I have a suggestion. Bear arms.
At the moment, the most urgently relevant detail of Green-Wood’s profile is not Raymond’s co-founding of The New York Times, his politics or his friendship with Abraham Lincoln, but how he defended his paper against threat of assault.
“During the ‘high tide’ of the Confederacy . . . Raymond fought to rally public opinion in favor of the Union. When draft rioting mobs approached the offices of The New York Times in July 1863, Henry Raymond held them off with three Gatling guns he had obtained from the army.”
Charlie Hebdo has been attacked by Islamo-terrorists before. In 2011, its Paris office was badly damaged by a firebomb unleashed in reply to a “Charia Hebdo” issue of the satirical magazine.
At least since that attack, then, the risk to Charlie Hebdo staff for ridiculing Islam, Islamism and/or Muhammad* has not been merely theoretical. I applaud the fact that they have fearlessly persisted in their satiric mission despite what happened — and are fearlessly persisting now despite a much steeper cost.
But if you’re in that situation, please don’t just brave the odds. Even the odds. Ensure that personnel are well-trained in the use of firearms, and that these weapons are easily accessible at all times.
And if you’re a government, make bearing arms easy.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* It may be worthwhile pointing out — as many have — that the satirists were not narrowly ridiculing one culture, that of Muslims; they have been and are across-the-board satirists, mocking politicians, clerics and partisans of most (if not all) stripes. Further, though widely considered a left-wing magazine, its editorial policy has never fallen into the lefty rut of blaming only the West and bending backward to defend foreign criminals and tyrants.