Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords and Anna Lindh

I sense certain similarities between the Gabrielle Giffords attack and the murder of Swedish/EU politician Anna Lindh, murdered in 2003 (also by someone who was "mentally disturbed but had no political motive").

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2003/sep ... obituaries

Both principled, both center-leaning members of a left-wing party, both members of political organizations (the US Democrats and the EU, respectively) known for taking a dim view of principled dissidents in their ranks.

The EU takes such a dim view, in fact, that in one case one of their own went into hiding in fear of his life, after receiving death threats for refusing to ignore huge financial audit issues in the EU government.


One big difference: When Giffords was attacked, in a crowded public location, people piled onto the attacker and disarmed him.

When Lindh was attacked, also in a crowded public area, no one intervened, as she ran screaming from the knife-wielding attacker who ended up murdering her as the crowd looked on.

I wonder what could explain the notoriously cruel and barbaric Americans leaping to the defense of a woman under attack, while kindly and civilized Swedes stood by and watched a woman get stabbed to death, then allowed the perpetrator to run away?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/pers ... abbed.html

Rather than seeking an answer in DNA, I wonder if there is a systematic explanation. Perhaps it's due to the fact that in most of the US (including Arizona), people are permitted the legal right and means to self defense, and the use of force in defense of others, whereas in Sweden, people are to a great extent denied any legal means to self-defense, and legally Sweden shares with the UK (notoriously hostile to self-defense of any kind) the notion of allowable levels of "proportional response" to an attack.

As in such "gun-free paradises" like New York, where people are famous for "not getting involved", perhaps those onlookers, realizing they might not only get hurt trying to stop Lindh's attacker, but that they or their families might (as in the UK) get a "visit" later from friends of his, decided "better her than me".

As we have seen repeatedly during the past century, there's nothing like a "compassionate and humane" regime to create conditions that are dangerous and unjust, which force people into making despicable, cruel, even fatal, decisions, in order to save their own skins.

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