Anders Behring Breivik is not a name that springs easily off the tongue, yet it is one that has now become immortalized among the cannon of mass killers. I wonder, was this his intent? The world will now set about the task of psycho analysing this individual to the nth degree, and blogs and column inches will blossom with conjecture embellished with the occasional snippet of fact.
This is what we know. At the time of writing 82 are dead, with this figure likely to rise. Many of those will be bright young adolescents, a group of agile minded teenagers whom had wanted no more than to enjoy the company of like minded individuals and share ideas. Beyond the all too evident human tragedy playing out is perhaps an even more sinister menace, namely an attack on liberty and freedom upon which democracy stands or falls. Now we don’t yet know what made this monster tick, but we can reasonably conjecture that he was not in the business of advocating freedom of speech. What then? It would appear he had an agenda of some sorts, an ideology he wished to impart irrespective of whether or not we wanted to receive it. This fiend has done so much more than leave a trail of carnage and bereavement. He has directed his automatic weaponry at the very ideals which we hold dear. I cannot imagine the sounds, the screams, the undiluted terror experienced by those trapped on that tiny island. As the weapons thudded and the flesh dispersed, we can know only that the wounds inflicted will be so much more than physical.
And this is where we come in. This is where the fair minded and decent people of the world can, by peaceful resistance to such evils, send out the message that we will not yield to the gun or to the bomb. We will not cower before those whom would wish to oppress us, irrespective of their ideology. Whether this lunatic turns out to be of the secular or religious variety the message we send out remains the same. Too many have paid too much for too long for us to capitulate. We owe it to those whom have perished, in all times and in all places, for the freedoms we enjoy today. Amongst us monsters will always lurk, yet it must the voices of reason and decency that drown out their vicious bile.