Most people are aware of the largest terrorist attacks that have rocked Paris and Nice in recent months, and the Charlie Hebdo attacks that preceded them, but whether terrorism-related or just “plain” crime, both countries are seeing their fair shares of violence recently.
–Driver attempts to run over pedestrians, injuring several in Dijon (December 2014).
–“Drive-by” shooting in Bavaria (July 2015).
–Syrian refugee kills woman in Reutlingen with machete (July 2016).
–Another Syrian refugee detonates himself in Ansbach, in apparent suicide bombing attempt (July 2015).
On the whole, these are not necessarily indicative of any statistically significant uptick in violence. But, they do anecdotally highlight the fact that Europe is not particularly “civilized” in comparison to the rest of the world and that Europeans are not immune to violence – whether perpetrated with guns or without.
Welcome to the real world, however unfortunate and tragic it may be. Burying our heads in the sand and pretending that bad things do not, or will not, happen is ignorant and dangerous.
What these incidences also prove is that gun control – and France and Germany are both extreme implementers of gun control, of the type many American hoplophobes would love to implement here – is not effective at preventing horrific violence generally. It does not prevent willed people from taking advantage of these very laws. Bad guys find ways to do bad things, and police are often unavailable to quickly assess and assist in such situations until it is too late. Indeed, France not only has trouble enforcing so-called “gun-free zones,” the country’s police now apparently have a problem enforcing “truck-free zones” as well. Trust in the State to have your best interests at heart if you will, but I know this to be complete fallacy.
This is one of the chief reasons I continue to resist modern efforts for more gun control, because the only person guaranteed to be with me at all times, and to care sufficiently about me, is myself. The only person one can rely upon, realistically, is one’s self (and perhaps one’s closest loved ones).
The French and German states are at least partially to blame for these deaths and injuries, as these respective States ban their own law-abiding constituencies from exercising the realistic right to defend themselves, an act that no government on earth has any legitimate right to do. While there is no guarantee that carrying a firearm would have prevented all of these atrocities, of course, there is also no guarantee that someone immediately on the scene with a firearm would not have been able to more quickly engage and terminate the aggressor(s), before more damage was done.
If nothing else, these disarmament policies guarantee that the targeted victims are fish in a barrel, so to speak, for their aggressor(s). They rob good, law-abiding people of the choice to die with some dignity at least, if that ultimate outcome is inevitable. Laws such as this fundamentally posit “that there is no difference between, on the one hand, passively and helplessly submitting to the extermination of yourself… and, on the other, dying while resisting that extermination.”
And to this, I simply do not hold.