A Stockholm editorial columnist may have just done American gun owners an unintentional favor by suggesting this week that, because vehicles have become the new weapon of choice for some terrorists, automobiles should be more strictly regulated and even prohibited in “the collection sites and city centers.”
Columnist Eva Franchell’s logic, expressed Monday in Aftonbladet, just might serve to demonstrate how illogical some people are when it comes to random acts of terrorism. Instead of going after terrorists, crackdown on whatever they use as a weapon. If this suggestion gains traction, motorists in Sweden might understand how American gun owners have felt for decades.
Here is a sampling of what Franchell wrote:
“Cars have turned into deadly weapons. They have been easy to steal and then nothing has been able to stop their advance. In Nice, Berlin, Jerusalem, London and Stockholm, they have been used as effective murder machines (by) terrorists who wanted to kill many people.
“If people in the future will be protected cars must simply (be) removed from the collection sites and city centers. It is not reasonable for a big truck can be driven right into Stockholm’s popular walking street on a Friday afternoon just before Easter. Politicians have been good at protecting themselves, but now they must also ensure citizens’ needs for secure environments.”
If that rhetoric sounds vaguely familiar to Second Amendment activists, it’s because the same basic argument has been used repeatedly by gun prohibitionists looking to rid the landscape of firearms. Some bad people have misused them, so they must be heavily regulated, and effectively prohibited in “sensitive areas” that might be target rich environments.
By no small coincidence, following Monday’s murder-suicide at an elementary school in San Bernardino, there was at least one reported suggestion that more gun control is needed. As Liberty Park Press noted earlier, California already has some of the most restrictive gun laws of any state in the nation, and they all failed to prevent a man identified as Cedric Anderson from going to the school where his estranged wife was a teacher, fatally shooting her and one of two students who were hit, and then turning the gun on himself.
It wasn’t an “assault weapon,” but a commonly-owned six-shot revolver that he used.
Now there is updated information about the incident. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that even though Anderson had been arrested in the past, he was never convicted of a crime.
“He was allowed to obtain a gun,” the newspaper reported, “although the weapon he used Monday had been purchased in 1979 in Michigan. Police said Anderson was not the buyer listed in firearm records.”
That gun was a .357 Magnum, and as if to underscore the shallow logic behind magazine bans or limits on capacity, Anderson reportedly reloaded once and fired a total of ten shots, the last one apparently into himself.
It may be impossible to predict when some individual may commit some heinous act, whether with a gun or a motor vehicle. However, the solution to that dilemma is not to penalize every gun or car owner, no matter what country they live in.