Saturday, January 09, 2016

Good guy with a gun

France had a sufficiently bad 2015 that the dust has not even settled on the November attacks while the anniversaries of the January attacks (Charle Hebdo, kosher supermarket) are being observed.

About the Bataclan atrocity in particular, there's a striking and even shocking fact that many people don't seem to have absorbed, especially in the knee-jerk (and understandable) ridicule of a Trump-style claim that more guns would have helped:

All of the killing of civilians was stopped by one person with a gun, the single local (petty crime patrol) police offer who arrived on the scene after 15 minutes. He killed one of the attackers, causing the others to retreat and hold hostages.

The final siege ended almost 3 hours later, conducted by specialized anti-terrorist police who had taken half an hour to arrive.

The evening's events are still being investigated so perhaps the government will eventually come up with a more comprehensive set of findings and implications. And it may be that the most basic implication is that the local armed police can and should the first line of defence -- something that would also have helped in Cologne. But it also means that it's not obviously wrong to say that the problem in the Bataclan is that only the bad guys had guns.

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