French police are taking full advantage of the post-Paris terrorist attack “state of emergency.” Thanks to some legal legerdemain, there’s a blanket ban on the right to assemble, warrantless searches and home detention. “Police have carried out 2,575 searches and 354 people have been confined at home, allowed to leave only to report to police headquarters multiple times daily,” 14news.com reports. Le Government de France is unapologetic . . .
The French government said the state of emergency had worked to restore order after the chaos of the attacks, citing the discovery of 403 weapons – including 39 of military grade – and 202 drug seizures.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls acknowledged “two or three unacceptable cases.”
“We have said that. That’s democracy, that’s transparence,” he told RTL radio on Friday.
Under Article 36 of the French Constitution, the French government may transfer powers to military authorities during or after an attack or armed insurrection. Under Article 16, the presidency can grant itself “exceptional measures” during a “serious and immediate” threat France’s institutions or territory. english.rfi.fr tells us that . . .
The state of emergency, as defined by a law passed in 1955, allows severe restrictions of civil liberties and could involve curfews, restricted movements, house arrests, closing public establishments, expanded powers for police to make arrests and to control the press and broadcast media, all of which are liberties the constitution is meant to guarantee.
The reason I mention all this: French citizens don’t have a Constitutionally protected, inviolate (at least in theory) Second Amendment-style right to keep and bear arms. Disarmed, they are at the mercy of their own government. Should their elected leaders elect to extend the state of emergency – say if there’s another terrorist attack or two or simply because it “works” – the emergency measures could soon look permanent.
I’d also like to point out that gun rights advocates who maintain that all our civil rights depend on the Second Amendment are correct. Let’s hope we don’t have to put that notion to the ultimate test.