State Response to Terror: Punish Everyone For the Actions of a Few

This week, at least 127 people have lost their lives in a set of attacks that took place throughout Paris, France. The media was quick to start pointing fingers at ISIS, informing the public that various ISIS-supportive social media accounts had been celebrating once they had found out about the attacks taking place. Many angry and understandably upset citizens took to their accounts over the incident, to denounce terror, ISIS, and Muslims in general. There are also a lot of complaints being targeted toward refugees and those immigrating to Europe and the West, because of the ongoing conflicts overseas.


The authorities were quick to close the borders and to put the nation into full lock-down, placing due process of law on the back burner and rushing to enact a state of martial law. A state of emergency was declared, and France was placed under its first mandatory curfew since 1944. For those who were stranded in the area, Parisians launched the hashtag #PorteOuverte which translates into #OpenDoor, on Twitter, in an effort to offer shelter and safety to those who had no other place to turn. Facebook also encouraged Paris-based users to check in with its new Safety Check feature, which lets people's connections on Facebook know that they are safe and whether or not they were in the area.



Similar actions occurred in Boston after the Marathon bombing, where martial law was quickly enacted, and people soon saw military on the streets, and had unexpected knocks on the door of police coming to search for the suspect. For some, this type of response can quickly make the situation even more terrifying and intense. The common statist approach to this type of event, is always to act and respond in a collectivist manner, which means that the innocent end-up suffering for the actions of a guilty few.

Authorities continue to wrongfully address and deal with terrorist activities as if they are some separate entity from criminal private property violations taking place. Terrorist crimes are just that, they are various crimes that have occurred, and they should be addressed by the common avenues already established within the justice system. Since there is no current, internationally agreed upon consensus for the definition of “terrorism,” then it prompts authorities to deal with it in a different way. But there doesn't need to be an internationally agreed upon definition, in order for these criminals to face charges related to their actions, and to be placed behind bars. If they are behind bars on terrorism charges, or on multiple murder charges, what difference does it make? One difference is that the military doesn't commonly get called to patrol the streets whenever a murder or some other criminal violation occurs. 

 Surely, we are going to see some authorities jump at the chance to use this recent event as further justification for continued warfare overseas. But when you consider the statistical reality that you are 110 times more likely to die from a foodborne illness, than being attacked by any terrorist, then it makes the reaction of warfare seem like a knee-jerk misguided approach. Besides, the war on terror has been going on for over 14 years now and it doesn't seem to be achieving any success. If anything, the situation seems to be getting worse; as the media portrays the terror threat to be a continually growing one. Thankfully, many people are refusing to cower in fear over the incident, and they know that continued violence isn't going to bring about any valuable solution. 

If you missed it yesterday, check-out our live show that featured Dan Dicks discussing the recent Paris shootings, protests on campus, gmo activism, and more. 


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