The gun buyback is underway. And like most things in life, the view of today is not the view that drove it in those tumultuous days post the 15th of March.

There is a growing resentment over the way it has, and is, being handled. There is a growing resentment over the potential cost. There is a growing resentment over the fact that at the end of it, we will still be no wiser as to whether any of it has gone any way at all to stopping another person going nuts.

It is not to say that the broad idea didn't have merit. A lot of people would agree there are a lot of guns in this country. A lot of people, even those with guns, might well agree that life can continue fairly well unabated, even when the newly-illegal weapons are gone.


But given the entire purpose of this exercise was to stop another Christchurch, what you can't really say is, this is the mechanism to achieve it. Because no one can say that, and they have never been able to.

And in the process a lot of people have, and will be, inconvenienced. A lot of people have and will be forced into doing something they don't want to. And a lot of people having been put in those positions, and with no guaranteed result by way of an outcome, are left wondering why it was all necessary.

Most New Zealanders operate on logic and they operate on fairness. The current scrap we are starting to see around pricing was always going to be an issue, mainly because there seems no other way around it.

But the logic for the entire exercise I think, increasing numbers are concluding, was driven by shock and the emotion around the event. In the darkest of days in the aftermath, an Australian-style reaction appeared to have some sense to it. There seemed a communal goodwill in place.

But I think we can probably conclude most of that would have come from the city dweller who doesn't own a gun and therefore doesn't get why you would ever need one.

And at the extreme end of the debate, that bit probably still holds up. A lot of guns out there do things that really aren't all that necessary. They fire a lot of bullets awfully fast and not a lot of people actually need, as opposed to want, that kind of fire power.

But - and we only have to look to the New South Wales election earlier his year, where the Hunters Party did remarkably well - there is a large constituency of gun owners who feel that they did nothing, were never going to do anything, and somehow they are the ones paying the price for a nutter.

The bad guys aren't handing in weapons, and the cold hard truth is: mad people who want guns can, and will, still be able to lay their hands on them.


As we sit here in the early stages of the actual buyback, my sense is the resentment is only growing, and as a result, the turnout won't be great. And the gun collection will end up with a number most will conclude is suspiciously small.