“France has very strict gun laws, except for terrorists, who seem to always be able to get guns.” So sayeth Newt Gingrinch on Fox News’ Outnumbered. Not be pedantic, but French terrorists are also subject to France’s strict gun laws. For some reason, they choose to ignore them. More importantly . . .
The most recent terrorist attack occurred while the French government continues to operate under to Article 36 of the Constitution: État de siège (State of Emergency). French police can conduct searches and seizures without judicial oversight, and pols are free to censor the press.
While I’ve not read of any examples of censorship (they may have been censored), there’s been plenty of extra-judicial searches since the state of emergency was declared on 13 November 2015, in the aftermath of a series of terrorist attacks.
“As of 23 July 2016, almost 3,600 houses had been raided under the state of emergency,” wikipedia.org reveals, “leading to more than 400 arrests, the seizure of more than 500 weapons including 40 war weapons.”
Think about that: 3,200 warrantless house raids — 89 percent — did NOT lead to an arrest. Or worse. That’s assuming there was one arrest per successful raid. And that an arrest — rather than a conviction — constitutes a successful raid.
Not to put too fine a point on it, France sacrificed their citizens’ civil rights on the altar of public safety. And seems set to do so indefinitely.
Did I mention that under the state of emergency the Minister of the Interior and the prefects can “order places of gathering to be closed” and order that “legally obtained weapons be relinquished to them”?
The fact that French citizens are denied their gun rights plays no small part in the electorate’s tolerance for the country’s descent into a police state. If you can’t protect yourself, you’re happy to have someone else do it for you. And if that’s the case, why tie their hands?
After a terrorist attack, we often hear pols pronounce say, “If we change our way of life in response to this heinous attack, the terrorists have won.” That should read, “If we abandon our individual rights after a terrorist attack, the terrorists have won.”
New flash. French terrorists have won.