This is a surprise, eh?
France has issued a maximum level of alert as police hunt a gunman who opened fire at a Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg.
Three people were killed and 13 wounded, eight of them seriously.
People being attacked by a murderous lunatic at a Christmas market in Europe? This is becoming as much a tradition as mince pies, carol singing, and bad jumpers. And wait, we’re not done with the surprises just yet:
The gunman, 29, known to authorities as a suspected extremist, escaped after reportedly being injured.
Of course he was also known to authorities, they don’t like to be caught with their pants down chasing an unknown terrorist. That would be embarrassing. Can we assume the “suspected” modifier will now be removed from his file?
Some 350 officers are involved in the search for the gunman.
There was a time when murderers on the run had their name and photo distributed across the lands to aid their capture. Now their names are withheld from the public in case the earth’s rotation is disturbed by the simultaneous eye-rolling of a hundred million people.
A picture is beginning to emerge of the suspected attacker, although a motive is still not known.
And may never be known. Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard it before.
BFM TV described him as a “repeat offender” and “delinquent”, adding he was part of known extremist networks in the city.
So there are “known extremist networks” in Strasbourg? That’s comforting news. Do the authorities intend to do anything about them any time soon? If this statement from the president of the European Parliament is any guide, I’ll not be holding my breath:
I express all my sorrow for the victims of the Strasbourg attacks. This Parliament will not be intimidated by terrorist or criminal attacks. Let us move on. We will continue to work and react strengthened by freedom and democracy against terrorist violence.
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) December 11, 2018
Yes, “let us move” on even though the gunman has yet to be caught and the victims’ bodies are still warm. Naturally the Parliament won’t be intimidated by terrorist attacks because the elites inside are protected by armed guards. But the rest of “us”? Well, best stay away from provocative Christmas markets, eh?