

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