Very few of the homicides that do occur in New Zealand involve the use of a firearm; for example, there were only eight in 2015 compared to 13,000 in the U.S. that same year, per Vox. This is despite the fact that New Zealand's civilian gun ownership has risen 62 percent since 2005, Bloomberg reports, with the country having about 1.5 million gun owners. Friday's attack was New Zealand's first mass shooting in more than 20 years, The Atlantic reports.
BuzzFeed News' Matthew Champion also points to one other harrowing figure: the 2013 census reported that there were 46,000 Muslims living in New Zealand, and so this attack means that "New Zealand has lost 1 in 1,000 people from its entire Muslim community." Brendan Morrow