Why do Red Flag Laws only focus on taking away a dangerous person’s guns?: U-Haul driver kills one and injures eight in New York City

Feb 19, 2023 | Mass Public Killings non-shootings

If a person is really a danger to themselves or others, confiscating guns Isn’t much of a solution. There are so many other ways for disturbed people to harm themselves or others. Yet, the advocates of Red Flag Laws want people to believe if you simply take away the legally owned guns from someone who is a danger to themselves or others, the problem is solved.

It’s easy enough for people to do something crazy with a motor vehicle. Yet, none of the Red Flag Laws address taking away a person’s ability to drive. Last week, a 62-year-old man, Weng Sor, ran over people in Brooklyn with a U-Haul truck, killing one and injuring eight others. The man who was described as having a mental health crisis drove onto sidewalks and hit bicyclists. He was the very person who presumably would have fit the goal of a Red Flag law, but taking away his guns, assuming that he owned any, wouldn’t have stopped him from harming people with the truck.

Until 2018, the Crime Prevention Research Center tried keeping a list of vehicle attacks worldwide. The worst, recent vehicle attack occurred in France on July 14, 2016, when 86 were killed and 430 wounded. That attack was much more deadly than any American mass public shooting, and in western Europe only the November, 2015 Paris concert attack with 130 people murdered was more deadly.

Since 2018 there have been a number of other attacks. In November 2021, a thirty-eight year old man, who was already facing felony charges for attempting to murder the mother of his child with his car, murdered six and injured 62 others with that vehicle at a Waukesha Christmas parade

In November 2022, Florida police narrowly averted a “mass casualty” event at a 5K Thanksgiving Day run by stopping a woman before she could drive her Range Rover Velar at 60 MPH through the crowd. Once caught, the disturbed woman “repeatedly banged her head” against the window of a police car. 

On Saturday, November 26, 2022, a car was driven into a crowd of 800 people at a Christmas Market in Congleton, England. The Washington Post notes that between May and June 2020, there were at least 18 deliberate vehicle attacks on people.