Reenacting The ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Massacre

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 10 months ago

Vice News:

As US lawmakers are proposing nixing gun-free zones and arming teachers and guards with firearms to halt potential school massacres, one pro-gun group has unwittingly provided a case in point against fighting guns with more guns.

The Truth About Guns, a weapons rights group based in Texas, recently recreated a set mirroring the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where masked gunmen last week killed 12 people. The group then reenacted the massacre with paintball rounds to determine whether throwing an “armed defender” into the mix could have saved lives.

In nearly every single setup, the armed civilian — portrayed by 12 different local volunteers — died. The only exception was in the scenario where the team member with the gun immediately fled the scene.

The group ran the exercise in Plano, Texas and posted footage from a camera mounted to one of the attacker’s rifles to YouTube on Thursday. The Truth About Guns did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment on the experiment Friday.

Sigh.  I’m not even going to link the video.  It’s meaningless.  Here’s Uncle’s take on it.

So, if one were to recreate what happened, they’d probably do something based on what happened. Or, instead, you could get some firearms trainers who know how to handle simunitions, let them strap on their gear and tell them to go practice a room-clearing exercise on random people you got to volunteer off the street to play CCW holder. Surprisingly, the firearms trainers manage to outperform the random people from the street.

Then, you could compound the error by inviting local media. Then, you get picked up by all the shitty, sensationalized listicle sites and are all over social media. And, boom, you got self-promotion.

Leave it to the occasional jackass to conclude that gun control helps the situation.

France’s ban on guns isn’t actually a gun ban of any sort. In fact, most French citizens share the same rights to firearm ownership as Americans.

The difference, however, is that French leaders haven’t sold out to the deep pockets of gun manufacturers and their lobbying group and removed important regulations that dramatically alter the mindset of citizens about those very deadly firearms.

Instead, these are the ultra-restrictive laws that some claim were responsible for the French terrorist attacks: Citizens must acquire a license to own a gun, including handguns. A requirement to obtain and keep that license is that the holder show proof of being an active shooting club member with at least three trips to the range each year and certification from a physician of the holder’s physical and mental capabilities.

Once that license is acquired, the only “gun ban,” is on fully automatic weapons, just like the one in the U.S.

Aside from that, the French can own pretty much any gun that an American can own.

But usually, they don’t own them. They don’t carry them around on their hips like this is some old West movie.

But it’s more invasive than that.  This point of view was written by a Frenchman right after Newtown.

From the French point of view, this shooting is just another example of the United States’ gun addiction …

France, however, underwent a major shift in its regulation of weapons in 1939. The French government worried that tough living conditions during the upcoming war with Germany could lead to revolts and unrest similar to those experienced by Germany and Russia during World War I. The government thus passed a law that would ban most guns. Moreover, when the Germans invaded France in 1940, another decree required every Frenchman to hand over his weapons.

This ban, justified by historical reasons, remained enforced after the war and has been the backbone of French firearm regulation ever since. In today’s legislation, the only weapons easy to purchase are hunting rifles, which has remained a French pastime.

The purchase of any type of military and civil firearm is only permitted in shooting sports for which a license is required. To obtain the licence, a year long process is required, including  a 6 month membership at a shooting club and background check by the police. This license needs to be renewed every three years.  Thus, for the last 73 years, weapons, except hunting rifles, have been ban for most Frenchmen. Promoting a gun-free environment has become the country’s answer to preventing mass shootings.

But it didn’t prevent a mass shooting, and I wonder if this Frenchman would care to revisit his position since the recent shooting in Paris?

See this analysis and this analysis for a discussion of category A, B, C and D in French gun control law, and if you wish to carry a handgun for personal defense, that isn’t viable.  It won’t happen in France.

Simply put, any attempted analysis, including that at TTAG, that focuses on what happens when shooters who plan their attack go to work on unsuspecting victims who have handguns (or nothing) proves only that when defending against attackers with foreknowledge and rifles, you would rather have foreknowledge and rifles yourself.

There are other variables that such a test doesn’t measure, such as could a potential victim in another room, hearing the commotion or seeing the attack, prepare in such a way as to save his life and the lives of others?  Philosophers call it “possible worlds,” and reenacting events like this one doesn’t even come close to exploring what might have, what could have, what may have happened.

Ignore all such “tests” and “reenactments.”  Arm yourselves to have a better chance to live in such an attack.  That’s the simplest and best advice anyone can give you.  The rest is just self promotion.


Comments

  1. On January 20, 2015 at 5:57 pm, Archer said:

    I’ve seen other commentary on TTAG’s “re-enactment”. There are/were so many significant differences between it and what actually happened that it’s entirely meaningless (I forgot where I read this, so no link – my apologies).

    Like the “attackers” being instructed to “go down” if shot, even once, but during the actual “simulation” taking multiple hits – even center-mass – and continuing to fire on the “defenders”. Like children playing “war” in the woods, they knew it was a game and broke the rules in order to ensure a “win”.

    Like the “attackers” using their high-lumen weapon-mounted and/or tactical lights to momentarily blind the “defenders” and render them less capable of shooting back effectively. The terrorists in Paris used no lights, weapon-mounted or otherwise; the simulation should have required they be removed and excluded.

    Also, what went largely unreported was that the “defenders” were usually able to make solid hits against at least one of the “attackers” before being “killed”; even if the attack had continued, one or more of the attackers would not have made it out alive. That’s a positive difference an armed citizen can make.

    Also unreported was this simple thought: We don’t carry so that we will be of use. We carry so that we may be of use. If I’m targeted first, my gun will not save me or anyone else. But if I’m NOT targeted first, I may be able to use my gun to help the rest.

    The gun merely provides me an opportunity – a chance – to save myself and others in the highly-unlikely event something like this happens to us. And I consider my life – and the lives of those around me – worth not giving up that opportunity, even if it never comes.

    Just my $0.02.

  2. On January 23, 2015 at 11:44 am, Blake said:

    I followed TTAG’s recreation and I found that a lot of what went on was very instructive. Since there is no way for me to practice such scenarios, next best is someone staging something and then my reading the after-action reports.

    A lot of what I read got me thinking about scenarios and how best to deal with such situations.

    Interestingly enough, the person who did best was the one who provided cover fire while people escaped. She also escaped in the process.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published January 18th, 2015 by Herschel Smith.

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