Gun Laws & Legislation

HOOBER: Mass Shootings With No Guns

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

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By Sam Hoober

In case the gun control enthusiasts haven’t been paying attention, violent criminals and extremists (ie really bad people) are going to find a way to hurt people no matter what the laws are.

International news wires have been circulating the story of what appears to be a domestic terror attack in Kongsberg, Norway, a small city near Oslo. The perpetrator killed five and wounded two more before being taken into custody.

The suspect is a 37-year-old Danish national, who recently converted to Islam and who had already been in contact with police over concerns of radicalization.

Obviously the offensive use of a bow and arrow is not new; people have been killing other people with bows and arrows for thousands of years. Otzi The Iceman had an arrowhead in his shoulder, for crying out loud; we, as a species, have been shooting each other for longer than we’ve had civilization itself.

It’s a little rarer in recent years, but it does happen.

For instance, a man in Madison County, N.C., was arrested in September 2021 for murdering another man with a bow and arrow, though the circumstances are unknown as to why. A few weeks later in Lancaster, Pa., one Wesley Frey, Jr. fatally shot his father with a crossbow, then barricaded himself in a bedroom and committed suicide on Sept. 30.

In March 2021, one Travis Rutherford was arrested in Alpine, Texas, for murdering his neighbor with a bow, shooting him with an arrow and then beating him to death with a baseball bat.

In another news story from October 2020, a transient man was arrested near National City, Calif., after calling police to report fighting with some people…then confessed to murdering another transient man with a bow and arrow. The suspect, one Miguel Venegas, said that the victim had been arguing with his girlfriend, who came into Venegas tent, after which Venegas went out of his tent and shot Cameron with the bow and arrow.

And now terrorists are using them.

While some people are going to be quick to blame his religious affiliation, it’s worth pointing out too that the worst case of domestic terrorism in Norway occurred in 2011, which was carried out by a right-wing extremist who expressed anti-Islamic views.

The broader view is probably that people who are prone to radicalization are prone to radicalization no matter what kind, but that’s firstly not the point, and secondly is a huge topic in and of itself that deserves its own attention.

The point is that the human animal has a capacity for violence, which is itself inherent to primates. Granted, we are more prone to proactive violence, but we all have it on some level. Some more than others.

Those who are more prone to violence will use any means at their disposal to inflict it on others. In this case, a deranged man used a bow and arrow. There are so many other things people have used to murder each other. Knives, hammers, axes, hatchets and people are still out here killing people with swords.

Until the human animal is cured of violence, the reality is that a certain portion of the population will be more willing to use it than others. Unless that portion of the population is eliminated somehow, there will always be a need to be able to fight them with more than words or fists.

Whether anyone likes it or not, the best tool to do that with is a gun.

Sam Hoober is a hunter and shooter based in the Inland Northwest.

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