The growing chorus of calls for bans of fully automatic assault vans have increased after the massacre in France this week.
Many van control activists are saying that their worst fears were realized in France this week after a man named Mohamed (Mo) Lahouaiej Bouhlel ran over and killed over 80 people during the Bastille celebration. Mohamed’s motive is not known, but many suspect the true cause is the fully automatic assault van Mo was driving.
Fully Automatic Assault Vans (or FAAVs) are large vans which have a pedal that can be used to accelerate the van to high speeds, the pedal is located on the floor under the steering wheel. A driver can access that pedal by just pressing down his foot.
Former speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi said today about FAAV’s, “These assault vans, sometimes have multiple gas tanks on them, a driver can often go hundreds of miles without stopping to refuel. There is no reason someone needs more than one tank on their van with Kwiki Marts on virtually every corner.”
Liberal actor Matt Damon a famous FAAVs control activist also weighed in via Twitter, “When the @Constitution was written the founders had wagons in mind, not large boxes with motors pushing them”. Many followers noted the irony of Damon’s position on FAAVs considering the millions of dollars the actor has made from the Bourne Identity movie franchise, the movies are famous for their gratuitous use of vans.
Michale Bloomberg, the founder of Mayors Against Assault Vans advocacy group also commented, “Look, we understand that someone may feel the need for a vehicle for self transport, or maybe even protection from the elements when traveling in inclement weather. No civilian needs a van that big.”
US President Barack Obama also weighed in on the movement, “Look folks, we have to take some common sense measures to curb the proliferation of vans in our streets. It’s easier for a 16 year old to get a Class A CDL to drive a van then it is to get a library card, probably a zillion times easier in fact.
While we will likely never find out what the motive of men like Omar Mateen, or Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was, what we do know is this. Had these men not had access to these fully automatic assault vans, the tragedy of this past week would not have happened. In fact these guys would more than likely have just thrown up their hands and said, ‘not worth it’, let’s just get along with other folks.”
While opponents to these van control measures point out that France already has strong laws on the books that prohibit residents and undocumented migrants from using vans to run over people, van control activists in the United States still think such laws would succeed here. FAAVs control advocates cite US drug laws and how criminals have essentially given up the drug trade and become productive citizens. They believe that banning assault vans will have the same effect on those who may want to do harm to large amounts of people.
“If we have a law that says no assault vans, a person would essentially have to be crazy to try and acquire one on the black market. They would know if caught, it could go on their permanent record and maybe hurt their chances at getting into a good school, plus it might get them suspended from the country club”, said a grad student at UC Berkley that asked to not be identified.