You will hear a great deal of spin, propaganda and lies, particularly from the gun pornographers in the NRA. They will tell you French police do not carry weapons and that gun ownership in France is banned. The responding police to the Charlie Hedbo attack were not the Gendarmerie Nationale, but civilian Police nationale, or Surete (Sur-ay-tay), like our civilian police here in the US. All Surete are issued and carry a Swiss SIG Saurer Pro-series semi-automatic pistol 9mm pistol, and many carry rifles and/or shotguns in their vehicles like US domestic police.
By domestic standards, crime is violent rare in Paris and France as a whole. Terrorism and extremist attacks are rare as well. The Surete has excellent SWAT, anti-terrorism and rapid response units. Communication and coordination between Surete and the Gendarmerie is excellent as well. The first police responded in Paris within 3 minutes. Video from today’s attack show that the police were surprised while responding, facing combat hardened gunmen with assault weapons and possibly body armor before they could even draw their weapons.
Two officers were killed. One was hit in a hail of bullets and wounded. The attackers then finished the officer off moments later. Will FOX News televise their funeral hour by hour as well, or will they forget this story when Michelle Obama makes a remark about bacon or vegetables or school lunches in a few days?
Gun ownership in France is permitted, but is licensed. Stock piling bullets for pistols is not permitted. Owners of small arms may keep 20 rounds at any one time. Hunters, sportsmen and rifle owners are permitted to maintain 1000 rounds. Guns can be owned legally with appropriate and reasonable permits. Ownership of guns in France is common and easier than in many other European countries. However, with the EU, there are no border customs control. Buying guns legally or illegally in Eastern and Southern Europe, or Turkey and transporting them throughout Europe is as simple as buying guns at an Indian gun fair and driving them to the south side of Chicago.
As for reaction by Muslims to the attack, apparently for Charlie Hedbo’s cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad, The Arab league in Cairo and Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious, organizations, Canadian Muslim leaders, Saudi Arabia and British Muslim leaders immediately and strongly condemned the attack. It is the same for ISIS as well, with many Muslim leaders and nations condemning the group.
Finally, a leading Muslim cleric in Britain remarked on the BBC that “Journalists are free to produce those cartoons in a free society, and we as Muslims are free to peacefully oppose them…We Jews, Muslims and Christians must come together and unify against this threat.” The journalist responsible for the cartoon is Stephanie Charbonnier. He was killed in the attack.
While respect and sensitivity to diverse perspectives in the community, freedom of expression must be paramount throughout society. Charlie Hebdo clearly carried that to an extreme, but in their defense the magazine was an equal opportunity offender. That is why we have published a cross-section of those offending covers, with apologies to all of our friends who might take offense. The freedom of expression and of journalism, however is much larger that individual sensitivities. We will likely never post them again, but out of duty in defense of expression and freedom, and to honor the memories of the dead, not only in Paris, but for those oppressed by any censorship, including American corporatist censorship and self-censorship, Revolution and Beer will not waver from its responsibility.
Rest in peace truth warriors. Rest assured that others shall carry that torch against all extremism, fascism and forces of control who would oppress, conceal or attack the real truths in this world.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.