The Paris killings – an attack on what it means to live a free life

Paris attacks

Last night, young men with automatic weapons, opened fire on unarmed civilians doing all the things we like to do on a Friday night: eat with friends at a restaurant, go with the kids to a football match, relax into the weekend by listening to a live rock band.

The people killed were not the powerful, the wealthy, or the military, they were ordinary people, living their lives in a reasonable expectation of freedom and safety. They were defenseless people, innocent of any political acts of aggression. They were me and you and the people we meet every day.

The targets of this act of terror were not random. They were selected to make all of us angry and afraid. To prod us into acts of revenge and repression. To make us restrict our own freedom to be who we are so that we can be safe from those who hate how we live.

I hope the French people will take their revenge on the terrorists by refusing to change how they live, by refusing to be pushed into becoming a police state, by coming together rather than tearing each other apart.

My thoughts and hopes are with them.

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