Dutch far-right gun massacre and police mistake

This 2016 Dutch video is about 5 years ago: [9 April 2011] PVV [Geert Wilders’ xenophobic political party] supporter Tristan van der Vlis shot 7 people dead, including Tristan himself. He had injured sixteen other people.

According to Dutch daily NRC, mass murderer Van der Vlis was a PVV sympathizer and hated ‘foreigners’. He was the grandson of Dutch nazi Kornelis van der Vlis, mayor during the 1940-1945 German occupation of the Netherlands.

Van der Vlis’ first victim of the massacre in the Alphen aan den Rijn shopping mall was a refugee poet from Syria.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Court of Appeal: police are liable for mass shooting in Alphen aan den Rijn

The police are liable for personal injury and death caused by the mass shooting in a shopping center in Alphen aan den Rijn, in April 2011. The Court of Appeal in The Hague decided that after the district court had reached a different conclusion. They had found that the police were not liable, though they had made mistakes.

Victims and surviving relatives blame the police for having granted a gun permit to Van der Vlis in 2008. He had psychological problems and therefore he should never have received that permit, they reason.

Mr Van der Vlis was a gun club member and had licenses to own five firearms legally.

Why could such an apparently emotionally unstable dangerous individual have licenses to own firearms? To know the answer to this, we have to look at Dutch gun clubs in historical perspective.

November 1918. In Russia there is revolution. In Germany, the emperor flees to the Netherlands. Other monarchs fall.

Pieter Jelles Troelstra, the Dutch Social Democrat leader, and David Wijnkoop, leader of what would become the Dutch Communist Party, then proclaimed revolution. To counter this, counter-revolutionary paramilitary forces, the “Burgerwacht” were founded. To recruit for these forces, the emphasis was on love for the monarchy (even among non-socialists, love for the royal family was mostly stronger than for the capitalist economic order). One of the commanders of those Burgerwacht forces was Baron van Ittersum, a relative of royal lady in waiting, Baroness Elise van Ittersum.

Later, in January 1923, the first Dutch fascist party was founded by admirers of Mussolini: the Verbond van Actualisten, VVA. When, in July 1925, this party participated in the Dutch general election, a parliamentary candidate was Baron van Ittersum, a contact of other fascists who had been in the Burgerwacht under him.

Other Burgerwacht people would also turn up later in Dutch fascist organizations. Eg, Hugues Alexandre Sinclair de Rochemont, a co-founder of the VVA, had served under Van Ittersum. He would die as a member of Adolf Hitler’s SS occupation forces in the Soviet Union.

After the attempts at Left revolution of 1918 had failed, the Dutch government made it illegal for people with “revolutionary views” to become members of gun clubs. This meant exclusion of social democrats, communists, anarchists, etc. That law is still valid today.

On the other hand, the law on gun clubs said nothing about banning violent counter-revolutionary people. So, supporters of Mussolini, Hitler, and later dictatorships like the Greek colonels or Pinochet in Chile were and are welcome as rifle club members.

In the nineteen-eighties and nineties, there was the neo-fascist “Centrumdemocraten” party in the Netherlands. They had their own gun club.

Today’s NOS report continues:

The district court ruled that the police acted negligently, but “the rule that police must be careful when making such a decision does not intend to protect against damage that the plaintiffs have suffered”.

The Court of Appeal disagrees with that and states that this standard of due care is indeed meant to protect citizens against the harmful consequences of the abuse of a gun permit. Because the damage was not directly caused by the granting of the permit, the court limits itself to awarding injury and death damages; material damage to, for example, the stores is not reimbursed.

3 thoughts on “Dutch far-right gun massacre and police mistake

  1. I could not get a sound from the video (and had not seen the nightshow on NPO) Nice to have found what it was all about, by means of your good work of translation, enabling more people to learn about it.


  2. Pingback: Far-right politicians waste European Union gravy train money on champagne | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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