Tuesday, 14 June 2016

If You Cannot Say it, You Cannot Do it

Reading many comments in the past couple of days about the slaughter in Orlando (and really, is there a more accurate word?) has brought to mind many issues. I agree that there needs to be a long, hard look at sensible gun regulation. It's WAY past time. The Republicans need to accep this and stop obstructing even reasonable proposals. But equally, the Democrats need to acknowledge that gun laws will not stop evil people, and that a big problem both in the US and elsewhere is the vile nature of radical Islamic terrorism. President Obama cannot even seem to say the words. Today, a terrible story has arrived from France, very close to where I used to work. about 50 km west of central Paris, a "French citizen" decided that he would add his little bit to jihad by killing two police officers. So, Larossi Abbala went to the Yvelines home of two married officers (Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42 and Jessiva Schneider, 35), waited outside, stabbed the husband, entered the home, killed the wife. All the while, the couple's three year old son sat, terrified, behind the killer as he broadcast his cartoonishly evil thoughts through YouTube and Twitter. The brave leaders of ISIS immediately praised this "soldier" for killing an unarmed man and woman in front of their terrified child. http://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/2016/06/14/01016-20160614ARTFIG00119-attaque-assaillant-enquete-les-faits-connus-sur-le-meurtre-de-deux-policiers.php?redirect_premium Like Orlando, news reports reveal that this killer was 'known to authorities.' Why, if these guys are "known to authorities," are they walking around? How do they obtain weapons? We can talk about 'free' college, or net neutrality, or any other government goodie. But a government that cannot fulfil its most basic responsibility - protecting people from predators - does not deserve to have even an ounce more responsibility given to it. Shockingly, idiots in Paris today (in addition to damaging Hopital Necker-Enfants malades, the leading children's hospitla in France) were marching chanting "tout le monde deteste la police" as these events unfolded. To add to the irony, among the worst of the violence occurred in front of the Hotel des Invalides - a historical hospital and retirement home for soldiers wounded defending France. The news are (again, like Orlando) quick to point out that the murderer was a citizen; I wonder - if asked, would this guy say he was French? Would Omar Mateen consider himself an American? A nation is more than a place to live and make money. What happened in Orlando Saturday and Paris today is not about "angry young men with easy access to guns." Not completely. There are lots of angry young men. Our leadership needs to find the courage to say out loud what is happening.