Uber and Lyft don’t seem to care about the safety of their drivers. Both companies have placed their workers in danger by prohibiting them from carrying firearms while working. As a result, they have been more vulnerable to carjackings and other types of violent crimes.
On Friday, Wallingford police warned Uber and Lyft drivers to be careful when picking up passengers in the wake of two armed carjackings that occurred this week. Hartford Courant reported:
On Wednesday at about 6:30 p.m., police responded to a reported carjacking in the area of 179 South Turnpike Road. The Uber driver, who was not injured, said she had picked up a male passenger in another town who was wearing all black clothing and a black N95 facemask. The man showed a gun, ordered the victim out of the car and then sped off in the gray 2018 Nissan Rogue with Connecticut plate AV56647, police said.
On Monday at about 6 p.m., police responded to a reported carjacking in the area of 191 South Turnpike Road. The Uber driver, who was not injured, said he had picked up two passengers in another town. The men showed a handgun and forced the victim out of the car, then took off in the blue 2012 Honda Accord with Connecticut plate 2AUBH5, police said.
With skyrocketing crime rates occurring all over the country, Uber and Lyft drivers are increasingly finding themselves in perilous situations. The Markup published a report in July of last year showing that at least 124 drivers have been the victims of carjackings. From the report:
Through interviews with drivers and family members, police reports, and local news articles, The Markup found Uber and Lyft drivers from Boston to Nashville to Sioux Falls, S.D., who’ve been victims of carjackings or attempted carjackings. Their cars ended up crashed, in chop-shops, or used in other crimes. Police departments nationwide have reported an overall surge in carjackings during the pandemic, and these incidents appear to be happening to ride-hail drivers at an especially high rate.
Even worse, the report found that “[e]leven have died as a result of the assaults, dozens more have been severely or permanently injured.”
More than 60 percent of the attacks occurred after ride-hail drivers were paired with passengers that ended up being carjackers.
However, it is entirely possible that ride-hail drivers are subject to these situations more than the report indicates. If they were allowed to carry handguns, they have a better chance of coming out of these attacks unscathed. Last year, the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) published an interview with an Uber driver who used his pistol to scare away a would-be carjacker. It illustrates just how serious this issue can become.
A local Fox News affiliate in Orlando spoke with ride-hail drivers who said they are concerned about their wellbeing while working for Uber or Lyft. Some of these individuals carry firearms despite company policy prohibiting it. “I am scared. I protect my life,” said Larry Cosmo, an Uber driver who is licensed to carry. “I need it for my life. I don’t know the people I let in. The people maybe they’re crazy I don’t know.”
Both Uber and Lyft have policies mandating that drivers remain unarmed, or they could possibly lose their jobs. Passengers are also prevented from carrying a firearm and could lose their ride privileges if caught.
The irrationality of the anti-gun movement in America is what leads to foolishness such as this. Uber and Lyft are well aware of the fact that their drivers are more likely to be placed in a compromising position by virtue of the fact that they are spending more time in their cars, driving around cities, and picking up strangers. The fact that they would discourage their workers from being able to protect themselves is absurd. It is the type of thinking that demonizes law-abiding citizens more than criminals seeking to take advantage of them.
It is stories like this that further illustrate why those who support gun rights must continue fighting back against those who would make it harder for Americans to protect themselves. It is not enough to just push back against laws designed to restrict gun ownership – we must also combat the thinking that leads to this type of legislation. The more we educate, the more people will see that keeping responsible people from owning handguns is not only foolish, it is also dangerous.