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Hey, you know what might be a good idea in the fight against amorphous, hard-to detect threats posed by a nihilistic, violent enemy that wants nothing more than to stage high profile, high casualty attacks against sovereign nations and their people? Let’s arm the populations of those potential targets so that when that enemy does manage to pull off an attack, the chances of slowing them down and limiting the carnage are increased.

It’s such a crazy idea, it just might work!

You know who’s come around to that way of thinking? Our assiduously anti-gun friends the French.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Saturday called on young citizens to become reservists and help boost security forces in the wake of the country’s latest terror attack.

France’s “operational reservists” include French citizens with or without military experience as well as former soldiers.

“I want to call on all French patriots who wish to do so, to join this operational reserve,” said Cazeneuve.

After last week’s attack in Nice, the current government’s coming under withering attack for its inability to prevent these atrocities. Their conclusion: add more citizens to the operational reserve to beef up and back up the gendarmerie.

The operational reserve is currently made up of 12,000 volunteers, 9,000 of whom are within the paramilitary police and 3,000 in the regular police force, said Cazeneuve.

“We are going to reinforce the presence of security forces across the country,” he added.

He said the number of security forces deployed to protect the population was nearly 100,000, including 53,000 police, 36,000 para-military police and 10,000 soldiers.

What does the “operational reserve” do?

They are organized in about 100 company-sized units called Reserve Intervention Units, in addition to a small number of so-called Reserve Specialized Units of similar size. During a crisis, their duties in support of the civil authority include providing general reinforcement of public order forces, aiding the population and maintaining continuity of essential public services. In cases of extreme emergency, the civil authorities can also use these reserves for internal and border security, including protecting public facilities under a French anti-terrorism program known as Vigipirate, in which French military personnel conduct armed anti-terrorism patrols in key transportation, government and tourist facilities.

Sacré bleu! Les Français have come to the conclusion that more people with guns can be an effective deterrent to a dangerous enemy.

To be fair, in a free society, virtually nothing will stop a determined individual or small group from carrying out bloody, high profile attacks on civilians and other very public targets. The Orlando, Ft. Hood, and San Bernardino are just three notably disturbing cases in point.

Still, having more armed citizens will only reduce both the likelihood and potential effectiveness of such attacks — even if only marginally. It’s notable that even the French have now apparently come to that conclusion, though these new reservists will apparently only be carrying a weapon while in uniform. Allowing Madame et Monsieur Tout-Le-Monde across l’hexagone to pack heat is still a philosophical bridge too far. Le sigh.

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  1. Boy, do you read funny. Nowhere that you quoted says these “operational reservists” might be armed. They might “assist” some armed personnel, probably as human shields, but not armed. Think I’ll pass, thanks.

    • It’s not much, but they’ll get firearms training. There’s at least the potential for more armed individuals able to respond to an attack. Baby steps.

      “As soon as they have signed up, they will be asked to attend a basic military training. They will learn first aid and firearms handling. They will then be called upon to go on a mission with professional soldiers either on the French territory or on foreign operations. However, entering a group of active military personnel is not the only option. A reservist can also work for a company providing logistical support to the armies (suppliers, military transports maintenance, etc.). ”–Military-Army.html

      • Dan, when I was in Paris a few years ago the ONLY people with guns were a three man team of regular army. They patrolled the subway and train stations. The regular cops weren’t armed, which is why those cops who arrived at the Charlie Hebdo attack could only hold their hands in front of them while the jihadists shot them.
        What is going on here is not a good thing… Drawing more young people into the government forces and removing civil liberties are the first steps of expanding a Police State.

      • If you want more of something, teach people about it and subsidize it.

        I agree w/Dan – can’t hurt.

        • That’s what concerns me…these statists are calling for more people to join the state forces while at the same time suspending all civil liberties. Yes, they may get to learn how to pull a trigger but only under the eye of the state. Even worse it reinforces the message you can only learn how to use firearms if you join the police state.
          I am reminded that after the battles of Flodden and Culloden, the only way Scots men could bear arms, play bagpipes (a weapon of war) or wear their clan colors was to join the British army. They were then the cannon fodder in India, China, and against our ancestors here in the Colonies. This is history repeating itself.

        • No, not all French police are unarmed. Municipal police generally are unarmed unless they’re doing something specific.

          Gendarmes carry a sidearm and have other weapons available. Their standard issue sidearm is a Sig.

          Paramilitary police carry firearms as a matter of course, hence the “paramilitary” part of the name.

  2. Operational reserves comprised of armed citizens? Sounds a lot like a militia formed from free people with the right to keep and bear arms. And France just now figured this out in 2016?

    When they modify their constitution to codify this change, they may call it the Deux Amendment, but it should be called the Duh! Amendment.

    • I did not read “armed citizens” (as Americans would understand the term) at all. What I saw was an increased recruiting effort to expand the “reserve” of people subservient to the government, but wearing uniforms on demand. The article seemed to be about enlarging the number of government agents who will monitor the citizenry.

  3. This seems to be a step toward changing perceptions of arming the public, but probably not. France has to work on bringing down the brick wall of gun control laws they have so far erected. Until free French citizens can enjoy similar freedoms as many of the readers on this site enjoy, the people will never be safe.

    This appears to be a half step toward an armed populace, the laws haven’t changed yet, and there has been no push to change these laws, and the inclusion of more people into a reservist force seems like weak sauce; but I am not French, hell I only made it through a year of French.

    Be strong my brothers and sisters of France, you helped our little experiment at it’s most crucial point, and the people of the USA are with you, the ones that count anyway. p.s. change your gun laws, allow free access to firearms, advocate for adding a pro gun right into your constitution, and pull together as a free people.

    • The french monarchy helped us and sent us Lafayette because his liberal ideas concerning freedom undermined the french aristocracy….. Revolution, empire, monarchy, revolution, monarchy, then one german backed republic via another revolution and we kinda have the france that exists today… Throw in some anarchist assassinations, two world wars, commie terrirists, islamo fascist terrorists, and some clamping down on civil liberties and voila!!!… Long gone are the Lafayettes of france…… They will never have an armed population absent anarchy.

  4. There’s nothing to be excited about. All the interior ministry is planning to do is to use more reserve soldiers as supplemental security forces together with regular police in case of need. The French law on guns (about as scandalously strict as the German one) has nothing to do with this whatsoever. Not a single arm will be added to private citizens’ hands because of this.

    • Soldiers acting as general law-enforcement, what could possibly go wrong…

      I sure hope you realize just how ungodly illegal this would be to do in the US with our clear restrictions against domestic deployment of the military? I wouldn’t want you thinking it’s “totally cool” that even the Natl Guard would be assigned to civilian areas outside an ongoing, active conflict the police are unable to control (riots, insurrection, man made/natural disasters)

  5. You see reservist-I see an extension of the secret po-leece. Nothing like OUR 2nd Amendment… I guess it’s better than the French daddy’s ” they have guns-we have flower’s my son” lunacy…

    • I wouldn’t go that far based on what little I know (perhaps you know more), but it sure sounds more like the National Guard than armed citizens to me.

  6. “in a free society, virtually nothing will stop a determined individual or small group from carrying out bloody, high profile attacks on civilians”

    I know one thing that will stop at least some jihadists from striking American targets — don’t let them in to the country, and if they’re already here, kick them out.

  7. I’ll work for room and board, wine and cheese. I’ll bring my own weapons. Just assign me a brasserie and I’ll keep my eye on it.

    • Mind for some company while on duty? You can never guard a nice little brasserie too heavily.

    • Islam is *not* nazi Germany. The terrorists will wipe their asses with those white flags (incidentally making them brown).

  8. None of this will matter until they drive the Muslims from their lands. 42% of them believe suicide bombings are justified. The French have a major problem on their hands.

  9. This sounds more like the creation of a police state than arming citizens. All these reservists, when activated, will be under orders from superiors, not acting on their own to protect themselves or others from mass killers.

    Unless France is planning to use these reservists to deport all Muslim immigrants from their country, this looks and sounds more like a French version of a “Civilian National Security force that’s just as powerful, just as well funded as police and military.”

  10. I say the French are just saving a step and some money. It is much easier to surrender if you have no firearm to drop first…

  11. This might *sound* like progress, from our perspective, but the truth of the matter is that this is more a call to arm citizens in service of the State than themselves –i.e. Brownshirts recruitment vs. an endorsement of actual freedom or responsibility. The Brownshirts’ enforcement power was seen as absolutely necessary at the time, as well…

  12. To me this article should have been headlined. France asks for “Volunteers civilians needed to be human shields”……..
    Nothing less is how it reads to me.

  13. This is simply another instance of playing musical chairs on the Titanic.

    In the end, when France realizes they’ve invited the invaders into their midst, they’ll end up suspending civil liberties in an even more drastic way than they’ve already done (and, BTW, the prior suspension of civil liberties was due to expire this coming week, but now it will be extended by presidential fiat for another three months), and they will start sending in the French Foreign Legion, because they will have determined that the DGSE & DGSI can’t keep up with the threats, the local constabulary isn’t equipped or trained to get into toe-to-toe shootouts with suicidal maniacs with infantry weapons.

    France is making the same mistakes that most every other western democracy is making: fighting against “terrorism” is a fight against a tactic, a modus operandi. Everyone here at TTAG knows that gun control is a futile and stupid way to fight “normal crime,” because criminals will just obtain a gun via illegal means, or they’ll use some other tool in the commission of their crime. Everyone here knows you have to go after the criminal, not the gun, if you want to reduce gun crimes.

    Well, it’s the same thing here. Terrorist can’t get hold of bomb material or guns? Rent a truck, point it at a bunch of densely packed people, and hit the gas. Presto! Numbers of dead on par with the best bombing/shooting plans so far executed.

    What’s the common element in these various tactics and MO’s for large numbers of dead? The terrorists – the perps. What do all of them have in common? An adherence to political Islam, Salafism, which is being funded and spread by Saudi Arabia.

    Want to start cutting these people down? Start at the root of the poisonous vine: Saudi Arabia. Attack their banks, attack the royal family, attack their institutions. Go after the hawala networks. Flatten everything in the ISIS controlled areas, give Egypt license to slaughter the Muslim Brotherhood en masse.

    Until the west learns that, yes, in fact, we are at war with classical Islam (ie, the verbatim Islam of Muhammad), we’re going to keep losing people to these attacks.

  14. This still doesn’t mean that people can carry in private life. My assessment of this move? Big deal.

  15. As many here said, this isn’t about arming the citizens but about increasing the governmental armed forces.
    France is spearheading the EU’s attack on legal gun owners which is still underway, nearing a vote in the European Parliament.

  16. I am in complete agreement with Dyspeptic Gunsmith
    Saudi Arabia has been opening these Salafi Madrassa religious schools all over the world that teach only memorizing the Koran and hate for infidels
    This has been the number one recruiting round for world terrorism
    Until they stop supporting these madrassa, there will be no end to the current war

  17. Just to clear things up, the different branches of the police have different weapons. From the events of last year the municipal police (their job is traffic, minor problems in town etc) were trained in my town (at our range because they don’t have their own), for over a week with S&W revolvers. They now carry these but with 38 special rounds in them. Perhaps seen as old hat but I for one shoot my revolver much better than a semi-auto and then those revolvers do tend to be reliable when shooting – yes only 6 rounds but with speed clips and two officers it’s not so poor.

    Unfortunately not all communes want their municipal police to be armed – it goes beyond belief of course. The anti-gun angle caused by monsters is applied to the good guys.

    Yes the laws and citizens rights are not great in France but you guys in the states are spoilt by having that 2nd amendment………..

  18. Now, reading this, I consider myself more effective than these reservists, with the trusty .25ACP in my pocket. 🙂

  19. Rheir first mission should be to go into the no go zones or Muslim run communities and unload some .50cals and rpg’s which would be a quick way to eradicate the infestation and the French could then take their cities back! That will decimate the population in France and then you can run the rest out using fear!!!!!

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