The Norwegian spree killing inspired one of our regular, anonymous sources to provide some analysis.
The crime scene is just NW of Oslo, the capital. It’s about 20 U.S. miles NW on E16, a major highway. Don’t know the lake at all, but most such lakes in that part of the world have an abundance of small boats, especially in summer. The small town of Honefoss is about seven miles away from the island where the atrocity occurred . . . The Norwegian police started trying to cover their total failure almost immediately after the crime hit the media, as this quote from the bbc.co.uk’s Unanswered questions in Norway tragedy indicates . . .
On Tuesday, Justice Minister Knut Storberget praised police for “fantastic” work after the attacks that killed at least 76 people, despite the criticisms over their apparent slow response.
“It is very important that we have an open and critical approach… but there is a time for everything,” he said after talks with Oslo’s police chief.
Media helicopters were filming the killings from the air, long before the arrival of armed anti-terrror police officers, more than an hour after the shooting started.
Courageous boat owners were rescuing young people from drowning in the lake long before any emergency services came to their assistance.
Engine failure is said to have delayed the arrival of one commando police boat by 10 minutes. Police surveillance was apparently unavailable because of holidays.
And armed response units were tied up in Oslo, where government buildings had been blown up in an unprecedented attack.
The apparently slow response to the Utoeya massacre raises questions about whether the police were prepared well enough for a dual attack.
In northern Europe, the police are mostly set up for traffic and parking enforcement, DUI checks, and telling drunks to be quiet and go home. They do not like to get involved with real crime. The policy seems to be out of sight, out of mind, no problem. As you might expect, despite specialist SWAT teams, their ability to counter violent crime is tenuous.
As the gun control rhetoric heats-up, the European press continues its blatant anti-gun agenda. svd.se offers a misleading, inaccurate map of civilians weapons in Europe. The fine print at the bottom mentions that their data doesn’t include military, illegal or weapons left over from the various wars. Just firearms legally registered to civilians.
The map’s way off the mark for Eastern Europe. The waves of immigrants from Balkans and Middle East have brought with them expanding criminal networks trafficking drugs, humans and weapons. The northern European establishment doesn’t want to talk about it. But quite a few folks here are starting to believe their lying eyes.
Firearms proliferation in the hands of the bad guys is especially visible in the larger southern cities. The trade in illegal weapons—and attendant gun violence—is so obvious, the press can hardly ignore it.
There are probably a few tens of thousands of [illegal guns] criminal circles, says police Prof. Leif GW Persson. They have a lifespan of several years, found rarely in the Customs and used by criminal gangs. The suspected mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in Oslo had a license for the weapon he used in fatal shootings.But the past year, several high-profile shootings occurred in both Malmö and Gothenburg, where illegal weapons were involved. In early summer, shot a 22-year-old man to death in Åkersberga north of Stockholm.
The latest info on Breivik’s weapons (which seems to be accurate): Breivik obtained a Ruger Mini 14 in 2010, and a Glock 17 in Jan. of 2011. He had ten 30-round magazines for the rifle. No other info on the pistol yet. The police still don’t want to give out details.
The press is largely ignoring the bomb-making equation and asking the usual questions about the Ruger: how did this madman obtain such deadly weapons? Here’s a familiar sort of [Google translated] quote from svd.se on the availability of high capacity magazines.
– What do you with a tray that holds 30 shots? You may not use it for hunting. If there is a rifle which the statute says you may use as many shots, so there is no use for the magazine in Sweden.
Politically, well, what do you expect? Not wanting to waste a crisis on this side of the pond either, the media and ruling leftist parties are working overtime to brand anyone with dissenting opinions as extremist, far right, racist, Nazi, or all of the above. They are using the spree killing to try to derail the right of center parties in Europe. [In Europe, the center is quite a bit to the left of the center in the U.S.]
The immigration and cultural issues that apparently drove Breivik are valid and serious. They are a matter of growing concern to a lot of people here. Still, with the usual group think prelevant, it is considered not nice to talk about the immigration problems and where it all might lead. A topic that has driven much of the growth of several of the right of center parties.
Unlike earlier waves of immigration, the current one from the Balkans and especially northern Africa and Iraq are not assimilating. The radical Islamic quotient is readily seen in many areas here now. Europe has a very long bloody history of conflict with Islam. While the local media is busy decrying “Islamophobia,” millions of “native” Europeans are rightfully frightened that their culture is under attack.
Breivik’s lunacy did a lot of damage to the center right parties and people genuinely concerned about the immigration situation. The parties most sympathetic to firearms and self-defense rights took a major hit—at least amongst the media.
Whether disingenuously or not, the “extremist” organizations dealing with the issues were quick to distance themselves for the attack. Here’s Germany’s dw-world.de:
Breivik claimed to have links with the English anti-Muslim party, the English Defense League, and referred directly to Geert Wilders Dutch Freedom Party, which props up the country’s center-right coalition. Both parties were quick to distance themselves from Breivik’s manifesto, however, and condemn the attacks.
“No form of terrorism can ever be justified, and the taking of innocent lives can never be justified,” said a statement on the English Defense League website. “We are proud to stand strongly against all forms of extremism and we will continue to speak out against the biggest terrorist threat to our nation, Islamic extremism.”
Manfred Rouhs, chairman of the German far-right party, the Pro Germany Citizens Movement, also refuted the notion that there were similarities between European right-wing parties and Breivik’s ideology.
“Conservatives are for preservation, for adherence to certain rules, and Christians are driven by their love for their fellow human beings,” Rouhs told Deutsche Welle. “The message of destruction and hate that Anders Breivik has brought into the world has nothing to do with Christian or conservative values.”
The statements did nothing to quell commentators, who see Breivik’s spree killing as a harbinger of things to come. Matthew Godwin an “expert on far-right politics at the [far left] University of Nottingham” warned that . . .
. . . among the growing support network for far-right parties is a minority of extremists who are likely to share Breivik’s ideology.
“Within this movement, this very broad subculture, I think it’s fair to say that there are inevitably within each country a handful of would-be Breiviks, guys who are prepared to undertake violence,” Goodwin said.
[Farago]: It’s only now beginning to dawn on some members of the mainstream media that the “war on terrorism” is, in fact, a war against Islamic extremists. It’s a tragedy that this reality has been brought to the fore by an enormous, entirely misguided, self-inflicted wound. But that doesn’t change the unavoidable fact that when cultures collide, people get hurt.
As the Israelis will tell you, facing the challenge of “assimilating” Islamic cultures may not be a Gordian knot, but it’s close. Meanwhile, leaving your self-defense to someone else leaves you defenseless. And that’s not a good place to be, both individually and as a society.