Strict gun control in France will make tracking weapons crucial to investigation into attacks

RICHMOND, Va. — The attacks in Paris on Friday happened thousands of miles away from Virginia, but there are plenty of French people living Richmond who said the attacks have them on edge.

The disturbing images being broadcast from Ali Benhamed’s hometown have him worried.

“It’s surreal, it’s surreal…the death toll is climbing crazy,” Benhamed said.

Benhamed’s entire family still lives in Paris, and he hasn’t been able to reach them yet. “I’ve been trying to get on the phone, but I couldn’t get anybody to answer,” Benhamed said.

Benhamed said he hopes police catch the people responsible for killing more than 150 people at several locations in the city.

“This is obviously a very planned and coordinated attack,” Benhamed said.

Professor Tom Badey researches terrorism at Randolph Macon College and said “early on it’s always best to wait before rushing to judgement.”

Badey said it is too early to know who orchestrated the attacks.

“We have to kind of wait to see what is going on, and it’s going to take a day or two before we get information about who the perpetrators might have been,” Badey said,

Badey said France has strict gun control laws so tracking the weapons used will be crucial to the investigation.

“One of the investigative leads will be where the weapons came from, how they got them into Paris and where the explosives came from,” Badey said.

Badey also said we should expect increased security in the United States in the coming days.

“There are always sympathizers somewhere that are looking at this attack and thinking we could do this here,” Badey said.