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Judge Andrew Napolitano is never one to mince words. In a recent article for, the former New Jersey judge and Fox News contributor fires a double-barreled rhetorical shotgun blast — at the French government, for its failure to respect the rights of French citizens:

[H]ow hypocritical was it of the French government to claim it defends free speech! In France, you can go to jail if you publicly express hatred for a group whose members may be defined generally by characteristics of birth, such as gender, age, race, place of origin or religion.

You can also go to jail for using speech to defy the government. This past weekend, millions of folks in France wore buttons and headbands that proclaimed in French: “I am Charlie Hebdo.” Those whose buttons proclaimed “I am not Charlie Hebdo” were asked by the police to remove them. Those who wore buttons that proclaimed, either satirically or hatefully, “I am Kouachi” were arrested. Arrested for speech at a march in support of free speech? Yes. …

What’s going on in France, and what might be the future in America, is the government defending the speech with which it agrees and punishing the speech with which it disagrees. What’s going on is the assault by some in radical Islam not on speech, but on vulnerable innocents in their everyday lives in order to intimidate their governments. What’s going on is the deployment of 90,000 French troops to catch and kill three murderers because the government does not trust the local police to use guns to keep the streets safe or private persons to use guns to defend their own lives.

The only thing I can add to Judge Napolitano’s excellent article is this: when people claim that the American philosophy on the right to keep and bear arms (especially the fact that the Second Amendment is predicated on the notion that an armed citizenry is the ultimate guarantee against tyranny) just wouldn’t work in places like France, where different attitudes prevail, it is belied by the Fifth Republic’s own history.

In living memory, in 1961 when elements of the Légion étrangère tried to overthrow the Republic because the French President (who had a significant hand in liberating France from the rule of the Nazis) proposed liberating Algeria from French colonial rule, it was the people of France who were called on for help and who rallied to the cause to put down the putsch.

The French have had to stare down their own army in the recent past. Are the people who saved the Fifth Republic in its darkest hour the ones who it still doesn’t trust to keep and bear arms? Perhaps one day France will wake up and learn from her own history.

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  1. Charlie Hebdo advocated banning the Front Nationale, a party whose immigration policy would’ve saved countless French and Jewish lives (not to mention the Charb staff’s). Hopefully the French people can wrest their freedom back from Islam and the police state. Je Suis Charlie…Martel.

  2. I’m not exactly sure what America the Judge is living in, because what he thinks could happen in the future, is already happening in the present.

    The 4th amendment is on life support and when it dies, that means the 1st dies with it.

      • And you suckle on what poisoned teat, msnbc? Alex jones? Ron Paul?

        Fox is MODERATE (Murdoch is fawning over Jeb); Judge Napolitano is right on this issue, deluded on others (Adam Kokesh…)

        As for you? The verdict is still out.

        • Lol, so typical, so you realize that MSNBC, CNN, ect are propaganda machines, but you hold the belief that FOX is uniquely different?

      • This article was an editorial (or maybe just an opinion piece) for, so I expect a fair amount of bias to be incorporated into it. He is not a newscaster or journalist. So regardless if he was a contributor for Fox, MSNBC or CNN, (which is really not the point) what he was currently writing was technically propaganda.

        • Nearly everything written or spoken has bias built into it, being that people have ideas and opinions. Official news sources, FOX, CNN, BBC, ect are massive propaganda machines where the writers, journalists, whatever simply ape what they are scripted to do.

  3. I definitely think what this guy says could happen to the U.S. is sad and scary, but most likely inescapable, as political correctness overpowers free speech and the illusion of safety tromps actual safety, eventually the progressive ideals will strangle out the roots of liberty, while its enablers hide behind the words, “it’s for your own good”. We’ll cry about rights, and they’ll say to keep our thoughts to ourselves or face the wrath of the government.

    • and we tell them to bring that wrath. Against one or a dozen, it might even work. Against millions… Not so much.

      • I hate the idea of killing or even hurting anyone, let alone participate in any kind of war, but I have to shake my head when the anti-gun say things like “you couldn’t fight the government, you inbred redneck”, I tell them one thing: look at the middle east. A bunch of dirt poor goat farmers with little more than rusty Soviet leftovers and pressure cookers have done a lot of damage to our forces.

        • Having been on the government side of that particular dustup I can tell you that the US military would find operating on US soil against an organized insurgency a living hell. It’s much harder to get your materiel superiority on when angry insurgents are all a short drive away from your primary supply points and can seamlessly blend back in with the population at large after they are done ruining your stuff or just plain stealing it and using it against you at the first opportunity. Somehow, I don’t see even the most rabid liberal supporting strategic carpet bombings that would be necessary to make this something other than a brutal guerrilla war. (and we all know how well a modern industrialized military does fighting those.)

        • I agree for he most part, but don’t think for a second that the US military won’t have much more liberal rules of engagement against its’ own citizens than they’ve had for insurgents in foreign lands. What that would do to change the situation, I don’t know.

        • One thing we can definitely be sure of is another civil war would be just as or more brutal than the last. In this day and age, I doubt a liberal war effort would have the stomach for such a prolonged conflict, regardless of what the reality on the battlefield was. Just like in Vietnam or Iraq, the US military clearly dominated every major engagement…. But that was irrelevant as so many boys came home in body bags. As that occurs the anti war movement grows and suddenly it’s “cool” to protest the war and avoid service. Esspecially in the liberal areas. I sincerely doubt they will be warmongers for long. Remember, though with the Iraq war there was an anti war movement from the beginning, many democrats supported it. Less than a year after the war started the Democratic Party full on swung to the dove side and became the cool, popular, anti war party.

        • I won’t go into details, for reasons that should be obvious, but there are literally hundreds of targets that an organized insurgency could hit that would have the liberal utopias rioting in the streets. Americans just aren’t used to personal adversity. Interrupt power for a few days, food for a week or two… The very proles that the liberals rely on to keep them in power will be lynching politicians in the streets. The scary part is that it would be impossible to harden all the necessary points sufficiently to withstand a rapid raid from an organized insurgent group with even a few hundred fighters. If you have an insurgency with a few hundred thousand, widely distributed across the Continental US… There do not exist sufficient forces on the planet to win a campaign like that. The insurgency would not even need to win any major engagements. If even a tiny percentage of their raids are successful in disrupting key infrastructure, the government will collapse within a month or two. It’s not a pretty option, nor a preferable one, but I guarantee you that anybody who even remotely analyzed the situation knows better than to risk a widespread insurgency. It’s a fight the US government simply cannot win. Especially given the fact that the average American would go into an apoplectic fit if they personally have to suffer a few minor inconveniences.

        • barnbwt hit the proverbial nail on the head.

          The only problem I see with pwserge’s approach is organizing an insurgency. How would one go about that? Advertise on billboards, Twitter, or some other website? Obviously Big Brother would be all over that sort of thing. Even word of mouth becomes problematic when everyone could be an informant.

          The current police state hoovers up everything (telephone calls, cell phone calls and metadata, e-mails, search engine searches, and website visits). Of course Big Brother claims to be noble and only use the data to stop “terrorists” and foreign state sponsored attacks. There is a huge problem, however. Who defines a “terrorist”? Big Brother does. And their definition suits the ruling class. Which means any of us could be a “terrorist” simply because we are not on board with giving everything over (including our bodies and dignity) to the ruling class.

          We the People obviously want to prevent the James Holmses and Johnny Jihadis of the world from killing us. What do we do, however, when the very surveillance that enables us to prevent some such attacks also prevents We the People from organizing to stop dictators within who violate the Supreme Law of the Land and the fundamental, unalienable rights of We the People?

    • In that case …….I will deal with the wrath of the so called “government” , who are so far from what OUR forefathers originally set up………..
      What we have today is far removed from the constitution as it is meant to be……

  4. One must consider that French law and “constitution” do not recognize individual rights. They have only the collective. And the jaw allows only what is deemed good for the collective. That us why their government can mandate the month of August for vacation, outlaw working more than 35 hours a week. The list is long.
    And that us also why the French economy, like most of Europe is weaker than the US at all times.

    • Damn, that hurts. As someone planning to move out of California, this made me reconsider. That may be the best argument for staying and fighting.

  5. Simply put the purpose of the second amendment is to kill or remove those in government that deny the people their natural rights. France like most of Europe is still ruled by tyranny albeit better disguised but ANY place where the government arrests people for exercising any of their rights tyranny

  6. Sadly Europe won’t learn unless another evil national socialist (Nazi) government were to start a third world war.

    When the majority of Europeans willfully gave up their rights (and took away the rights of those who would not give them away) they made a conscious decision. Nothing would reverse that except for repeated shocking events, like how many people of Jewish descent fled from Europe (to America) post WW2.

    • Scrubula wrote “Sadly Europe won’t learn unless another evil national socialist (Nazi) government were to start a third world war.”

      Isn’t Putin well on his way to doing exactly that?

        • No joke. These things have originated out of Germania going back into at least the Middle Ages; first a tribe combines forces with another to dominate the region, over reaches and is destroyed by a temporary alliance of their frightened neighbors, then the cycle repeats. The growth of the Austria-Hungarian empire precipitated WWI, which then glommed onto Prussia to form Germany just in time for WWII, and guess who just happens to be the brains and muscle leading the European Union these days?

          Now, religious bat-shit-crazy-ism? The Middle East seems to have some sort of talent for that one, historically (as in darn near constant waves of zealous idiots dousing the land in blood). It’s present everywhere, but nowhere near so consistently.

    • Learn?

      They never will learn. It is not in their psyche to resist government. They worship it like a God. They have been ruled by monarchs and dictators for centuries. Even their current “democracies” are set up to have the government still as having top priority over the needs of the people. Not only that any show of individualism is considered “uncivilized” since they see themselves as the center of culture/civilization. To not show any love of government to them means you are an uncouth barbarian.

  7. If you want to see ACTUAL REAL limits on free speech in the US that millions of Americans are subjected to then all you have to do is register to attend class at most universities in the US.

    The vast majority of our universities are run and controlled by the Left. Their limits on free speech are a real-life viewport into how they would like to control speech across the nation if they achieved dominance like they have achieved on campus.

    The campus is the least free place in the US and it is a national SCANDAL.
    It should be headline news every day but we all know why it isn’t.

    • +1
      Absolutely. The indoctrination in US academia runs deep. I see the obvious effects of post modernism and progressivism in the classroom almost every day. And I go to a very conservative school, for a public university.

  8. + everyone…my dad’s forebearers left France 150 years ago for America. Before they lost that little war with Prussia. Sadly they are far from the worst country in Europe.

  9. It is as bad in England. I heard a piece of an interview on PBS of someone who did not publish an English study in England because of the libel laws–no matter how many footnotes you may have establishing a fact, a fact is not a fact until a judge declares it. Meanwhile you are subject to being sued for defamation. It just isn’t worth it to publish there. Criticism of Muslims is treated as hate speech and prosecuted. And so on. You are only free to say what the government allows you to say.

  10. If the Progressive Leftists ever get their way, the U.S. will become like France and ironically many of the Progressive Leftists will find themselves arrested as “enemies of the State” for exercising their version of “free speech”. Once the Government gets comfortable in its control of the People, the Leftists who now support its growing tyranny would be forced by their delusional nature to criticize the Government and would become the Government’s perceived enemy thereby needing to be “controlled”. They’ll NEVER get it before it’s too late for all of us.

      • I learned the Left had a powerful presence in the Universities when I was in College between 1969 and 1974, I had at least a two who were raving Marxists and another five or six who thought Bill Ayers and Ward Church were the “beau ideal” of what American Youth should be in that time. I also had some very Conservative Professors. Made for an interesting contrast. Then, we had “Viet Nam War Protests” and a host of radical students taking over buildings and so forth with all their Maoist Rhetoric. In those days “Hate-Speech” consisted of calling Cops “Pigs” and anyone else they didn’t like a “running dog lackey”. Bill Ayers wrote in one of his books he “learned” that radical activism was less effective, so that’s why HE became a Professor.

      • Very true, but why stop at calling it the left? That is a broad, intentionally inaccurate label to who’s calling the shots. Remember Voltaires line from centuries ago…’if you want to know who’s in power, just learn who you are not allowed to criticize.’ As true today as it was then, and it ain’t the left that is forbidden to criticize.

  11. (who had a significant hand in liberating France from the rule of the Nazis)

    And to whom might you be thinking? Saint de Gaulle of egomania? Yes, he perhaps won the only engagement of 1940 that the French managed. Significant hand in liberating? He WAS there for 4 years of Champaign Wishes and Caviar Dreams followed by a big parade sponsored by the US Army (and paid for by the US). Typical of a poor lot I suppose.

  12. As a French, i can tell you that :

    Now i will be more critical when a french journalist/commentator will talk about a country he doesn’t know….

    Those murderer are first sick-minded then became muslim…

    You have your schoolshooting by sick-minded people, your politician accuse gun.
    We have ours, our politician accuse imigration and islam.

    • The fact that Islam was their primary motivation and the fact that only Muslims think that’s it’s acceptable to attack people for insulting them is totally irrelevant… [/sarc] Grow up, Islam is a cult. Deal with it before it deals with you.

      • Islam does not say that.

        They act like murderer because they are mentaly instable. Coran is mostly a traduction of the bible plus some add on from the prophet.
        If you have ever read the bible and believe in God do you think you will be able to kill for it ?
        NO because you are not mentaly disturbed. Those men were.

        • … and yet you don’t see christians machine-gunning newspapers or walking into crowded markets strapped with explosives… Funny, huh?

  13. <> They were arrested because they support islamo-terrorism and France still has to fight against islamo-terrorism.

    Next, 10000 troops were deployed (“VigiPirate” plan) and only Police (Raid, GIPN, GIGN, …) fighted and destroyed the 3 bad guys.

    I agree with the conclusion of this article…

    Solene (France)

  14. You guy do know the French can own guns if they want to don’t you? It isn’t as easy to buy one as here but they can own them if they choose.

    • So you mean that the average French person can purchase a firearm that is useful for self defense such as a shotgun, semi-auto rifle, or handgun, and carry it on their person in public, right? No, I didn’t think so either.

      • We are allowed to own (and shoot at the range) bolt action and semi-auto rifles of any calibers (22LR, …, .223, …, 338 LM, …) as well as handguns (22LR, 9 Para, 357, 45 ACP, 44 mag, …etc). We have to be a member of the French shooting association (FFTir) as well as to get an agreement from the French Administration (Police an Medical checks, red tapes, …etc) to own up to 12 guns.
        Using bolt-action hunting rifles is easier since they only have to be “declared” (hunting licence required – or FFTir)
        We’re not allowed to carry…

    • So can residents of NYC… Technically. The point is that it is so difficult as to be practically useless.

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