Iceland in shock as cops kills a man for 1st time in history

The nation of Iceland is in shock this week after the police shot and killed a crazed man with a gun.

This was the first time in Iceland’s history that the police have ever killed anyone.

PRI has an interesting radio interview with Thora Arnorsdottir, the news editor at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

A "city bird" view of Reykjavik, Iceland, via Shutterstock.

A “city bird” view of Reykjavik, Iceland, via Shutterstock.

Arnorsdottir told PRI that the police were called because the neighbors of a 59 year old man with severe psychiatric problems thought they heard shots, and called the police.  The police arrived, rushed in, and the man shot at the police.  According to AP, A special armed unit of the police (generally, the cops aren’t armed in Iceland) was then sent in, and they shot the man.

Yes, in Iceland, simply having a gun makes you the “special” SWAT team.

“The nation was in shock, this does not happen in our country, Arnorsdottir said. “This is like an American film.”

No, it’s like an American city.

Spectacular auroral display over the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon in Iceland (via Shutterstock).

Spectacular auroral display over the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon in Iceland (via Shutterstock).

Arnorsdottir adds that the Icelandic police don’t carry weapons because “the nation doesn’t want the police force to carry weapons – it’s threatening, it’s dangerous.”

PRI also notes that Iceland ranks 15th in the world for private gun ownership per capita, yet, you don’t ever see guns in Iceland.  They’re not part of the culture.  And violent crime is low.  Guns are used for hunting, but you just never see a gun.

The AP adds that while shotgun ownership is popular in Iceland, handguns are banned, and that’s one of the reasons many think gun violence is low in the country.

“We do not have armed guards following our prime minister, or president. That’s part of the great thing about living in a peaceful society.”

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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