When I first read the reports about the bowman attacking and killing several people in Kongsberg, Norway, a pile of things came to mind. First and foremost, anytime a situation yields the loss of life, there is no cause for celebration. This event was a tragic and senseless act from all current accounts. What we know and what we don’t know, though, are two different things. What we don’t know certainly outweighs what we do.
From a Reuters article:
“A man armed with a bow and arrow killed five people and wounded two others in a series of attacks in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg on Wednesday, local police said.
The suspect was in custody, police added.
‘The man used a bow and arrow … for some of the attacks,’ police chief Oeyvind Aas told reporters. The police were investigating whether other weapons had also been used, he said.”
The first meaningful lesson we can take away from this is that people intent on committing acts of violence or harm will do so. The bowman used this weapon in his rampage of murdering five and injuring others. Potentially other weapons were used too. However, that is not currently known. Does this mean that “bow control” is coming to Norway? I think we went through similar discussions when a man was taking out an attacker in the UK using a narwhal tusk. Anything can be turned into a weapon, and the intent does not matter, evil or pure.
The second meaningful lesson is that of remaining constantly vigilant. A man using a bow to inflict this kind of damage needs to call into question the matter of situational awareness. Do you see someone with a bow doing bowman stuff? We need to have that register in our brains that that is potentially bad. The problem we have is if we’re not vigilant and are stuck in condition white, we might have normalcy bias. No, a person walking down the street with a bow is not normal and should raise your awareness level. Could it be normal? Yes. But we’re better off fighting off any normalcy biases and assuming this is a bowman getting ready to do bowman things.
The third meaningful lesson is one for our politicians. Five people were murdered and two injured. Was this a high-capacity bow? Pretty much this level of carnage really throws to the wind any notion that so-called “high capacity” magazines are a threat to public safety. If a man can take out seven people with a bow in any amount of time, this clearly debunks the exchange time of detachable box magazines. We already know this, but the politicians that push for this kind of agenda need to be re-told this concept over and over again. Point them to the bowman.
More from the article:
“The government said police had launched a large investigation.
‘The reports coming from Kongsberg tonight are horrifying,’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a news conference.
‘I understand that many people are afraid, but it’s important to emphasize that the police are now in control,’ she said.
Following the attacks, the police directorate said it had ordered officers nationwide to carry firearms. Norwegian police are normally unarmed, but officers have access to guns and rifles when needed.”
Thank you, Prime Minister Solberg. The police “are now in control.” The “police will protect you” argument can go right out the window. No, the police are not in control; they are the clean-up crew. So sure, that location may have been secure for that time while the disarmed police were there, but no, they will not protect you. And if there were police there, would they have the tools needed to stop this individual? At least they had the mental wherewithal to rearm their police. To each his own, we can suppose, but eh, maybe leave those guys armed just in case. The following was noted in the piece:
” One of the wounded people was an off-duty police officer.”
Even in the communist totalitarian state of New Jersey, where I hail from, the off-duty police officers can carry firearms. This officer, had they been armed, maybe they could have stopped the bowman? How many lives could have been saved? Perhaps all of them if the officer was the first encounter?
As we gain more details from this event, there’s probably going to be more to learn. This situation is a prime example of why it’s so essential to stay ever so vigilant all the time. The case also illustrates the importance of training to be prepared for when you need to force yourself to break your own normalcy bias.
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Stay safe out there, and think before you do!
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use” and USCCA certified instructor, NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws.