Dumbest Story of the Day from WaPo: ‘France has strict gun laws. Why didn’t that save Charlie Hebdo victims?’

Posted by on Jan 09, 2015 at 8:35 am

Yes, they’re really that fucking stupid. Criminals, especially terrorists, do not obey laws. What the hell is so difficult to understand about that?

When American audiences read of a dramatic event in a foreign country, they often frame it in terms of the political debates occurring at home. As such, it was no surprise that after shootings at the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris this week, some Americans began to wonder about gun control laws.

“Isn’t it interesting that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world?” American reality television star Donald Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after the news broke. The tweet prompted both praise (over a thousand retweets) and scorn (Trump was labelled a “moron” and an “idiot” by other tweeters).

Sure, Trump’s the moron. But “journalists” asking stupid question aren’t. Right.

Trump, a perennial attention seeker, was likely attempting to score political points and insult liberals with his tweet. But behind the disingenuity, there is is a genuinely troubling question: Why didn’t France’s gun laws save the Charlie Hebdo victims?

France’s gun laws

French gun laws date back to April 18, 1939, though they have been amended a number of times since. They are certainly tough: There is no right to bear arms for the French, and to own a gun, you need a hunting or sporting license which needs to be repeatedly renewed and requires apsychological evaluation.

According to Gun Policy, a project by the University of Sydney, the punishment for illegally having a gun is a maximum of seven years in prison and a fine. In 2012, the French government estimated that there were at least 7.5 million guns legally in circulation.

As The Post’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff notes, the men who attacked Charlie Hebdo appeared to be carrying two different types of Kalashnikov rifles. Such weapons are highly restricted and require extremely stringent background checks to buy (CNN describes it as rivaling the “clearance work done by the FBI for anybody employed at the White House”).

Almost certainly illegally. Bloomberg reports that weapons designed for military use, such as the Kalashnikov AK series, have been illegally flooding France over the past few years, with state bodies recording double digit increases.

“The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms,” Philippe Capon, the head of UNSA police union, told Bloomberg. “They are everywhere in France.”

Strict gun laws prevent the law abiding from protecting themselves. Forget Trump’s attention whoring for a minute and ask yourself: If some of those dead Charlie Hebdo employees were armed, would they all be dead?

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9 Responses to “Dumbest Story of the Day from WaPo: ‘France has strict gun laws. Why didn’t that save Charlie Hebdo victims?’”

  1. CUS on 9/09/15 at 11:12 am

    Hell, if the police that initially showed up were armed, things may have turned out different.

  2. Heinleinslostson on 9/09/15 at 11:30 am

    At least France doesn’t have the scourge of militarized Police. No “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” “I Can’t Breath” there, and that should be worth a few dozen bodies, right? Right? I bet everybody felt better when the unarmed gendarme showed up on their sporty ecco friendly bikes. We barbarian cowboy Americans should take a page from our French betters. Sark off.

  3. Travis on 9/09/15 at 1:04 pm

    Another “genuinely troubling question”: Why didn’t France’s laws against murder save the Charlie Hebdo victims?

  4. JPS on 9/09/15 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t want to score points off a horrible atrocity here, but I’ll note that a usual excuse of American gun control advocates doesn’t apply to France. If you point out that there’s a lot of handgun crime in DC, they retort that the whole rest of Virginia, where it’s easy to get guns, is right next door. France does not sit smack up against some country where assault rifles are widespread.*

    (*Well, it does, but good luck taking them from the Swiss.)

  5. Mike Giles on 9/09/15 at 9:41 pm

    France has a major port city in the south Marseille, where a quarter of the people are Muslim. Of course IslamNuts can get automatic weapons.

  6. Ray Van Dune on 10/10/15 at 5:20 am

    If Trump’s question is “disengenuous”, what does that make virtually every word on gun rights ever written in the WAPO? A goddam lie, I would suggest.

  7. pst314 on 11/11/15 at 11:09 am

    I’m not sure that the writer was being stupid.

    I took the opening question “Why didn’t France’s gun laws save the Charlie Hebdo victims?” as a rhetorical device to start a discussion of arms smuggling. (In fact, I understand that the French police regularly discover arms caches in the banlieus which contain not just fully automatic rifles but also grenades, grenade launchers, and various infantry-portable heavy weapons.)

    Maybe I missed some cues, and maybe the writer has written other things that prove a moronic love of gun control, but in this case I’m not convinced.

  8. Blacque Jacques Shellacque on 15/15/15 at 4:09 am

    “But behind the disingenuity, there is is a genuinely troubling question: Why didn’t France’s gun laws save the Charlie Hebdo victims?”

    Only a grade-A moron would even dare to ask such a question, since that kind of person would be too dumb to be able to figure it out.