Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Attack Re-Energizes Push for Truck Control Legislation

CNN has sourced the strategy for planting the type of deadly pressure cooker bombs detonated at the Boston Marathon finish line to the Al Qaeda Magazine Inspire.  The magazine laid out how to use the cooking device.

"The pressurized cooker should be placed in crowded areas and left to blow up. More than one of these could be planted to explode at the same time. However, keep in mind that the range of the shrapnel in this operation is short range so the pressurized cooker or pipe should be placed close to the intended targets and should not be concealed from them by barriers such as walls."

CNN also reported Inspire magazine provided tips on using a pickup truck as a weapon,

An article titled "The Ultimate Mowing Machine" calls for using a pickup truck as a "mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah." 

The article says that such a plan could be implemented in countries where people back the "Israeli occupation of Palestine, the American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq or countries that had a prominent role in the defamation of Muhammad."

It said a four-wheel-drive pickup truck is needed -- "the stronger the better."  "To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control of your vehicle in order to maximize your inertia and be able to strike as many people as possible in your first run," the article says.

The media's revelation of this mow-them-down advice has renewed the drumbeat for pickup truck control legislation.  Early in the 113th Congress, Senator Jon Tester (D – Mont.) introduced truck control legislation that specifically targeted the “strong” pickup trucks preferred by Al Qaeda.  As originally drafted, Senator Tester’s legislation would have limited pickup truck ownership to a needs based ownership class and would have outlawed the use of pickup trucks by city slickers, suburban cowboys and gentlemen farmers.  The bill’s stringent ownership restrictions and resale regulations would have also prohibited pickup truck purchases by garden variety Al Qaeda terrorists. 

Pickup Pride Advocates
Though recently released studies provided empirical support for moving truck control forward, under pressure from pickup pride advocates (see picture on right) Senator Tester withdrew his proposed legislation. To justify his about face, the junior senator from Montana argued that pickup trucks were so intertwined with the pickup pride cultural core that pressing for truck control could violate the advocates’ civil rights.  Tester asked Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D – Nev.) to refrain from bringing the truck control legislation up for a floor vote.

Truck control coalition leaders, Hans Opelgänger, Director of Sustainability at BMW USA and Sven Olafscar, Managing Director of Volvo USA, hope the Boston tragedy will spur recognition of the need to regulate pickup trucks and re-energize truck control legislation.  They are asking that truck control supporters visit their website for information on what can be done to support the cause.     

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