Monday, July 12, 2004

More on the RER attack

Now, after all the politicians and the media have said all the nasty things they'd had to say about the witnesses of the attack and their failure to interfere, Minister of State for Victims' Rights Nicole Guedj is asking witnesses to come forward. She is promising them anonymity and says that they probably won't be prosecuted for their failure to interfere. How nice of her, especially the "probably" bit. There were about 20 people in the train; I think they have found 1 or 2 witnesses so far.

The Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has encouraged citizens to display civic courage in the face of violence. If there is any believing the French people who write on usenet, actual civic courage displayed in the face of violence is usually rewarded in France much in the same way as in Finland. I can only imagine the headlines we'd see if somebody had really stood up and shot the bastards.

Hell, I still remember all the noise that ensued when Bernard Goetz shot 4 muggers on a New York subway train, and that's America, where self-defence is usually respected better than in Europe, and he was defending himself and not somebody else. Goetz killed three, paralyzed one, got acquitted on the killings but convicted on the weapon charge, and was later successfully sued for $43 million by the surviving attacker, oops, I mean victim, who was paralyzed and brain-damaged (although I suspect Goetz could argue that the poor child was already brain-damaged by the time of the incident). That'll teach him to shoot better next time.

Of course, the RER attack was completely random and had nothing to do with the attackers' ethnicity or religion, and therefore you won't guess it. They could have just as well been Chinese, after all. Or Norwegians. Or Indians (of either variety). Or even Finns.

(Actually four of them were of the ethnicity you'd guess first if you are a bad person, and two were not.)

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