Yep, it’s happened again. On December 1, 2012, a car plowed into the rear of an SUV holding students from the Shenendehowa High School. The SUV flipped and rolled, crossing over three traffic lanes and ending up on a median. Two students were killed. Two more were seriously injured. It is way past time to do something about this carnage:
- August 29th, 2012 — A centenarian backed his Cadillac onto a sidewalk across from the Main Street Elementary School near Los Angeles. Fourteen people, nine of them children, were mowed down.
- July 29th, 2012 — A driver rammed his car through a barricade and into a helpless crowd of people attending a street festival in Cleveland. One dead, four injured.
- October 20th, 2006 — An 86-year-old motorist slammed his car at high speed into the horrified assembled patrons of an open-air market in Santa Monica. Ten people killed, another 63 wounded.
And then there are the acts of terrorism:
- March 3rd, 2006 — An Iranian-American citizen confessed to intentionally using his SUV to plow into a group of students at the University of North Carolina campus at Chapel Hill in an act designed to, “. . . avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide,” and to “punish” the government of the United States. Nine people were wounded.
- February 26th, 1993 — Terrorists drove into the parking garage beneath the North Tower of the World Trade Center a truck containing a fertilizer bomb. The intention was to topple the North Tower directly into the South Tower, bringing down both structures and killing tens of thousands in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. Fortunately, the amount of explosive used was insufficient. Nevertheless, there were 1,048 casualties — six of them fatalities.
- April 19th, 1995 — 168 confirmed dead (including 19 children under the age of six), over 680 wounded in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The Murrah Building was but one of 324 buildings in a sixteen-block radius that were either damaged or destroyed. The implement of death — an explosive-laden Ford F700 truck rented from Ryder.
- May 18th, 1927 — The worst attack on a public school in the history of the United States took place in Bath Township, Michigan. Forty-four people lost their lives, all but six of them pupils at the elementary school. Another 58 people were injured. This time two bombs were used, the second of which involved yet another Ford truck converted into a shrapnel-filled death wagon.
If ever there were a time to get these implements of death off the road, now is it. Many of the vehicles causing this daily carnage (over 32,000 dead in 2011 alone; untold tens of thousands more wounded) were never meant to be in civilian hands. Take the infamous Jeep — the forerunner of many of today’s Sport Utility Vehicles — derived from the deadly Willys MB of World War II. Or the more current Hummer (the epitome of the death vehicle) which had its roots in the devastating U.S. military’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. And while trucks in general (and Ford trucks in particular it would seem) may not have been designed with the military in mind, the Bath, Murrah, and World Trade Center bombings speak volumes as to the dangers of their misuse.
We simply have no choice but to remove from civilian hands these assault vehicles, be they trucks or SUVs.
Then there’s the question of the high-capacity fuel tanks. Nobody really needs a thirty-gallon (113-liter) fuel tank. All a thirty-gallon tank does is make it easier for criminals or drunks to continue unabated their orgy of death without the need to stop and refuel their assault vehicles. If Timothy McVeigh had to refuel more often the massive Ryder Ford F700 assault truck he was using, each and every 7-11 gas stop would have increased the chances of someone’s suspicions being aroused and the tragedy averted.
And finally we need to seriously take a look at vehicle passenger load, as such loading is directly related to total vehicle weight (mass). More mass, after all, means more death and destruction. I don’t care how big your family is, there is simply no justification for high-passenger load assault minivans ever falling into private hands. Nobody should be allowed a vehicle that holds more than four adults.
Have a family of five?
Make two trips and reload.
- Banning High-Capacity Magazines — Let’s End Those Paper Cuts NOW!
- Maxing Out Megapixels — a Tale of Digital Death
- Limiting Limousines — Lethal Luxury in Leather
- Banning the Blooming Onion — Aiming at the Assault Appetizer