Norwegian killer probably insane, his lawyer says

There\’s a certain obvious truth to the claim, too.

\”Your client claims he murdered 90 people because he\’s one of the new Knights Templar?\”

\”Correct M\’Lud\”.

\”I take it that \”raving nutter\” is not a medical diagnosis?\”

\”Not normally M\’Lud, no, however….\”

18 thoughts on “Surprise!”

  1. The BBC label him as a “right-wing christian extremist”, quite strong words for an organisation whose policy is to coyly refer to Islamist terrorists as “asians” or “gunmen” in the interests of “clarity”.

  2. The response of the BBC and the liberal is predictable enough. More worrying is the response to some on the Right who want to lay the blame on the liberal media in turn.

    Spree killers are nuts almost by definition – to take these insane ramblings as being significant in some way is to completely miss the point.

  3. Breivik may well be insane, but I don’t think we can automatically define every mass murderer as being mad.

    History is replete with instances of people murdering large numbers of their fellow human beings. The thousands of soldiers involved in killing civilians and surrendered soldiers in the world wars, often on their own initiative and without remorse, couldn’t all have been insane. Evil perhaps, but not mad.

  4. But Breivik wasn’t in a war, except perhaps in his own warped imagination. He was closer to Thomas Hamilton, Michael Ryan and Derrick Speed than to a soldier in a war zone. They too had all kinds of rationalisations and paranoid fantasies to justify their actions – but nobody took these seriously. Unfortunately this isn’t happening with Breivik, left and right are taking his bizarre ramblings at face value and drawing conclusions to suit their particular ideologies…

  5. He’s clearly mad in an everyday sense, but he’s presumably rational enough to stand trial. His plan for his atrocity was, alas, distinctly intelligent.

  6. Sorry, but why the accusations of insanity.? The guy’s wiped out an entire generation of Norway’s Labour activists. If we’re always fantasising on a fortuitous conjunction of socialists with the hemp fandango why are we having so much of a problem when someone actually does something about it? Why aren’t we regretting Laurie Penny hadn’t chosen last weekend to report on Scandinavian solidarity?

  7. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    I expect we’ll find that owing to the barking moonbattery of Norwegian law that finding him insane is the only way he can be sentenced to more than about twenty minutes imprisonment. The hearing behind closed doors, natch.

  8. bloke in spain,
    Have I read you right?!
    Laurie Penny is an awful, odious, self righteous, tenage marxist unthinking bore. I wish she would keep her f’ing nose out of the legitimate behaviour of adults. I wish she would piss off and mind her own business. But no, I don’t actually want her murdered. Murphy times 10, and he suffers from false conciousness too. He is mighty aggravating, but I don’t want him murdered.
    I assume I misread you.

  9. Surreptitious Evil

    Having actually read (far too much of) his manifesto yesterday evening, I’ve come to the conclusion (completely without the benefit of any medical or legal qualifications, especially Norwegian ones) that he is, from the point of view of standing trial, completely sane.

    We can wonder about whether a man who can walk round shooting 70 unarmed people, mostly youngsters, one after another, is ‘sane’ in social terms, but this was a meticulously planned, well thought out and successfully undertaken mass murder. I really don’t think that he’s incompetent to be called to answer for what he did. And in the understandable absence of the death penalty (cases like this are relatively rare – compare it with the case of Cory Maye), I hope it is a long time before he sees anything outside of a prison.

    @Tim – he does rather go on, in the manifesto, about using C0D for training and a supposed WoW addiction to cover your terror training (as he goes on about exactly which steroid to abuse.)

  10. SE,

    Right, but the NYT mentioned Dragon Age II, which only came out a few months ago and involves dispatching your enemies using mighty swords and impressive spells. I know because I bought it on Sunday (having enjoyed the first one, not because I want to take out an island full of people).

  11. @Gary – when those socialists get their state jackboot up your face they will show you no mercy, you should not be so kind to them, they will not be kind to you.

  12. There would seem to be two rational ways of looking at this:

    (a) you take the view that the man is obviously insane, as no sane person would promote their views by killing scores of teenagers – in which case nothing of what he has written or said is of any consequence and should best be ignored;
    (b) although an abhorrent act, we must find out what the thinking was that led to it, however warped – in which case all of his “manifesto” must be read carefully and some sort of analysis attempted, so that society can work out its defences.

    It makes no sense for everybody to try to read and understand, so it would perhaps be best to appoint somebody cool and sensible to take option (b), and then try to summarise and make recommendations for the rest of us.

    What is however not rational is reading bits of what the massmurderer said, and then cherry-picking some phrases to use as weapons against your political enemies. But then the left is not famous for rationality.

  13. I reckon it’s the distorting effect of TV bullshit that leads us to believe that an insanity plea is used in any more than a handful of cases. It’s actually exceedingly rare (i.e. at the 1% level or less.) Anyway, the specific point of jurisprudence in Common Law is the M’Naghten Rule, and I would assume the Norwegians have very different statutes.

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