No More Talk — It’s Time to Outlaw Vans

A man has killed ten innocent pedestrians in Toronto in a style of mass killing that has been occurring with increasing frequency in recent years, the vehicular attack. Each time, public officials speak gravely about the terrible loss of life, and about how this sort of crime has to stop. But each time, they blissfully ignore the root of the problem: vans. 

Every day, hundreds of thousands of people wander the streets behind the wheels of vans — each of them capable of killing dozens of civilians, including innocent young children, on a moment’s whim. And yet the civilian ownership and use of these killing machines has remained virtually unregulated, while the backward and unenlightened continue to make excuses for such an absurd, antiquated legal oversight by citing their so-called “rights” — as though the rights of the victims of van attacks were of no importance!

“I need a van for work,” they say, as if a nice bicycle or publicly operated bus couldn’t get them to work on time just as well. Or “I need a van to travel with my family,” they whine, as though the modern family, which averages fewer than two children — and for the sake of the planet ought to be restricted to one — ever requires a vehicle large enough to carry eight people.

Sorry, folks, no private citizen needs a van. This alleged need is just a ridiculous attempt to justify the unjustifiable, namely the private possession of machinery that serves no vital function in ordinary life, and which humans lived without, and quite successfully, for thousands of years. 

But the most outrageous and offensive argument of all is surely this one: “I feel safer on the road when I drive a bigger vehicle, such as a van.” 

Nice try. People who use this argument are turning logic on its head, attempting to use safety as a justification for owning a leading cause of carnage. And what happens when a legally-purchased van falls into the hands of an unstable teenager, or a conservative voter? Is it any wonder that such people resist all moderate, reasonable regulatory measures, such as background and mental health checks for potential van buyers, raising the age for van ownership to forty-five, and restricting all van engines to a maximum speed of fourteen miles per hour (one mph slower than the average human running speed)? 

It’s time to get over our nostalgic fascination with the immature age of our forefathers, and face the realities of twenty-first century civilization. When America’s founding fathers spoke of property rights, free trade, and industrial progress, they surely were not anticipating an age in which heterosexual white capitalists could run wild through the streets of our towns and cities in metal murder machines traveling faster than the fastest horse Thomas Jefferson ever owned!

In the modern democratic world, there is no reason at all for private citizens to own vans, let alone vans that can travel at speeds comparable to the speed of military vans! Everyday peacetime existence is not a war zone, and certainly shouldn’t be equipped like one. Governments may need such vehicles in order to race around on our behalf, when and as they deem fit. Civilians living their normal lives, by contrast, have no need of military-grade vans.

Let’s stop the disingenuous tears and romantic talk about freedom and family. It’s time to get serious about serious van regulations today, on the road to the ultimate goal of a more peaceful, less dangerous, van-free world. This time, let’s do the right thing, for the children.

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