According to the Daily Mail—a UK news corporation that secured images of video footage during the latest terrorist attack in Paris—there are some interesting things that occurred during the attack. I’d like to address at least two of these things as well as add my own conclusion regarding how the media reports on events like these.
1. Lucky woman lives after gun malfunction
One of the most interesting things that the report revealed is that a lady was able to run away from one of the attackers after his AK malfunctioned. It spared her life.
The same thing happened during the train terrorist attack in France just a few months ago. In that case three Americans, two of which had military experience, fought the attacker. During the counterattack the terrorist’s AK malfunctioned, which allowed the men to win the fight and stop many people from being killed or injured.
Frankly, I don’t believe these types of unique incidents are solely due to bad primers, dirty weapons or bad technique/operation of the weapon. There are certainly times, at least in my mind, where divine intervention occurs. I believe these are those times.
Now, I know some may retort, where was God to stop the 129 other murders or the 99 severely injured? All I can say to that is that I am sorry for those losses, but I rejoice in any miracle that spares a life. I believe it’s not because of indifference that others were not spared, but because God knows things we do not know—He sees things we cannot see and do not understand.
I have friends who have lived because of miraculous events, including guns not operating when they should have.
2. News frenzy and panicky words
There are several words the media likes to use to help promote their business. After all, the media is a business dependent on ratings. Gavin de Becker has written about the words that promote panic and fear rather than peace in his book Fear Less and elsewhere. Unfortunately, such words in the hands of reporters can do a lot more harm than good.
Phrases and words can deeply impact our psyche causing us to fear terrorism, which only enhances the goals of terrorists. For example, “Terrifying,” “chilling,” and “shocking” are all words that elicit a “gripping” emotional response, and not a positive one either. Words like “exclusive” and “revealing” also help the media machine.
Frankly, a lot more media help is needed in fighting terrorism, not exploiting it. I think the downside of 24-hour news and instant social media outlets is that one seemingly insignificant issue, like a dentist shooting a lion half way around the world for instance, can turn into a major fiasco in every home and school across the U.S. If you don’t think the news media has clout and significant persuasive power, think again.
Not that acts of terrorism are insignificant; I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that seeing “reports,” even if it is “live coverage,” doesn’t mean it’s reality. The reality is life is pretty safe for most of us, but obsessing on sordid stories from an “entertainment”-focused news media does contribute to some people acting out in bizarre, dangerous ways. I’m not saying these wackos already wouldn’t do dangerous or violent things, regardless, but I do believe the media tends to fuel the flames of stupidity with gratuitous reporting.
But it’s hard to lay all the blame at the mainstream media’s feet because today anybody can write foolish things to a mass audience and those fools tend to attract other fools. As I once heard a brilliant man say, “Any idiot can write something on the Internet, and any idiot can believe it.”
3. Changing tactics and counter assaults
Finally, some of the tactics used in France aren’t necessarily new, but there are some interesting adaptations to old styles. Targeting first responders has always been a high priority for those with explosives, for instance. Killing, chaos and mayhem are goals of the mentally disturbed and the ideologically-driven, religiously misled fanatics.
There have been a few attacks in Paris, mostly by not “highly trained” so-called “terrorists,” words common among media, like the term “assault rifles.” But in this last case, the aforementioned news report stated the following:
The blonde-haired woman… became Europe’s first female suicide bomber when she detonated her explosive vest moments after telling police ‘Help me, help me’.
Yeah, that brings a little different approach to the same old problem of target selection, target discrimination and shooting. Shoot/no-shoot scenarios may help, but in the end, there are some people who just need to be stopped sooner rather than later. Paradoxically, doing so will help save even more lives.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.
Safety warning: Jeffrey Denning is a long time self-defense and military professional and any training methods or information he describes in his articles are intended to be put into practice only by serious shooters with proper training. Please read, but do not attempt anything posted here without first seeking out proper training.