51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder. A posted manifesto and a live stream weaponizing the internet too as he attacked.
Brenton Tarrant plead guilty today to carrying out one of the worst solo acts of terror in modern history. It’s a move that will likely cause both relief and confusion as this removes the looming trial. Relief for victims as they gain some closure without the spectacle of the man’s hatefully reasoned insanity dragged into the spotlight for public consumption. They won’t be forced to relive the horror in that forum, where Tarrant could bask in the attention and spew rhetoric for the grand proceeding.
And that is where confusion comes in. Why did he give that up? Mass shootings are a violent and horrific communication platform. Tarrant is a classically defined terrorist with a political goal, many listed actually, the expulsion of Muslims and foreign ‘races’ from western “white” nations among the most prominent.
The cognitive dissonance required to hold such a view set, the broken and evil mind that produces a plan like was carried out, it reeks of narcissism and self importance. A belief that they alone are ‘smart’ enough to fix the ‘dire situation’. The situation of people slightly different from themselves peaceably living their lives as citizens of the same nation.
The level of self deception necessary to believe a nearly identical act of terror to those favored by Al-Shabaab is somehow justifiable and that the act will ignite violence and descent worldwide that would magically end in a segregated utopia.. baffling.
It’s curious such a deluded mind would give up the platform of the trial. But then again, Tarrant has been cooling his heels in maximum security as likely the most reviled man in the nation. He only manged to screw thousands of New Zealand gun owners in addition to the legacy of the shattered community of Christchurch. There was no “glorious” [/sarc] bloody revolution. No one flocked to his banner, except maybe one asshole in Texas who attacked Wal-Mart. There was only derision and disgust, and I don’t know how long a mind could hold onto a delusion with such universal external pressure unabated.
That legacy of failure and the weight of hindsight, the tragic pity for a lost and broken soul, and the righteous anger burning towards him may have torched the ambition for trial stage away. We can hope.
For the community of Christchurch, especially those close to the victims, I hope he has accepted his fate and will meekly fade away to let them heal. We will see at sentencing.