Once again France has been stricken by a terrorist act. A man driving a 19-ton truck used it to run over dozens of people on the French Riviera. In all, 84 people were killed and 202 were injured in this senseless act of violence.
What surprises me is that despite the extensive security system a man was able to rent a truck and use it as a weapon. Obviously something went wrong with the security coverage. What is most peculiar about this incident is that the killer was unknown to the intelligence services, being known to the police as a petty criminal only. In short, he seems to have been a lone wolf, something that is nearly impossible to defend against.
Despite the apparent breakdown in security, it is worth noting that it was three police officers that killed the suspect. The suspect had planned this evil act as he had rented the truck three days before the Bastille Day celebrations. And yet, when the police looked into the truck the suspect had mainly fake guns and a non-functioning grenade. He had a mix of guns that were fake and others that worked. Very strange.
Of course French politicians from the left and the right denounced the government for the killings, as if the government could control everything. Controlling a lone wolf who is committed to his gruesome task is virtually impossible in a democracy. Even China experiences bouts of terrorism inside its borders and it is famous for controlling its citizens.
I think that it is clear that as citizens in a democracy we must all be vigilant. All citizens can be targets, whether by a lone wolf or by a pack of them. The state must take all possible measures to prevent these acts from happening, but let us not turn into a police state. I prefer to take my chances with a random act of terrorism than surrender my freedom of movement that I enjoy now in Canada. I suspect that most people in liberal democracies would say the same.