Easy availability, plus culture of death, equals murder and mayhem!
"How many funerals, how many marches, how many hospital visits does it take before people say it's time to take action?" asks Shelly Yanoff, executive director of Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth.

-- Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5, 2004

Damned good question!

How many times have we been told SUVs were dangerous and evil? That they drag people to death?

And how many more stories like this will it take until something is done?

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A woman ran over two teenage brothers after they accidentally hit her sport utility vehicle with the golf ball they were bouncing in a parking lot, officials said, leaving one of the boys with life-threatening injuries.

Isiah Grayer, 14, and his 16-year-old twin stepbrothers, Justin and Jamel Marshman, were bouncing the golf ball in a shopping center parking lot Sunday afternoon when it went astray and struck a sport utility vehicle driven by Kathy Feaganes Allen, 47, St. Johns County sheriff's Deputy Greg Suchy said.

Suchy said no damage was done, and the boys apologized and began to walk away. Allen started to drive away, but suddenly made a U-turn, ran over a median and struck Grayer, causing severe injuries, and Justin Marshman before knocking over a light pole, Suchy said.

She then drove after Jamel Marshman, crossing two medians and striking a utility box before her SUV stopped in a ditch, Suchy said. The boy ran away and was not struck.

Witness Russell McPhee said Allen accelerated to hit the boys.

"She charged them," he said. "This was the most deliberate act."

McPhee said he yelled at Allen to stay where she was when she got out of her car.

"After she ran them down, she got out of the car and lit a cigarette like a movie star," he said. "She watched all three of (the boys) just lying there."

Allen then used Terry Gerspch's cell phone to call her husband. Gerspch said Allen seemed unfazed.

"She was as calm as anything," she said. "She said the boys were throwing rocks at her car."

McPhee said Jamel, the uninjured brother, ran over to Allen's car and confronted her.

"He didn't get physical with her," he said. "He just kept asking 'Why? Why did you do this?"'

A judge ordered Allen held without bail Monday on three counts of attempted murder. She is being represented by the St. Johns County Public Defender's Office, which did not immediately return a call Monday seeking comment.

The only detail they left out is that this was a very nice woman, and none of it makes any sense at all.

Clearly, the SUV is at fault. Obviously, the only thing to do is ban them. Charging this poor woman with attempted murder solves nothing. What social forces created that fiendish instrument of death? When are we going to address the culture of death and violence that drove her on and was ultimately behind it?

I'm sure that the conservatives would try to say that this was the driver's fault, in yet another numbing lecture about "taking personal responsibility." Yet there are millions of these deadly machines on our streets. Who is going to take responsibility for their easy availability? Right now, anyone can go to an SUV dealer and buy one of these assault vehicles, no limits, no questions asked. All that's needed is money. Why, they'll even sell you one on credit! Or rent you one? There are even video games like this which glorify them.

At least one thing is encouraging: we're beginning to have a serious national debate on "assault SUVs."

Not one day too soon! Take it from prophet Paul Ehrlich -- whose latest book warns us in no uncertain terms:

An SUV culture will be humanity’s downfall.
(Ehrlich, of course, is a favorite of Justin, who's even forced me to quote him verbatim, but I'm just too lazy to review the prophet's latest book, which Amazon ranks at 14,177.)

posted by Eric on 12.07.04 at 07:21 AM


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Easy availability, plus culture of death, equals murder and mayhem!:

» SayUncle Press Release from SayUncle
Assault SUVs - Washington DC The answer is clear, we must ban them. For the children. These implements of death were only designed for one thing: To run down as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Their high fuel capacity... [Read More]
Tracked on December 7, 2004 9:34 AM

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