Not surprisingly the Norwegian man who killed 77 people earlier this year has been diagnosed as insane:
Psychiatrists assessing self-confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik have concluded that he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Breivik admits carrying out the attacks but has pleaded not guilty to charges.
He has previously said the attacks were atrocious but “necessary”.
The two psychiatrists, in their report, concluded that he lived in his “own delusional universe where all his thoughts and acts are guided by his delusions”.
I would argue that anybody willing to kill people outside of self-defense are already a little messed up in the head but somebody willing to kill 77 fellow humans has nothing but bad wiring upstairs. Many people may feel as though this is giving the murderer an easy out but as I said previously Norway has a maximum prison sentence of 21 years unless the person is judged a high risk to society. The fact that this murderer has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia may very well be the justification used to keep the man imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Of course the gun control nuts are going to latch onto this diagnosis as a demonstration of why strong checks of mental history are required. More to the point the boys over at the Brady Campaign are probably going to use this incident to demand mental health evaluations be performed on all persons wishing to buy a gun. While such a tactic would work exceptionally well at preventing poor people from purchasing firearms (mental health evaluations aren’t cheap after all) they wouldn’t lower the rate of gun crime in this country in the slightest since many mental disorders don’t manifest until later in a person’s life.