By now I'm sure readers are familiar with the tragedy last Friday in Norway. Today I came across two very worthwhile perspectives on it.
Fellow blogger Comrade Misfit points out that it's very hard to detect a 'lone wolf' attacker before he strikes.
For the most part, the vast internal listening apparatus that has gone up in this country and others depends on loose-lipped idiots to trigger it. It depends on people doing really stupid and suspicious things, such as buying large amounts of chemicals for no apparent reason.
Asswipe apparently planned his actions for several years. He jumped through all of the strict hoops in Norway to legally purchase weapons. he purchased or made a police uniform so that nobody would question his pen carrying of weapons. He picked a "target rich" environment with no security and no means of escape for his shooting victims. He bought a farm and operated it as a cover for the purchase of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Farms use diesel fuel; not having a tank of diesel on his farm would have been unusual. It was probably easy for him to carry out pre-attack surveillance; nobody would have thought anything about a blond Norwegian male walking around either location.
There's more at the link.
The Portland Press Herald notes that such attacks have occurred anywhere and everywhere, and those trying to find a common denominator often end up making grievous misjudgements that cause as much harm as the terrorism itself.
From the rage of psychotic loners to the organized attacks of terrorist conspiracies, we have seen buildings blown up, schools riddled, summer camps turned into slaughterhouses, subways blasted into twisted wreckage and even a member of Congress wounded and a federal judge slain.
The attacks occur where access to guns is easy as well as where firearms are tightly regulated. In Oklahoma City and now Oslo, a commonly available agricultural fertilizer, ammonium nitrate, has been made into a bomb to kill the innocent by the dozens.
Those attempting to find a common thread too often fall into distortions that do damage beyond that of the attacks themselves. A billion and a half Muslims, most of whom live in peace with their neighbors, are feared and sometimes hated because of the carnage done by a small percentage of those who claim to share their faith.
Again, more at the link. The newspaper goes on to warn that we dare not surrender our liberties in exchange for an illusory safety.
Both articles are highly recommended reading.