Norway: No Lesson Learned, Apparently

posted on July 11, 2015

In 2014, police in all of Norway fired their sidearms only twice, and no one was hit in either instance. We see statistics like this from time to time, usually employed with the purpose of convincing us that other countries are happy, gun-free utopias in which criminals merit at worst a stern talking-to. But this particular figure hints at a frightening truth: No lesson has been learned from Anders Breivik.

Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in 2011—the majority of whom were children—without encountering armed opposition. In response, the nation began actually arming police, but this was seen as a temporary measure. It is understandable that Norwegians want to forget such a hideous incident, but ignoring it in terms of policy is irresponsible. The massacre occurred because no one in the area was armed: Now the culture of unarmed citizens and unarmed police likely will be left securely in place, just waiting for the next atrocity.

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