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 Westenra 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 rampage 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. 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.