Sunday, July 29, 2012

To Expect the Unexpected

Colorado (USA) and Norway (Europe) are known as two western ,modern, democratic, rich states.
The horrible shootings - recently in Colorado, Aurora, and last year in Norway, Utoya island - pose at least two questions besides the one about the easiness of gun acquisition .

Both gunmen had no previous violence record. How does a mainstream guy suddenly turn into a mass killer?

Well, we get some answers  from Anders Behring Breivik's testimony in court. The norwegian killer who left 77 dead at a youth camp in the little island of Utoya (including the eight dead in the preceding explosion at a government building in Oslo) - declared, that he was actually a nice, caring, sane person, not a psychiatric case at all.

To be able to attain his goal - which was to alert his country Norway and the whole of Europe to what he saw as the dangers of immigration (loss of culture and identity), he realized that he would have to undergo a process of de-humanization and de-emotionalizing. It took him five years to train himself before the bombing and shooting attacks.

(We don't know yet about James Holmes's motives for killing 12 people and injuring 58 at a premiere of the latest Batman movie in Aurora theater. It appears that like the norwegian, he has also thoroughly planned his rampage if not for years, probably for weeks ).

Both gunmen were shooting freely and uninterrupted until the police arrival at the scene of crime. Nobody in the crowd had made any attempt to immobilize the shooter. How come?

That kind of attitude is sad, and throws a certain light on education in western countries.  Apparently, modern, liberal education fails to instill in youngsters values such as courage , bravery, inventiveness in a life emergency ; the consequences are often tragic.


One Fly said...

I know one thing and that is let's make it Trial Time now not later!

Sandra said...

I think they were just too stunned to react in heroic try to challenge him or take him down. Hard to do when he was so armed. I don't know...that's just what I think.

PinkPanthress said...

Honestly, Breivik posed as a Policeman so most of his victims, who were mostly still children/young-adults, didn't know what happened before they died.

And that Holmes, he use the ignorance of the typical American movie goer, trying to have a nice evening, most thought he was part of a PR show or so it was told from the survivors on TV.

Like I said, I don't think that people knew what was really going... but I get what you mean, and it really makes me think. :(

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Some of the strong intrinsic traditional values are fast becoming extinct: like honesty, truthfulness, trustworthiness, kindness,commitment,dedication, courtesy,patience, courage, dedication.Instead evil forces like cheating,robbery,murder, rape,kidnapping,anger,rage, arrogance,selfishness,corruption, drug peddling etc are rapidly on the rise.
Modern day instant communication channels like DVD's,Cell phones, digital photography,internet, e-mail,instant messaging, twitter, face book,blogging etc as well as easy access to illegal drugs, black money,arms & ammunition are partially responsible for rapid increase in "evil forces" leading to tragedies like those you have mentioned.

busana muslimah layali said...

Great post,I really like your article

Ola said...

we do not know how we would behave if such a terrible thing happens... I guess they were to terrified, I would not judge them why they were passive...
Terrible tragedy!

Blog about life and travelling
Blog about cooking

La Petite Gallery said...

I too thought why didn't someone try to get the gun away from him.
If the whole group charged him at once, he couldn't kill them all.
Pretty scary that they can buy those guns. OK, maybe a Saturday night special, but not guns for the Arny. Those assault weapons.
The seller should go to Jail.
My thoughts, he wants to fight
send him to the front lines.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

This is thought provoking...the Norway shooter did have strange thoughts. It is hard to understand the reasons though

DUTA said...

One Fly,

I've checked out your Trial Time post ,and I definitely see your point.


Welcome to my little blog! I'm sure they were stunned. However the question has to be asked. Unfortunately, similar tragic events occur from time to time, and people should be trained how to find a 'creative' way to immobilize the shooter.


At first, the crowd didn"t know what was happening,but after the first or seond killing, someone should have found a way to crawl towards the killer and jump upon him.


You're absolutely right.
Nowadays, noble values have been replaced by evil forces.

DUTA said...

busana muslimah lyali,

Welcome, and thank you for your nice comment.


In a crowd, there are usually a few men with military background, and they would know how to handle the situation.

La Petite Gallery,

Scarry, indeed- all those gunners and people looking to buy arms and ammunition. What has become of our world?!

Kim & Stuff,

Hope it is, The norwegian killer is the worst kind - so organized and planning his "strategies".

Tanya Reimer said...

Studying cases like this could lead to interesting insight into mankind.

Dimple said...

I also wondered why no one tried to stop Holmes. Perhaps the line between fantasy (the gunfight in the movie) and reality (the gunman in the theater) was so blurred that even those near him couldn't quite distinguish real from unreal.

Angelina said...

Unless we actually were there in mist of the violence, we can't judge why people reacted as they did. Although, I'm certain there were heros there that night.

There were accounts of bravery, as people put themselves in the line of fire to protect their loved ones.

I'm sure many were stunned as the tear gas filled the theatre, and others thought it was a stunt until it was too late.

Cheryl said...

Angelina's words above are a mirror of what I am feeling...

Vera said...

I think that the media has a lot to do with the problems. That 'seeds' are planted in people's heads when they watch the news, or surf the internet, some of which is good, some of which is not. And I agree about emotional standards not being taught to children, the same as behavioural standards are often neglected.

DUTA said...

Tanya Raimer,



People's senses are not sharp enough to danger even though unexpected shootings and killings occur quite often.


No heroism is needed, but common sense, bravery ,initiative when faced with an emergency case. These values should be part of basic education in schools.


Well then, my reply to Angelina's comment is addressed to you too.


The Media has a lot to do with everything happening in our lives. Its role is, unfortunately, often negative.

Linda O'Connell said...

In general people are unprepared and unaware, and in a situation such as this, I think their first instinct is to flee. I also believe that our children are desensitized to violence in so many ways. It is a sad time we live in.

Jenn Jilks said...

I agree with Linda. You hear gunfire, you duck for cover or run. Fight or Flight is an ingrained, automatic response in all creatures. That is how we survive.
Shameful that many fear immigrants, people they do not understand, and to plot all those years to make such a statement is awful.
As a teacher, I've seen many children who would grow up to be capable of such acts. Kids you tortured kittens. A young 11-yr.-old, "I can't help hitting other kids, my father abused me."
There are some who simply do not fit into society.

I agree with your comment on my post: "We badly need some rain to cool off the earth and the people. "

Sarah (Nikki) said...

oh Duta...what happened in both cases left me reeling. And in some ways what you wrote is what I think about the holocust and how no one stood up and stopped the mass killings. Is it that no one stands up to fight back b/c the act is so horrendous and out of the norm of what's real at the time? I'm not sure but when something so horrible happens I wonder if people are just in shock and survival mode. Great read....

Bica said...

There was just a shooting this morning in the Milwaukee area. Seven dead, so far. Heroes, I believe, act out of instinct. One's instinct may be to flee, another's may be to help. I wonder, can this be a conscious decision, or do we just react?

DUTA said...

Linda O'Connell,

The first instinct, yes. What about the second and the third instinct of those who don't see the possibility of running away?

Jenn Jilks,

America, Canada have been created by immigrants, so immigration in these places is seen or should be seen as a natural process.

In Europe it's a bit different. Immigration is perceived as a threat to the country's identity, and this ideology generates people like the norwegian killer.

Sarah (Nikki),

The big problem lies in the fact that education in our society places emphasis on the Me, the individual less on the We.

Instinct is usually defined as an inborn, intuitive reaction to a specific stimulus. It is conscious but impulsive. We don't think much, we just react.

La Petite Gallery said...

I think some people just freeze in fear. It is some that react fast and try to stop it. Then those who think out a plan and those that RUN. Pretty frighting.
They are doing tests with the brain
all the time, learning how to disconnect certain parts.
Makes you wonder why so many Crazy attacks in the past few years.

DUTA said...

Welcome again!
Yes, most people freeze or are paralyzed by fear when facing shootings. Indeed, too many crazy killings during the last years.

Alicia said...

Both horrible tragedies and so sad that it was truly innocent people that died. It's difficult to understand how people felt and what they thought wnen faced with the fact that they may have been about to lose their lives. I think most people just thought to save their loved one and themselves and didn't think of the group as a whole. Excellent thought provoking post Duta! Welcome back!

Lisa Petrarca said...

I thought about this post and pictured myself in the theatre, as we went a few days after the incident to see the movie. I know most people go to get "lost" in the movie, forgetting all that we have going on for a couple of hours. As I sat there, I couldn't help but picture the whole event as it was explained to have happened. I can totally see how everyone initially thought it was a stunt for opening night (with the smoke (gas) and then the light of the gunfire.) Once people began falling I think a natural instinct is to duck for cover. From where the gunman was said to be standing close to the exit doorway, it would be almost impossible for someone to have gotten to him as they would've had to go directly at the gunfire, which was going of in rapid succession.

In this tragic situation I feel he had it so strategically planned out to position himself out of the reach of anyone. However, I do feel that there was absolutely incredible heroes there who took bullets for other people by covering them with their body & the man who stayed to help a woman (a perfect stranger) and her two children get out safely. That is incredible acts of valor.

On another note Duta, we have been praying for Israel, your leaders and ours here in America. Praying that no matter what, America will protect Israel. Blessings to you my friend, be safe, please keep us posted! <3

La Petite Gallery said...

Just poppin in to see what's going on. Be well my Dear.
Hope you watch the elections here in U.S. It's going to be nasty I bet.


Lady Di Tn said...

Too many young people and some old play video games where they kill or get killed and then amazingly come back to life. Proper respect for the weapon should be taught when children are small and that once the trigger is pulled then it cannot be undone. If this was done maybe there would be less crime. Also, if everyone in that movie theater could have been a person with a gun (a concealed weapon) then that possibility might have made Holmes rethink his plan BECAUSE he would have been in fear that someone would kill him. Both men took advantage of innocent times where folks thought they would be safe. As for how people react, well unless you have been in that situation you will never know but can only suppose how you would respond. Peace my friend.

PinkPanthress said...

I was wondering about you, since I haven't had the luck to find another new blog post from you in the past weeks, no matter how often I would look into my google reader. :(

I hope you are doing well & just taking a nice hiatus for yourself. *hugs*

La Petite Gallery said...

Hi Duta,
Hope all is well with you.
That area is turning into a scary place. Come to Maine, you would love it. You have a friend here.
Be safe Dear, Love yvonne

DUTA said...


You're right. It's very difficult to understand such terrible situations and how people facing them felt or thought.

Lisa Petrarca,

Yes, we all know now there were acts of real heroism at the scene of the crime.
Many thanks to you Lisa for your prayers and blessings for Israel.

Lady Di Tn,

I agree that people should be taught from childhood about the danger of weapons.

La Petite Gallery,

Thank you both for inquiring about my absence from bloggieland.
I'm well.It's just that I was away from home and computer for a while, and now I'm back but very busy with things.
Anyway, I'll find the time not to miss my favorite bloggers.

La Petite Gallery said...

I agree whole heartly. They did fight when the plane was goinging into DC. on 9/11 That is a sad date here now for the second time.
What's wrong that people can't live together. We can learn so much from other nations. Be safe and well.

La Petite Gallery said...

Hi Duta, I am watching the news
and hope Iran would agree to stop making that Nuke. That region
has too many HOT HEADS to be in possion of a weapon like that.
Thinking of you.


Susan Deborah said...


Been long since you posted. How are you? Thinking of you.

Joy always,

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...


I am concerned since we have not heard from you in some time. Please respond, simply to let us know you are there and ok. Your friends miss you.

DUTA said...

La Petite Gallery,

Hope you're right. "Hot Heads" indeed.

Susan Deborah,
C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

Thank you very much for thinking of me.
I'm well. It's just that I'm busy with things that take up most of my time . Hope to gradually come back to bloggie land.