No matter whether or not the president or others wish to address some of the issues at play, the trend of American tragedies that leave people dead or wounded in large numbers is continuing to march on. The most high profile kind of tragedy lately has been mass shootings, with the national movement for common sense gun control finding renewed vigor after a recent horrifying mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead and a number of others wounded.
A tragedy of a different sort took place early this Wednesday in San Francisco, where a man who was not immediately publicly identified mowed down five pedestrians with his van, leaving one of them dead and one in critical condition, in addition to two others in serious condition and one in fair condition.
Watch an anonymous witness describe the situation below.
The driver responsible for the attack had first threatened the pedestrians with an ax before getting back in his van and running them over. He was not immediately apprehended but was eventually taken into police custody. Although, again, the identity of the man is not immediately clear, the incident does not seem to be terror related, although that didn’t stop right wing online conspirators from jumping to conclusions to that effect anyway.
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) March 28, 2018
Against that backdrop, right wing Twitter personality Laura Loomer made the remarkable leap of connecting the incident to state and local officials’ decision to make the area a “sanctuary city.” Although the president and his allies would claim otherwise, that doesn’t mean that it’s all of a sudden acceptable to commit crimes; it just means that immigration policy enforcement and run-of-the-mill, day-to-day law enforcement are to be kept separate.
There’s something else worth noting as well in the face of a no doubt impending flood of comments from right wing conspiracy hacks.
Although many would love to question why we don’t just “ban cars” if the solution to attacks carried out by guns is to “ban” them, that’s not the point. There are a massive number of gun violence incidents carried out in the United States every day, with over 13,000 incidents of gun violence taking place in the United States so far this year. Concurrent to that large number, there have been over 3,300 deaths from gun violence so far this year.
There have been far fewer incidents of violence like the one that played out this Wednesday morning in San Francisco in the United States so far this year.
Why? What’s no doubt largely the reason is that it’s not as though anyone can buy a car. You have to prove a certain level of competency in order to drive a car, and laws to that effect are enforced. If a police officer stops you and you can’t produce a license, you’re not going to get very far.
Those same kind of regulations are what need to be instituted in the case of guns, but for now, we remain mired in the debate between those who do and don’t even care enough to try and do anything about the tragedies that define us as a nation.
Efforts to see meaningful change culminated in part in the recent March for Our Lives and in the recent day of school walkouts across the country.
Watch an early news report about the incident below.