I've often ridiculed the teen slasher film genre. Specifically, the plot devices whereby young people in their physical prime are herded and hunted by a lone, knife-wielding killer, often in the teens' own home. I feel that the genre is contrived and deliberate in its creation of artificial helplessness.
And then life imitates bad art. When I read yesterday's headlines out of Norway I was initially certain that the headline contained a transposition. Surely the eighty-five dead were the result of the bombing and not the shooting. How can any maniac shoot eighty-five people to death in one event?
The answer, of course, is when they have nowhere to run to and the killer has an hour and a half to hunt them at his leisure. Mr. Breivik selected his location and methods with diabolical care. Literally diabolical, as in, of, concerning, or characteristic of the devil; satanic. This man chose a remote location filled with the teenage children of Labour Party members and then spent over an hour methodically hunting them down and shooting them to death. He even shot the corpses to ensure that no victim was left alive.
Like I said, life imitated a teen slasher film, right down to the contrived helplessness of the victims.
When I was ten, my father took my younger brother and I camping for a weekend in the Withlacoochee state forest. It was a very primitive campsite but the most dangerous thing in the area was an alligator that inhabited the pond. We knew to stay out of the pond unless he was on the bank. There were no other campers at that site. One night a large group of what was probably teenagers assembled about a hundred yards away from our tent. There was much yelling and very likely some quantity of alcohol being consumed. What I remember most about that night was my father standing outside the tent, with a machete he used to clear brush on our hikes held alongside his leg. If any drunk people came our way he was prepared to frighten them off.
My father is not a belligerent or confrontational person. But he understood a basic truth that night; he was the only person there that could protect his children and he had a responsibility to do so. In an era before cellular telephones, dialing 911 was not an option. And even if he could somehow summon help, it was many minutes away.
Western society has been infected for too many years with the meme that only the authorities can protect us. We are told not to resist when attacked, to give the attacker what he wants so he will go away. In some areas, such as Great Britain and NYC, a homeowner defending his home against a burglar is often in more trouble with the authorities than the burglar! In the shooting community we refer to this mindset as "Dial 911 and die". A summer camp filled with Prog spawn pretty much epitomizes the learned passivity that good liberals are told they should practice and Mr. Breivik no doubt knew this.
Attacks on children are a deliberate terror tool meant to shock and demoralize the target populace. The Israelis know this after several decades on Palestinian terror attacks on schools and kibbutzim. That is why Israeli schools have more armed adults than just one token resource officer whose primary duty is searching lockers for contraband.
It took ninety minutes for Norwegian law enforcement to be informed of the situation and respond to it. As soon as an armed response arrived, the killer immediately surrendered and was taken into custody without a fight. Mr. Breivik wasn't looking to die, he only wanted to kill. So he chose a target where he could be absolutely confident about encountering no resistance. Because only police should have guns and gun control laws are what keeps society safe. Until somebody decides to break those laws. Then only the police are safe.