Second Amendment battle lines drawn over Oslo massacre

T. Elliot Gaiser Host, CPR Podcasts
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Friday’s massacre at Norway’s Utoya youth camp proves the Scandinavian nation’s stringent gun laws have failed, say gun rights activists.

Second Amendment Foundation president Alan Gottlieb said yesterday that Norway’s gun laws clearly did not work to prevent the 76 deaths on July 22.

But Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement released Monday that using the shooting as evidence against the effectiveness of gun control “would be a tragedy.”

“The shooting in Norway is neither a reason to condemn Norway’s gun laws, nor to celebrate our own,” Henigan said.

He added: “The staggering toll of young lives taken by a gunman at the Utoya youth camp reminds us all, once again, that guns are the enablers of mass killers.”

“The interesting thing is that they have to put that out,” Gottleib responded. “It shows that the Brady Campaign is on the defensive, that they have to release this statement.”

“They have to try to defend the fact of Norway’s gun laws not working.” (Pamela Geller strikes back at NY Times for tying her to Oslo shooter)

While the average gun homicide rate in Norway is fewer than 10 deaths per year, Henigan said gun-related deaths in America average around 12,000 per year.

“Whereas a mass shooting in Norway is an extraordinary event, it is a regular occurrence in America,” he said.

Norway has some of the toughest gun control laws in in Europe. Its Firearm Weapons Act requires owners to obtain a license to purchase a firearm. Some types of guns, like powerful handguns and automatic firearms, are banned entirely.

But the alleged Oslo killer obtained firearms through legal channels, according to the news site Czech Position.

Gottleib said gun control activists are “intellectually defrauded and bankrupt” in continuing to defend gun control laws in the face of the shooting.

“The truth of the matter is they only look at one side of the equation,” he said. “They don’t want you to see the other side of the equation, because if you did, you might come up with the correct public policy answer.”