Cars of Death?


I came out of my local supermarket not long ago finding myself circling the parking lot like someone who’s left the superbowl trying to remember where he parked. Turning round-and-round, squeezing between row-after-row, I finally found my car in the shadow of a giant Ford truck that had the gravity of a small moon. Even more menacing, the front of this behemoth had a barred iron grill that looked like the front of a prison cell allowing for the efficient splatting of deer or anything else that dared get in front of it. I just made it to the driver’s side door when the truck door popped open and a frail elderly man hooked up to a tank of oxygen slid down the side bar to the blacktop. He wore faded cowboy boots and an old worn black felt hat as he limped off toward the market pulling the wheeled oxygen tank behind him.

It occurred to me as he shuffled off how often I’ve seen people well into their 80’s behind the wheel of massive Cadillacs or oversized trucks. I believe as people grow older and less confident in their ability to drive they naturally are attracted to rigs that serve as some form of protection. I mean, if they lose control and plow through the side of a supermarket or roll down a hillside to destroy a home they will remain safe as long as they are buckled up, right? However, this raises a disturbing realization. If someone needs constant oxygen to stay conscious or possibly alive is it really a good idea to strap them into a three ton machine with a Death Race 2000 grill on the front cruising our neighborhoods? If this guy achieves deer splatting speed while having a heart attack he’d shred my family friendly Toyota like a wet paper bag. I wonder if there are times government should allow community values to win out over individual rights. Just because someone can afford a giant metal meat grinder doesn’t necessarily mean we are all being better served. From my perspective it is selfish to sit in such a monster once you realize your ability to harm or kill innocent others has real potential.


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