The choice for today’s terrorist attack was a no-brainer: when was the last time you heard of a blunderbuss used to kill someone?
As I have noted on many occasions in the past terrorists are an ingenious lot. Some develop elaborate plans to carry out attacks – we have seen shoe bombs, printer bombs, underwear bombs, the list goes on and on.
It is unfortunately true that just about any item can serve as a weapon to execute an attack. Of late there have been a flurry of vehicular incidents using cars and trucks (Barcelona, Berlin, London, Edmonton, etc.). The bland and everyday nature of these tools makes them scarier in a way as it becomes almost impossible to stop these assaults.
When it comes to actual weapons the list is also a long one. Guns, bombs, knives, even a golf club in an ‘attack’ in a Canadian Tire store in Toronto in 2017. I suppose a golf club is less threatening and lethal but have you even been hit in the head with a five iron? Ask Tiger Woods how that feels!
What about a blunderbuss?
Wait! What in God’s name is a blunderbuss?
It was an early gun, sometimes called the forerunner of the shotgun, used in the 18th century. The barrel was flared which was supposed to scatter the shot at very close range, an effect that later scientific experiments showed did not occur. Still, a pretty cool looking gun!
It was also one of the weapons used to assassinate Spanish Prime Minister Juan Prim on December 27, 1870.
Assassination of Spanish PM Juan Prim
The carriage in which the PM traveled from the Royal Palace to the Parliament building was intercepted by two carriages and a dozen men armed with pistols and blunderbusses leapt out, opening fire against the General, who succeeded in reaching his home very badly injured but died 72 hours later.
The assassins were never brought to trial. The death of Juan Prim led to the eventual fall of the government led by Amadeus of Savoy, whom Prim had backed as Spanish sovereign. Spain became a Republic in 1873.
I don’t know if there are any functioning blunderbusses around but if I see someone running at me wielding one I know I am heading in the other direction!!