Kelly Makiha is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Editorial: Gun law change is vital

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They say America is the land of the free. I'm sorry. But that's just wrong.

I would hate to live there - to constantly live in fear some of the estimated 200 million firearms floating around the country will wind up in the hands of the lunatic of the day.

Few would have had dry eyes over the weekend when news unfolded about the shooting rampage that saw Adam Lanza gun down 26 people, including 20 young children.

His massacre plan was even greater than what he pulled off. Authorities say they found multiple 30-round magazines and hundreds of bullets at the school where he carried out his bloody act, enough ammunition for him to carry out more carnage than what eventuated.

It appears the high-powered rifle and two semi-automatic pistols he used to kill his victims belonged to his mother, a well-to-do suburban solo mum who apparently had a heap of weapons just because she felt scared at times and wanted to protect herself.

In New Zealand, we have dogs and house alarms. We also have the police.

It's been said that in America there are now more gun retailers than McDonald's restaurants. That's ridiculous because I'm sure there are too many McDonald's.

A friend of mine has recently returned from the motorsport event in Bathurst in Australia and said it felt horrible trying to enjoy a great family day out while being watched over by heavily armed police officers.

Those countries can keep their obsession with guns. Imagine sitting down at our Lakeside concerts in the Village Green in Rotorua with our families while the police swanned around with big guns. That wouldn't make me feel safe at all.

President Barack Obama has promised to look at his country's gun laws in the wake of this latest incident.

It will take a brave politician to make change but it has to happen.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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