How Terrorists Run the World, and Other Thoughts on New Zealand — A man shot 50 people dead and injured 34 others at two mosques on March 15 in Christchurch, New Zealand, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The following are personal thoughts related to the event and its significance.

How Mass Murderers and Terrorists Run the World

Here’s how criminals and terrorists hack democracy to run the world, with complicit voters and politicians:

  1. Bad Guys do bad things.
  2. Voters say, “#NeverAgain. Something must be done!”
  3. Politicians enact laws to restrict the freedoms and rights of honest people under the false promise of “public safety” and “national security.”

Bad guys smile, and repeat.


  • Canada’s Immortalizing Marc Lépine Act, sometimes called the Firearms Act, was enacted to honour the deadliest mass shooter in Canadian history and ensure he controls us from the grave.
  • Canada is considering new laws to commemorate the Toronto Danforth killer.
  • New Zealand is preparing new laws to fulfill the wishes of the Christchurch attacker.

This is how they play us. This is how they win.

Watch the Video

News reports said the assailant broadcast live video of the slaughter on Facebook, which closed his account. Twitter suspended users sharing links to the video until they deleted the information. Police in New Zealand and abroad asked the public to not share the “extremely distressing footage.”

The first wave of the first attack that killed most of the victims lasted less than 2 minutes, based on the video from what appears to be a forehead-mounted camera. It’s one of the most-horrific sights I’ve seen. The full 16 min 56 sec of footage includes the killer firing from his car as he drives away after the main attack, possibly en route to the second mosque.

Some audiences shouldn’t watch the video.

Some should.

We study events, especially the most-evil and violent ones, to learn, prepare, prevent, prevail, respond, recover. And probably other reasons.

We know that closing our eyes to evil is a bad strategy to stop it.

Tactical Analysis by Mike Wood

Mike Wood, who writes the Tactical Analysis column for, wrote Rapid Response: 7 Key Takeaways From the New Zealand Mosque Attacks on March 15.

The Blame Game

Immediately after a mass attack, people blame everything and everyone but the attackers. After a shooting massacre, some people call to ban guns, forgetting that the attackers are almost always stopped by people with guns.

No Notoriety Media Protocol

The No Notoriety Media Protocol encourages media to avoid mentioning the names of mass murderers or showing their photos beyond what is necessary, so as to not glorify them or inspire copycats. The protocol was violated earlier in this article to make a point. #NoNotoriety

Thanks to the Reporters, Responders

We recognize police, medical, fire, emergency crews and others who head into danger when everybody else is running away.

It’s not the same, but I also have a soft spot for fellow journalists. They’re just as scared and shaken as everyone else when stuff is hitting the fan around them. They have to stay cool on scene or at the office as they scramble to get and deliver the facts we’re so hungry for.

Nick Monroe on Twitter provided the best real-time reporting I could find as people were learning about the rampage.

Guns in Prayer, ‘Good Shoot’?

A report in the New Zealand Herald said soon after the attacks: “One Friday prayer goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun. … A well known Muslim local chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off. He was heard telling police officers he was firing in ‘self defence.’” (These lines were later removed, perhaps as new details became available.)

1. Some people on Twitter questioned the legitimacy of being armed in a house of worship.

Murderers and terrorists don’t have no-go zones. Why should we? If you believe it’s important to arm for self-protection, it makes sense to be always armed everywhere. Even in prayer.

Motorcyclists use the abbreviation #ATGATT (“at-gatt”) for how they ride with protective equipment: “All the gear, all the time.”

2. Some people questioned if the counter-attack was legitimate self-defence (a “good shoot”), or revenge.

It’s possible the counter-assault saved lives.

The event is unclear. I’m not a lawyer. But it could be reasonable to imagine responding to a fleeing attacker. The video showed the murderer leaving the main mosque to go back to his car to reload/re-equip and return for a second pass to finish what he started.

Imagine an alternative: “He was running with his weapons to the next attack (or to take up a better firing position) and you did nothing?”

Tactics, Morality, Ethics, Law

If there’s any glimmer of light amid the darkness, it’s that we are asking these questions about tactics, morality, ethics and law. Disagreement is fine. The debate is healthy.

Shoot without cause, you’re a murderer. Shoot too soon, you’re a murderer. Shoot too late, you’re a murderer, or you’re dead. Even if it was justified, and if you survive, you’ll be charged. Our laws give every advantage to attackers, every handicap to defenders.

These are serious, complex and difficult issues. That’s what makes them interesting, controversial and important.

We shouldn’t expect to agree on the solutions. We should welcome the debate in theory in case we ever have to save lives or court cases in reality.

People Are Training to Kill You

Somewhere in the world right now, people are training to kill you.

They probably aren’t targeting you in particular, or they could be. They may be an official military force, a terrorist attack team or the neighbourhood crackheads.

Some of them may live next door, some of them live on the other side of the world. Most of them will never cross your path. Some of them might. Some of them may have already.

You don’t have to address this fact. You don’t have to dwell on this fact. You don’t even have to believe this fact.

But right now people are training to kill you.

May you live a long and happy life.

Mass Killing and Terrorism Ahead

We will have more mass killings and terrorism, in this country and elsewhere. We just don’t know the assailants, the targets, the place or the date. If you do, please share.

In 2014, one person with a rifle shut down Ottawa. Another shut down Moncton.

We were unlucky they did this at all, but we were lucky they were amateurs.

What happens the day well-trained, well-organized, well-equipped professionals come at us?

Do we want to be sitting ducks, or be able to return fire and limit the body count?

How much blood will be on the hands of the people who made it illegal to gear up?

Pratte Says Bill C-71 Will Stop Terrorists

Senator André Pratte, the Senate sponsor of Bill C-71, said March 15 on Twitter the planned law will stop terrorists and mass murderers.

If he’s right, the text will have powers to achieve something no law in human history has done.

Pratte: The overwhelming majority of licensed gun owners are good, law-abiding citizens. But there are tragic exceptions. In Canada, [Name of Mass Murderer]. Today, in #Christchurch. This is why we need improved gun control laws. This is what bill C-71 provides.

TheGunBlog (replying): Thank you, Senator, for your desire for safety. You make a valuable point.

If terrorists can hide in a group screened by the RCMP, they can be anywhere.

“The overwhelming majority of [INSERT YOUR GROUP HERE] are good, law-abiding citizens. But there are tragic exceptions.”

Pratte (replying to TheGunBlog): #Christchurch It means we need to have better screening, which is what Bill C-71 provides.

Pratte (replying to another person): No system is foolproof. But improved screening will prevent tragedies, whether domestic homicides, suicides or mass shootings.

No ‘New Zealand Gun Rights’

The phrase “New Zealand gun rights” didn’t exist on Twitter until TheGunBlog tweeted it on March 15.




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