We shared the worldwide sorrow when a large explosion in Norway killed 7 people. That was bad enough, but it was later reported that a gunman had killed at least 80 people, mostly children, at an isolated summer camp on an island near Oslo.
Although some say there was more than one shooter, most media are reporting that a lone right-wing gunman dressed in a police uniform and gained access to the island by claiming it was a routine security check after the Oslo bombing.
The earliest speculations assigned blame to Muslims, but it seems that the gunman, who is a Norwegian citizen, had political motives which are not yet completely clear. Some terrorism experts say that battle plans found on the web have an "eerie resemblance" to the writings of Al Qaeda except from a Christian/Western perspective rather than Muslim.
The early indications are that he was opposed to Muslim immigration and was advocating war against Islam - though so far as we know, he did not in fact kill any Muslims. This sentiment is gaining ground in Europe as more and more Europeans feel that their nations are being overrun by foreigners who refuse to assimilate. As the New York Times put it,
On the big picture, Europe’s cultural conservatives are right: Mass immigration really has left the Continent more divided than enriched, Islam and liberal democracy have not yet proven natural bedfellows and the dream of a postnational, postpatriotic European Union governed by a benevolent ruling elite looks more like a folly every day. [emphasis added]
The camp was being operated by the ruling leftist political party and the campers were mostly children of senior party members. Regardless of his motives, the gunman has certainly riveted the attention of the governing class, demonstrating one way in which terrorists can be effective.
As we've seen so many times here in the United States, the Norwegian camping island presented a situation where a lone gunman was able to kill a large number of unarmed victims at relatively little personal risk - he ended up being arrested instead of blowing himself up. Most of the victims were children, but though there were adults on the island, they were unarmed and were totally unable to protect their charges. The murderer freely went about his reign of terror for the entire hour and a half it took for police to finally arrive.
The victims of the Ft. Hood shooting were trained military personnel instead of children, but in accordance with their base regulations, they weren't carrying their weapons at the time of the attack. Our leaders refused to admit that Islam might have had anything to do with that incident, but they're happily assigning blame for the Norwegian massacre to conservatives.
The New York Times reports that such random-seeming attacks are likely to become more common:
“If it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda,” said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism researcher at the New America Foundation in Washington. “One lesson I take away from this is that attacks, especially in the West, are going to move to automatic weapons.” [emphasis added]
If Al Qaeda has taught the world anything, it's demonstrated that it's relatively easy for a single person to kill a great many unarmed victims and survive, so long as he picks a prominently-posted gun-free zone to do it in.
Terrorism both foreign and domestic is becoming more common. The London subway bombers were born in England, "Jihad Jane" was born in America, the left-wing crazy who shot Rep. Giffords and 20 others was born in America, an American gunman killed 5 people in a New York commuter train, and it seems that the Oslo shooter was a native-born Norwegian.
Innocent victims are just as dead whether shot by leftists, rightists, Islamists, Buddists, Zoroastrians, or whatever. The common themes a desire to murder, yes, but also the use of more than just bare hands and knives to do so.
Our lefty friends follow this truth to the conclusion that, since guns kill people, nobody should have guns - but the American cities with the strictest gun-control laws are just those places where the gun violence is greatest. You don't find many mass killings at West Virginia schools, say, because the students riddle the gunman before he can get off more than a few shots.
Over time, a few points should be starting to sink in:
The bottom line is that modern weapons are so powerful, so cheap, and so common that societies all over the world have lost the ability to eliminate them and protect their citizens that way. The only way to stop the slaughter of innocents is to allow trained civilians to carry guns.
Despite vehement liberal opposition to gun rights, armed civilians prevent more crimes in America than police do. The sooner that people at large understand that the only defense is self-defense, the safer we'll all be.