Malcolm, I think and hope I speak for everyone when I say I find it difficult to find the words to express myself over this brutal and senseless act. I will never understand what brings a human being to the point were his hatred and fears over those with different views, opinions or religions makes him act in this manner. There are many people like this and in recent years these barbaric acts have been carried out across Europe, America, Australia and the Middle East, sadly New Zealand is not immune.
Yes those have been the sentiments expressed e.g. "This is not who we are!" and "This could never happen in NZ" etc
But sadly those very sentiments are part of the problem because they reflect a failure to recognize that out lovely little country suffers from exactly the same political, social & cultural challenges as anywhere else in the world - we just liked to pretend it was different.
I'm a 'pale-stale-white-male' but married to a beautiful Indian wife and since she arrived in NZ about 7 yrs ago we experience weekly examples of implicit & explicit racism. In other words no different to the multi-cultural issues anywhere else in the world that we've lived.
NZ is about to tighten it's gun laws but whilst that makes sense its more a knee-jerk reaction which will make the government look and feel good by being seen to act swiftly on something.