No, this is not a photo from Paris. The scene was surprising and very intimidating. I certainly did not feel free to pull out my camera and snap a picture. Claire and I were walking through the train station as I spotted three officers carrying massive guns that I would guess are automatic weapons. I grabbed my friends’ arm because I didn’t think she had seen them yet and I didn’t know what had gone wrong. She assured me that this was a ‘normal’ occurrence. I admit, it took her a minute to convince me. Apparently after our own 9/11 attack, France received a number of threats of their own. The result was tightened security that included sets of automatic guns.
This is the argument made when we get tired of the TSA, removing our shoes, and randomly having our nude outlines displayed to search for bombs. An argument that big guns and big dogs led by profiling police would be safer than our current procedures that seem intrusive and rather ridiculous. Before seeing heavily armed police walking towards me I would have said that I agree with that argument; that we need to change our system. After this scene… I still believe it is a better system. Yes, I was very intimidated but that’s kind of the point isn’t it?
Image credit to katagaci from sxc.hu, used with permission.