Tuesday, November 27, 2007

score: citizen 1, robot revenuer 1.

I'm not a fan of the revenuers. That includes the red-light cameras at certain local intersections, which are not there for public safety, but for revenue generation.

However, I believe that you have to pick your battles, and that this particular battle turned out to be a really dumb one to fight.

On the minus side:

--Mr. Clark is charged with a felony, which will mean the permanent loss of his voting and Second Amendment rights. (No more guns, ever, and therefore no legal way to defend yourself or your family for the rest of your life.)

--The incident is likely to cost him a fair amount of money. There's the legal costs, the restitution he'll be ordered to pay (the shot-up camera), the $500-plus hunting rifle that's now KPD property, and the loss of income that'll result from Mr. Clark having to go to jail and/or losing his job as a result. There's also the reluctance of employers to hire folks with felony records, which may severely curb Mr. Clark's income potential for the rest of his life.

On the plus side:

One robot camera out of commission for a few days. The article notes that a replacement will be installed within a day or two.

Sometimes,a principled stand involves the risk of arrest and felony conviction. There are scenarios where I would gladly chance those. Seeing a red light camera out of commission for three days is not one of them.

Oh, and all the political/philosophical aspects aside: as a gun owner who considers himself responsible, I have to be appalled at the non-existent safety-mindedness of Mr. Clark. This is not about "Nerf World" and "safety Nazis", but about the judgment of someone who would shoot four .30-06 rounds through a thin metal box at an intersection which is ringed by businesses, residential properties, and a busy Interstate. Can you be 100% sure of your backstop in that kind of location?

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