Things are still unclear, but here’s the bones. A group of terrorists, probably eight in total, have attacked several locations in Paris, killing more than 120 people, with a combination of suicide bombs and automatic weapons. The locations including a hostage taking at a concert hall, are swamped with security, as authorities sift through the crime scenes.
All the attackers are said to be killed. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the national soccer stadium during a game between Germany and France. Another attack by a group at the Bataclan Concert Hall were stopped, likely by France’s equivalent of SWAT or the JTF, but not after killing around 100 hostages with grenades and gunfire. A couple of restaurants were also scenes of shootings and bombings, with more carnage. France has closed their borders; nobody in and nobody out. Three days of national mourning.
And, of course, the Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attacks in retaliation for air strikes against IS, or ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever name they’re using this week. Combine this outrage with the possible ISIS involvement in the Russian MetroJet takedown over the Sinai last week and there has been much blood spilled in the name of God.
We’re going to posit an analogy for you to consider.
You’re sound asleep at 3 am and hear an ungodly ruckus in the kitchen. You pull on the housecoat and run down stairs. You see a rabid fox, foaming at the mouth, screaming and clawing at you and your family members, tearing up the furniture, pissing everywhere and trying to corner the kids or the dog to attack them. The animal is an uncontrolled and uncontrollable threat, causing a real and substantive danger to your family, your person and your health.
The threat does not respond to the usual norms of being frightened and desperately wanting to get the hell out of your kitchen. It’s rabid and all the usual behavioral expectations do not apply.
There is no time to call Animal Control, the Humane Society or even the cops to help you out. You now have a decision you must take and you have about 8 seconds to make up your mind.
The more non-violent of us would open a door or a window and attempt to shoo the creature out of the house, with a broom, yelling and making general noise. It is, after all, another life, albeit one that is a very real danger to us right now.
The more pragmatic of us would try that, but would also have a cast iron skillet (or the 12 gauge, or a hammer) to hand and would attempt to kill that animal as quickly as possible: Bare handed with a vegetable peeler if need be.
Your answer is important as this analogy is indicative of how we, as a society, have to react to this kind of threat from ISIS. Take some time on this one. If you want to, leave your decision in the comments.