In large countries, single events are not usually taken as defining that country. So if the police in America botch a response to a mass murderer, soon enough another mass murderer will come along. There is almost always a do-over, usually many of them. If need be, we Americans can start a new war to create a do-over.
Norway doesn’t work this way. The country won’t soon have an event which generates comparable international or national publicity to the recent murders. That makes those murders, and the lack of an effective police response, sting all the more. There is no do-over on the horizon.
It turns out for instance that the helicopter crew of the Oslo police force was on vacation. In expected value terms, maybe that wasn’t a mistake but it sure didn’t turn out well. Here is an article on Norway not very much arming its police force.
The Norwegian resistance movement from WWII has a heroic reputation, but now there’s been a do-over of Norwegian response capability, so to speak, or at least a perceived do-over.
Americans have a hard time understanding the concept of not getting many do-overs.
When it comes to our debt-ceiling crisis, we are acting as if we will get a do-over for sure; I wonder if that’s justified.