July 25, 2011

Norwegian Lessons

By now, most are aware of the murderous rampage in Norway. The killer—who would want his name to be prominently mentioned—is a 32-year-old Norwegian. From what is currently known, he set off a bomb made of fertilizer and fuel oil in Oslo, killing seven, and approximately an hour later, took a boat to Utoya Island, a retreat center accessible only by helicopter or boat. Dressed in a police uniform, he called many of the youngsters on the island at a summer retreat to him and opened fire, eventually killing 86 and wounding—at the bombing and on the island--more than 90. His rampage was stopped when he was shot—he survived--by a police SWAT team, but it took approximately 90 minutes from the first shot until the police were able to find transportation and travel to the island.

His weapons have been variously described as a "machine pistol," an "automatic weapon and a pistol," and various other imprecise, uninformed media formulations. There was immediate speculation that the attack was another Jihadist outrage, which these days is far from an unreasonable assumption, but it seems that this attack was most similar to that in Tucson: the act of an evil man, acting alone in response to whatever demons pursued him.

The first question that usually comes to mind—or at least to the minds of the media—is: why? Why did this person do what he did? Is he a member of a favored victim group? Were his grievances—if they align with the favored socialist/statist narrative—legitimate, even understandable, or was he a "right wing extremist?" If so, not only is he to blame but any who might share any portion of his assumed political beliefs is also to blame, and yes, Sarah Palin has already been implicated.

The first question that usually comes to the minds of many politicians is: how can I use this to my advantage? This is particularly true of those who seek to increase the power of the state and suppress the freedom of individuals, men like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel who endeavor to never allow a crisis to go to waste—when it can be cynically exploited for political gain.

If I was truly cynical—and I am, for Lily Tomlin was right when she said that no matter how cynical you get, you can't keep up—I'd be tempted to observe that the Obama Administration would immediately try to export illegally purchased American firearms to Norway, or that it would be discovered that they already had. Stranger things have indeed happened, have they not?

But for the time being, as we wait to learn the actual, as opposed to assumed, facts, our time would be best served by considering what can be learned from this latest massacre. I'll provide only three primary lessons, though there are surely more.

(1) Gun free zones are deadly. In this case, the entire nation of Norway is essentially a citizen disarmament zone. Even though many Norwegians own firearms, even the police do not routinely carry handguns. Utoya island was very much like American schools: isolated, vulnerable, and completely unarmed. In school attacks, and in the attack on Utoya Island, the final body count will depend on the lack of marksmanship and the humanity of the killer(s), who will be stopped only by the intervention of armed police. Even in America, it takes far longer for the police to respond to such attacks than most people realize. When seconds count, it will take the police tens of minutes to arrive and longer to react. On Utoya Island, the killer—exploiting a dream Socialist gun-free zone--had approximately 90 minutes to roam the island at will, killing at a truly leisurely pace.

In America and Norway, the Left is delighted to "send messages" and to express what they imagine to be moral superiority by declaring certain places to be "gun-free." They see such posturing as an important and meaningful accomplishment in and of itself. They are incapable of seeing, or accepting, that criminals care nothing for the laws they establish, and that while preparing for the mass murder of children, gun-free zone signs are not only not a deterrent, but a guarantee that they will be able to kill without impediment. In a very real sense, the murders on Utoya Island are the ultimate expression of the gun-free zone.

(2) Evil exists. The left sees all things through a political lens. All motivations, all meaning may be found in political ideology. Socialist/Statist/Leftist ideology is infallible, so it can never be mistaken. It can never be wrong. Any problems along the way must be attributable to the existence of Conservatism, which keeps Socialism from working properly, or to the fact that not enough time has passed for a given Socialist policy to work properly, or as in the case of gun control issues, insufficient Socialism has been applied. Not until all firearms are in the loving hands of the state can the state protect individual citizens, despite the fact that the state has no obligation—or intention—to protect individual citizens.

Because all is political, morality—to the small degree that leftists recognize its existence, exists only in service to the preferred political narrative. Concepts such as good and evil have no meaning unless they are politically useful, such as evil being applied to those who oppose righteous Socialist policy, which is inherently good.

This mindset inevitably leads to the search for motivations, causes acceptable to the Socialist political narrative. In the case of the Norwegian killer, much of the media has already branded him a "right-wing Christian Fundamentalist." To the Leftist media, no greater insult, no more damning sign of politically incorrect guilt, is possible. Yet even this epithet denies the existence of evil. To the Left, evil resides in the fact that the killer is right wing, Christian, and even worse, a "fundamentalist," whatever that might mean in this context. In a nation as far left as Norway, even those with slightly left of center political views might be considered irredeemable rightists.

One need not be a Christian to believe in evil, for evil is manifested most meaningfully in acts, not words. The most revealing evidence of evil in despotism is not in the despot's writings and pronouncements, but in the millions of innocents they slaughter. On Utoya Island, the killer dressed as a policeman, and knowing that kids would not be alarmed by an armed policeman, called them to gather around him and betrayed their trust in the loving state by shooting them. He spent 90 minutes, taking his time, calmly walking about the island and shooting everyone he could find, killing 86 and wounding a great many more. He reloaded multiple times. If this was not evil, evil has no meaning.

No motivation need be sought. No political arguments need be made. No one need be blamed except the killer himself and the author of all evil. Evil exists to destroy and cares nothing for politics except to whatever degree politics and those who live by them may be twisted to enable destruction of God's greatest gift: life.

(3) One indisputable fact remains: If a single, capable innocent on that island was armed, the killer could have been stopped and nearly two hundred children would not have been wounded or killed. Life could have been preserved and evil defeated. Evil cannot be appeased or reasoned with; it must be confronted and destroyed.

This was not possible because of what Socialists would surely consider one of their greatest accomplishments, an achievement they would see as indisputable evidence of more advanced evolution, of more enlightened humanity: the more or less complete disarmament of an entire nation, including its police.

The media and Norwegian and American politicians sharing the same political and social views will be unable and unwilling to recognize or accept this final, simple truth. They will argue instead for even more disarmament of the law-abiding and innocent, and the suppression of political ideas with which they disagree, even in a country that has no First or Second Amendments, for all must be made to serve the narrative.

We often rhetorically and cynically observe that someone is going to have to die before something is done. Ninety-three are dead and the Left is incapable of learning the painfully obvious, necessary lessons. The best the left can do, the best it will ever be able to do, is to call the killer a right-wing fundamentalist Christian—which to them says nearly everything--and blame Sarah Palin, which says the rest.

Posted by MikeM at July 25, 2011 12:25 PM

You forgot one other element, that we have succeeded in teaching our police that their job is not to put their lives on the line for others. Rather, they are to preserve their own lives, at the cost of others. We have made law enforcement too cautious and too concerned with self preservation.

Being a cop is dangerous, it is inherent in the work, but part of the job is putting your life on the line for others. To forget that is to stop being a cop, to deliberately ignore it as we train our cops to do is to stop being human.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at July 25, 2011 06:49 PM

Thank you, Alan, for your comment. Perfectly stated and a true addition to this excellent article. I hope that you have read the analysis on the Jose Guerena case on C/Y. It is an example of what you have stated.

Posted by: Carol at July 25, 2011 09:43 PM

I mostly agree, except that we should look for what motivates people to commit such acts, but do so without devolving into political grandstanding and namecalling (which of course is what's happening).

Norwegian society has devolved to the point where people perpetrating such acts in the name of one philosophy are excused (think, Al Qaeda, nothing they do can be wrong because they're Muslims and thus peaceful, merely fighting against the great oppressor, the rightwing Christian fundamentalist USA and the Zionist entity Israel). Yet when one of their own does it, he's (rightfully, don't get me wrong) villified as the epitomy of all that's evil in the world.

This man chose to use the ultimate weapon, to take the weapon of choice of his enemies and use it against them. We can only hope this (despicable though it may be) wakes up enough people so that they finally open their eyes to what their inaction against similar acts perpetrated in the name of religion and communism cause, acts they (usually silently) condone.

Were this man to have acted in the USA, many of those now condemning him would applaud him, or at least state how his acts only show how rotten the American society is that it can produce such people. Yet here's one from their own midst, and they don't draw the same conclusion.

Posted by: JTW at July 26, 2011 03:54 AM