Thursday, May 01, 2008

More Vigilante Justice

A friend of mine, well versed in debating the nuances of ethical matters, writes:
Let air out of her tire! You're my hero. I am going to visit you in the hospital every day. And bring cake.

So says my heart. But my head says, no, I don't think we get to disable the cars of people we think are driving dangerously -- even if they are. This kind of vigilante action will end in tears, no? How about taking a quick photo of yacking driver and license plate?

But back to my heart. I've long thought the way to deal with cars in Central Park -- legal or not -- was to calmly ride along side them, pull out a can of orange dayglo spray paint, run a stripe along their side, smile, and glide away: no angry words, no confrontation. They won't even know it happened. But gradually, the word will get out that this is what happens if you drive in a park.

I am of course to chicken to actually to this, but you clearly are the guy to launch it.

I like your spray paint idea! The truth is, it could be done without even actually spray painting a car. We just need to start an urban legend! Everybody reading this needs to work the following into a conversation once a day: "...you know how you just can't drive through the park these days without some roving band of jerks spray painting your car... "

But no, I don't think it is bad to disable cars that are driving dangerously. Any more than than it's bad for the State of New York to ban cars that fail a safety inspection. Why is it different than grounding a plane? Danger is danger, sez I.

Why is giving a flat tire any different than keeping a drunk driver from driving? And while any given drunk driver may not actually be dangerous. I knew this woman was dangerous. Specifically to me.

Since when do people have a right to drive both dangerously and illegally?

And what would a photo do? Besides, call me a Luddite, but I commute to work without a camera.

And I wonder if there is any law against letting the air out of tire. If I were still a cop, I'd be very flummoxed as to what to charge myself with.

p.s. I'll try and get taken to a hospital near you, to make it easier to visit. I like vanilla cake with store-bought canned frosting.

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