Free Speech, Philosophy, recent, Religion

Banning Evil: In the Shadow of Christchurch, Quasi-Religious Myths Can Lead Us Astray

On March 15, a 28-year old an Australian gunman named Brenton Tarrant allegedly opened fire in two Christchurch, New Zealand mosques, killing 50 and wounding 50 more. It was the worst mass shooting in the history of that country. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was rightly praised for her response to the murders, declared: “While the nation grapples with a form of grief and anger that we have not experienced before, we are seeking answers.”

One answer took form a week later, when Ms. Ardern announced legislation that would ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Will such gun-control measures work to reduce gun crime? Maybe. They did in Australia following a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania in which 35 people were murdered. A 2006 follow-up study showed that in the 18 years prior to the ban, there had been 13 mass shootings. But in the decade following, there had been none. Gun culture is different in every country. But there is at least an arguable case to be made that the newly announced controls will make New Zealand a safer country.

But banning certain tools that may be used to commit murder is one thing. Tarrant’s rampage also has led to calls to block ideas that allegedly fuel murderous extremism. In the immediate aftermath of tragedy, it is understandable that every conceivable means should be employed to prevent a recurrence. But censorship is almost invariably the wrong response to evil actions. You cannot ban evil.

* * *

Before the killings, Tarrant authored a rambling 74-page manifesto titled The Great Replacement. The document is difficult to find online, as most platforms took to blocking it as soon as its appearance was flagged. I was quick to grab a copy early on, however, because such documents inform my longstanding research into extremist groups and ideologies.

The Great Replacement was inspired by a 2012 book of the same title by the French author Renaud Camus—a right-wing conspiracy theorist who claims that white French Catholics in particular, and white Christian Europeans in general, are being systematically replaced by people of non-European descent, especially from Africa and the Middle East, through immigration and higher birth rates. The manifesto is filled with white supremacist fearmongering. “If there is one thing I want you to remember from these writings, it’s that the birthrates must change,” the author tells his audience (whom he presumes to be white). “Even if we were to deport all Non-Europeans from our lands tomorrow, the European people would still be spiraling into decay and eventual death.” The result, he concludes apocalyptically, is “white genocide.”

Like many cranks and haters of this type, Tarrant has a weakness for codes and slogans. He references the number 14 to indicate the 14-word slogan originally coined by white supremacist David Lane while imprisoned for his role in the 1984 murder of Jewish radio talk show host Alan Berg: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” Lane, for his part, explicitly extolled the writings of white supremacist William Pierce, who in turn inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people.

Accusations of racism and white supremacism are thrown around so casually these days that the meaning of these terms has become diluted and ambiguous. So, for clarity, I will state the obvious by emphasizing that the writings of Tarrant, Lane and Pierce all reflect attitudes that are completely racist and hateful, as such terms are properly used.

And yes, there is a connection with Nazism. The number 14 is sometimes rendered as 14/88, with the 8’s representing the eighth letter of the alphabet—H—and 88 or HH standing for Heil Hitler. Lane, who died in 2007, was inspired by Mein Kampf, in which the Nazi Party leader declared: “What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe.”

But even here, the bibliographical trail of hatred doesn’t end—because Hitler copied much of his anti-Semitic conspiracism from The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a tragically popular hoaxed document purporting to record the proceedings of a secret meeting of Jews plotting global domination. Nor was the Protocols itself conceived out of thin air: It was plagiarized from Biarritz, a luridly anti-Semitic 19th-century novel; and a propaganda tract called Dialogues in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, which had been written by a French lawyer as an act of protest against Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte; both of which, in turn, drew on anti-Semitic tropes going back to Roman times. So if you’re looking to root out and ban the political ideology that produces Jew hatred, you’re going to have to purge whole library shelves. The same goes for Islamophobia, anti-black racism, and virtually every other kind of bigotry you could name.

And yet, there are those who argue that mass censorship is justified in the name of heading off hateful indoctrination. That group apparently would include leaders of the Whitcoulls bookstore chain in New Zealand. Late last week, the company announced it was banning one popular book, “in light of some extremely disturbing material being circulated prior, during and after the Christchurch attacks.” Yet the book wasn’t Mein Kampf, which you can still buy on the company’s site for $44.95—or anything of its ilk. Rather, the chain is boycotting Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, a self-help book that has no connection at all with the mosque attacks or their perpetrator.

What is the “extremely disturbing material” in Peterson’s book? Whitcoulls doesn’t say. I’ve read the entire book, along with much of the University of Toronto professor’s 1999 massive first book, Maps of Meaning. And I’ve watched many of his YouTube videos and media interviews. I have yet to find anything remotely reminiscent of white supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.

On Twitter, I suggested that those who think Peterson is the ideological culprit behind the New Zealand massacre have lost their minds. I added that I’m no toady for Jordan Peterson, inasmuch as I disagree with him on many subjects—including his theory of truth, and his largely uncritical endorsement of religious myths as an organizing principle for human cultures. But the banning of Peterson on any theory related to preventing mass murder doesn’t even rise to the level of wrong: It’s demonstrably absurd—akin to banning spoons and skateboards as a strategy to stave off prospective arsonists.

When I asked my social-media followers for examples of anything Peterson had said or done that could be construed as inviting mass murder, the only remotely relevant responses I got pointed to photos that random fans had taken with Peterson, one of which featured a guy sporting a t-shirt proclaiming himself to be an “Islamaphobe,” and another (more ambiguous) example of someone holding a Pepe the Frog banner. But this proves nothing. Peterson has taken photos with tens of thousands of people at public events in recent years. In a typical fan-photo cattle call, fans are cycled into frame with a celebrity roughly every five or six seconds—typically by handlers, not the celebrity acting in his or her personal capacity. I’ve done a number of these during book tours and can attest to the fact that it’s completely unrealistic to think that Peterson could screen the clothes worn by all these legions of photo seekers for ideological purity—even if this were something he aspired to do.

On March 23, I received an email from, the left-leaning political action group whose stated mission is to “empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see.” In this case, the change users wanted to see in response to the New Zealand massacre was… to ban PewDiePie from YouTube. “One of the largest platforms for white supremacist content is PewDiePie’s YouTube channel,” the petition informs us. “PewDiePie has on many occasions proven once and again to promote and affiliate himself with white supremacist and Nazi ideologies.” The petitioners then list the YouTuber’s alleged sins, including using the N-word, playing videos of Adolf Hitler’s speeches, and giving the Nazi heil in a video.

For those unaware, PewDiePie is a Swedish comedian and video game player named Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, whose YouTube channel has a massive following and whom Tarrant referenced in his manifesto (along with Candace Owens, Donald Trump and others). It is true that PewDiePie once used the N-word during a video game competition (and then apologized profusely for doing so). He also has used brief audio and video snippets of Nazi imagery as part of satirical responses to attacks against him that he lampooned as melodramatic. The idea that any of this betrays PewDiePie as a closet white supremicist is absurd. Even without’s urging, YouTube already has demonetized the videos of such avowedly anti-racist and anti-supremacist moderates as Dave Rubin and Gad Saad, as well as anti-anti-Semite conservatives such as Dennis Prager. YouTube is acting on an ideological hair trigger: If there were any evidence whatsoever that PewDiePie had expressed real Nazi sympathies, he would have been axed from the platform long ago.

Responding to evil by banning random controversial authors or YouTubers is completely irrational. But that doesn’t make it inexplicable. Manifestations of great evil provoke a desire to do something—anything—to reestablish moral order. Remember when millions of people tweeted #BringBackOurGirls after the terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped dozens of Nigerian students in 2014? Murderous rapists don’t give a fig about being mobbed on Twitter. But it made people feel useful for an instant—as if they had done something. We all entertain some version of this instinct in times of tragedy—a reflex satirized by The Onion in the days after 9/11 with the headline Not Knowing What Else To Do, Woman Bakes American-Flag Cake.

Intertwined with this instinct is the idea that there is some abstract force called evil that exists in the cosmos, a force that we are all called upon to confront and defeat. As I argued in my 2003 book, The Science of Good and Evil, this belief—that pure evil exists separately from individuals—is a myth. “Evil” makes literal sense as an adjective, but not as a noun (except in a figurative sense), because there is no quantum of something called “evil” that exists in human hearts, or, indeed, anywhere else.

Thus concluded social psychologist Roy Baumeister, as reported in his 1997 book about serial killers and other career criminals, Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty. Ironically, Baumeister found that the myth of evil existing as a standalone force may, itself, lead societies to become more violent: “The myth encourages people to believe that they are good and will remain good no matter what, even if they perpetrate severe harm on their opponents. Thus, the myth of pure evil confers a kind of moral immunity on people who believe in it…belief in the myth is itself one recipe for evil, because it allows people to justify violent and oppressive actions. It allows evil to masquerade as good.” 

This helps explain the grimly bizarre manner by which violent criminals and terrorists find ways to justify even the most horrifying and nihilistic acts. Consider this 1994 police record of Frederick Treesh, a spree killer from the Midwest who explained, “Other than the two we killed, the two we wounded, the woman we pistol-whipped, and the light bulbs we stuck in people’s mouths, [my accomplice and I] didn’t really hurt anybody.” After killing 33 boys the serial killer John Wayne Gacy explained: “I see myself more as a victim than as a perpetrator. I was cheated out of my childhood.”

Modern campaigns aimed at shutting down this or that speaker implicitly present evil as something that may be communicated from one person to another, like bacteria. By this model, censorship is akin to quarantine. But Baumeister tells us “you do not have to give people reasons to be violent, because they already have plenty of reasons. All you have to do is take away their reasons to restrain themselves.” It is absolutely true that some extremist ideologies can encourage adherents to abandon the sense of restraint that Baumeister describes. But the campaign to ban the likes of Jordan Peterson and PewDiePie—individuals whose work bears no relationship at all to the extreme forms of hatred we should be most concerned about—suggests that censors aren’t actually thinking through such propositions. Instead, they seem to be operating on the idea of evil as a quasi-mystical force akin to Satan. In this conception, Peterson and PewDiePie are seen as carriers of evil, much like witches channeling demons from below, no matter that they never actually say or do anything evil in nature.

As Baumeister argued, this mythical idealization of evil as being an actual force in our universe, rather than a descriptor of human motivations, isn’t merely harmless ersatz spiritualism: It causes people to act worse, sometimes murderously so, by allowing them to imagine the locus of evil as lying completely outside their own intentions and actions.

Which gets to the (necessarily political) question of who should be identified, stigmatized, and even punished for being a “carrier” of evil? Who gets to define that class of people? Me? You? The majority? An evil-thought committee? The government? Social-media companies? We already have law enforcement and the military to deal with evil deeds. Controlling evil thoughts is far more problematic.

Campaigns aimed at banning evil in its own (mythical) right almost always include efforts to ban evil speech—or even, as in the aftermath of the New Zealand mass murder, speech from someone who has not said anything remotely evil, but is seen, in some vague sense, to be contaminated by evil. When western societies were religious, evil speech was tantamount to anti-Christian speech. In a secular age, we call it “hate speech,” a reformulation that does nothing to solve the always contentious issue of distinguishing between evil speech and free speech, and the problem of who gets to decide where one ends and the other begins.

It is my contention that we must protect speech no matter how hateful it may seem. The solution to hate speech is more speech. The counter to bad ideas is good ideas. The rebuttal to pseudoscience is better science. The answer to fake news is real news. The best way to refute alternative facts is with actual facts. This is just as true now as it was in the moment before 50 innocent Muslim lives were taken in New Zealand—even if our emotionally felt need to put a name and form to evil now makes this truth harder to see.


Michael Shermer is publisher of Skeptic magazine, a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, and the author of The Moral Arc. Follow him on Twitter@michaelshermer

Featured image: Japanese hanging scroll from 12 century A.D., entitled Extermination of Evil, depicting benign supernatural creatures confronting evil demons. 


  1. Peter from Oz says

    ”They did in Australia following a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania in which 35 people were murdered. A 2006 follow-up study showed that in the 18 years prior to the ban, there had been 13 mass shootings. But in the decade following, there had been none.”
    This is very questionable. A very good article on the point can be found at the site Intellectual Takeout. The fact is that the homicide rate in Australia and all western countries lessened after 1996. In the US it actually lessened more in States with fewer gun control laws.
    http://www dot intellectualtakeoutdotorg/article/australias-gun-laws-and-homicide-show-correlation-isnt-causation

    • S. Cheung says

      Peter –
      The title of the article from your link is correct. Correlation is not causation. It’s chapter one, page one, of a science education that more people need to grasp.
      But it’s downhill from there.
      First, the graph for Australia starts in 1992…which basically gives a 4 year baseline before the pivotal event…which is not much of a baseline. Nonetheless, 1993 rate looks like 1996 rate, with a dip in 1994 and 1995.
      Now, see link:

      “2009 Ask FactCheck article, showing a 20 percent decline in homicides from 1996 to 2007.” where absolute number went from 354 to 252, as population rose from 18.3 million to 21 million, which works out to index per 100k rate of 1.93 in 1996 down to 1.2 in 2007. In fact, index per 100,000 homicide rate in Australia dropped 38% in first 10 years after Port Arthur.

      Since then, it has plateaued somewhat, from 293 in 2008 (index 1.36) to 273 in 2013 (index 1.2). So perhaps the gun restriction had already reached its maximal effect after 10 years.

      But the impetus for the change was a gun massacre. How has the change affected events similar to what provoked the change in the first place? Let’s see:

      “From 1979-1996 (before gun law reforms), 13 fatal mass shootings occurred in Australia, whereas from 1997 through May 2016 (after gun law reforms), no fatal mass shootings occurred. “, where mass shooting is 5 or more victims. Of note, there was a gun murder of 7 people in 2018, after the paper was published. So that’s 13 in 17 years before Port Arthur, vs 1 in 22 years after Port Arthur, or an annual rate of 0.76 down to 0.05, without even indexing for population, which was 14.5 million in 1979, vs 24.6 million in 2017. That annual rate reduction is 93% even while population increased by 70%.

      Now, the paper concludes that “it is not possible to determine whether the change in firearm deaths can be attributed to the gun law reforms”, which is a fair scientific statement as befits a legit publication. But as correlations go, a 93% relative reduction in annual rate of gun massacres is a pretty compelling one. As an island nation, NZ has more in common with Australia than to the other jurisdictions your link used for comparison. Maybe that’s why some locals don’t seem too bothered by it.

      Of course, it’s a different animal in these parts. So maybe say “what works in Australia won’t work here”. But to suggest that it didn’t work in Australia is gun lobby wishful thinking.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @S. Cheung

        Thanks for an informative post entirely on the subject. If someone below says something you disagree with, I hope you will respond in the same spirit — say on the subject, and avoid attacking them personally. Even if you think you’d only be giving them a taste of their own medicine or, since they disagree with you them must be stupid or evil or dishonest, even then, rise above their small mindedness and show us the forbearance we can all take as an example of how a superior thinker behaves. Teach by example.

        • S. Cheung says

          As I’ve said, I match tones. I don’t intend to start it, nor will I tolerate any of it. That’s not gonna change.
          I’m not seeking to be considered a “superior thinker”, nor would I proclaim any such capacity on topics broached here that are entirely outside of my training.
          Do unto others is a pretty darn good example, I would think.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @S. Cheung

            If we always ‘match tone’ to the lowest common denominator then it just keeps spiraling downwards and we may as well be Twitter. I hope to convince you that taking the higher road is always the right thing to do, because then things might spiral upwards. Remember that when someone disagrees with us, we will automatically tend to see them in a negative light, it take practice to avoid that. Yes, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

            Oh and don’t worry about being outside your training. As the old saying goes, an educated person should be able to converse intelligently on any subject. That’s superior thinking, and you are capable of it, if you’d just stop getting into troll-level snipping matches. When you do make a point, it is well worth reading, but the snipping is not.

            “I don’t intend to start it, nor will I tolerate any of it”

            You know the legend of the Hatfields and McCoys? Neither side could remember who really started it, but neither side was willing to let the feud die, so people died instead. Better to let things go.

      • @ S. Cheung

        As an Australian I assure you all our strict gun laws achieved was to transfer guns from law abiding citizens, to criminals.

        Today a criminal (including terrorists) only need an old shotgun and a few bullets to take the country to its knees.

        • S. Cheung says

          Are you able to provide Aussie public polling info on the state of your gun control regulations, if such exists?
          And are there publicly available and contemporary data on “gun crime”? It seems clear, as I linked to earlier, that gun massacre (as previously described wrt the threshold of victim numbers per event) is now exceedingly rare, unless there have been a flood of such events since May 2018 that I hadn’t heard about. However, I concede I did not look up gun crime numbers in general for the last 5 years.

          • S Cheung

            Actually we don’t have those records. But if we live here we Do know what happens every day. Drug dealers and out-law motorcycle gangs have guns.

            Most citizens do not and if they do are restricted to using them at a riffle range, or pest elimination on their own farm. Use of a firearm for self defense is just as illegal as using one in a murder.

            A few years ago in the Lindt Shop (Lindt sell non-halal certified chocolate) an Islamic terrorist literally stopped the country by besieging the shop with a very primitive and illegally purchased non -automatic riffle.

            When the population has no guns there is literally no fear of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

      • It can only stand to reason that if you remove guns you remove gun violence. As a gun owner myself (including a modern rifle) this should be a point we can all agree on but also almost entirely dismiss for being so woefully insufficient on several levels, and in a marketplace far more technologically advanced and globalized than it was just 20 year ago. Whatever miracle took place in Australia seems to suggest a litany of factors few other countries on earth are likely to share, and dumb luck may be one of them. I still suspect Sam Harris’ “Riddle of the Gun” essay is one of our best takes on the American problem.

        But more to the point, Shermer gets right the importance of understanding radicalism like this, which only seems to be a problem when the terrorist is a white western male. We make what looks like a short leap from “maximally reprehensible” to “pure evil”, and it’s like, what’s to understand? How dare we even consider understanding? Okay, fair enough, there’s nothing pleasant about this. Yet with a suspect of any other color we mine grievances and motives for something tenable and human and we’re extremely careful with our attributions. And as well we should be. One wonders if we can get there with white men, too, or if we’ll continue to place all our faith in banishment, censorship, and anonymization.

    • Stephanie says

      I tried to find the raw statistics on gun crime in Australia recently, but perhaps unsurprisingly they removed all statistics from before the gun buyback from government websites.

      • Ron S says

        Stephanie – not exactly that, but look up “List of massacres in Australia” on Wikipedia …

    • Ron S says

      Furthermore, if one looks at a full list of mass killings in Australia, they continued – there was just less use of guns.

    • @ Ozzie Pete,

      They needed to censor the manifesto-

      A) So the media and major political parties could wrongly describe him as “right -wing” to smear anyone right of Stalin. Whilst ignoring he was an ego – fascist (Green) who admired communist countries .

      B) Because he clearly outlined how media and governments would respond. And low and behold they are following his predictions to the letter.

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  2. Andrew Worth says

    Regarding Whitcoulls I suspect their great gesture is all about getting publicity, any publicity. The book store chain is under considerable pressure from Internet book sellers and I doubt many people interested in buying 12 Rules would be silly enough to pay the higher price to get it from Whitcoulls, so their very public pulling of Peterson’s book is probably intended to appeal to their customers of mediocre intellect – which would be most of their regular customers.

    • Alan Appel says

      With the announcement today that Twelve Rules is now back on sale, Whitcoulls managed to get both virtue signaling and profits from the sales of the book. Is this a marketing strategy that we are likely to see more of in the future? Thanks.

      • Andrew Worth says

        I doubt the switch in position was due to some cunning plan, more likely Whitcoulls top management worked out that their original decision was dumb.

  3. Banning Peterson and PewDiePie is asinine and counter productive because it gives legitimacy to extremists who have been banned by treating people with obviously reasonable views in a similar fashion. They extremists can claim victimhood and unreasonable censorship more credibly.

    I don’t think a strong belief in evil supports grossly evil acts so much as a strong belief in an ideologically defined good. If we ignore psychopaths then it is only by convincing themselves that they are performing good that people can perform grossly evil acts.

    I don’t think the article addresses what should be the real discussion regarding censorship which is whether it is justified and effective if applied ot genuine extremists and what the actual limist should be. Peterson is a poor example in this case because he has not urged violence or expressed racist views. Personally I think whatever criteria is applied must be clearly defensible becaus eotherwise extremists can claim to be persecuted an dtheir views are being supressed. Therefore I think any speech which urges violence or illegality should be banned and that which is clearly seriously defamatory. Those who have a record of expressing such views can likewise be censored but otherwise speech shoudl be free. I am interested in a response from those who think that no speech should be censored or those who think more shoudl be and why.

    Banning assault rifles and similar weapons which are not needed for activities such as hunting seems sensible and difficult to argue against the loss of freedom is extremely minor and if it does no more than reduce the deaths in some future attacks, it seems worthwhile. The essence of this decision and decisions about censorship should be balancing the benefits against the costs.

    • @AJ

      Like they ban the passages of the koran that get quoted by Islamic terrorists – not?

    • Thylacine says

      Shermer is over-thinking it. The progressives wanted to ban Peterson long before the massacre in NZ; they were just looking for an excuse to do so. Any excuse will do, but the more emotive it is the more likely they will be to stampede the sheeple into action. Never let a tragedy go to waste.

  4. Victoria says

    “Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was rightly praised for her response to the murders,…”

    Ardern’s response was shallow virtue-signalling and authoritarian measures.

    First, Ardern tried to ‘own’ Donald Trump by admonishing him about “love for all Muslim communities,” in response to his simply asking how the U.S. could help.

    One can see the creep of neo-Marxist nomenclature into ostensibly liberal-left views. Why “communities” and not simply “Muslims” as individuals? A group focus is the antithesis of liberalism’s emphasis on the individual.

    Further, Muslim “communities” includes (at least until last week) ISIS, the Iranian theocracy, Saudi Arabia, and other reactionary or authoritarian Islamic communities, which is exactly why it’s such ill-thought-out rhetoric.

    New Zealand responded with criminal penalties (10-14 years potential incarceration as I recall) for possessing the murderer’s video or manifesto, that had already been freely available on the Internet.

    There are good faith arguments for banning public display of such a video or showing it to minors, but such ridiculously draconian threats for merely possessing it is part of the exact mentality leading to the insane Jordan Peterson ban.

    I recall reading parts of the Unabomber’s manifesto in the 1990’s. I didn’t even occur to me that a government in a Western society would ban such a thing. I was taking American values for granted, but New Zealand’s action is nothing less than criminalizing merely reading ideas. Even more perversely though, one can request permission from the NZ government to read the manifesto and buy it for $100.

    And of course New Zealand further responded by a kneejerk encroachment on the fundamental Anglo-American liberty of gun ownership. That’s a hallmark of pseudo-liberal statism.

    Finally, the concession to Islamic fundamentalism by non-Muslim women donning the hijab in solidarity, excepting of course voluntarily going to a Muslim place of worship, was typical of our global elite and the societies they foster.

    So Ardern did exactly what the terrorist wanted, further eroded civil liberties, and a Quilette writer praises her with a bit of virtue-signalling on his own part. Claire Lehmann, Quillette’s Editor-in-Chief, also praised Ardern’s “leadership” on Twitter. And these are the people who turn around and think they can defend Peterson or free speech in general.

    • Sean Corcoran says

      I totally agree with Victoria’s comments. I also as an Orthodox Christian disagree with the authors haughty dismissal of an active force for evil, as I think CS Lewis once observed, the forces of darkness greatest trick in the modern era has been to convince so many “intellectuals” of their non-existence.

      • Hutch says

        An act or force of evil is totally dependent on subjective perspective. “Active forces of evil” can therefore be dismissed as nothing more than poetic or convenient expression.

        • Andrew Roddy says

          If a force of evil could be proved to be actual I suppose then it could be similarly dismissed as ‘nothing more than’ actual. Except in this case the absurdity might seem more obvious to some.

        • Tome708 says

          Murdering 50 people would be an example Hutch. NOT SUBJECTIVE

          • Kim says

            Indeed, murdering 50 worshipping people for no other reason but that they belong to a religious group is evil. I mean, if that’s not evil, then nothing is evil.

          • peanut gallery says

            If you’re an Eco-Terrorist you just removed 50 carbon emitters.

          • Hutch says

            If it was 50 pedophiles, religious extremists, enemy army combatants or nickleback fans i would not consider the loss in my view to be “evil”. The devil is in the details and relative to your own vested interests.

            Even if everyone person on earth shares a view on an act being “evil” its still subjective. Its just lucky that everyone’s on the same page and their interests aligned.

            good and evil are concepts used to express peoples views. Its nothing more.

    • Andrew Worth says

      Ardern probably said “Muslim communities” as a way of excluding Muslim terror groups, which most people don’t see as “communities” as such. I’ve no doubt that if she’d said “Muslims” as individuals you’d have seen the opportunity to flip your criticism 180 degrees and would have criticized her for including all Muslims, even members of ISIS.

      I agree there has been a huge knee-jerk over reaction with a ridiculous level of censorship.

      In terms of changes to gun laws I think there is a case for tightening the laws which at present do not restrict the number of firearms a person can have nor does the current system have a way to track the transfer of firearms between people, and anyone in the country without a history of violence, citizen or not, can get a firearms license and start their collection.

      There is no objectively morally correct solution to weapons ownership laws, if there’re lots of firearms in a society (other things being equal) there will be more firearms deaths but restricting their availability is a restriction on peoples freedom. Like everything else it comes down to the opinions of the voters in a democracy.

      • Victoria says

        “I’ve no doubt…”

        Actually I would take no issue with such a statement, bromide though ti may be, anymore than I would object to a Christian saying “love thy neighbor” even if their neighbor happens to be a child molester or some other reprobate person. So your arrogant presumption about me was wrong.

        I would have still commented on Ardern using the tragedy to try to dunk on Trump, but from the angle of that being how Trump himself often behaves (although not in this tragedy), which undermines the establishment freak out that Trump as some aberration relative to their own inclinations.

        “Like everything else it comes down to the opinions of the voters in a democracy.”

        This why Americans created a republic, so that mob rule couldn’t deprive people of rights. The right to self-defense being in Blackstone’s commentaries the foundation of all other rights.

        • Stephanie says

          Ardern’s donning the hijab (and encouraging others to, and putting the call to prayer on public radio) was in extremely poor taste, particularly since it was only a few days after a human rights advocate was lashed 168 times and sent to prison for decades for her defense of women who refused to wear the hijab.

          If the goal is to have less anti-Muslim radicalisation, a good place to start would be to halt the Islamification of your society, not propel it a hundred steps forward. As if people truly concerned with this would give back their guns now!

        • Andrew Worth says

          @ Victoria
          I’ve still no doubt

          “Mob rule” America is immune to mob rule? The US has at least as spectacular history of mob rule as many nations without a constitution, the country seems to lurch from one witch hunt to the next, starting with the witch hunts, then native American hunts, then hunting escaped slaves, hunting down confederates, hunting down fascist, hunting down communists , it never seems to stop, it’s only a question of which group gets picked next.

          • Victoria says

            @Andrew Worth

            To have doubt, you’d have to have some humility. You’ve made your arrogance and presumption quite clear. You don’t have any better grasp on my values than you do on U.S. history.

            “…hunting down confederates, hunting down fascist, hunting down communists , it never seems to stop,”

            Confederates tried to tear the U.S. apart in order to continue to enslave their fellow humans (and were actually the same people who wanted to hunt down escaped slaves too).

            Fascists caused the greatest armed conflict in human history.

            Communists caused mass death on a scale so large in the 20th century that it surpassed the death toll of World War II.

            If those are your chosen ‘victims,’ it it raises the question of whether you’re just another cheap anti-American bigot.

            In any case, no polities have maintained the rule of law like the English-speaking ones, which isn’t a claim of perfection. Nor have the English-speaking peoples lived under authoritarian rule since Cromwell died. The right of self-defense, only made viable by firearm ownership, is central to that.

          • Andrew Worth says

            @ Victoria, your contention is that being a republic means that in America mob rule cannot deprive people of rights, but rather than support that contention you’ve resorted to justifying the mob rule that has occurred. The US had a civil war because the constitution in 1861 was explicit in stating that slavery was legal and constitutional, the Southern slave owners had as much right to feel the protection of their rights that were written in the constitution as gun owners have today, so what was their reaction to this betrayal? Secession from the United States. Their reaction to that betrayal is mirrored by the feelings of gun owners of today, if it wasn’t A Constitutional Right, there would have been more room for discussion in the 1860’s, with people less wedded to matters of constitutional rights and more concerned with the views of the living rather than the dead. The constitution was a line in the sand, crossing that line meant a civil war that cost around three quarters of a million lives.

            You point out that the failures of communism cost millions of lives, apparently in an attempt to justify the mob rule persecution of US communists and communist sympathizers in the ’40’s and ’50’s, which was nothing but the persecution of people for thought crimes, crimes for having opinions that were contrary to what was acceptable by the mob, Where was the protection from being a republic then?

            Constitutions have the same failings as religious scripture but worse, they become core values for those that benefit from the conservatism that they impose, which leads to deeper emotive entrenchment of positions. So instead of a society changing in a evolutionary way we get a build up of pressure and eventually a greater social division with a more violent resolution in favour of the progressive forces.

            I say a constitution can be worse than religious scripture because it is drafted and written with the intent of avoiding internal inconsistencies, unlike The Hebrew Bible, the Quran and the New Testament, which each have so much to say on any given topic that we can still read the same Holy Books of all three Abahamic religions today as our forefathers did centuries ago and draw totally different conclusions about the meaning of our religions to past generations by picking out whichever bits best suit the times we’re in, ignoring the bits we don’t like, such as the approval of slavery in the Hebrew Bible and the crime of wealth in the New Testament.

            Today in America we can see that the Constitution is at the core of social division in many areas, a democracy is supposed to work through the system having trust in the wisdom of the average voter, not so in America. The US is becoming the most acrimoniously divided of all Western nations because conservatives can shout “It’s My Constitutional Right!!”, ignoring popular opinions, without the constitution to support what are becoming positions at odds with reality conservatives would be more willing to adapt to the times, as is the case in other modern democracies.

          • Jim Gorman says

            Your statement ,

            “The US had a civil war because the constitution in 1861 was explicit in stating that slavery was legal and constitutional, ”

            is not correct. The Constitution in no way explicitly stated that slavery was the law of the land. That was left up to the individual states to decide and did not address the legality of slavery. Did the Constitution mention slavery? Not by word, although it did address some issues that affected the federal government and consequently recognized that slavery existed.

            As to “bearing arms”. In the United States this is considered a natural right of an individual that is granted by the Creator, not by the government. This means the government must have an overwhelming need to infringe on this right before the government can restrict it. This is the same for all of the first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Not many governments around the world have this restriction and most of the rights enjoyed by individuals in these countries are granted by the government. Since the government grants the liberties, they can also take them away.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Jim Gorman:
            Section 2
            “3: No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.”

            So the US Constitution required slaves escaping across state lines be returned to slavery, If that’s not an explicit endorsement of the practice of slavery it’s damn close. (hey, in the US they used to spell “labour” correctly)

          • Andrew Worth says

            Jim Gorman, I agree I overstepped with the words of mine that you quote. (“The US had a civil war because the constitution in 1861 was explicit in stating that slavery was legal and constitutional, ”)

      • Jim Gorman says

        Andrew –> It’s not only about freedom. If a law abiding citizen (an individual) can not have a weapon to protect themselves and their family, how does one morally justify the government having weapons to defend the individuals in the country? That is in essence putting the state into a more important position than the individual. That is what communism, Naziism, Fascism, etc do also. The result is the state justifying the means to an end regardless of how the individual is treated That’s not how I want to live. Once started, all kinds of things will be done by the state to enhance the state.

        • Andrew Worth says

          Jim Gorman, New Zealand and the US are in very different situations, handguns are illegal in NZ other than for higher category license holders (for things like competitive target shooting) , and their use in crime is also rare. Whatever the weapons available if you can expect parity between criminals and the general population everyone is probably safer with less firearms available. In New Zealand, an island nation with a small population and hard to smuggle firearms into, parity between criminals and the population with tighter gun restrictions is more easily attained than in the US.

          “how does one morally justify the government having weapons to defend the individuals in the country?”
          In NZ the police don’t routinely carry firearms (though they have them in the boot of the patrol car). Most Kiwi’s like it that way.

          With the Tarrant murders I think there was an obvious fault in the laws, apart from the magazine capacity the weapons he used were legal, but magazines aren’t that hard to modify (take a legal 7 round mag, chop off the bottom, fold some metal and put in a larger spring, weld the extension on) and when the legal capacity was reduced 2 – 3 decades ago I don’t think there was any effort to buy back larger capacity magazines, so there are still a lot of them around, also New Zealand and the US, have been the only Western countries with no system to track gun ownership, so there’s no way to know who’s got what guns or what large capacity mags.

          “Once started, all kinds of things will be done by the state to enhance the state.”

          As countries get richer the role of the state grows (Wagner’s Law), that’s just the way it is, call it human nature, as we become better off we’re less concerned about the state pilfering our income. If you’re worried about the state getting out of control and becoming fascist, remember that Hitler was democratically elected, in a democracy the peoples best defense against excess state power is voting wisely, not having a gun. If a country ends up with a totalitarian government the best an armed population can hope for, judging by global events, is a very bloody civil war.

          • Victoria says

            @Andrew Worth

            Your willful historical ignorance and anti-American bigotry are nicely encapsulated by this passage:

            “You point out that the failures of communism cost millions of lives, apparently in an attempt to justify the mob rule persecution of US communists and communist sympathizers in the ’40’s and ’50’s, which was nothing but the persecution of people for thought crimes, crimes for having opinions that were contrary to what was acceptable by the mob,…”

            The Korean War, massive Soviet espionage undertaken by treasonous American citizens, and spreading Communist disinformation in media (e.g. journalists covering up Stalinist and Maoist crimes) are more than mere ‘differences of opinion.’

            The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, which seems to upset you.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Again all you’re doing is defending the mob, in a free country people are allowed to have political views that are at odds with the norm, now you’re justifying persecution of people for exercising the right to free speech. But of course as you should be aware, I’m not talking about the few people that may have been involved in propaganda, I’m talking about the many people who were persecuted for going to meetings or being members of the communist party. People who were never involved in any espionage or even prosecuted for involvement in espionage.

            In labeling me an anti-American bigot, what you’re doing is the equivalent of pulling out the race card, I point out evidence that contradicts your claim, rather than seriously address the evidence you throw strawmen and resort to ad hominems by accusing me of bigotry.

        • Andrew Roddy says

          Surely, Jim Gorman, by this logic an ordinary citizen should have the right to bear tactical nuclear missiles. Are you not just attempting a rationalisation of a cultural fixation on gun ownership that is more axiomatic or even religious than rational?

    • S. Cheung says

      There is no “fundamental” American anything…on NZ soil, or anywhere outside the 50 states. Just as NZ restrictions on anything have no force here.

      • Victoria says

        Actually there is a shared and fundamental basis to the Anglo-American tradition. William Blackstone in fact articulated these issues when the Kingdom of Great Britain was the only English-speaking nation. The Founding Fathers’ discourse on the militia only underscores that foundation.

        Your ignorance of that or detachment from that philosophical basis of liberty is exactly the problem at hand.

        • S. Cheung says

          Victoria –
          In general, tradition can be useful, and you’re free to abide by it, but it’s hardly mandatory, and in the vast vast majority of cases not codified.
          Our courts have accepted this guy’s 18th century British thought processes as a basis for the constitution. And his thoughts on guns and self-preservation may have been a precursor for 2a. But New Zealanders didn’t go that route at any time. Why should they be obligated to do so now? In fact, no one else in the world did, or does, to the extent of the US in this realm.

          Besides, any traditions that existed before are now superceded by New Zealand law, put in place by people elected by New Zealanders. It is bizarre that anyone would suggest that New Zealanders should somehow be duty-bound to Anglo-anything anything.

          I wonder how welcoming you would be in the reverse situation.

          • Victoria says

            @S. Cheung

            I’m not saying they are “obliged” to do anything. I’m just pointing out that they are hubristically ignoring the foundations of their political system. Humans often make bad choices for well-intentioned reasons. It’s part of human nature.

            I think the loss of cultural confidence in the English-speaking world during and after the 1960’s (before I was even born) has left many people with little appreciation of the freedoms they enjoy and who are otherwise distracted by consumerism.

            I could be wrong. Maybe things will be OK because broader systemic changes have made the fall of Western-style governments less likely. On the other hand, much of our recent success rests on unsustainable debt-spending and questionable environmental stewardship.

    • Ray Andrews says


      “(10-14 years potential incarceration as I recall) for possessing the murderer’s video or manifesto”

      Honestly? Nuts, now I want to read the thing. Otherwise I’d not waste my time.

      • Andrew Worth says

        @Ray Andrews

        The censor has ruled that the manifesto of “objectionable material”, on the face of it as Tarrant’s manifesto arguably “promotes or encourages criminal acts or acts of terrorism” it does fall into that category, but for objectionable material it’s “up to 10 years” and “up to 14 years,” for things including material featuring the sadosexual murder of children.

        If the police found someone in possession I doubt they’d prosecute, if they did the categorization of Tarrant’s manifesto would first be challenged by a lawyer, and the punishment would I think likely be discharge without conviction for anyone just reading it out of curiosity.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @Andrew Worth

          Thanks. Still it sounds like one would be taking a risk. I’ve never read one of these lunatic manifestos, like the one that butcher up in Norway wrote. I still feel I should read that on principal, but I probably won’t, I’m depressed enough.

          • jimhaz says

            I downloaded it after reading excerpts on Twitter and noticing similarities with my own views about high immigration. I have not bothered to actually read it though and probably wont get around to it.

          • @ Ray Andrews

            Read the manifesto!

            It explains a lot. I might also add in the tiny window before all truth was shut down, his Australian employor when he lived in Australia told of him leaving his job aged 19, to travel the world. On at least one travel visa application he described himself as “a retired 23 year old. ” In the manifesto he ascribes his wealth to his own shewd investments ? He believes that his terrorism, like the terrorism of Mandela would be like the world’s reaction to Mandala and he will be in future decades considered a hero. He made his decision when overcome by tears for hours, whilst pulled over in a hire car beside a mass cemetery of fallen soldiers who had died to preserve a France that he felt had been invaded. He wondered why nobody fought back against the current invasion. He realised that he could.

      • Mich says

        people get way less for possessing thousands of images of rape and torture of children for others gratification. They should be getting more than this… A manifesto? yet every other ‘manifesto’ of a mad person is freely available.

    • @ Victoria

      I agree entirely. I don’t live in New Zealand, but we are unable to read or publicly discuss the manifesto either as New Zealanders may read our comments?

      If it costs $100 in NZ to read it, I wonder what a printed version you can burn is worth on eBay??

    • Sean says

      “Ardern’s response was shallow virtue-signalling and authoritarian measures.”

      I completely agree about this assessment. This is what I thought when I saw it.

      Here is an article from Reuters that discusses a different take on the headscarf from the one expressed y the fawning press:

      ” A campaign by New Zealand women including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to don headscarves as a sign of solidarity with Muslim women after the nation’s mosque shootings has divided opinion over whether the gesture was a help or a hindrance.

      Ardern won widespread praise this month for putting on a black headscarf when meeting members of the Muslim community after 50 people were killed by a suspected white supremacist at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

      But the move sparked an online backlash as critics pointed out that women in conservative Muslim countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia were forced to cover up for the sake of modesty or risk public rebuke, fines or arrest.

      Women’s rights advocates said it was a sensitive issue for many women campaigning globally against the obligatory wearing of headscarves and other clothing in a fight against oppression.

      “When we see non-Muslim women wear the hijab in solidarity of Muslim women it is very ironic and contradictory because our experience with the hijab is not empowering or uplifting in the political sense,” said Maryam Lee, a Muslim women’s rights advocate and author in Malaysia who chooses to not wear a hijab.

      “I wish she (Ardern) hadn’t (wore it) but I understand where she is coming from because she is not a Muslim and not from a Muslim majority country.”

      Women across New Zealand donned headscarves last Friday as part of a Head Scarf for Harmony campaign started by a doctor who heard about a woman too scared to go out as she felt her headscarf would make her a target for terrorism.

      “Why is hijab a ‘show of solidarity’ symbol for New Zealand terror attack victims,” wrote Twitter user @RamaNewDelhi. “A key part of my feminism is to question shackles that religion imposes selectively on women.”

      Lee, who has written a book called “Unveiling Choice” about the hijab, said women in Malaysia opting not to wear headscarves would now receive more harassment and pressure to wear the hijab by Muslims citing Ardern’s actions”

  5. It’s darkly amusing that Tarrant’s invocation of Pewdiepie has led to campaigns against the streamer. The manifesto makes clear that accelerating cultural conflict is exactly what Tarrant is trying to accomplish. His hope is that by making the culture war sufficiently fierce he will lead to events whereby those sympathetic to an ethnostate come in physical conflict with the establishment. Bizarrely namedropping Pewdiepie, as well as others like Candace Owens (whose views he said were too extreme, even for him) is part of the strategy. And it is simply being lapped up (which isn’t to say I think the conflict Tarrant envisages will ever get as explosive as Tarrant wants, short of something like an economic crisis destabilising all of society, anyway).

  6. Daath says

    There is a vicious circle operating on immigration, Islam and racism. West’s profoundly flawed and on occasion naively idealistic policies inflame minority-related problems. This feeds racism, which after all isn’t a mental illness transmitted by hate speech, but an excessive, generalizing and on occasion dehumanizing reaction to genuine issues. The racism then triggers stomach-churning revulsion in many people, who promptly lash out against anything related to it, including discussion of those real issues. This makes it much harder to reform our flawed and naive policies, which inflames the issues, which feeds the racism…

    Stopping the cycle seems like a pipe dream at this point. Damage control is probably all that can be done, and often it’s hard to feel any optimism about that either, since there are so many people enclosed in their bubbles, impervious to any efforts. Still, even though I can’t beat them, I won’t join them.

  7. the gardner says

    I’m going to be the contrarian here and ask this question—- is Europe experiencing an influx of Muslims from Africa and the Middle East or not? Have there been problems as a result? Have aspects of European society been challenged? Have Europeans experienced an increase in crime? Have they been asked to move aside and accommodate Muslim culture and practices? Yes to all of the above. It has been predicted that by 2050 Europe will be a majority Muslim country. Are Europeans just supposed to stand by and watch as their churches are converted to mosques and sharia is written into their laws? Is it racist or Islamophobic to feel that one’s own culture and society are worth standing up for? Some countries have started to push back and demand that Muslims learn the language and adapt to local cultural norms. Good. One does not need to resort to violence as the Australian loon did. But I reject the suggestion made by the author that the idea that defending one’s culture and society against appropriation is somehow racist.

    • Ana says

      I completely agree, the gardener. Mr Shermer thinks he is a great sceptic (I’ve come across his narrowmindedness elsewhere), but doesn’t even.seem to be aware that there are both EU and UN official documents, proposing population replacemenr for Europe.

    • David of Kirkland says

      If wanting to separate people by race/ethnicity, or by culture/religion, is inherently evil, how can separating them on the myth of “nation” be any better? Us vs. Them is just being redefined on where the division takes place.
      Or, perhaps Us vs. Them is normal humanity? Must we resist human nature to be good, and it’s evil to live by it?

    • S. Cheung says

      I think your position is hardly contrarian on this board.
      I completely agree with you on the point of integration. I would put particular emphasis on your point about immigrants learning the local language. When in Rome, as they say…but it’s hard to do if you don’t know what the locals are talking about. I think proficiency in the local language unlocks the possibility of effective integration. It certainly worked for me…even if individual results may vary.

      But I think you mischaracterize Shermer’s overarching thesis. I don’t think he’s addressing “defending one’s culture”. I scanned the article again and I think he’s actually silent on that point. He comes down against restriction on thought, or on speech. In fact, he accepts hate speech, because he feels the benefit of free speech to counteract and deconstruct the myths espoused by hate speech outweigh the allowance of hate speech itself in public discourse. I would tend to agree.

      He does label the shooter’s speech as hate speech, and he does label the shooter as a white supremacist. And he does condemn both. I don’t think that’s egregious in this case. I don’t think the shooter is merely defending his culture, in words or in deeds.

      • @ S. Cheung

        Have you read the manifesto?

        Have you spent a few weeks or months in Europe, or Australia lately?

        If you read the manifesto, he clearly defines his actions and predicts how the governments, media and internet reaction will result in civil war.

        He predicts that his people will win the civil war and in 24 years he will be a world hero.

        • S. Cheung says

          I’ve never lived in Europe or Australia, which would be the only way to claim some understanding of how locals perceive their challenges and struggles.
          But I wouldn’t wager too heavily on the predictions of guys like this, or of others with similar levels of insanity.

    • Peter Kriens says

      Europe is neither a country nor will any country be a Muslim majority. Pew did a report on this and the worst case scenario is in Sweden, about 30% worst case in 2050. (Best case is about 20% I think.) Which is imho awful but a long way from having a Muslim majority in Europe.
      That said you do raise an interesting question if your genes and culture have value to you when you’re no longer around. Difficult question that we need to be treating carefully since assuming they are superior is never far away and that idea is quite well proven to be disastrous.

      • K. Dershem says

        “How much Europe’s Muslim population actually will grow over the next three decades depends on future migration and birthrates. Pew created projections for three possible scenarios.

        If all migration to Europe stopped, the Muslim population could grow to 7.4 percent by the year 2050. One reason for that growth is that European Muslims are younger than other Europeans by 13 years, on average. They also have more children — an average one more child per woman.

        If no more refugees were admitted into European countries as of mid-2016, but immigration continued at its current pace, the Muslim population could more than double to 11.2 percent.

        If refugees and immigrants continued to come to Europe in similar numbers with a similar religious makeup from now until 2050, the Muslim population could nearly triple to 14 percent.”

    • Alex Russell says

      re: It has been predicted that by 2050 Europe will be a majority Muslim country.

      Where or by whom has this prediction been made? I’ve been unable to find any credible figures predicting a Muslim population over 15% in Europe bu 2050.

      I suppose it is a Nation’s (or Union’s) right to pass what ever immigration laws they like, but the law should apply to all immigrants, not just Muslims.

      • Stephanie says

        Pew groups all of Europe into one for this study, which obscures the situation on the front lines. Countries like Sweden and France already are about 8-9 % Muslims, so you can add 5% to Pew’s average estimates right off the bat. That puts the population of France and Sweden at 15-20% Muslim in 30 years (depending on whether asylum claims continue as they have been; it is politically unrealistic that Europe will go for a Muslim ban).

        It’s also important to note that Pew’s analysis assumes that all those not eligible for asylum will be removed. Considering over half of asylum applications are rejected, and tracking down illegals for deportation tends to be extremely difficult, it would be most realistic to consider Pew’s numbers a minimum estimate. The Muslim population could easily be double what is expected.

        Another factor is the gender imbalance. Among migrants 14-34, 72% are male. Either women will have to be brought in for them, or they will mate with native women, and the children almost certainly raised Muslim. Pew doesn’t mention anything about the gender imbalance, so it’s not clear that they’ve taken into account that a significant proportion of European women will have Muslim children.

        Pew also doesn’t consider the possibility that migration rates increase, which is most likely. Surveys in Muslim countries demonstrate a very high proportion of people say they want to migrate, as high as 80% in some sub-Saharan states. Typically young men migrate ahead of their families, so the influx of millions of young men likely heralds a further flux of parents, siblings, wives, uncles, grandparents, whatever they can get away with as soon as their own situation is adequately secure.

        Add to that the ever-growing tax burden on native Europeans further depressing their birthrate, continued over-education and job insecurity, and feminist ideals which tell young women to choose career over family, and a rapidly rising Muslim birthrate will be matched by a continually dropping native birthrate. Of course the government will take that to mean more migration is necessary.

        Sweden and France, possibly Germany, will likely be Muslim-majority in 30 years, may 50 if we’re lucky. At this point it is just a matter of time, and for us young people it will be in our lifetimes.

      • @ Alex Russell

        Spend eight weeks in budget motels in Paris or London and you will come back convinced.

        Under medieval law, London the home of the monarch has a Muslim mayor. In the middle ages this means it’s been conquered, ironically by people still living in the dark ages.

        This is the way the world ends not with a bang but a whimper,
        TS Elliot.

  8. E. Olson says

    The vast majority of “evil” individuals who commit terrible crimes are mentally ill. Most are well known to family members, neighbors, teachers, councilors, girl-friends, co-workers who frequently report to authorities their fears that their crazy son, brother, or acquaintance might do something violent that will endanger themselves or others. Attempts to get them help are thwarted by laws that make it virtually impossible to involuntarily treat or institutionalize mentally ill people, even when they are writing crazy manifestos or collecting firearms and ammunition, and not surprisingly most crazy people don’t think they are crazy and need treatment or institutionalization. Locking up the violence prone crazies will almost inevitably mean locking up some people who are merely crazy and unlikely to commit mass violence, which understandably concerns civil rights advocates. Meanwhile advocates for the mentally ill typically worry more about stigmatizing the mentally ill rather than the safety of the general public, and fight all attempts to make it easier to institutionalize them.

    Thus since it seems too difficult to fight the PC forces and actually address the true source of most mass shootings, we resort to broad brush efforts such as banning guns or banning books or banning videos. Yet unless we can empirically demonstrate that “evil” books or videos are the cause of mental illness and associated violence, it makes no sense to ban them. It also makes little sense to ban guns, because crazy people will always find other ways to fulfill their desire to kill, and is reducing the body count from 49 to 12 by limiting crazy people to revolvers, shotguns, and knives really worth taking civil liberties away from the 99.9+% who will never be mass-shooters and who may in fact stop a mass-shooter? Remember, when seconds count the police are minutes away (and then may still wait for the SWAT team).

    • David of Kirkland says

      Simply not true except in retrospect, perhaps. Many killers were “quiet” people, or “never in a million years did I think…” The vast majority of mentally ill do not commit evil acts. To pretend that you can identify these mentally ill people in advance is fantasy. Was McVeigh mentally ill so that you’d incarcerate him? How about the Unabomer? Kissinger? Osama Bin Laden? Assad? Trump? All those teen shooters in schools?
      What’s crazy is thinking you know about bad actors before they commit bad acts, and when they commit bad acts, it’s because they are crazy.

      • E. Olson says

        David – sorry but you are very wrong. The Unabomber’s brother was the one that turned the cops onto him because he recognized the crazy rantings of the manifesto. The Pulse nightclub shooter’s father warned the police about his crazy son prior to the shooting. The Sandy Hook school shooter was recognized as crazy and some suggest his rampage was set off my his mother’s attempt to institutionalize him. The Parkland school shooter was also a known crazy to local authorities. The Blacksburg, Virginia shooter was also recognized as crazy, as was the Aurora, Colorado theater shooter. The Fort Hood shooter was known to be a crazy Jihadist, but the “diversity is our strength” army command refused to take action until after he went on his rampage. A friend of the Charleston Church shooter tried to hide a gun from him because he thought he was crazy, and the Sutherland Springs Church shooter wasn’t supposed to be able to buy a gun because of mental health issues, but the military failed to do the necessary paperwork to put him on the gun ban list. The Norwegian mass shooter was also known by his family and friends to be mentally unstable. Those are just a few I know off the top of my head.

        In all these cases friends, family, and co-workers were aware that the soon to be shooter/killer was mentally unstable and even plotting their shoot, but either didn’t act on their fear or were ignored by authorities or authorities were stymied by laws the did not allow involuntary institutionalization.

    • S. Cheung says

      E. Olson,
      I agree with the first 90% of your comment.
      Recognizing the “12” might be randomly chosen, 37 fewer victims and families is still a win, even if an incomplete one.
      I know about the case of the Texas church shooter being stopped by the good guy with a gun. Have there been others? Where were the good guys in the other notorious incidents? How many active shooters have been stopped by non-police good guys while in the act?
      I realize there may be a theoretical argument that perhaps the possibility of numerous “good guys” concealed carrying in plain sight might deter someone who would otherwise go on an insane and murderous rampage, but I can’t think of a way to test that or to quantify the effect. And I also wonder how much it would truly deter, since many/most of these guys seem to buy it in a hail of police fire at the end (Vegas, Pulse), or shooting themselves (sandy hook, Columbine), anyway (Parkland and this guy go against this trend, if you will).

      • Stephanie says

        S. Cheung, criminals being deterred by gun ownership rates is exemplified in the occurance of “hot” robbery in the US and the UK. Criminals are far more likely to forcibly enter a home while people are inside in the UK than in the US, because they have little reason to think the home owner will have a gun and thus be able to stop them dead in their tracks.

        Another mass shooting prevented (before it started) that I’m aware of was at a Draw Mohammed event, again in Texas. A few years ago a wannabe jihadist thought he’d shoot up the place, but fully expecting that reaction many people there were armed and he was shot down before he could finish saying “Allahu Akbar.”

        • S. Cheung says

          Stephanie –
          I couldn’t find anything on point comparing “armed home invasions” or even “home invasions” in US vs UK. How did you frame your search? Also, protecting your home/self defence is different from being out in public with concealed weapon/good guy.

          I was unaware of that other event. Will read about it.

          • Stephanie says

            S. Cheung, I just Googled “hot burglary US UK gun” and the first thing to come up is linked below. You might not trust the website, but it includes references to studies and surveys that you might find more credible.


            It is different being out in public, at least from a legal perspective. But I think ethically you should be able to protect yourself and your family anywhere. I think practically you could make exception for places that have armed guards (like airports).

            I agree with a point I think you made elsewhere on this forum that gun owners should be well-trained. I think it would go a long way towards national unity and individual character-building if the US (and other Western countries) had a mandatory or at least strongly encouraged military service programme for young people, like in South Korea and Israel. Learning to use a gun and survive in the wilderness should be essential skills for everyone, particularly since we live in an age where a few EMPs can break down our social fabric overnight.

        • S. Cheung says

          E. Olson –
          Thanks for those links.

          I agree gun-free zones don’t work. Obviously for very different reasons. For me, a gun free zone is simply a small island in a sea of guns. Especially when there is no screening or enforcement to ensure that all who enter are in fact “gun free”. However, the concept of a “safe” zone does work, such as the Green Zone in Kabul…although obviously not gun free for good reason, and that was a fortress.

          In the second link, if we say those 11 incidents represent the numerator, the issue remains what the denominator would have been, and that’s an unknown. Of those 11 cases dating from 2006, 4 involved people who were ex-police/off duty/armed guards, so not lay good guys. 5 were for protection of the home (a pregnant woman, a 14 year old, and a brand new widow!?! I agree it’s amazing those weren’t more publicized). So only 2 seemed to be random heroic acts by lay people in public. I’m not sure what conclusions can be drawn from that.

          • E. Olson says

            SG – thanks for the link to the original study. The 1995 study wasn’t based on 222 surveys, it was almost 5000, of which 222 reported a DGU, thus most people didn’t use a gun in self-defense as would be expected. You can certainly quibble with aspects of their method, but their main point is pretty solid in that there are certainly a lot more cases of DGU than official government statistics indicate, in large part because the official government statistics are extremely flawed, which is well described in the study. From what I know, there numbers have stood the test of time pretty well, and critic have not been able to substantially refute their estimates.

          • S. Cheung says

            E. Olson and K. Dershem –
            regarding the link to thinkprogress and the Lott study:


            Europe – 24 events, 337 dead (population 2018- 741 million from Google)
            EU – 19 events, 303 dead (population 508 million from Google)
            US – 25 events, 199 dead (population 2018- 327 million from Google)
            (E. Olson – I don’t see the basis of “strange math when the US and Europe as whole have virtually identical populations”)

            Should a gun slaughter resulting from an armed robbery count? I would think it should. If one guy assaults another at a bar (ie a crime), and one of them whips out a piece and mows down 4 bystanders, should that count? I would think it should. However, the FBI would discount the first, and I don’t know how they would categorize the second. But I’ll go with FBI, as Lott does.

            So by my math, per million population, Europe 0.032 events, 0.45 dead. EU 0.037 events, 0.60 dead. US 0.076 events, 0.61 dead. Even from Lott’s own data, from 2009-2015, index event rate 2.3X, and death rate 1.3X, in US vs Europe. Event rate 2.1X, death rate similar, for US vs EU. (I realize that I am using current population, and not population from 2009-2015. If the EU or European population has grown disproportionately and significantly faster than the US one since 2015, these index rates would make US stats look worse than they should).

            It seems clear that mass gun deaths happen more in US vs Europe as a whole, or EU as a whole. I have no idea what Lott is smoking. It does seem that more die per event in Europe (or in EU) compared to US, which seemed curious. So looking at their data, Europe (and EU) numbers were inflated by Paris (130 dead in 1 event) and Norway (67). Everything else is single digit or low doubles. So those 2 events really skew stuff. Here, no one went completely absolutely ape-shit, but 11 of 25 events had body count of 15-30. so maybe more of a pedestrian apeshittedness. However, this becomes statistically weak stuff due to small event rates, so I am just making observations and not drawing conclusions. Similarly, however, the first 2 tables on the Lott site are useless, because all of those countries that might at first glance seem more prone to mass gun events than the US have “rates” derived by single incidents, and/or rates skewed by catastrophic ones (France).

            I don’t work in this field, and couldn’t tell Lott from a hole in the ground, but that CPRC page is an embarrassment that wouldn’t sustain an onslaught from grade-school arithmetic.

        • K. Dershem says

          These are right-wing sources that rely on other right-wing sources. (The “Crime Prevention Research Center” is a anti-gun control organization founded by John Lott, whose research has been heavily criticized by mainstream scholars.) E., if you want to persuade people who don’t share your far-right ideology I’d encourage you to find peer-viewed studies that support your claims.

          • E. Olson says

            K – as usual, when you say “mainstream” you actually mean Leftist “anti-2nd amendment” scholars. Lott is the recognized scholar on gun violence in the US, and his numbers hold up to the criticisms, which are always based on including shootings in private residences or in the course of other crimes, or where guns might be present some distance away to juice up the gun zone percentages. For example, “mainstream scholars” count the Ft. Hood shooting as a gun zone because guards at the gate had guns, while Lott counts it as a gun-free zone because none of the soldiers or civilians on base were allowed to have guns and the specific location of the shooting did not have any armed guards present, which the shooter knew.

          • K. Dershem says

            E., when I say “mainstream” I mean “not right-wing or left-wing ideologues.” Lott doesn’t even pretend to be impartial; he’s emphatically pro-gun.

            “Gun violence is decidedly uncontroversial among scholars: more guns cause more suicides, homicides, and accidents.

            These are the arguments being made by serious academics in peer-reviewed journals from Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and Johns Hopkins. On the other side of the debate, you have John Lott, a handful of conservative academics on the board of the CPRC, Gary Kleck, and a few others.”


          • Tome708 says

            KD. Anyone who disagrees with your “mainstream” agenda is labeled “far right”, and therefore not credible . If the disagree with several of what you consider “mainstream” then they are labeled Nazi, and do not even deserve their right of expression. Somewhere in you and Cheung’ s continuum you would throw the label “racist” on them as well.

          • E. Olson says

            K – thanks for the link, but it only proves my point. They report 25 mass shootings in the US, and 24 in Europe and then the article says the mass shooting rate is twice as high per capita in the US, which is strange math when the US and Europe as whole have virtually identical populations. But then they perhaps explain it because they don’t want to count terrorism shootings as mass-shooting, which are a large portion of the European shootings, and then they criticize Lott for not including shootings that results from burglaries or bank robberies in his statistics, which is typical stupid Leftist logic. Do terrorists intend to kill people in their terrorist activities? Why yes they do – so shouldn’t they be counted as mass-shooters as Lott counts them? Why yes they should, but why aren’t they? Because counting them makes “gun-free” Europe seem as dangerous as the “gun crazy” US. On the other hand, do most burglars or bank robbers intend to kill people as they rob them? I expect most try to avoid it, so they shouldn’t really be counted as mass-shooters since they weren’t intending to kill, but the Leftists like to include them in mass-shooting statistics because again they make the US statistics look worse, which is what the anti-2nd amendments types want to do.

        • Alex Russell says

          Depending on how you define “gun free zone”, I would pretty much think most public spaces are “gun free” so a mass shooter would have to actively seek out a war zone if he wanted a “non gun free zone” to do his shooting in.

          The USA has a mass shooting almost every day. Eleven good guys over a few years that had thousands of shootings isn’t that great of a record. In practice, even trained professionals can have a hard time dealing with an active shooter in a public place.

          You are much more likely to be injured by accident by a gun than to be saved by a “good guy” if you are a gun owner in the USA.

          Guns are dangerous. They should be regulated. Training should be required before buying one, and strict storage rules followed to prevent accidents. If you think you need a gun for protection in an urban area then your government is failing you.

          • E. Olson says

            Alex – the link I provided wasn’t an all inclusive list of all the shootings stopped by a good guy with a gun, just a few recent examples. You are correct that guns are dangerous, which is why they are among the most heavily regulated products sold.

            And the government is failing people in many urban areas – Chicago has had over 600 fatal shootings annually over the past few years. The coward cop at Parkland school failed all those kids that were shot while he hid outside waiting for backup, and his “punishment” was being allowed to retire with his full-pension.

          • S. Cheung says

            Alex –
            that’s the issue. It’s a right…and not just any, but a politicized hot potato of one that will rouse people from REM sleep at 3 am to pick up their pitchforks, or so it seems. And that’s for both sides.
            The realities of the historical backdrop, politicization, culture, and to a small extent geographic differences, will make the Aussie experience and NZ attempt a total pipe dream here in my lifetime.
            The tyranny thing is historic, but irrational to me. Even today, how likely are we to be stricken with a dictator? How likely will our military turn on us? And if they did, how well will the collective AR-15 arsenal of the “militia” fare against a bunch of pros with drones, and cruise missiles? (h/t to Jim Jeffries and his hilarious Youtube clips).
            But guns are going nowhere. And BECAUSE of this sea of guns, I can understand on some level this self-defence fear. So then how about “yes, exercise those rights, but just a few restrictions?” Like maybe the type, or number, or weapons. How about some mandated training to ensure that you are a competent gun owner, such that you don’t fill your friend’s face with birdshot (Cheney) or leave a loaded one lying around for child #1 to pop child #2? Or mandated practice to ensure you are a good enough shot that if heaven forbid you need to use it in actual self-defence, that you will hit what you’re hoping to? THere are other issues too with background checks, and mental health, that E. Olson alluded to above. But it doesn’t take much to encroach on the “unfettered” part.

            I also accept that the majority of gun owners are competent. THe nature of reporting bias and confirmation bias are such that we don’t hear of the silent majority of good owners who take their ownership seriously, and we only hear about the trainwrecks. One thing that does surprise me is there is not more of a push by this silent majority of good owners to rid the bad apples, or at least to whip them into shape. If I were a good gun owner, I would not want to be maligned by and lumped in with bad actors. But it does involve some more regulation, which then arouses suspicions of big government, red tape, overreach, and the like. So we end up in this cycle of lather/rinse/repeat. Of this, I see no solution. It is what it is, and it is what it will be.

          • S. Cheung says

            …oh and criminals. Can’t forget them. Lots and lots about criminals and how they aren’t constrained by laws and regulations. And they aren’t. Yet their guns come from somewhere too. How many of those “criminal” guns are smuggled, vs stolen from legit owners, vs. bought legit themselves? The implication often is that criminals get their guns illegally. I wonder how many get them legally, at least as defined by our current reality.

          • E. Olson says

            SC – the Left always talks about passing more gun laws, but a big part of the problem is that current gun laws are not enforced. The links discuss one such rarely enforced law against straw purchasers, but don’t clearly explain one important reason it isn’t enforced, which is that 50+% of the people convicted would be black or Hispanic.



          • S. Cheung says

            E.Olson –
            I realize the previous link was just a sample.
            Thanks for the current one on defensive gun use (DGU). After some digging, found the source article.


            Once again, a painful 25 year old article that feels like a root canal to read. We have definitely progressed since then.

            So they sampled about 5000 people, of whom roughly 60% responded, and completed 222 full surveys and interviews to arrive at their conclusions. The questions sought self-recall information of DGU for the preceding 5 years. They listed their questions in the text, but did not include an actual copy of the survey in an appendix or supplement (which would definitely not fly today). They extrapolate to the US population of around 190M at that time.

            And as with all such methodology, there is much selection bias, responder bias, and recall bias in play here. And more importantly, we are talking about 222 responders extrapolating to 190 million people. The authors speak to their error rates, but i didn’t see statistical methods (apart from saying some logistic regression was used). So i think there are some methodical and statistical questions one could pose to question the point estimates in their results (not to mention the confidence intervals).

            Qualitatively, I’d also want to know how many who self reported the DGU, where they could have used a different method instead. Ie. was all the claimed DGU actually necessary DGU, or did they become DGU’s simply because the responder was packing heat at the time. Based on the questions described in the text, there would have been no way to make that distinction.

            I think you know what my overall summation would be. But I’ll let others decide for themselves.

            But that’s for leading me to this nonetheless. Read something I otherwise would not have.

          • Saw file says

            @Alex R.
            “I would pretty much think most public spaces are “gun free” so a mass shooter would have to actively seek out a war zone if he wanted a “non gun free zone” to do his shooting in.”

            Interesting narrative.
            Does that include the violent criminal element?
            What about that significant armed group that roams our streets, known as ‘law enforcement’, because I’m quite sure that police stations aren’t “non gun free zone”.

            A mass shooting almost every day seems very terrible. Do you have a link so that I can see what number ” almost every day ” equals to?

            “Eleven good guys over a few years that had thousands of shootings isn’t that great of a record.”

            That’s so disingenuous that the only response I feel it deserves is an eye roll.

          • S. Cheung says

            “and Cheung’ s continuum you would throw the label “racist” on them as well.”
            Y’know, I’ve left many comments on this thread which you haven’t addressed, and then you throw this at me. Stay classy, pal.

          • Stephanie says

            Alex, have you ever wondered why the news doesn’t report on these daily mass shootings, and instead will react with shock and horror every few months when they do report on one? The reason is because mass shootings are defined as shootings where 4 or more people are killed. It does not imply that the shooting happened in a public place or the victims were strangers. The vast majority of “mass shootings” are drug deals gone bad, turf wars, and other such gang activity. It isn’t reported on because few people have sympathy for gang members, and giving such shootings the attention school shootings receive, for instance, would erode the public’s perception of mass shootings as an omnipresent evil.

            If gang members want to kill each other, that is fine, good riddance. What we should focus on is crazies who target random people in public places. As E. Olsen explains, this is a failure of mental health infrastructure and enforcement of current law in most cases.

        • S. Cheung says

          Thanks for the link. You’re right, I wouldn’t trust the site. And my thing is to go to the source material anyway.

          Unfortunately, in this case, it’s an actual book by Gary Kleck from 1997. Found the first 20-odd pages online.

          Scanned it and it didn’t get to the hot burglary stuff.

          There was an interesting section where he deconstructs the arguments of those who oppose gun control. It is chapter and verse for many of the objections repeatedly raised here. For a guy with his POV, very intectually honest of him to take down some of the oft-used arguments of his own side. Of course, he also refutes arguments of the pro gun control side. It appears he devoted several chapters to this, but there is no access to that.

      • sumpin' says

        I read that Charles Whitman (UT tower) was significantly slowed down by gunfire coming from armed citizens down below once it was determined where the shooting was coming from. The death toll might have been much higher.

    • @ E. Olson

      The killer was orphaned aged 19 and has traveled the world since, only spending 45 days in his country of birth S in the last five years?

      Which country would recognize his problems and provide help?

      • E. Olson says

        Anita – I’m not sure how much information we know about the NZ shooter, did any of his friends or family notice something strange in his behaviors? Did anyone notice he was collecting guns and was ranting about Muslim invaders? I have not heard any answers to these sorts of questions. All I know is that he apparently was sane enough to pass his gun exam in NZ. As for who should have caught it or whether anything could or would have been done if he had been reported to authorities I can’t say. I would be surprised if nobody who knew him didn’t have any questions about his mental stability and health, but perhaps he was one of those rare mass-killers who appeared normal.

        • @ E. Olsen

          I repeat he was orphaned aged 19 and left the country to travel the world ,which he did, including Turkey, North Korea, China and Europe, I don’t know of any travel friends, as for family, I repeat he spent 45 days of five years with any remaining family members.

          He described his family of origin as environmentalists. He grew up in a well known small rural town. He worked in that town until receiving an inheritance, aged 19, upon the death of his father.

          He stated he originally went to NZ “to train”, but recently decided it was also a suitable place to perform his plan.

          Now all we hear is politicians blaming each other, journalists likewise. Most in power seek to suppress free speech .

          He does not claim to be Christian, he did reference Viking beliefs.
          Sorry for time delay, hope this helps.

    • Andy Espersen says

      Only very, very few of such “evil individuals” are mentally ill. But yes, some are. They may suffer from the quite rare type of schizophrenia we used to call paranoia, not to be confused with ordinary paranoid schizophrenia. The illness comes on in older individuals, as opposed to the usual very young onset – and there is usually no deterioration in intellectual powers and no obvious schizophrenic symptoms. And if you study these cases you will find fundamental differences in the personalities of the killers, as well as in the whole clinical picture from the “hate” cases we are here talking about..

  9. Anonymous says

    I notice that this author is fond of using the word “Islamophobia”.
    This obligates a quote from Christopher Hitchens :

    “Islamophobia: a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”

    • David of Kirkland says

      If you fear that Islam will take over your life, and you and your family are doomed because of Islam, you are an islamaphobe. Hating Islamist tyrants and terrorists isn’t.

      • Stephanie says

        David, do legitimate fears count as phobias? There have been a great many people whose family and lives were indeed destroyed by Islam. The many peoples who have been ethnically cleansed from Muslim countries, the Jews explicitly targetted for genocide, the Europeans who are no longer safe in their hometowns and who’s countries are being radically transformed, ect.

        • Andrew Worth says

          Stephanie, people with an irrational fear can rationalize their fear as legitimate.

      • Regarding Islamaphobia, Is not the big question, why so much Islamaphillia by those in power?

    • Lightning Rose says

      Nailed it about “Islamophobia.” A “phobia” is defined as an IRRATIONAL fear.

      On Sept. 11, 2001, I stood on a point of land in Long Island Sound and watched the smoke stream out to sea from the falling towers, as two more planes slammed into the Pentagon and a field in PA. I tried to get my mind around the reality that we were under attack, on the scale of Pearl Harbor, only 40 miles from where I was standing and the might of the U.S. “superpower” was helpless to prevent it. 3,000 people from my immediate local area, including friends and neighbors, went up in smoke as I stood and watched. I will never forget that day. Though I now know all the intellectual reasons, on both sides, I can never be truly comfortable with Islam here. I do not think that culture is compatible nor assimilable with our own; and I most certainly do not intend to modify MY behavior for PC reasons of “sensitivity” to those who attacked our people with such barbarous lack of remorse and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.

      Self-preservation in the face of a proven threat is not an irrational “phobia,” but common sense.
      One does not invite the wolf into one’s bed if one is thinking clearly.

      • K. Dershem says

        It’s deeply irrational to identify ALL Muslims with the actions of an extremist sect, especially when most of the victims of al Qaeda and ISIS have been Muslims themselves. I live in an area that has seen a significant influx of Muslim immigrants in the past 15 years. Although there have been some challenges, for the most part the immigrants have become well integrated into the community. Muslims who were brought here as children or were born here are virtually indistinguishable (aside from the way they dress) from their Christian neighbors. Like every other previous wave of immigrants, Muslims are assimilating.

        My anecdotal observations are borne out by public opinion surveys, one of which found that “three quarters of Muslim Americans think it is never permissible to target and kill civilians for a political, social, or religious cause—17 percentage points higher than the general public …. One reason why Muslim Americans are less likely to support violence against civilians is because Muslims worldwide are the most likely victims of terrorism and misguided military interventions. For this reason, they are much more resistant to the idea of exceptions to the normal moral impulse against this type of killing. A substantial portion of the U.S. Muslim population were refugees and personally targeted for persecution and violence.”

        • Sean says

          Which city do you live in? I’m curious where the integration has worked so well.

  10. Renaud Camus “a right-wing conspiracy theorist”? This is a blatant mischaracterisation and shoddy journalism, simply put. Learn French and actually read his book and articles instead of relying on Wikipedia like a retard.

  11. “What is the “extremely disturbing material” in Peterson’s book? Whitcoulls doesn’t say.”

    Someone on Whitcoullis’ board of directors doesn’t like Peterson and found an off-the-wall way to ban him from the chain while mitigating the loss of revenue with hopefully positive publicity from the banning?

    Interesting business model.

  12. Lightning Rose says

    The ancient clerics and sages of all traditions understood clearly the dark, animalistic side of human nature, and much religious thought is devoted to the systematic restraint of same. While the dark side can be restrained, subverted, re-channeled or suppressed, it can never be entirely eradicated. What we are seeing today is the dark side breaking the bonds of the restraints that held it at bay in the past. The dark side becomes most lethal when driven by fear. The fear of losing one’s own tribe, culture, heritage, past and future has the power to pervert all reason. What you are seeing is the lashing out of self-perceived cornered animals in the grip of a terror that is much older than civilization. We must look at this clear-eyed. The Left in particular denies the existence of the human dark side, preferring to rationalize or medicalize it out of existence with “If only we just play nicely with the other children” simplistic sanctimony. The dark side remains nevertheless. The task is nothing less than to get inside the minds of those who would commit these acts, and somehow remove their fear. Removing the tools of destruction, while symbolic, is not nearly as effective as defusing the fear that causes the impulse to acts of atrocity.

    At least this phenomenon of outbreaks at the moment is thankfully confined to individuals. It’s been a long time now since we had whole cultures engaged in enthusiastically slaughtering hundreds of thousands wholesale as was routine in the 20the century. It’s interesting that in a more secular age, the simple laws of self-interest may in fact provide more restraint on most individuals and societies than former fears of the judgment and wrath of the Almighty.

    • Ray Andrews says

      @Lightning Rose

      “defusing the fear that causes the impulse to acts of atrocity”

      But what if the fear is entirely justified?

      In fact, what if the problem is not fear, but rather the fact that far too many people have their heads in the sand and they are rather trying to stop those of us who see what’s coming from seeing what’s coming and trying to forbid us from talking about it (that would be Hate)?

    • David of Kirkland says

      “Light” and “dark” sides change positions over time. Homosexuality is a recent example. Blasphemy is another. Heretical to suggest the Earth orbits the Sun? Wanting your culture to change because you are ashamed of your culture by absorbing large numbers of people from other cultures in the name of multi-culturalism is another.
      Can you marry that 15 year old? Yes at one time; now people consider it a heinous crime.
      Slavery was globally accepted and supported by the Bible and Koran and implicitly by all governments at one time.
      So does good and evil also change meaning to fit the current narratives?

      • Andrew Worth says

        David of Kirkland, yep.

        Take away all the wealth and technology from todays Western society and many of the older moral codes would need to be brought back for social cohesion to be maintained, we’d turn back into a much stricter and more patriarchal society, as Europe was a century ago and Muslim countries are today.

      • Tome708 says

        Ironically David (with Trump man crush) Kirkland, what does Islam say about homosexuality and blasphemy. Them are your examples. No you even went further. What culture allows and promotes marriage (for girls) at 15. Ding ding Islam. Oh then your big finale, slavery! Where in the whole wide world does slavery still exist? You got it big boy. Not at Trump Tower, but in some of them loveable, peace loving Islamic “communities”. After defending Muslims you cite “dark” sides of culture that nearly exclusively still exist within Islam.
        Way to go you racist

    • Andrew Worth says

      @Lightning Rose, nicely put.
      “The dark side” is the survival instinct we have to maximize chances of survival in the world we evolved in, a world in which our population growth was checked by a high mortality rate and in which a tribe could be wiped out if they weren’t committed to their own survival and another tribes non-survival.

      For now at least humanity doesn’t live in such a zero sum population environment, technology and sensible economic policy has allowed us to have as many well fed people as we want, but if some people have those instincts triggered and believe they’re living in that old zero sum environment, that it’s their duty to defend their tribe at all costs or it’ll be eliminated, so at best they preach hate against that other tribe, at worst they act against that other tribe.

  13. Ray Andrews says

    “Accusations of racism and white supremacism are thrown around so casually these days that the meaning of these terms has become diluted and ambiguous.”

    Yes. Looking around the world I observe that where whites rule there is a better than even chance that that country could be described as a prosperous liberal democracy. But where blacks are supreme, the country is very likely to be a sh**hole. Where Muslims are supreme, the country is probably both backwards and barbarous and ruled by a dictator. If Asian, somewhat authoritarian, but increasingly developed with much hope for the future.

    Now, personally, if my opinion were asked, all else equal, I would prefer to live in one of those countries where whites are supreme. Does that make me a White Supremacist? If so, then why is that bad? Is it wrong to want to live in a liberal democracy? But if it is wrong, then surely all those millions of people trying to get IN to countries where whites are supreme are just as guilty as I am, no?

    No! Because I want to keep my liberal democracy just so, whereas the flood of Africans and Muslims, have listened to the multiculturalists who assure them that their culture is welcome and they are thus encouraged to try to make our countries more like their countries. I myself would rather that didn’t happen, so I guess I must be a White Supremacist. But if wanting to keep one’s heritage and culture intact is a crime, then why is it not a crime for other nations to do exactly the same thing? When every country in Africa gained it’s independence and reasserted black supremacy and black culture, that was not a crime, was it? If Swaziland is Swazi-supremacist, that’s fine, isn’t it? Someone please explain.

    • Andrew Worth says

      I agree a country should have the right to absolute control on who can enter.

      If you look at the trend in the numbers on the statistics of African countries since independence you’ll see that they’re mostly far richer than they were 50 years ago and far more democratic, more educated, more organized, life expectancy in Africa is longer now than it was in Europe a century ago. They’re mostly not the sh**tholes they used to be. where they are today is a result of where they were 50 years ago, which is thrown together in a pretty arbitrary way by colonial powers who ruled them not as democracies, colonialism was, for the colonized, dictatorship. The native rulers back then just followed the government model that they’d been brought up under, God knows following the model they were brought up under is all most Americans and Europeans are capable of.

      Muslim countries are following the same curve in terms of becoming more democratic, educated and liberal, they also mostly started off as former colonial territories not so many decades ago, and before you get too carried away with European greatness: Eastern Europe was shhole territory until 1990, WW2 only ended in 1945, Europe had WW1 a few years earlier, the Napoleonic wars before that, and endless wars before that, so, by the standards of today Europe was full of shhole countries not so long ago.

      Here’s a video of a Kiwi who’s in Iran at the moment, he seems like a really nice guy, as do the Iranians he meets, at street level it doesn’t look like a sh**hole country, in fact it looks very civil and civilized.

      • Andrew Worth says

        Interesting, I didn’t know a couple of * could make the text go bold.

      • Stephanie says

        Andrew, it is certainly true that colonialism was dictatorship to the colonized, but post-colonial countries tend to do much better when they retain their colonial institutions (Singapore) than when they destroy them (Zimbabwe). I’m not aware of any such country that went back to their previous method of government, presumably because a governmental system ineffectual enough to allow colonization is not worth reviving. That the success of countries all over the world is predictable based on the degree they adopted Western economic principals and the values that underly them speaks to which system is superior.

        Still, there are a dozen ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates who hold territory in Africa, and the moment we stop bombing the Middle East others will pop up there. There is a cultural problem holding these places back that even free trade can’t fix.

        Europe before 1910 was not a shithole – WWI (and resulting WWII) was a tragedy because it was so unnecessary, and destroyed so much of what they had built. By today’s standards obviously it wasn’t great, but for centuries Europe was still one of, if not the best place to live.

        Barring active war zones, situations on the ground just waking down the street are typically fine. If your friend were witness to someone taking off her hijab or insulting Islam, things would be very different. A human rights advocate was just lashed and imprisoned because she defended women who took off their hijabs in public. Everything is great as long as you don’t step out of line the least bit.

        • Andrew Worth says

          @ Stephanie

          I don’t know why your first paragraph is addressed to me, It doesn’t address anything I said.

          The bombing of the Middle East, starting in 1991 and the cascade of conflicts that resulted led to the rise of Islamist terrorism.

          Compared to today Europe was a sh*thole 110 years ago, in Europe 1910 life expectancy was 45, today in Africa it’s 60, literacy rates in Africa today are similar to literacy rates in Europe ~1900, and higher in the younger generation in Africa today than in Europe ~1910. Median per capita income in Africa today are far higher than in Europe 1910.

          “Everything is great as long as you don’t step out of line the least bit.” That’s the same in all societies, the position of the line moves, it was not a good idea to step out of line in most European countries by being gay, getting pregnant without being married, even having premarital sex. In the Muslim world today many swimming pools are segregated, which was the case in much of Europe in the early 20th century. You think you won’t get punished if you step out of line in Europe today? I can list plenty of European victimless crimes.

          • Peter from Oz says

            There’s nothing like a bit of relativism to ruin an argument is there?
            The fact is that today Europe is in far better shape than Africa. That is why so many Africans want to go to Europe.
            BTW, I assume that your stats about Africa take in the North African nations aswell. Thus a life expectancy of 60 is pretty poor.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Peter from Oz, I try to see things in relative terms, Tarrant preferred to look at things in absolute terms, go figure.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Andrew Worth

        “They’re mostly not the sh**tholes they used to be.”

        No point in quibbling about degrees. Yeah, there are signs of progress, no doubt. But in the Muslim interface regions we have Boko Haram and other such. In Congo things seem to be still rather sh**holeish. But they say that places like Ivory Coast really are pulling out.

        “so, by the standards of today Europe was full of shhole countries not so long ago”

        Sure. But as with religion, it seems we’ve mostly make quite a bit of progress. I don’t know why there couldn’t be a Muslim renaissance, but right now they’re going backwards. Iran is an interesting case. The place is as nice as a Theocratic dictatorship could be until you get dragged off to Evin.

        • K. Dershem says

          The societies that have been the most successful are ones which embrace Western ideas and allow foreign investment. The West obviously doesn’t have a monopoly on moral wisdom, aesthetic achievements, and philosophical insight, but it seems beyond debate that liberal democratic systems with competitive but regulated markets are provide the greatest opportunities human flourishing. This is what Fukuyama was referring to in The End of History, once the collapse of the Soviet empire made it clear that totalitarian Communism is a dead end. He failed to foresee the resurgence of religious fundamentalism and the fragility of fledgling democracies (e.g., Russia has become a corrupt kleptocracy).

          • E. Olson says

            K – Russia has always been a corrupt kleptocracy, whether it was under the Tsars, Lenin/Stalinism, Glasnost, Yelstin, or Putin. Governments change, corruption stays the same.

      • Naeco says

        I’ll say this about some of the Muslims I’ve met… in 2008, I traveled with my wife and nearly two year old son to Morroco to visit a family member serving in the Peace Corps there. I admit I was nervous and didn’t really know what to expect… as you may recall, this was around the time westerners were having their heads cut off in Iraq. We boarded a train to travel to my sister-in-laws village, and I was absolutely floored by the warmth and welcoming nature of the people on the train with us. They loved our boy. Smiling, playing with him. I had never experienced anything like that before. It was an incredible experience. And we found this warmth everywhere we went. Old ladies loading the kid up with little gifts at bazaars… really the only negative experience we had was with a pushy fellow trying to sell us a tour later in the trip. He objected to my sister-in-law speaking Berber to him! “No Berber here” he shouted wagging his finger at us. Clearly this related to internal Arab/Berber tensions… that was it! We shared food with the people in her village and were made very welcome.
        So I remember this when people speak of Muslims. They are just humans like us, with all that entails… the good, the bad, everything. This is why I have always considered myself liberal. That we can get to know people from other cultures, and learn from each other. Share our humanity. I feel like the left has gone crazy with identity politics now, and that this is no longer what the left wants… i feel quite adrift politically now.

        • Stephanie says

          Naeco, at that superficial level of interaction it is not surprising that you had a positive experience. Arab culture is indeed almost over-the-top in the desire to be seen as welcoming. I imagine your wife was fully covered, though, because a friend of a friend of mine vacationed in Morocco, and the locals threw things at her because she had the audacity to wear shorts in the blistering heat.

          Moroccans are more moderate than most Arabs, indeed I’m alive because their Sultan refused to hand over their Jews to the Vichy government for processing in Nazi death camps. Morocco was prepared to go to war over it. This is a far cry from Arabs in Palestine, for instance, who enthusiastically supported Hitler’s Final Solution. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem even met with Hitler hoping he could help him with the Jewish problem in Jerusalem.

          It’s easy to like people if all you have are superficial interactions with them, but if you know them well enough to ask them about their views on Islamism, you’ll find agreement with the survey statistics available on the subject and consistency with the historical record. It is always preferable to form opinions based on statistically significant datasets, rather than a handful of anecdotes.

          • Andrew Worth says

            Stephanie, making superficial judgements would be building your beliefs on inter-generational hatred and media reports. Going out, meeting and getting to know real people is the opposite of superficial.

        • Malek al Kuffar says

          Criticizing Islam is not the same as hating Muslims.
          A constant propaganda effort is devoted to deliberately misinterpreting criticism of Islam as if it were hatred of Muslims, so that all criticism of Islam can then be condemned as racism.
          Your letter shows that you have fallen into this devious trap.

    • Lightning Rose says

      One of the biggest mistakes of leftist groupthink is the premise that all cultures are morally, intellectually, and materially equal.

      • Alex Russell says

        I agree so much.

        It just seems obvious that some cultures encourage human well being much better than others. Especially for women.

  14. I’m very dismayed that Shermer is publishing the name and details of the killer, which is absolutely a causative factor in future killings.

    Do not publish their names. Do not publish their manifestos. Let them die nameless and shamed.

    Here’s a different take: I heard the killer had underdeveloped genitals. The brain damage he (or she) acquired from sniffing glue means that the ramblings left in the note were the work of a madman (or woman), and no sane person would ever take them seriously.

    That is how you decrease copycats.

    • Ismail says

      No, it really isn’t. That tactic already failed when John Oliver thought he had, once and for all, demolished Trump’s chances of becoming president by saying “Make Donald Drumpf Again”. The smug look on his face while saying it was great, the effect has yet to show up.

    • Obscure Canuck says

      @Quillette I’m wondering if you have considered having a policy on this or not. I know The Daily Wire and other websites have decided not to print names, apparently based on research about the effects.

  15. Aerth says

    2019 and humanity still didn’t learn that banning book/movie/game/whatever makes it even more interesting for some. It is natural for humans to be curious and if something is forbidden then people are even more driven to get it and see why it is forbidden.

    Also, is it even slightly weird that Left, always the loudest about not making community accountable for crime of individual after Jihadists attacks, is now commencing a witch hunt? Of course not.

    • jimhaz says

      Nah. If free non-soft porn was banned online 20 years ago, you’d have half the number of people now with sexual problems.

  16. John McCormick says

    “Modern campaigns aimed at shutting down this or that speaker implicitly present evil as something that may be communicated from one person to another, like bacteria. By this model, censorship is akin to quarantine.”

    “Instead, they seem to be operating on the idea of evil as a quasi-mystical force akin to Satan. In this conception, Peterson and PewDiePie are seen as carriers of evil, much like witches channeling demons from below, no matter that they never actually say or do anything evil in nature.”

    This is anthropocentrism–the belief that the Universe has values, universal values, and those are the values of some dominant group of humans, just as gods are projections of humans.

    The Jewish scholar Maimonides had anti-anthropocentric views. “He also claimed that anthropocentric thinking is what causes humans to think that evil things exist in nature.
    –Wikipedia article on Anthropocentrism.

  17. Nxan says

    Before the killings, Tarrant authored a rambling 74-page manifesto titled The Great Replacement. The document is difficult to find online, as most platforms took to blocking it as soon as its appearance was flagged.

    This is true only if you do not use search engines. On the largest search engine you just type in the title of the manifesto and you get plenty of platforms to download from.

    • Anne says

      The old “manifesto” and “do yourself in” trick. An oldie but a goodie.

  18. X. Citoyen says

    Ironically, Baumeister found that the myth of evil existing as a standalone force may, itself, lead societies to become more violent: “The myth encourages people to believe that they are good and will remain good no matter what, even if they perpetrate severe harm on their opponents. Thus, the myth of pure evil confers a kind of moral immunity on people who believe in it…belief in the myth is itself one recipe for evil, because it allows people to justify violent and oppressive actions. It allows evil to masquerade as good.”

    What you and Baumeister are describing is Manicheanism, or more generally, gnosticism, where there is the side of the good and the side of evil. Had you read your Catholic theology before writing your science of evil, you’d know that Christians rejected this understanding of evil centuries ago and persecuted it as a dangerous heresy because of all the bad things that come from it—like the belief in forces of evil. Evil, at least on the Catholic understanding, is as the absence of good as cold is the absence of heat, blindness the absence of sight, and so on. Thus, there is only adjectival evil. Evil intentions and evil deeds.

    All this brings us around the genealogy of the present case. As the old faith waned, gnosticism enjoyed a renaissance in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, becoming the very essence of all the radical movements that drove the destruction of the twentieth. Marxism, fascism, and now progressivism all have gnosticism at their conceptual core: the chosen Good Ones who know the Truth, the many suffering from false consciousness, and the Evil ones driven by the Evil historical force. Now you can revise that book of yours.

    • jimhaz says

      [you’d know that Christians rejected this understanding of evil centuries ago]

      Not how I was taught in primary school in the 60’s and also simply just not how many religious people actually think. I think you might only be talking academic theology or bullshit.

      • X. Citoyen says

        So, basically, you have no idea, but felt the need to emote.

      • Jim Gorman says

        I was taught in the 60’s also. However, I learned that the “force of evil” only has temptation as a weapon. The actual “evil” had to be perpetrated by you, that is, you through your free will you decide to commit a sin that is suggested by the “force of evil”. As an individual, you are never FORCED to do evil. You make the decision of your own free will.

        I know from practice someone will bring up the example of someone holding a gun to your head and telling you to kill someone else. My answer, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” John 15:13. Again, it is your decision of what to do.

  19. Damon says

    One might recall that New Zealanders, vigorously supported by their Prime Minister, prevented Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux from speaking there.

  20. Luckily for Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux, New Zealand saw fit to shut down their speech when they visited last year. Surely they would have been implicated as an accessory to Christchurch.

  21. jimhaz says

    I think people are underestimating what the left might do once the wheel turns and they are in power.

    For me it is another situation where (the law of) moderation needs to apply. Where 80% of people would expect something would be harmful to the immature, then it should be banned. So if 70% of a non-stacked public representative censorship group listen to a few hours of Milo for instance and find him to be primarily hateful and without compensating merit – ban him. That would not happen with JBP or Lauren Southen. With software like Survey Monkey etc, this sort of censorship committee could be done cheaply enough nowadays.

    Part of the present problem is that tech sites are now often not representative, and full of woke young people, so they alone should not be able to ban hate speech, without precedents being set, by what the public wants.

  22. Bob Johnson says


    Every Christian knows that due to inherent sin, it is impossible for someone to be purely good. As Solzhenistyn said, the line between good and evil lies in every human heart. Augustine’s idea of inherent sin was reached because he found, as a Manichean, that he could not be purely good. The loss of the idea of inherent sin is responsible for extremism

    • jimhaz says

      ‘inherent sin’ is impossible – all it is is the inherent selfishness that life requires…ie the selfish gene.

      Perfection is also impossible in any thing let alone humans. For something to be perfect would mean it was not subject to change.

      Extremism relates to the Will to Power, not the loss of guilt the concept of inherent sin is aimed to produce.

      • Jim Gorman says

        Yet even the “selfish gene” doesn’t FORCE you to be selfish. You have a free will that can override the inherent temptation of being selfish.

  23. David Olm says

    Satan will be happy to learn that Michael Shermer and “social psychologists the world over don’t believe in him.
    Let’s see, who do I believer, sophists, sorry, psychologists or the Bible?

  24. Pingback: Banning Evil: In the Shadow of Christchurch, Quasi-Religious Myths Can Lead Us Astray - Sovereign Nations

  25. Jezza says

    Is Islam really a peaceful religion? A quick trawl through the records shows that that in the last quarter of a century, muslim thugs have murdered more than thirty thousand westerners because those westerners were not muslim. I have heard not one expression of disgust from mainstream, non-radicalized muslims about these barbarous events. Am I an islamaphobe? I don’t think so. I regard myself as a peaceful man being pushed into a war I don’t want.

    • Andrew Worth says

      “in the last quarter of a century”. Relations between the West and some Muslims in the Middle East took a dive around 1990.
      “because those westerners were not muslim”. Might have more to do with the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed by Westerners in the last 30 years. You stir a wasp nest you’re going to get stung.
      “I have heard not one expression of disgust from mainstream, non-radicalized muslims about these barbarous events.”
      That’ll be because the media you choose to watch hasn’t covered the many expressions of disgust from mainstream, non-radicalized muslims.
      On the bright side killings have been in decline in recent years, lets hope some idiot doesn’t get hold of enough power to pour more fuel on the fire.
      “I regard myself as a peaceful man being pushed into a war I don’t want.” People on both sides can sing that song.

  26. If Tarrant is a hater, are you a lover? Shouldn’t hatred of evil be encouraged? And love of evil condemned? The hater label is meaningless, you surely know that, yet you insist on using it. I need no more proof of your fundamental dishonesty.

    • Andrew Worth says

      What label do you think should be used on someone that murders 50 people including children in cold blood, people who have done nothing wrong in the killers eyes other than existing?

  27. Maxime B says

    I’m disappointed to see such an error in a Quilette’s article. Le Grand Remplacement by Renaud Camus is not a conspiracy theory and neither is Renaud Camus a conspiracy theorist. The Great remplacement is a statement or an acknowledgement from an reality Camus sees every day. Camus is not suggesting that there is a conspiracy as such where a group of people decided to replace the original french People but an multiple layer of decisions and decision makers that lead to this replacement of population.
    Camus has been called a conspiracy theorist only by his enemy who wants to exclude him (with success) from public debate. A pity Quillette use the same labels than those uninformed journalists.

  28. Frank says

    As an Australian I assure you this is vastly anecdotal and full of hyperbole.

  29. vince porter says

    Where books are banned, I fail to understand how the christian bible and the quran can be left standing. Nothing comes close to those two books in counselling mayhem and violence upon “the other:.

  30. The belief in the Great Replacement is widespread, and not just among so-called extremists. It is not a conspiracy theory. It is factual. This guy Tarrant chose to commit violence while the rest of us, Peterson included, are attempting to use media to wake people up to the crisis and to acquire political power to beat back the globalists/multiculturalists. Peterson knows how far he can go and what he can say. I think the Left recognizes that our dissident movement is growing, and we have the truth. They must do all they can to hide our ideas from the masses. But, in so doing, they are increasing the likelihood of violence because if you prohibit speech, you create frustration and anger.

  31. Anne says

    Watching that staged MOSSADISTICIA episode on the….DAH DUHHHH…”Ides of March”, was like watching “Some Muvers Do ‘ave ’em”, in technicolor. Utter rubbish. Bullets disappearing ad they popped out of cartridge. “Victims” chatting on cell phones(with all the usual B grade crisis actors hugging, bawling, phoning, screeching, dying badly…) The ease with which pictures appear within a 24 hour period of all the deceased with their woesome stories of lost love seems just a tad stretched (note to fish 8 script writers for next dramatic episode!!!). And of course the tearful tales from the crypt, or, hospital bed, of , who gives a rat’s I’m bored already. Mr Podesta, your visit to NZ was a bit fishy, (maybe he was making Pizza with his pedo mates, could explain symbol on pop gun?). I almost guessed the color of this tribute, do I get a speaking part in next installment? Whatever will they do next? Follow the clues.

  32. Pingback: The Truth in ‘the Great Replacement’ (1) – Steelman Project

  33. Malek al Kuffar says

    When describing Renaud Camus’ “Great Replacement”, Michael Shermer attributes to this book the expressions “white French Catholics” and “white Christian Europeans”.
    This is sufficient evidence to prove that Michael Shermer never read The Great Replacement by Renaud Camus, since Renaud Camus nowhere specifies the racial phenotype of the population that he wishes to preserve. Michael Shermer accepts without question the interpretation of the book made by a bloodthirsty white supremacist.
    As the noted French demographer Michèle Tribalat of the French National Institute for Demographic Research (INED) points out, Renaud Camus doesn’t require European ancestry to consider people French; he includes as French “individuals or families who have assimilated or who intend to do so”. Accordingly the great replacement hypothesis as formulated by Renaud Camus cannot truthfully be called racist in the traditional or phenotypical sense of the term.
    Source: “La théorie du « grand remplacement », de l’écrivain Renaud Camus aux attentats en Nouvelle-Zélande “ [Writer Renaud Camus’ “Great Replacement” theory featured in the New Zealand attacks], by Michèle Tribalat
    As for Renaud Camus being a “conspiracy theorist”, that is entirely possible. However Camus’ remarks on the growth of the Mohammedan population in France are largely backed up by demographic statistics. His forecasts are questionable, just as all demographic forecasts are questionable.
    In 2007 Michèle Tribalat published an article called “Les concentrations ethniques en France” [Ethnic clustering in France] in the January 2007 issue of the Revue générale de stratégie.
    Here are some excerpts:
    The number of young people with a North African background (that is, one or both of their parents were immigrants from North Africa), grew 2.6-fold between 1968 and 1990 … there were 830,000 of them in 1999. … In 1968 there were very few young blacks with an African background: only 15,000. By 1999 there were nearly 280,000 of them. [page 3]
    The simultaneous occurrence of a huge growth in the numbers of youth with a foreign background on the one hand and a decline in the numbers of native French youth on the other results in a process of demographic substitution that characterizes Paris and all its suburbs.
    This process has been most marked and seems most durable in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, which has experienced steady flight of families with a French background (that is, both parents were born in France). … In 1968, the share of the population of young people under the age of 18 with a foreign background exceeded 30% in only 50 municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants. 30 years later the number of such municipalities had grown to over 200. [page 5]
    In Ile-de-France [i.e. the Paris region] itself, demographic substitution phenomena occur mainly in Paris and the inner suburbs. The ethnic clustering that accompanies it no longer just affects neighborhoods but today affects whole cities, or even an entire department in the case of Seine-Saint-Denis. [page 7]
    Ethnic clusters may lead to enclaves, possibly enabling political demands for introducing a different legal system of an ethno-religious character and, more generally, demanding compliance with its demands by French society as a whole. [page 9]
    These data are now two decades old. Who knows what may have happened in the interim?
    On Michèle Tribalat’s website at there is a tab called “Fake news from the elites” where she critically analyzes articles that make fraudulent claims like this one by Michael Shermer.

  34. RigelDog says

    “legislation that would ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Will such gun-control measures work to reduce gun crime? Maybe. They did in Australia following a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania in which 35 people were murdered. A 2006 follow-up study showed that in the 18 years prior to the ban, there had been 13 mass shootings. But in the decade following, there had been none.”

    There’s a gap here in trying to make a comparison, and the nitty-gritty details are hard to find. The NZ ban apparently concerns long guns and high-capacity magazines only. The Australian ban covered more types of guns, and was modified six years later to ban almost all firearms, period. Long guns of any type are rarely used in crimes and even less often in suicides; handguns are much more practical. How does the banning of long guns, therefore, become the cause–in any way– of a drop in either homicide or suicide rates? Australia also didn’t initially ban only large magazines, they also banned all but single-shot long guns. NZ’s ban would apparently still allow handguns and revolvers that can hold more than one bullet (and probably long guns that can hold more than one bullet). A person determined to be a mass-shooter (such as the Virginia Tech murderer) need only plan to have more than one hand gun and/or extra magazines in order to effectively target more people.

    • Andrew Worth says

      “NZ’s ban would apparently still allow handguns and revolvers that can hold more than one bullet (and probably long guns that can hold more than one bullet).”

      There are very few handguns in New Zealand, possession of one requires a B category firearms license. It’s been decades since a handgun was last used in a homicide in NZ.

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