Yesterday in New York, our country witnessed yet another tragic and cowardly attack by a ‘lone wolf’ on the values we hold dear. The police investigation into these events is ongoing and it is too early to draw any conclusions, certainly concerning the lone wolf’s possible motive. What we can say based on sound-bites from public leaders such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is that it had nothing to do with Islam and that there is no ‘wider plot’.
According to Cuomo: “We have no evidence whatsoever that this was anything other than a person acting individually. We have no evidence that it’s connected to anyone or anything, or there are any follow-up measures”
We agree with Cuomo’s views and welcome his steady leadership in these difficult times. In terms of the two points he makes, he is entirely correct because:
– The driver of the truck was heard to say ‘Allah Akhbar’, a phrase which originates from the Vikings, a Scandinavian people. Whilst we previously suggested that Vikings were Muslims based on old artifacts with the words ‘Allah’ written on them, we now believe it is too early to conclude this means Vikings technically followed Islam. Speaking of Scandinavia, we are reminded that this would not be the first time a terrorist has hailed from these parts. We recall the brutal actions of white supremist from Norway, Anders Breivik, a devout Christian. How inconvenient would it be for the alt-right if the suspect in this case, Sayfullo Saipov, actually turned out to be another Norwegian Christian?
– Only lone wolves ever commit the sort of incident we saw in New York, Nice, Paris, Madrid, Germany, London. We have no evidence to conclude that any external organization or religion is responsible for encouraging a certain sector of the global population to disregard basic rules of driving.
What we are able to say is that, in a number of the unrelated and uncoordinated attacks, the lone wolves were driving trucks. Here, we must pause to consider what this means.
Without a truck, it is hard to see what harm Saipov could have inflicted by merely running around and bumping into people. His appearance would have resembled a demented pinball but he would have been largely harmless. However, Saipov calculated that people who drive trucks become many tonnes heavier than they would be when say walking down the street. He also figured that trucks can be driven at speeds that far exceed that of walking. Taken together, this means that truck-driving lone-wolves inflict greater harm on their victims than if they merely bumped into them in the street. This proves the adage of the anti-truck lobby that it is not people who kill people, it is trucks that kill people.
Is there a case to ban trucks therefore?
In short, yes. Unlike guns (which we want to ban also), trucks are not specifically referred to in the US Constitution. The Founding Fathers presumably foresaw their dangers. Secondly, with the exception of transporting large and heavy items across great distances, it is difficult to see what purpose trucks serve.
If all we care about is transporting cumbersome items, why not add a trailer to bicycles and move goods that way? If not, why not transform our roads into canals so that shipment of goods occurs by barge? This worked well in England during the industrial revolution so is tried and tested. Either of these solutions are cleaner, more environmentally friendly and would result in greater employment; recall that perhaps 20 cyclists would be required to replace a single truck driver.
Let’s rid our country of these dangerous trucks once and for all. Will anyone think of the children?