The brutal massacre in Norway on July 22, 2011 where 77 people perished, is still fresh in most peoples’ mind. My immediate assessment or impression of the perpetrator of this mass murder was that he must have been psychotic ( not in touch with reality). But after reading several reports on how he planned the crime so meticulously, I was persuaded to believe that he must have known what he was doing.
How could Breivik be out of touch with reality when he specially targeted those young members of a left-leaning party? He had a choice to kill at random, yet he chose to kill a group with a known leftist ideology. He waited for the camp to be held and just before that he car-bombed the government’s offices and distracted the authorities’ attention by causing chaos on the mainland before he went to the nearby island of Utoeya to kill mercilessly. A thoroughly organized schizophrenic, I must say.
He also posted an eerie Islamophobic video on youtube before the killing spree, here.
The Norwegian prosecutors are now telling the world that Breivik has been found to be insane (by two court-appointed psychiatrists) when he committed the unspeakable crime and most likely, should the court agree with the report, will be sent to a psychiatric hospital rather than a prison where many victims’ relatives think he rightly belongs, read here.
Would you also label terrorists as insane when they murder large numbers of innocent people especially of a different belief and different nationalities? Because terrorists are insane, shall we put all of them in psychiatric hospitals instead of being sentenced to death or imprisoned for life?
If you really study the terrorists’ behaviour and actions, you will notice that they have been chronically brainwashed or indoctrinated to hate and to destroy. Over time they become so paranoid they did not even think of their safety when they set out to kill and maim innocent lives. They also plan their attack. They also target the people they want to destroy (e,g the Bali bombing targeting the nightclub patronised by Europeans in 2002).
Amrozi, one of the perpetrators of the Bali bombing was smiling in the court and was adamant that he was doing the right thing (Gosh! killing innocent people is the right thing!). He definitely looked and sounded psychotic to me. He was, by the way, convicted and sentenced to death.
What about serial killers? Aren’t they psychotic too when they kill for pleasure and for control? The psychiatric hospitals will be full of them especially in the US where there are many reported cases of brutal serial killings of prostitutes and women such as the infamous Ted Bundy. And remember Timothy McVeigh? the man who bombed a federal government building in Oklahoma US in 1995 and killed many innocent people including those tots in the nursery located in the same building. Both Bundy and McVeigh were tried, found guilty and sentenced to death.
Indeed the line between sanity and insanity is blurry to the point of being invisible. And don’t forget there is also such a condition as “temporary insanity” used by psychiatrists to help describe a thoroughly normal person who lost control and commit serious crimes on the spur of the moment.
There is no death sentence in Norway and the maximum jail time for any convict is 21 years. So hopefully he would spend the rest of his life in a secure mental institution on solitary confinement. But this evening Al Jazeera news stated that Breivik could be released if later found to be mentally healthy and no longer a threat to society. According to psychiatric literature, no schizophrenic are truly cured without a lifelong dependence on psychotropic drugs!.
Would it be ironic if he were released in 20 years’ time at the age of 52 and decide to kill again and this time the victims could include the grandchildren of those same psychiatrists who “professionally” labeled Breivik as psychotic, ( and the judge who agreed with these “shrinks”) and so spared his life in jail.
Mass murderers of this world would wish that they are born and lived in Norway!