Last week, we received a horrific reminder of the power of the pen. My heart breaks for the families of the cartoonists, editors, and writers of Charlie Hebdo. The deliberate assassination of journalists strikes at the very core of any democracy whether here in the United States or in France.
Along with the power of the pen comes the knowledge that such freedom bears a price. The staff of Charlie Hebdo knew the risk they had taken as evidenced by the police guard present in that editorial meeting. But they didn't let that risk or that fear stop them.
I am aware that this terror was carried out in the supposed name of religion. As far as I am personally concerned, that premise lost all plausibility when the gunmen paused and shot an Islamic policeman in the head after he was already down on the ground. If religion were truly their motivation, that would have been an unacceptable action in killing a fellow follower of Allah.
This was nothing more than cold-blooded murder. There was no higher calling, no ultimate motive. This was a deed born out of hate, pure and simple.
Freedom of the press, and thereby, the power of the pen, is a precious thing. That freedom has been paid for in blood, by our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and police time and time again. The battle has now been brought to the doorstep of our journalists, writers, cartoonists, and authors. Do not let their deaths be in vain.
Je Suis Charlie