More on the "cars as weapons" theme... it occurred to me today that the act of driving a car is morally equivalent to brandishing a weapon. When we get behind a wheel, we are putting a deadly weapon in position to cause serious injury or death to whatever or whoever gets in its path.

By extension, then, driving in a threatening manner towards pedestrians or bicyclists is equivalent to a warning shot; and maiming or killing either with one's vehicle should almost always be charged as manslaughter at minimum. If I were shooting a gun at something, and the bullet went through or past my target and hit someone, would I not be charged? So it should be the same with that 3-ton weapon we drive thoughtlessly around as if it were the normal thing to do. Typically, in California at least, motorists maiming or killing pedestrians or bicyclists aren't charged with anything. Thinking of that car as a gun that is shooting a 3-ton bullet which goes as fast as the car and turns with it, puts the matter in better perspective.

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last updated 2012-10-11 03:19:33. served from tektonic