Culture

Toronto Van Attack — It's the Crime, Not the Tool

Ten people were killed by a very sick individual driving a rental van onto a crowded sidewalk.

Nate Jackson · Apr. 24, 2018

“Pure carnage” was how one emergency medical response member in Toronto responded to Monday’s attack that left 10 dead and 15 injured. The assailant used a rental van to mow people down on a sidewalk before he was stopped and subdued by police.

The immediate thought for most rational people is to consider all the other attacks in recent years perpetrated by jihadis with vans or trucks plowing into crowds of people to kill as many as possible. Even The New York Times reported, “The carnage was reminiscent of deadly attacks by Islamic State supporters using vehicles that have shaken up Nice, France, Berlin, Barcelona, London and New York.” The attack in Nice left 85 people dead.

Yet Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said, “The events that happened on the street behind us are horrendous, but they do not appear to be connected in any way to national security based on the information at this time.” In other words, authorities aren’t convinced this was radical Islamic jihad. Instead, indications are the perpetrator is mentally ill. At the same time, said Toronto Police Service Chief Mark Saunders, “We don’t rule out anything.” Witnesses described the attack as deliberate, so we’ll await the investigation.

One thing is certain: If this man had killed 10 people with a gun instead of a van, we’d be hearing calls to ban the tool he used rather than address the underlying issue.

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