Politics Under the Gun


The face of loner Richard Durn, who fatally shot eight people, then jumped to his death while in police custody

Last week's mass murder of eight city councilors in a Paris suburb left not only a traumatized community and bereft survivors. Coming in the thick of a presidential campaign, alsoit, set France searching for political meaning in a fundamentally senseless act. Both major candidates, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and President Jacques Chirac, were on the scene before sun-up, condemning the attack in the same words, as "a murderous folly." Yet by the end of the day the two sides were enmeshed in a furious debate over the propriety of drawing any connection between the desperate act of a deranged man...

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