When gun rights advocates point out that the firearms-related murders are “epidemic” in a city with some of America’s strictest gun control laws (Chicago), advocates of civilian disarmament maintain that gun control isn’t the problem. It’s the answer! Well it would be if it weren’t for those
meddling kids lax gun laws in surrounding states. But the same token, how do Islamic terrorists in Paris kill dozens of innocents with AKs in an entire country with “common sense gun laws”? “The answer,” dailybeast.com scribe David Axe writes . . .
Eastern Europe, most likely, where the trafficking of deadly small arms is big, shady business. And where local authorities find it difficult to intervene.
The French government and the European Union know they have a foreign gun problem. But as the chain of attacks illustrates, efforts to tamp down on the flow of weapons have, so far, failed to disarm terrorists.
French police reportedly seized more than 1,500 illegal weapons in 2009 and no fewer than 2,700 in 2010. The number of illegal guns in France has swollen by double-digit percentages annually for several years, Al Jazeera reported, citing figures from Paris-based National Observatory for Delinquency.
The seizures likely made just a tiny dent in the pool of available weapons. “The fact that a Kalashnikov or a rocket launcher can be acquired for as little as 300 to 700 Euros in some parts of the EU indicates their ready availability for [organized crime groups], street gangs or groups orchestrating high-profile attacks resulting in significant numbers of casualties,” Europol, the EU’s law-enforcement agency, explained in a policy brief.
Riddle me this: how many guns does a terrorist cell need to mow down unarmed French folk? Less than a dozen, certainly. So what are the odds that French laws can stop terrorists from obtaining weapons inside France? Let’s examine the anecdotal evidence:
On March 6, 2012, French lawmakers passed a law tightening up gun regulation and increasing penalties for illegal ownership. Just five days later, Mohamed Merah—a French jihadist of Algerian descent—went on shooting rampage, killing seven people in three separate attacks in around Toulouse before a police sniper shot him dead.
Merah’s arsenal included an AK-47, an Uzi, a Sten submachine gun, a shotgun, and several pistols—all illegal. “He could only supply himself on the black market or from crime organizations, that’s clear,” Thierry Coste, a pro-gun lobbyist, told The Christian Science Monitor.
In October 2014, French police raided several homes across the country, breaking up an Internet-based smuggling ring, arresting 48 suspected traffickers, and seizing hundreds of illegal guns. Three months later on Jan. 7 this year, jihadist gunmen wielding AK-47s shot up Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people.
And then the most recent atrocity. All of which would lead any sane person to conclude that French legislators’ efforts to stop the tide of illegal firearms flowing into France are as deluded as King Canute. Judging from Axe’s conclusion – based on evidence supplied by his own article – the writer shares that particular affliction.
Weapons are still flowing into the country and into the hands of violent extremists. And on a Friday night in November, heavily-armed terrorists opened fire yet again, in a lawful country with few legal guns that has the misfortune to be surrounded by lawless countries… with lots of guns.
More gun control, less guns? Not even in a police state, to which Axe’s logic leads. In short, same sh*t, different wrapper.