Iceland made history this week, but not in a good way. For the first time since the nation became an independent republic, armed police shot and killed a man, startling a population accustomed to peace.
"The nation does not want its police force to carry weapons because it’s dangerous, it’s threatening," Arnorsdottir says. "It’s a part of the culture. Guns are used to go hunting as a sport, but you never see a gun."
In fact, Iceland isn’t anti-gun. In terms of per-capita gun ownership, Iceland ranks 15th in the world. Still, this incident was so rare that neighbors of the man shot were comparing the shooting to a scene from an American film.
The Icelandic police department said officers involved will go through grief counseling. And the police department has already apologized to the family of the man who died — though not necessarily because they did anything wrong.
"I think it’s respectful," Arnorsdottir says, “because no one wants to take another person’s life. “
I feel like I don’t even live on the same planet as some people because of the stuff I’ve gotten “used to seeing” in the news here in the US compared to other places in the world…