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Thoughts on the New Zealand Mosque Shootings

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Active shooter events

As it happens, I’m a mass shooting “survivor.” Got your attention? Okay, I’m not really a survivor of a mass shooting, but I was in an “active shooter” training event where the “shooter,” an off-duty law enforcement professional flanked by orange vest-wearing event coordinators, got in to my Big American Corporate Cubicle Farm and fired off a bunch of blanks while shouting F-Bombs. It was pretty intense. My company conducts these exercises several times a year. Every employer and school should practice an active shooter drill. The AR-15 genie is never going back into the bottle, and the AR-15 seems to be the shooting iron of choice for the discerning active shooter. Most of 28-year-old Australian Brenton (or Brandon?) Tarrant’s shooting seems to have been done with AR-15 types of weapon.

After reviewing the Go Pro video of alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant’s attack, I felt that the same things had happened in that New Zealand mosque as in my active shooter training session – namely, in both cases, the shooters stuck to the main corridors and rooms. He didn’t go into closets, or check the toilets or other side-rooms. In our active shooter exercise, several employees “survived” by going into a conference room and using the doorstop to keep the door closed. Our shooter also went back and forth along the main rooms and corridors several times, just like Tarrant, as well as in the Virginia Tech shooting of 2007. If one has the misfortune of being wounded in an active shooting, one will likely get an unfortunate second or third visit from the shooter.

In most active shooter cases, people don’t recognize what is happening right away. Gunshots are initially mistaken for the crackling of the building’s loudspeaker system, construction noises, or something else. In the “mass shooting” drills at my workplace, we know the “shooting” is occurring because we can hear the sound of scampering feet. It is a sort of rumble coming from the floor above or below us. One doesn’t hear the shots.

In the mosque, the bodies piled up at the windows. Body piles at exits or improvised exits are often common after a deadly fire, too. So in the event of a mass shooting, one needs to beat the rush, clear the exit, or find an alternate exit as quickly as possible. My cubicle farm is on the sixth floor, so our office has installed a series of easy-to-use locks. Our plan is to shelter-in-place behind rings of locked doors in the event of a shooter, since jumping out of the windows is not an option.

The humble rubber doorstop could save your life during an active shooter event. Use it to jam the door shut if there is no lock.

Experts say the way to handle an active shooting event is to run, hide, and fight – in that order. Additionally, one needs to orient oneself to the location of the shooter and get as far away as possible. In the Go Pro video, several women were strangely still hanging around the mosque well into the shooting event, a mistake that caused one woman to be slain as she cried for help after being wounded. Fighting isn’t necessarily a suicide mission, although in the video it appears one person rushed Tarrant, but he was shot down. In the 2008 Kirkwood, Missouri mass shooting, one survivor threw a coffee cup at the shooter and was able to escape. The New Zealand rampage ended (or at least it has been claimed that it ended) when an Afghan named Abdul Aziz somehow used a credit card processing machine to distract alleged shooter Tarrant,  giving Aziz the chance to pick up a shotgun Tarrant had dropped, causing Tarrant to flee the scene, where he was arrested.

Remember that active shooters have problems, too. For example, they must switch magazines to reload, which takes time, and they must avoid getting themselves in a spot where they can be ambushed or trapped. They are probably also so keyed up that it is easy for them to get thrown off-kilter.

A look at terrorism from an over-40 perspective

I suspect that nearly all mass shootings have a racial or religious edge to them, in the same way that nearly all political positions have an ethnic aspect. As such, they are a type of terrorism.

Most active shooter events have some sort of racial component to them.

Terrorism is a tactic, not a way of life or a social movement. However, I can recall terrorism in some form being present throughout my entire life. Most of that terrorism has come from the Islamic world in some way. And since I’m over 40, and I suppose I have some wisdom and life experience, I’ll make some remarks based on my observations.

One of my earliest memories involves adults discussing the Iran hostage crisis. This was not exactly terrorism in the strict sense, but for Americans it was nevertheless an embarrassing and frustrating event with Islamic motivations. The next big terror event I recall was when a shadowy group called Islamic Jihad used a truck filled with explosives to bomb a US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983. In the 1980s, there was also a series of attacks sponsored by Libya, and the Libyans “Allahu Akbarred” throughout all of them. Then, in 1993, there was the first World Trade Center bombing, the beginning of a series of half-ignored terrorist attacks carried out by Al Qaeda throughout the 1990s; then, of course, there was 9/11 and a string of others in its aftermath. After ISIS came on the scene, a further host of ferocious attacks occurred, such as at the Bataclan Theater in Paris in 2015, as well as the truck-ramming attacks that helped to radicalize Brenton Tarrant.

Terrorists who won and lost

Terrorism happens because it works – or at least it can work to a degree. For it to succeed, terrorism must fit within a larger metapolitical framework that is broadly known and understood. Additionally, the terrorist must be connected in some way to a broader community who will empathize with his plight – most especially given that the terrorists themselves inevitably have a date with law enforcement or the military that will end their careers.

Terrorist events that worked include the following:


John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry (1859). John Brown was an ethnic Yankee from the northern United States, and his political goal was the abolition of slavery. The abolitionist movement had already existed for decades, and its ideas were widely known and millions supported its cause. John Brown also spoke using the widely understood language of Protestant Christianity. His raid was a failure, with plenty of bad optics, but the overall arc of his career was such that he became a hero and a martyr. His raid, capture, and hanging polarized the United States. Within months of the raid, John Brown’s body would be moldering in his grave, but his soul marched on in the form of the Union Army, and all of his political goals were soon accomplished.

Gavrilo Princip and the Serbian Black Hand organization (1914). Princip was an ethnic Serb, joined by blood to the newly reborn Kingdom of Serbia. He was dialed into two social movements, anarchism and nationalism, which were well understood at the time. When he assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, all of the Austro-Hungarian Empire understood his message. Austro-Hungary’s bungling of its relationship with Serbia eventually brought all of the world into a disastrous conflict. For Princip, the Serbs, and the Black Hand, the event was a success. After the war, the Kingdom of Serbia became a Greater Serbia in the form of Yugoslavia. When Yugoslavia eventually broke apart, Serbia – now a republic – still got an ethnostate and a Greater Serbia, along with the Republika Srpska. Princip’s actions also led – for better or worse – to independence for every nation within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Easter Rising (1916). More an armed rebellion with a charter than terrorism, it was nonetheless illegal, violent, and risky. The Irish Republicans took over the General Post Office in Dublin, but were eventually forced to surrender after a bombardment by the Royal Navy’s gunboats wrecked the downtown district. Their story played into a preexisting ethnic and romantic metapolitical framework, and very shortly thereafter, most of Ireland became effectively independent.


The Oklahoma City bombing (1995). While Timothy McVeigh was a veteran and ethnically dialed into the greater white American community, his terrorist attack fell flat. Its purpose was to punish the US government for the FBI’s Waco debacle. However, his message was misdirected for a number of reasons. Additionally, his choice of targets were mid-range government employees who were not responsible for the FBI’s actions, and he killed many civilians and children as well. While Waco supercharged the American Right at the time, the bombing only served to put a shot in the arm of the Left-leaning Clinton administration. Additionally, the bombing squelched discussion of more serious concerns, specifically the rise of Islamist terrorism and immigration. For example, Peter Brimelow’s book tour for Alien Nation was suppressed due to the bombing. To understand the depth of society’s antipathy for McVeigh and his message, consider that the bombing was carried out in 1995, he was convicted in 1997, and executed in 2001. This is a remarkably fast time from conviction to execution. In comparison, Major Nidal Hasan carried out his terror attack on Fort Hood in 2009. He was only convicted, after a very long trial with all sorts of petty drama, in 2013, and he is still breathing as of now, in 2019.

Al Qaeda and ISIS (2001-present). Although 9/11 and the explosion of ISIS-inspired terrorism across the world have been unpleasant, these acts should be considered a loss from a political perspective. Al Qaeda’s and ISIS’ messages can only be transmitted in a limited way – namely, to Sunni Muslims, especially those who are not living in Islamic world. Many of the 9/11 hijackers had lived in Europe, and many subsequent Islamist terrorists have lived in either Europe or America. Meanwhile, Muslims in Islamic countries haven’t really taken up jihad or tried to implement Salafist ideas on a mass scale, and jihadism remains a fringe, if violent, movement. Additionally, Arab nationalist leaders such as Bashar al-Assad now look good in comparison. In the 1990s, Arab leaders like Assad, Muammar Gaddafi, and Saddam Hussein were easily framed as tyrants; compared to the Islamist threats of today, they now seem quite rational.

Might Brenton Tarrant be the next John Brown?

The big question, then, is whether or not Brenton Tarrant is going to be a successful terrorist. Is the New Zealand mosque shootings of 2019 to be the start of a major political shift, such as the Serbian revolt against the Ottoman Turks in the village of Orašac  in 1804? Only time will tell, but there is some indication that this thing, as awful as it is, will not be the same disaster for white advocates or Rightists as the Oklahoma City bombing was in the 1990s. Here are my reasons:

The Political Left’s response to this massacre is to foment further division and punch left. In the wake of the slaughter, Chelsea Clinton was confronted by Arab/Muslim-looking students, who blamed her criticism of Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar’s remarks about American-Israeli relations for the shooting. To sum up what this means, the Left is irreconcilably divided over the Israel question and other matters, and any stressor exacerbates these divisions.

The Left and the Establishment don’t know how to respond to it. New Zealand’s Prime Minister,  Jacinda Ardern, called the act “unprecedented” (it’s not), and insisted that “they [i.e. the Muslim victims] are us.” She is also pushing to enact stronger gun control restrictions. Ms. Ardern is missing the point here. The problem is that the victims were not New Zealanders in the way that the Australian-born shooter was, or could be. Furthermore, this is not a “gun control” issue – it is a terrorist attack resulting from existing political realities. If guns were banned, the attack could have been carried out with a bomb, or in a vehicle ramming attack. Another example of the Establishment’s failure to respond is in a widely-circulated opinion piece by James M. Dorsey. In it, he insists the problem is “the rise of civilisationalism.” He is referring to Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations concept. However, “civilisationalism” is not an ideology developed to bring about violence between the Western and Islamic worlds, but a term to explain why the violence began in the 1990s in the first place.

The mosque shooting occurred after decades of anti-white propaganda and a mainstream media narrative insisting that “Islam is the religion of peace.” Anti-white political correctness has existed in Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of Europe and North America throughout the alleged shooter’s twenty-eight summers on Earth, and yet he still engaged in a lengthy period of self-education in history and politics which led him to go on a rampage despite knowing he would be caught or killed, and that all of mainstream opinion would be against him – at least initially. To further explain: the White Australia policy ended in 1973, and the Australian government apologized to the Aborigines out of white guilt in 2008. Additionally, the mosque attack occurred despite a great deal of deplatforming and censoring of white advocate Websites, books, and podcasts.

The Right has not backed down. The key individual here is the Australian Senator from Queensland, Fraser Anning. In a letter dated March 15, Anning stated:

As always, left-wing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views but this is all clichéd nonsense. The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program that allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place. Let us be clear, while Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators.

The Senator’s ideas are being repeated by ordinary people in the comments sections of news sites and on social media. There have already been low-grade copycats, too – one Australian is alleged to have driven his car into the gates of a mosque while shouting obscenities.

Much of what is in Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto is true. As Rod Dreher has written:

You may think that declining numbers of ethnic Europeans is a good thing, or something that has no particular moral meaning. But it really is happening. So are all the rest [of the things that Tarrant calls degeneration.]

I’d like to add that it is clear now that David Lane, who died in prison in 2007, did successfully transmit his Fourteen Words idea in a metapolitical way.

Did white New Zealanders passively let the shooting go on longer? When watching the Go Pro, I was struck by just how long the alleged perpetrator Tarrant had to carry out his rampage. People must have heard the shooting. The gunman even went outside and fired up and down the street. Cars must have been driving by, and everyone’s got a mobile phone these days. Did people hear shooting at the mosque and decide to pull down their blinds, surf the Web, or check their stocks on their phones? During the 2017 Texas church shooting, an armed local chased the gunman down. Why didn’t this happen in New Zealand?

The root causes leading to Tarrant’s alleged “propaganda of the deed” are still ongoing. A likely part of the reason why one of the mosques was attacked was because several New Zealanders who converted to Islam and became terrorists were said to have been linked to it. Additionally, there continues to be Islamic immigration into the West – and Islamic shootings, stabbings, vows for revenge, and so on continue.

For the time being, New Zealanders will need to watch their backs. No amount of virtue signaling, Maori Ooga-Booga dancing, or candlelight vigils will dissuade a determined jihadi from taking revenge. To them, all whites look alike.


  1. kerdasi amaq
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’d say that most of those passer-bys had no idea that anything out of the normal was occurring.

  2. Peter Quint
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Timothy McVeigh volunteered to be executed early–he requested it. As for Brenton Tarrant, only time will tell. I was at the gym this morning, and I saw on the news that Jacinda Ardern had banned assault style weapons. I don’t know if it true, because I don’t know how fast political reforms can be put in effect in New Zealand (I’m hoping it’s a lie). I admire Brenton Tarrant myself.

  3. Ovidiu
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    “Al Qaeda and ISIS (2001-present). Although 9/11 and the explosion of ISIS-inspired terrorism across the world have been unpleasant, these acts should be considered a loss from a political perspective. ”

    I am not sure about this. Bin Laden achieved what he wanted : the only way that the mighty America could have been seriously harmed, and that was by America overreacting and hurting itself. That happened afterwards in reaction to 9/11 as US spent trillions in pointless, unwinnable, Middle East wars and lost its reputation on the international stage. Those wars drained US’s resources and sped up significantly the passing of the post Cold War -“unipolar moment”.

    It is my impression that Trarrant had something similar in mind. He writes in that manifesto something about the powers that be overreacting, overextending, and generating a backlash. It is a thinking similar to that of Bin Laden, and only logical when you deal with someone who is (or you think it is) super-powerful and you can not harm directly.

  4. Benjamin
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Counter-Currents: your #1 source for high-brow White Nationalist essays*


    Thanks CC crew!

  5. Matt Edge
    Posted March 21, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Timothy McVeigh’s terrorism occurred during an era of Wacos and Ruby Ridges. After he gave the feds a taste of their own medicine they really toned it down. If his objective was to check those cowards, then he really did succeed.

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