We’re all waking up to some shocking headlines coming out of New Zealand. One man is in custody, with as many as three other people having been detained for questioning in what is by far the worst mass shooting seen on the islands in modern history. Reports vary, but 49 people are said to have been killed and at least twenty others injured in two separate mosques while people were attending prayers sometime after one in the afternoon. (NY Post)
The man who livestreamed himself slaughtering at least 49 worshipers in a New Zealand mosque has been identified as a 28-year-old personal trainer from Australia who described himself as a “regular white man.”
Brenton Tarrant identified himself online before unleashing his rampage, posting several photos on a since-deleted Twitter account of what appear to be assault rifle magazines and a link to a lengthy manifesto, The Guardian reported.
He worked at the Big River Gym in the northern New South Wales city of Grafton since finishing high school in 2009 until 2011, when he decided to travel across Europe and Asia, gym manager Tracey Gray told abc.net.au.
He financed his trips with money he made from Bitcoin and cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, she said.
Like many lunatics in the modern era, Brenton Tarrant left behind a lengthy “manifesto” explaining that he was a “regular white guy” and how he really had it out for Muslims in his community. The larger shooting at the first mosque was livestreamed on social media.
This guy worked as a personal trainer at a gym and none of his colleagues or his employer said they had any inkling that he might be up to something like this. But they did note that Tarrant had taken several years off from work after making a substantial amount of money off Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The owner of the gym points out that he traveled to Europe, but also to North Korea and that something about him “must have changed” over the course of his travels.
Sounds to me like he was radicalized, but in the opposite way that we normally think of. He apparently returned from his world travels with a hatred for Muslims and an agenda to take matters into his own hands.
It’s worth noting that New Zealand has gun control laws in place and there is no equivalent of the Second Amendment there. Police control the issuance of various levels of permits on a “may issue” basis. They can approve or deny permits at their sole discretion based on whether or not the applicant is considered a “person of good character” and doesn’t have a history of criminal activity, mental illness or other disqualifying factors. Of New Zealand’s roughly five million residents, approximately 250,000 have gun permits.