TTAG reader RA writes: “It’s unfortunate, but it is hard to stop a shooter when you have no weapon. From paragraph 9 of the CBS article: ‘Benoit Bringer, a journalist with Agence Premiere Ligne who saw the attack, told the iTele network he saw several masked men armed with machine guns. He said two officers arrived on bicycles, then — apparently unarmed — they left.'” It’s also worth noting that France has extremely stringent gun control laws.

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103 Responses to Eyewitness: Unarmed French Police Arrived at Terrorist Attack, Left

  1. “It’s unfortunate, but it is hard to stop a shooter when you have no weapon.”

    The only thing unfortunate here is that people will read the above quote, people who claim to be educated, and their only response will be “Well we need to make it harder for people to get guns”

  2. Did they blow their whistles? Duck and cover? Charge? Throw objects?
    That’s what we’re all expected to do.

  3. Well, harsh words are a pretty poor defense against well armed terrorists. I imagine nothing will be learned from this however.

    • Maybe more Europeans will start waking up. The religion of peace is anything but. Le Pen’s popularity has been steadily gaining and this will only bring more people over.

      It maybe too late already but hopefully there will come a time when the people of Europe will say enough already. Or not.

  4. If (when) this atrocity fails to jolt the civilian disarmament collective into reality, then we should accept nothing is likely to. Murderous people don’t follow laws.

    • I suspect that it’s going to jolt them all right, but not in the direction of reason. More likely it will stoke their irrational fears, causing them to…

      – equate law-abiding gun owners with terrorists
      – feel even more helpless, and therefore more desperate
      – further demonize guns and gun owners

      Who wants to lay odds that the antis will trot out their well-worn hysteria about how much worse this attack could have been if law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry firearms, how even more innocents would have been caught in the crossfire, how the (bicycle-riding, unarmed) police wouldn’t have been able to tell good guys from bad, etc.? Anyone want to take that bet?

      • Didn’t something very similar to these events happen in the late 1930’s around Europe ? The French will capitulate again !

    • Nor should we as law-abiding citizens…time and again the state in all its forms, shows no regard to its citizens safety by denying lawful self-defense. Evidence shows again, again, again and again…Democracy is ill-equipped to deal with Islamist because its guiding principle is freedom of speech. This tenet is absent within the construct of Islam which gives no quarter in their dealings citizens of any country they inhabit.

      Only a lawful armed citizenry, fanned out among us, is capable of slowing, if not ending an attack. For our elected representatives, take note if you fail to withdraw anti gun and replace with lawful carry legislation you are complicit in the murder of your constituents.

    • Detroitman- A good guy carrying a gun is only half of the solution. The other half is the good guy actively seeking to destroy the evil man and not being a coward like some of the self-interested and self labeled good guys on this forum. Moral men or good guys don’t blame innocent victims for their lack of preparedness to a violent encounter, nor do moral men flee the chance to confront evil and stop it with righteous firepower.

      • How innocent is someone, or an entire society, who implicitly volunteers for victimhood by forfeiting their firearms freedom?

        • Any person who is about to be shot for no fault of their own is an innocent and is covered under just being around me. The rest of your statement is the philosophical question many freedom loving Americans are pondering. It is not our entire society that is trying to disarm us but it is the entire law abiding society that accepts compromising and delaying of the statists final solution of civilian disarmament.

          Our nation is divided and it won’t change without leading to conflict is the realization many have, so to the victor goes the spoils. It will be the end of one chapter in our young nation but the beginning of another that is true to the Constitution, and has the public’s interest at hand not the greedy corporations and other financial parasites who profit off of out sourcing and foreign laborers.

      • I get what you are saying but keep in mind that we cannot realistically or morally sell our selves as defenders of others not base our argument for our freedoms on such an idea. I Corey for me and mine, I argue for your right to the same and encourage most every one to persue their options. I may not actually run away from such a scenario, even out gunned as I surely would be but here I would stand a chance of support from fellow citizens and a universally armed police force. To sell our selves at protectors though is every bit as bad as selling the police as protectors, every capable man woman and child should be encouraged to do what they can to secure their own safety as their own responsibility. That at least makes the likely hood of armed resistance during an attack realistic.

    • Agreed,,,, a good guy with a gun MAY have saved some, if not all, of the 12 lives lost in Paris….its just so sad that the advocates of citizens having no legal guns think crazy. The bad guys will always figure a way to carry guns!!! Always!!! So you’ll have the police and bad guys carrying guns??? Police won’t always be there to protect you…’ve must be allowed to protect yourself and family OR the bad guys will WIN.

  5. Most of cable news and radio news idiots I listened to on the way to work said that “the police were outgunned ”

    Is “outgunned ” the proper term when the police had no guns at all?

    • Most of cable news and radio news idiots I listened to on the way to work said that “the police were outgunned ”

      So were the victims.

  6. Not sure of the range from which those shots at the windshield where taken from but, that is a pretty tight group in that windshield for a combat situation, this means that those terrorists had some real training to be that cool and accurate….or they were relaxed cause they knew no one else had guns….but that is unclear as the building was supposedly already under police protection? so is it protected by an unarmed policeman?

    • Way too many people believe that a guy in a uniform carrying a flashlight is a deterrent. Deterrent to graffiti or littering maybe. Deterrent to murder, robbery, assault, definitely not.

    • Or maybe because AK’s are more accurate than people give them credit for. You may not like Russians or Commies but they at least did one thing right and the AK is proof of that.

    • From what I’ve read, those were hardly combat conditions though. They were largely unopposed, used basic leap frogging and double-tapping in semi-automatic mode at what appeared to be fairly close range.

    • I agree–it’s a good thing these cops were demilitarized and therefore couldn’t inflict any police brutality on minorities.

      • The French treatment and attitude towards dark skinned minorities in poor neighborhoods is every bit as notorious as America’s, but far less reformed. They absolutely should expect a racist backlash.

        • Is that because the dark skinned minorities are the majority of violent criminal problems like in America. These were just poor misunderstood muslim terrorists killing innocents and justified as fighting back against the evil Christian whitemen, right. I mean they were starting college on Monday turning their lives around from armed robbers/attackers, and the street hustling to supplement welfare worked so well they can now take a huge breath of relief.

          What if white people want to express their racial backlash to forced integration and being forced to watch their countries future fade into a third world country.

        • I invite you to go visit these poor, oppressed minorities of the French bainlieux. I suggest you go at around midnight. Bring your iPad and your iPhone and be sure to provide us with regular updates. Importantly, make sure not to call any police: they might oppress the people kicking the snot out of you and stealing your iPad and iPhone.

  7. There’s still that joke about those near-mint rifles, only been dropped once or whatever, and something about droves of men with their hands in the air…

      • Well they were facing the greatest military force ever conceived from within spitting distance. Given the same logistics Americans would not have won either, and if we had endured realistically the result would have been days or weeks of extended conflict with millions in casualties and an inevitable crushing defeat.

        • Nice try. You say same logistics but ignore those logistics. Try superimposing a map of France over a map of the USA. Then park Germany right next to Georgia. Start WW2 and watch Germany run out of steam before they get to Louisiana.

          France had their collective heads in the sand after WW1 and put all their eggs in one basket. While America was underprepared for WW2, there is no way Germany could go coast to coast.

        • Greatest military force ever concieved? In 1940 when the Germans invaded France the Germans had lighter tanks with lighter guns than the French. A lot of their army was still foot sloggers supported by horse drawn supply wagons and artillery.

          The greatest weapon the Germans had was incompetent leaders among the French and British.

          The germans, if they shared a border with the US, would have found themselves in a very similar situation they found themselves in when they crossed the Russian border.

          The Germans had some cheap and easy victories in places like Poland, Holland, Belgium and France and they had real spiffy boots and uniforms. That did not make them great at anything.

    • That joke ignores a century of French military history. If the United States had faced the battlefields of World War I on our own and lost generations of young men we would be in no better condition.

      Consider our aversion to casualties now- how many soldiers did we lose in Somalia? How soon before we fled the area? The French lost more men in single battles of World War I than the US did during the entire Civil War. That scars a culture.

      And the modern French soldier is no pushover, except for keyboard commandos who like to make jokes.

      • I’ve worked with the French and wasnt’t that impressed. But then again, all militaries have ups and downs. Out military has had some poor showings too. But the fact is…they make fun of us, we make fun of them…that’s how it works…

  8. @RF I just heard there were two permanent police officers stationed at the newspaper and they did engage the terrorist in the building on the second floor. The report was on CNBC.

    • Uh-oh….get ready for bleating about even armed, highly trained police not being able to stop a gunman, so we’d better ban all the guns.

      I guess nobody thought to chew a croissant into the shape of a gun to scare the terrorists off. Those are dangerous, you know.

  9. This is only the beginning, folks, and it won’t be limited to France. Political correctness is the fastest way to kill a nation. Add in the fact that the citizens (and most of the cops) are unarmed, they won’t even be able to go down fighting.

  10. Wow–three guys. I was under the impression it was a small army. It doesn’t take many when they are the only ones with guns…

  11. Ifind that surprising – when I was in Paris most of the cops I saw had pistols (with cute little lanyards so that they didn’t get lost). The Gendarmies had rifles or SMGs.

    Would you engage barricaded bad guys armed with shotties and AKs with just a 9mm pistol? Me neither.

      • Who’s job would that be? I don’t know how French law swings but in America a cop has every right to not engage in order to protect their life and well being. This has been contested and affirmed in the highest courts and it is also morally correct. As for what I would do? Well assuming this was in the US and I could count on a large militaristic response in relatively short order I might just concentrate on delaying the attackers. A head on response would look gallant plastered across my tomb stone but being that my goal is to protect the people and premises dying to soon would be a failure.

  12. This cultural war has been going on for 1200 years. Thanks to multi-culturalism, political correctness, and the leading from behind appeasement complex radical islam is on the offensive across the world. Combine that with the distribution of ideas (good and bad) through social media, radicalization is occurring at an exponential rate to a degree which has never been seen before. Instead of one crazy bastard radicalizing at one local mosque to kill insert: jews/Americans/Christians he is impacting thousands. Some are moved to act, but most are moved to shut up out of fear of being next. You are a fool to think that this level of violence will not land here and soon.

    Unfortunately, when it does, I fear that the victim list will include more of our liberty.

    • as my daughter would say “you you’re a fool.”
      I’m becoming surrounded by mosques and masks.
      this is gonna get harble.

    • Undoubtedly, the men who founded and guided this nation were aware of history. As you point out, this particular threat is hardly new.

      Repeal infringements on the right to keep and bear arms. Fix messed up self defense laws and civil liability snafus. Re-educate as to the power of jury nullification. Normalize the bearing of arms openly and concealed in everyday life. Then, America will be operating as designed and there will be no need for government to step on individual Liberty. There will be no need for a tyrannical police state. If the fixes aren’t achieved then America, as a free nation, is doomed regardless; from within and without.

  13. A little over two months ago I spent three weeks traveling all over France. Never once did I see an unarmed (e.g., without a firearm) police officer in that country, and I probably observed hundreds of them who were walking in plain sight. Depending on whether they were city or federal police, the officers either carried semi-auto pistols or revolvers that looked very much like Ruger GP100s. Therefore, I seriously doubt the credibility of this article.

    • I agree, It’s not the french way to brandish and wave their guns in the air, in an attempt to show they are on the job..

    • It may have not been lack of guns but a lack of proper training. For example, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia all the cops are trained to run in on active shooters, and if they are out-gunned, to take cover and draw the attention of the shooters with their 9mms for as long as it is needed before reinforcements with assault rifles and SBRs arrive. If they get a lucky shot and take the shooter down, then good for them, but otherwise it is all about having the shooters pinned and occupied from shooting on civilians.

      If the French have active shooter training only for selected cops instead of the whole police corps, then of course those that are primarily supposed to smile at tourists from their bikes and giving them directions when they are lost with a map will back off when they hear AK gunfire.

  14. Speaking of the courage of the French – it’s certainly higher than POTUS – kind of like De Blasio’s recent comments re the NYPD, POTUS gave tacit approval to the terrorists’ worldview, though presumably not their tactics. It’s good to know he takes a consistent view regarding “inconvenient” journalism both at home and abroad.

    “White House slams French cartoons, amid election-time threats from Islamists – 2:29 PM 09/19/2012

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday criticized the “judgment” of a French satirical magazine for publishing cartoons that are critical of the Islamist political movement, amid the routine threat of attacks by Islamists during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.”

    FLASHBACK: Obama 2012: ‘The Future Must Not Belong To Those Who Slander The Prophet of Islam’

  15. While I would have liked the odds of survival of the writers who were targeted better had they been able to carry, a surprise attack by three terrorists using full auto AKs probably would have rendered most of us who carry just as dead as they are. The most effective weapon the terrorists had was surprise. Most of us aren’t expecting to be dodging machine gun fire at the morning assignment conference.

    Not verified, but also have read from a few sources that the terrorists also had an RPG and an FBI SME on this mornings news commented that they showed good muzzle discipline when they were calmly making their way back to their car, a sign that they were well trained Muslim extremists, not unskilled Jihadis. The attack was carefully planned and orchestrated, really a multiple assassination more than a random terrorist attack.

    I’ve been to France a few times over the past years and the almost complete Muslim takeover of their society is sad. We rode on a public bus in Nice and my wife, who was wearing shorts and a t-shirt was given dirty looks by the 90% Muslim contingent riding the bus with us for daring to bare her legs and not wearing the Hijab. The UK is becoming the same way. The problem isn’t that both countries have let almost unchecked immigration from Muslim countries, the problem is that they have not required immigrants to assimilate into their societies. That is a recipe for disaster.

  16. This report is not accurate…they WERE armed. They were carrying rock-hard, tactical baguette’s but realized it was their regularly scheduled espresso break, so they had to leave.

  17. Hey guys: The tragedy is terrible — and grievously predictable.

    But the point needs to be made loud, long, often and immediately — to all newsmen and newswomen everywhere — your continued rights under the First Amendment (not to mention your life) depend ENTIRELY on YOUR exercise of your rights under the Second Amendment.

    Defend YOUR rights, newspeople! Your life depends on it.

    If you want make a living publishing on controversy, and still live though this era of active terrorist threats — YOU, my good journalist professionals — YOU MUST arm yourselves. The police will not be there when it matters to YOU.

  18. Just like how the unarmed police in the UK didn’t do anything when that poor soldier got hacked to pieces.

    THIS is what unarmed police can do to “protect” you.

    And yet STILL people advocate for doing this. Everywhere. Seriously.

  19. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a bike? Wait, that can’t be right.

  20. Police nationale (who have jurisdiction in Paris) are armed. Standard sidearm is the SIG SP 2022. The British police are the only European force I can think of that are mostly unarmed.

    • Rather beside the point, actually. The attackers knew, without question, that they would get no resistance from their intended victims. None. They had no reason to believe that the French police would be ruthless and effective fighters either. The pathetic image of a policeman begging for mercy is almost too much… These criminals have no “mercy,” and they’ve known that for a long time.

      Now, the same thing could not be said for most places here in the US. Even NYC and so forth have their share of armed folks among the helpless potential victims. And there are plenty of well armed and motivated police, whatever we may think of their attitude toward people otherwise.

      One of the biggest differences between ordinary criminals and these terrorists is the fact that some, if not all of them, do not have the normal human inhibition against being harmed themselves. This is a major problem that will have to be accepted and dealt with. These arrogant monster “terrorists” must be resisted with everything we’ve got, and then some.

      • “The pathetic image of a policeman begging for mercy is almost too much…”

        Let’s see you join up, get shot to the ground by rifle rounds, and then call you pathetic when you’re unable to put up much more of a fight as you bleed out.

  21. It’s not only French police (armed or otherwise) who refuse to enter the hot zone. It’s happened in every country, including right here.

    Two French flics armed with nothing but a couple of handguns would have no chance against a dozen terrorists with full-auto weapons. Maybe the two cops just weren’t in the mood to commit suicide.

    • Of course two cops with a 9mm wouldn’t have a chance all alone against AK47s… The whole thing is that they should never be in that position.

      I like the story of the guy who rolled into a Texas bar late one night and pulled a gun, demanding the barkeep empty the till. The barkeep handed him a sack of money, and when the robber turned to leave he discovered he was covered by no less than half of the other patrons, with various caliber guns. When he looked around at the barkeep again, he was looking down the barrel of a large bore shotgun.

      I think he must have crapped his pants…

      • Heh! I’d heard that one. Sounds like one o’ them bars where they pat you down, then give you a gun if you don’t already have one. ;P

    • The two Austin cops who took down Charles Whitman went after him with a .38 service revolver, a borrowed rifle and a shotgun with 00 buck.

  22. The report is inaccurate.
    Two gun fights happened before the two bicycle officers arrival, then, a third gun fight took place and Ahmed Merabet, one of the two bicycle officer, was wounded and then coldly executed.
    The first police officer died in the building, he was a SDLP officer protecting the illustrator “Charb”.

    French police officers have to train off duty (by joining shooting club and by using there own personal weapon) because they’re only given someting like 50 bullets a year to train…
    To top it all, they don’t even want to be good shot because of stupid lawmans.
    When a cop train, his scoring is kept and a lawman can use it against him when a gun fight goes wrong.
    We already saw a lawman saying ” I can see that your a good shot, so why didn’t you just disarm the suspect instead of killing him?”
    Lawmans in France have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to gun.

    Sorry for broken english.

    • Wei, your English is good enough – you have a much better description of events than the title of the post or paragraph below it portray, at least according to French reports. Le Monde says that the first officer, Franck Brinsolaro, on close protection duties, died inside the building. The second firefight was outside when the gunmen engaged the police car, whose occupants returned fire and then withdrew. Officer Ahmed Merabet, one of the local policemen then entered the fight, was wounded, and then finished off quite brutally. None of the police was unarmed, and all engaged the terrorists with their sidearms.

  23. Inaccurate article. I am French and I confirm French cops are armed (9mm), and they are not funny guys… Confusion with UK police.

    It is true that population is not armed. Which gives a very low quantity of homicide each year.

    Those two terrorists have just attacked some guys in a meeting room with AK 47.

  24. When I was in Paris a few years ago, there were Gendarmes on every street corner and in lots of large buildings, with FAMASes and kevlar. Didn’t see a single unarmed/regular cop during the whole 10 days that I was there. Just Gendarmes everywhere. Maybe they should have kept it that way.

  25. A rifle or shotgun won’t be as helpful if it’s not with an individual in a public place when an attack occurs. I’m not necessarily advocating one carrying long guns at all times in public but think about this the next time someone drops childish labels for those who do choose to carry long guns in public. The is NOTHING wrong with an individual choosing to go about their day with a rifle or shotgun slung over their shoulder; nothing. I would like to see more of it.

  26. I keep hearing “machine guns” and “automatic rifles” used to describe the weapons used by the gunmen. In all the videos I’ve seem (and heard) these seem to be standard semi-automatic AKs… Honest mistakes or attempts to confuse the two?

  27. This sort of thing could not happen if the UN banned firearms? Those people were “fish in a barrel” for three men with AKs. And, they (the killers) got away, so far. What makes them even more dangerous, if that is possible, is that they are willing to die accomplishing their mission. They may not kill everybody, but they will kill as many as they can before going down. (There are reports elsewhere, the killers were let into the building thru a security door).

  28. I have traveled to Paris four times in the last six years and have never seen an unarmed French policeman/gendarme. They usually carry SIGs and bullpups.

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