Guns don’t kill people, people kill people; truck tragedy in France

It was another sad day to wake up to news of a deadly incident having occurred in France.  A truck was driven through a crowd of people who were gathered to watch fireworks in Nice,, France. The crowds were gathered in celebration of their nation’s revolution that had started on Bastille Day in 1789. The day is also known as National Day. Eighty four people have been reported to have been killed by the assault. The truck driver was killed but he managed to drive approximately 1.2 miles through the crowd before he was shot. He was believed to be a French citizen of Tunisian descent, more is not known about any direct connection to terrorist groups however it is assumed to have been the motive but ISIS has not released any statement claiming responsibility and the driver may have had personal motives or psychiatric issues that are not known at this time. Whether there were any other accomplices is also not known at this time.

7/16/16, update: The Islamic State /ISIS/ISIL has claimed that the truck driver was acting in response to their call for individuals to fight nations that are fighting the Islamic State. And another update: a few people who knew the driver were arrested or held for further investigation into the events leading up to the tragedy. The  driver had a history of mental health issues and medication use in the past and an episode of road rage type violence. Family was surprised about the Islamic State claim however as the truck driver had not been radical or very religious in the past.

The driver also had explosives in the vehicle and guns and had fired into the crowd of people before he was killed. Thankfully he was stopped before the explosives were detonated. Terrorism doesn’t require assault rifles. Assault with a car or truck loaded with explosives has been recommended by the Daesh terrorists in training materials they have produced recently and in the past. And assault by vehicles loaded with explosives has occurred in several Middle East nations. It is a difficult risk to protect against. Electrical disruption devices could be used to stop a vehicle by stopping the electrical signals to the engine. Otherwise people are being warned to use caution in public places and at crowded events and to possibly consider skipping crowded events for increased safety.

Hamas and Al Qaeda and ISIS have all used and recommended driving cars into crowds. France may have been made a target  in part because of the nation’s making it illegal for Muslim women in France to be able to wear the traditional dress and veils in public according to Maajid Nawaz a former fundamentalist that is now working with a counter terrorism group. The traditional dress and veils of the Muslim religion is considered to bring Muslim women closer to Allah.  Maajid Nawaz also introduced the term “self starter” as more accurate than “lone wolf.” With the use of social media for recruiting and sharing training materials terrorism is spreading to individuals that may be acting alone but in support of the Jihadist groups.

The “War on Terror” has led to increased instability and terrorism around the world. Sharing democracy with other nations is a noble goal but it hasn’t been very successful and our own democracy has become an oligarchy so we aren’t even really a good role model for what a democratic form of government looks like anymore. Drone bombs and radioactive waste and increased birth defects and destroyed infrastructure aren’t noble goals and seem terrifying to me. We need to stop playing both sides and just get an international group of boots on the ground to wipe out the Daesh terrorists and help refugees return to their former homelands.

Improving equality and access to food and jobs, clean air and water, would likely help reduce the stress and malnutrition that may be contributing to people becoming capable of mass violence against others.

My condolences and best wishes to the survivors and the families and friends of those who lost their lives.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

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