Subject: Re: Reckless Speeders (was: Synchronized Signals...)

RILEY@bombay.GPS.CALTECH.EDU writes:
> This #$%*! punk was RELEASED after killing FOUR people??!?

What if car crimes were treated just like gun crimes?

A speeding teenaged motorist kills four innocent people.  Result?
Nationwide calls to ban "death cars".  There's no clear definition
as to what a "death car" is, except that it's probably red, and mean
looking, and built to go fast.  Everyone agrees that there's no useful
social purpose for such vehicles, and that anyone who owns one must be
plotting to kill innocent people.

A "death car" law is passed.  Innocent owners of cars have their
vehicles confiscated, without compensation.  Anyone who refuses, or
who is merely suspected of having an unregistered "death car" has
their house surrounded, attacked, and burned down, killing themselves
and their children.  The news media celebrate this great victory over
lawless elements who were stopped in the nick of time from running
amock, deliberately crashing into innocent pedestrians and cyclists.

Motorists who ask how they are to get to work, or to go shopping, or
to get medical care in an emergency, are told that the government
provides bus service.  And that if they aren't satisfied with the
quality, frequency, or reliability of that service, that they can
deal with it during the next election.  And that freedom to travel
was a fine idea during the 18th century, but with today's powerful
and dangerous mechanized vehicles, that transportation must obviously
be entrusted to the government.

Children who ride their bikes to school are expelled.  They appeal
on the grounds that bikes aren't cars, much less "death cars".  They
are told that bikes have wheels and go on roads, and that bikes have
been known to kill people, that bike use leads to car use just as
surely as marijuana leads to heroin, and that the presense of bikes
is frightening the teachers, and thus the expulsion stands.  They are
referred to a psychiatrist for professional help, since only a troubled
youth would posess a bicycle.  This infaction goes in their permanent
record, and they are permanently forbidden from ever owning *anything*
with wheels.  A violation of this prohibition carries a mandatory ten
year prison sentence, even for a pair of rollerskates.

What if gun crimes were treated just like car crimes?

A nut shoots and kills several people on the subway.  He is fined $100,
and his gun license is suspended for 30 days.  He appeals the license
suspension, asking how he is supposed to defend himself.  The suspension
is removed, but the fine stands.  He never pays it.  If he accumulates
several similar unpaid fines, his gun will be confiscated (but, of
course, he can buy another one).

A disgruntled postal employee shoots and kills several other employees.
He is suspended without pay for a week, and his insurance has to pay the
medical bills of the survivors.  His insurance company raises his rates.
If his gun was damaged in the shooting, he may be able to sue the
survivors to have it repaired or replaced.