Maybe cops should carry guns?

Turns out that there was a cop on that Norwegian island but in Norway, police are unarmed.   It’s certainly not my place to tell the Norwegians how to structure their society, but even one pistol on the island that day might have saved a lot of lives.


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11 responses to “Maybe cops should carry guns?

  1. I’m no pacifist, I own guns and know how to shoot to kill, and so too my kids, but it’s ludicrous to presume that Norwegian police carrying anything, even an Uzi, could have prevented that nut from committing his heinous crime. I’m more troubled that the police couldn’t find a helicopter and it took them so long to even GET to the island. But guns are NOT the answer, IMHO.

  2. Fred2

    Dunno ESOR, there are enough cases here in the US where amateur mass murderers got stopped (both by armed citizens, and by cops) before they really got going ( and not necessarily by getting plugged – even most looney mass murderers would prefer to spend time in the clink than have citizen/cop nail them) that I have my doubts.

    Even in this case, leaving aside having to wait for the armed response team, who had to wait for permission to get guns, who had boating issues who didn’t have a helicopter available… it seems that any bunch of armed cops who could have gotten there quickly could have stopped this faster.

    Imagine if this had taken place even further away from Oslo where the cops would have taken even longer…

    Two quotes spring to mind:

    Perfect is the enemy of good enough. (I’d rather have local police johnnie “toot sweet”, than super-SWAT in 90min, at the very least they will distract the shooter(s)

    When seconds count, the police is minutes away. (Or in this case, over an hour.)

    Can you imagine the planning of cell of “islamic terrorists are us” this evening. ” Ok, Mo, it takes hours for armed police to arrive. They seem utterly unable to defend themselves. Tell me why we shouldn’t go after the Norwegians again? ” as opposed to this happening in say Vermont or Texas, where frankly any joe citizen might be packing and decide that shooting kids is antisocial and require intervention.

  3. Krazy Kat

    I think we are missing one key point in modern policing, particularly in countries where the average foot cop is unarmed. That is, police are mostly about solving crimes after they occur, not stop them before or during their commission. Mostly police are only a crime deterent for those bad folk who worry about getting caught and incarcerated.

    No suprise there and you can apply it to our daily lives. In Town, police can not stop a house break-in while it happens unless they happen to be in the right place at the right time. Frequent patrols can be a deterent particularly if they are not on a timetable. But mostly, the cops come when they are called about a break-in. Maybe they find a careless fingerprint which is tracked to someone in a database and that leads to an arrest. But the likelihood of their cruising by any given house while the guy is going in the window is very low.

    But the real problem is that a police presence rarely deters those who are willing to die in the commission of their crime. Look at the attacks in the middle and far east where they perform frontal assaults or suicide attacks on police stations and military facilities. That is the ultimate deterent force and they plunge into it hoping to take as many with them as they can. If such a person were going to attack that island, a single policeman with a 9mm semi-auto was not about deter a well motivated nut case. That officer would just have been the first casualty.

    In the case of Norway, I DO NOT think that nut had any intent to martyr himself, he want to survive. Consider how he surrendered without a fight once the cops actually arrived. If he had not run out of live targets, he likely would have been sitting there waiting to get arrested. That is, I believe that he wants to be dragged through the legal system in hopes of spreading his disgusting gospel.

    EOS2, I am on both sides of the issue of whether the presence of weapons could have minimized the damage. If the cop had been armed, would he have had sufficient training to use the weapon effectively? Most street cops do their qualifications and that’s about the end of their training. I just bought 1,000 rounds of bulk S&W 40 which will probably fulfill my training needs through the end of the year. Cost contrained departments can not spend $300-500 per cop per year for training. Sadly, that explains why officer shootings usually involved such high round counts – many of these guys can not hit a man-sized target at 20 feet under stress. Thus, I am not sure have a cop from a relatively passive country armed would have made a difference.

    BTW, was that cop a victim or did he/she survive?

  4. Fred2, while I understand your point of view, do you arm an entire nation that has heretofore been unarmed because of one lunatic? You are asking a people to change their entire philosophy of policing and enforcing based on once incident.

    The man who went after these children took NINE years to formulate his plan. He thought of every detail in a maniacal way, even dressing as a policeman to get the trust of his victims. He wouldn’t have chosen this location and these children had he known police could get there, or that anyone might have a gun. And if Norway had armed police, this incident would have eventually taken place in another venue. People are THAT crazed today.

  5. KK: excellent points, especially that the shooter was hell-bent on living, hence my theory that he would never have gone to any place where there was anyone with a gun.

    I know our own towns, both in RI and NY, struggle with budgets to even pay the force, let alone train them to shoot with any accuracy. That’s why I know how to shoot, and can aim to kill. Both Mr. EOS and I grew up with fathers who taught us, more unusual for me as a girl, but I am thrilled I have such skills. That said, I know there’s a mental incapacitation when confronted by an attacker that causes many with guns, trained police included, to keep shooting and shooting and shooting. I pray I never have to know what I could do.

  6. pulled up in OG

    Trond Berntsen, 51, Not confirmed by police but the royal court said the off-duty police officer was killed while working as a security guard on the island. He was Crown Princess of Norway’s step-brother.

  7. Krazy Kat

    My condolences to the Berntsen family and to those of all the victims. That he was off-duty may have made a difference since he was less inclined to carry an off-duty piece, even if he was “security” for what should have been an quiet and peaceful event.

    Mrs. EOS, I just received my CT CCW and my wife will be taking the NRA course in August and then submitting her application. Training after that. But as you say, let’s hope it is never needed.

    For those interested in the issue of being trained and the judicious use of force, this gentleman is an expert on the subject. He covers everything from threat identification and confrontation avoidance to forceful defense to the legal and psychological aftermath of a self-defense event. For those that think that all firearms instructors must be some homicidal nuts, I recommend reading a few of his articles to see that his primary defensive objective is avoidance of violent interaction. Then it is an escalation of defensive actions up to an including the use of deadly force as the sole last resort. I think some who look down upon gunowners might find a new perspective if they understand this approach.

    I will be attending one of his multi-day courses in Wallingford in the Autumn.

  8. Shiloh

    My husband encouraged me to go for gun training and get a CT carry permit in the early days of our marriage. Not really my thing but…okay. After the unthinkable horror of the Cheshire murders and more recently the senseless killings in Medford, I am grateful that I “humored’ him all those years ago. May be time for a refresher course.

  9. FlyAngler


    There are gun schools all over the country. Less here in southwest CT but this guy is supposed to be very good. He is also the local affiliate of Massad that Krazy linked to:

    Alternatively, there are several NRA certified instructors that you can find via Google. Given you have a CCW, a one-on-one tuneup might be just what you need.

  10. Shiloh

    Thanks so much for the info. I did my intial training at Scott Moss in Norwalk (now carrying on without him if I remember correctly) but would clearly benifit from a serious tuneup.

    I’m afraid if I went to the Massad course that KK referenced it would only be a matter of time before the instructor fell on the floor laughing.

  11. Shiloh