Following last month’s mass mayhem in Toronto that saw the death of ten people and 15 others injured by a madman driving a rental van, people are asking the question, should we begin looking at vehicles as assault weapons? One organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) is calling on the media to start calling vehicles — when used in spree killings — “assault weapons.”
“What happened in Toronto was a horrible tragedy,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a statement obtained by USA Business Radio. “Fatal vehicle attacks have been increasing. The 2016 Nice terror attack killed more than 80 people. Last year a man driving a rental truck killed eight people on a bicycle path in New York City. Also last year, 13 people were killed in Barcelona, eight more died in a car attack in London and four were killed in Stockholm. If a gun had been the weapon instead of a vehicle, all of those would have been mass shootings.
“How should we define an ‘assault vehicle,'” he wondered. “Is it a van or truck? Does it have a high-powered engine? Does it have an automatic transmission? Can it be fitted with a high capacity fuel tank? Do they all come in solid black, or are other colors available? Can they be equipped with large mufflers to suppress engine noise? Once we define them, should we ban them, require special training to operate them, or just raise the age limit to buy or rent one?
“Or is the problem the individual driver, rather than the equipment he turns into a weapon,” Gottlieb challenged. “Once you realize how absurd it is to call a car an ‘assault vehicle,’ you see the lunacy of defining, and then banning, so-called ‘assault rifles.’
“Instead,” Gottlieb argues, “we need to focus the blame where it belongs, on the deranged, violent person who commits the violent act. We don’t reflexively demonize every other motorist for the acts of a madman, so why do some people insist on penalizing every gun owner for the acts of criminals?
“The time has come to stop this blame-shifting nonsense,” Gottlieb said. “It is deceptive and dishonest, and doesn’t prevent or solve anything.”
It is unlikely that vehicles will get the same treatment as guns by the media, but in both cases they are objects that can (and have) been misused. Meanwhile, the reasons why these events happen remain unaddressed. The whole argument reminds people of the hypocrisy around the gun debate and shows that the media has an agenda that is not about protecting people, but controlling them. Meanwhile, as the media obsesses over the choice of weapon, the reason for these events remain largely ignored. The opportunity cost is the continued loss of human life.