In France, gun laws are significantly stricter than those seen in the U.S. Not only can French citizens not bear arms or carry firearms in public for purposes of self-defense, but they can only keep firearms at home if they pass a background check, register their gun, and adhere to limits on the numbers and types of guns and ammunition they may possess.
In short, law-abiding citizens do not have guns to protect themselves, but criminals do have them. This is one reason protesters can continue to start fires, burn cars, and shoot out police cameras.
Video footage has shown criminals shooting up into the air with semiautomatic guns, putting everyone nearby in danger. Other footage showed protestors marching down streets in France in broad daylight toting belt-fed machine guns as well as handguns. These incidents have been taking place in major cities like Paris and Lyon.
In one high-profile incident, looters broke into a gun shop in Marseille and absconded with numerous hunting rifles. Local media reported that around 30 young people broke into the gun shop on the fourth night of violence. One of the looters was arrested with a stolen weapon nearby, but police are increasingly struggling to keep up with looters. More than 45,000 additional police officers and paramilitary gendarmes were deployed to try to deal with the problem.
Four police officers working in Rhone were shot at by men riding mopeds who were armed with shotguns; some of them were injured. It is believed they were ambushed by the men, who were hiding behind a wall.
One member of the Rhone region police told the media: "We have crossed a red line. We've not seen this kind of thing before here and it's very concerning."
Meanwhile, law-abiding French citizens are left to defend themselves using improvised weapons like bats.
The Military Arms Twitter account @MAC_Arms tweeted: “The anti-gun laws in France are working fabulously. The criminals have them and the law abiding citizens don't. Huh. Who would have thought this might be the outcome? It's almost like such laws enable criminality and keep lawful people unable to defend themselves.”
The civil unrest began on June 27 after a French police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old boy of African descent known as Nahel M. during a traffic stop in the working-class Parisian suburb of Nanterre.
In the rioting, thousands of people have been arrested so far, while local businesses have sustained more than a billion dollars’ worth of damage to date. That does not include the numerous community centers, town halls and schools that have been attacked throughout the country.
This is something that should be considered by those who have been criticizing Florida and claiming it is going to become more dangerous with the state’s permitless concealed carry law recently going into effect. After all, Florida remains relatively peaceful, while France is burning despite its gun control laws.
The truth is that gun control laws really only affect those who abide by the law. They do nothing to stop criminals from obtaining and possessing weapons and using them however they see fit against those who are unable to defend themselves.
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