This week I was horrified to learn of the man who executed 80 young Norwegians at a summer camp. 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik was arrested by authorities. At first investigation this shooting appears to be a one-man “nut job” event. Breivik may be Norway’s Tim McVey. In any case he was a nut job with an automatic rifle and plenty of ammunition. His mission was to kill everyone and he had over forty minutes to accomplish his task before armed police arrived.
Breivik was dressed as a police officer. After asking the students to come closer, he used his automatic weapon to kill many of the campers, most of whom were around 15 years old. Some of the campers “played dead” to avoid being killed. Breivik took care of that by walking amongst the bodies and delivering a shotgun blast to the head of those who survived the initial assault.
I’m through talking about the gory details of this Norwegian tragedy. Fortunately, nut jobs of this caliber are rare, but they can pop up anywhere in the world. When they get a gun they will do a lot of damage. Major Nidal Hasan was a nut job for sure. He killed 13 people and wounded 26 others at Fort Hood, Texas. However, Hasan made one critical mistake; he shot at military people instead of unarmed 15-year olds. Just minutes after Hasan started his spree, civilian police officer Sergeant Mark Todd pumped five shots into Hasan, ending his rampage.
Right now there are hundreds of thousands of young Americans at thousands of summer camps. I wonder how many of those camps have at least one staff member with a pistol or rifle. I’m inclined to believe that the majority of youth camps in the United States and Norway do not have a person of authority with a firearm.
Nut jobs kill people. How many minutes they shoot and how many people they kill ultimately depends on their distance from another (non-nut job) armed person. Maybe parents need to ask one more question when they consider a summer camp for their children. “Is there at least one person of authority who has been trained in firearm use and possesses a gun if camp security is threatened?”