My thoughts on Paris.

We’ve all now witnessed the murdering in Paris and the reaction to this event. I watched, for the first time last night, the footage of the killing of Ahmed Merabet.

I had mixed feelings about what I saw. I can’t imagine what he was thinking as he faced off against two men armed with rifles with what I expect was only a handgun. To see someone bravely stand their ground and fight to defeat such an enemy increases my respect for those who actively work to counter these people more. To witness him fall and be defeated was heart wrenching to say the least. I can only imagine the sense of impotence, felt by those watching, as it happened.

I’m not sure what the world’s reaction to this will be. One can only hope that a thorough and detailed analysis of what it is that lead to this both specifically and generally be conducted and acted on appropriately.

The issue of freedom of speech has obviously come up again with arguments for and against being offered. in spite of what I may feel, it doesn’t detract from the obscenity of murdering people you disagree with. The form of thinking that accepts this course of action needs a solid counter. And there is no shortage of examples included in the reaction to the Charlie Habdo murders that exemplify what I’m talking about.

In light of this aspect, its bizarre to notice western leaders marching in Paris against the actions of these criminals and the debate about freedom of expression in their respective nations. Here in Australia it is reasonable to believe that a publication like Charlie Habdo would be judged unlawful. In that sense, these retrograde forces have won this aspect of the debate. I’d describe that factor as an unintended consequence but it’s a real factor in Australian life all the same.

Another reason that angers me is that, and this includes the people involved in similar scenarios in Australia, Canada and the U.K, is that the authorities knew of these people and their outlook on life. Most of them had been subject to criminal convictions and had displayed viscous intent before acting out the way they did. This is something that is vital in addressing the future prospect of preventing these crimes. We need to understand that our methods of dealing with violent individuals and organisations needs redressing and act responsively in line with community expectations.

I’m of the mind that this will not happen soon enough. It is something, for all our sakes, to work on.