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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lauds New Zealand for banning assault rifles

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Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York applauded New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for taking legislative action after her country faced its worst shooting in history.

Ardern announced a sweeping ban on “military style semi-automatic” firearms — including assault rifles — six days after 50 people were killed and over 40 were wounded during a shooting at two mosques in Christchurch last week.

“The time for the mass and easy availability of these weapons must end,” she said. “And today they will.”

Ocasio-Cortez recalled the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 children and six adults were killed.

“Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ #HR8,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. This is what leadership looks like.”

Following the Sandy Hook shooting, President Barack Obama delivered an emotional speech urging for new legislation. He would later describe meeting the victims’ parents as “the toughest day of my presidency.”

“We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true,” Obama said at the time. “No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.”

“But that can’t be an excuse for inaction,” he added.

The Democratic-held Senate failed to secure 60 votes to pass a background check amendment months after the shooting.

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” Obama said in 2013. “But this effort is not over.”

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