Friday, November 20, 2015
John Lott: As Paris Attacks Show, Europe In Denial About Gun Rights
French citizens were sitting ducks last Friday. For at least 10 uninterrupted minutes, terrorists mowed down attendants at Paris' Bataclan Concert Hall. In five other coordinated attacks, terrorists were given far too much time to go about their business.
But European politicians are in denial.
French President Francois Hollande immediately ordered 1,500 additional soldiers to protect the streets of Paris. After January's Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, France placed 10,000 uniformed soldiers in front of Jewish sites across the country. These troops gave only the illusion of protection.
Israel learned this lesson the hard way. In its first decades of existence, the nation responded to attacks by placing more soldiers and armed police on streets.
Unfortunately, a mass killer can target the uniformed officers first or wait for a moment when they are not present. It didn't matter how much money Israel spent. With a little patience, terrorists would find their moments to strike.
In recent years, 12% to 15% of adult Jewish civilians in Israel have been able to carry licensed firearms.
This complicates things for terrorists. Even when uniformed police leave an area, terrorists don't know whom they have to worry about.