Please join me in saying a prayer for the victims of the car attack in Times Square yesterday in which one person died and 22 others were injured. The fatality was Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan, just 18. She was a beautiful young tourist, excited to be in the home of Broadway and bright lights. Her 13-year-old sister was hospitalized with injuries.
Early fears that it might be a terrorist attack gave way to suspicions that the driver, Richard Rojas of The Bronx, was out of his mind. He leapt out of the car acting violent, wild-eyed and erratic. He reportedly said he wanted to kill everyone and he wanted the police to kill him instead of tackling and arresting him. It was later reported that he’d been smoking a form of synthetic marijuana that might have induced a psychotic episode. It does give a terrifying illustration of the futility of trying to stop acts of mindless violence by banning anything that might be used as a weapon. If someone is determined to kill, they’ll get a gun, or if not, a knife, or even a car used as a speeding projectile. We could even ban hammers, and while law-abiding citizens were using rocks to drive nails, some people would be attacking other people with them. It sadly shows that you can’t stop evil by simply banning every tool that can be misused, you have to focus on the messed-up minds that drive people to kill other people.