This past Friday, two heinous acts of violence were committed in Norway: a bombing of federal government property was carried out in the capital city of Oslo and an armed assault on young people at a youth retreat on Utoya - a nearby island. In total, as of this writing, published reports in the media estimate that at least 80 people were killed.
One person has been identified and taken into custody for both attacks - Anders Behring Breivik. Breivik, a Norwegian, is rumored to have expressed right-wing and anti-Muslim views on the Internet.
It is possible that an interrogation may reveal his motives for the attacks since he allowed himself to be captured alive. Most mass-killing suspects kill themselves just before being apprehended. Apparently, Breivik wants to make a political point to a world-wide audience. Racking up a huge body-count of unarmed young people will guarantee global interest in his statements to the authorities.
Breivik's vegetable growing firm allegedly enabled him to carry out part of his nefarious plot by allowing him to buy large quantities of fertilizer - a key bomb making material - without raising any eyebrows. In addition, the other part of his evil plot - the shooting deaths of about 70 young people - was aided and abetted by Norway's stringent gun control laws.
Although civilian firearm ownership is not banned in Norway, there are many stringent gun control laws on the books there. Among the provisions of the Firearms Weapon Act include the following:
- Gun ownership requires an approved reason - hunting or sports shooting.
- Self-defense is not a permissible purpose for owning a firearm.
- Local law enforcement can conduct inspections of a gun owner's home.
- Hunters must receive permission from local law enforcement to annually apply for a hunting license.
- Sport shooters need approval from local law enforcement and a local shooting club before gaining a shooting license.
- Prospective firearm owners must have clean background records before being issued an ownership license.
Gun control, despite its numerous provisions and limitations on the ability of law-abiding citizens to gain access to arms, is fundamentally flawed. It erroneously assumes that all people - including terrorists, criminals, and the mentally ill - will obey the law. Nothing is further from the truth.
In truth, gun control enables people with malevolent intent to commit atrocities against society and humanity with impunity. Breivik cowardly took his arms to a youth retreat to shoot and kill almost 70 people. His objective was to kill as many people as possible before he was caught by local police.
Due to the fact that gun ownership laws are stringent in Norway, Breivik was assured that his evil plan would succeed, as he would be the only person present with firearms. Gun control advocates further delude their gullible citizens into thinking that their local police agencies can protect citizens from violence.
In this case, it took law enforcement forty (40) minutes to arrive at the scene after being notified. Furthermore, it took another fifty (50) minutes to apprehend Breivik who offered no resistance to local law enforcement authorities. Certainly, it must be conceded that if other armed persons were present, the loss of life could've been lessened if not eliminated; Breivik gave up without a fight.
In the coming days, you will certainly hear gun control advocates around the world use this horrific event as a call for more restrictions on arms. Their appeals will be based on blaming the tool - guns - and not the antagonist. Further, they will have the unmitigated gall to suggest that only police officers should have firearms, regardless of how woefully inadequate their event response times measure on a timer.
It is not possible to discern the hatred present in a man's heart. Thus, any calls for strategies to monitor, censor, and control the actions of a nation to keep society safe will come with a price - freedom. How can a person be truly free when he lives in the equivalent of a police state? It is not possible.
The best option is to empower all citizens with the power and the authority to keep themselves safe. This freedom comes with a responsibility - the moral obligation to be lawful and just. A free society trusts its people.
I am saddened by the tragic event that occurred in Norway this weekend. Moreover, I now have an greater appreciation for my citizenship in America. I live in a society where our Constitution recognizes our God-given and inalienable rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
I have the option, the authority, and the ability to defend myself should bad men solicit me for unprovoked violence. I only wish that Norway's gun control laws had not enabled Breivik to join the world's list of prolific mass killers.
What do you think?