France, Terrorism, and Gun Control.

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France has seen, over the past few days, it’s first major clash between French Law and Islamic Sharia Law. This has been the first major showdown between the freedom of the press, which is allowed by French law, and the veneration of Muhammad, which is required by Islamic law.

As we read on Fox News:

Near-simultaneous raids by French police Friday evening at locations 25 miles apart took out the Islamist brothers behind Wednesday’s massacre at a Paris satirical magazine, and a cop-killing crony who had seized hostages at a Paris grocery on their behalf, but also left at least four hostages dead, according to authorities and reports from the scene.

The lightning-quick strikes ended two tense, hours-long standoffs, one at a printing plant north of the city and the other at a kosher supermarket on Paris’ east side, where four hostages were killed and as many as four more were killed. A hostage held north of the city by the brothers, who killed 12 in a commando-style attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, was reportedly freed. The fast-moving developments, signaled by explosions and gunfire at a printing plant in Dammartin-en-Goele, followed by similar sounds at Hypercacher (Hyper Kosher), a Jewish supermarket in eastern Paris, brought to a climax a three-day terror ordeal and manhunt involving nearly 90,000 police and military personnel.

Some people quip that Islam can coexist peacefully in Western society. I think changing one word in that statement would make it unequivocally correct: “People can coexist peacefully in Western society.” Does that include Islamic people? Of course. But does that include Islam? That’s a question worthy of further inspection.

In France, there have never been any rules against depicting Muhammad in cartoons. Frenchmen live under freedom of the press. Islam, however, does not. Devout Muslims do not believe in freedom of the press as a matter of principle. Anjem Choudary, a UK-born Muslim teacher of hardcore Sharia Law, explained it this way in USA Today:

Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.

Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, “Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.”

However, because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see.

Western democracies generally do not restrict the freedom of expression. There are no explicit laws against depicting Muhammad. Sharia Law, however, makes this an offense punishable by death. As the past few days in Paris have indicated, there are Muslims who are willing to carry out that punishment on non-Muslims, regardless of host nation laws. As far as they are concerned, Sharia Law is world Law, and it applies to everyone.

This should send a clear message to any public institution or figure who is willing to openly criticize orthodox Islam and/or publish Muhammad cartoons: Carry a gun. Go even further than that, if you have the money; hire armed guards. Tell your staff to carry guns. Tell your family, and your staff’s families, to carry guns. That is the only way to protect yourself from an attack like this with any measure of reliability. The State can’t effectively protect people from attacks like this. They can try to track the killers down. They can try to quash them before they attack. But once the attack is underway, there is very little the police can generally do about it. There is absolutely nothing the DHS or CIA or NSA can do once the bullets start flying. You’re on your own.

The problem is that most European governments do not want citizens to be able to easily protect themselves. Gun control in Europe is far more strict than in the USA. In France, concealed-carry of a weapon is flatly forbidden to everyone except law enforcement. Of course, like all nations with strict gun control, this does not mean that it is overtly tough to obtain a gun. This article describes how easy it is to get a black market AK-47 in France. Normal law-abiding citizens in France are not going to seek out black market AK-47s. But those in France who don’t abide by the law are not going to have a problem getting the goods.

Progressive liberals like gun control. They enjoy knowing that normal citizens are toothless. Muslim radicals also like knowing that normal citizens are toothless. It makes their divine duty that much easier to carry out. Targets that fire back are more troublesome.

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Western societies say, “We have freedom of expression.” Muslim radicals say “No, you don’t have freedom of expression, and I’ve got the AK-47 to prove it. Whatcha gonna do about it?” The radicals have officially made their bets. Going forward, media editors daring to poke the Islamic sacred cows are going to have a choice to make: either meet the Muslim radicals at AK-47 and maybe raise them by one, or fold entirely. Relying on a combination of the police and gun control laws ain’t gonna save them.

A rallying cry of opposition in the wake of this attack has been “The pen is mightier than the sword!” In the long run, there is truth to that. But in those few intense moments when the bullets are flying, the pen isn’t going to do you much good. Neither will the sword. A semi-automatic handgun tucked into your holster or purse is a better choice.

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