Journalists across the world have been put into danger and killed because of their job. American journalist James Foley, like Steven Sotloff, was kidnapped and killed by the radical Islamic group ISIS. Many other journalists from countries such as Iraq have been victims as well. The media and the people who work for it are being attacked and killed over their right of free speech, no matter how controversial or offensive the subject matter may be.
On Jan. 7 in Paris, two gunmen killed 12 people and wounded 11 at the "Charlie Hebdo" shooting. The newspaper was targeted for showing controversial content of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. A branch of the extremist group al Qaeda, based in Yemen, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In response to the shooting, “Je Suis Charlie” (“I Am Charlie”) trended worldwide in support and mourning of the event and lives lost in Paris. Many cartoonists made their own illustrations to show their support and feelings towards the events. The newspaper, "Charlie Hebdo", is having the cover of their first issue after the shooting be a cartoon of Muhammad holding a sign saying “Je Suis Charlie” while standing under the words “Tout Est Pardonné” (“All Is Forgiven.”) The Jan. 14 issue of the magazine, which usually prints around 60,000 copies, has 3 million copies being printed and sold.
Events such as these prove that when people try and force silence, people will only make the ideas and messages louder and more widespread. Freedom of speech gives people the right to express themselves; and opinions, no matter how controversial the subject matter may be, people will still fight for the right to say what they want.
A junior at Audubon High School Rachel Asmus said, "This shooting in France is highly immature and crazy.” A lot of people around the world feel the same way as Asmus does over this. She also said, “They ['Charlie Hebdo' newspaper] have a right to make whatever they want and not have to fear being killed, but in order to protect people, they should delay the publishing of a new issue until it is more under control.”
The morning of Jan. 14, the newest issue of "Charlie Hebdo" was printed. Asmus said, "I think they’re kind of dumb for printing it, because it’s endangering people. Even if they have freedom of speech and all that, they should still take in consideration of other people.” Freedom of speech is important, but should the media go so far as to where people will get hurt? Asmus says, “I think they should lay low for a while because it’s putting people in danger. Like, do you want to die for joking around, or live?”
America and other countries have been getting involved in this situation, but the real question is, should other countries stay out of it and let the French deal with it on their own? Asmus said, “I think other countries around them should be ready in case it happens to them, but America should stay out of it for now, unless France asks us for help.” Many people have different opinions on this subject, but either way, what the terrorists did was wrong and hopefully France can recover from their loss.