Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Respect life?

Back on April 20, 1999, the word "columbine" -- the state flower of Colorado -- became synonymous with massacre. The Columbine High School tragedy not only rocked those of us living within miles of the school, but reached national, even global, eyes and ears.

Not long after that, the state of Colorado revealed a new license plate choice. It's of a columbine flower, and it says "Respect Life." A lot of people put that plate on their cars. Of course, it was politicized by the far-left whacko abortion rights activists who are so afraid of anything that remotely sounds like "pro-life" that they tried to organize a boycott of the plate because, like, apparently respecting life is just plain wrong. The plates were an understandable emotional response to something that was hard for people to wrap their heads around.

Now, seven years later, it's time to get rid of those damn plates.

Why? Because they don't mean anything. Yesterday I narrowly avoided what could have been a fatal car accident on the highway because some ass in an Audi -- with a Respect Life license plate -- was driving like an absolute idiot. He was driving about 25 mph over the speed limit when he got to the cluster of cars I was behind. He then proceeded to get about six inches from the bumper of the car in front of him, in the lane to my left. Given that I try to actually avoid accidents, I typically keep 2-3 seconds behind the car in front of me. The second Mr. Respect Life felt he had an opening, he cut in front of me. Had I not known exactly what he was going to try and let off the gas just before he swerved, he'd have clipped me at 70 mph and we'd be mangled at best, most likely dead.

Respect Life my ass. As Paula recently pointed out, tens of thousands of people die in car crashes every year. The vast majority of those crashes are caused by people driving carelessly at best, recklessly at worst. People drive with such a feeling of entitlement; "My destination and timetable are more important than yours, so you should give me the right of way, and if you don't, I'll tailgate you, I'll cut you off, I'll reach ridiculous speeds, I'll talk on my cell, I'll read and send text messages, and I'll pay very little attention to what I'm actually doing."

Kids behind the wheel scare the shit out of me. I think the legal driving age should be 18 at a minimum.

But you know what? Kids are stupid, reckless and rebellious by nature. Put a 16-year-old behind the wheel and expect the 16-year-old to act responsibly? Some will. Many won't, because it's not in their nature. Even then, kids constitute a very small portion of the dangerous drivers on the road. Most of them are adults who should fucking know better.

I for one would really appreciate it if drivers really did start respecting life -- theirs, mine, my wife's, my kids', my friends', my family's...

Use your head. Drive safely.

Respect life.


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