COMMENTARY | I’ve got nothing against bikers when they obey the rules of the road. But, let’s face it, it seems like a lot of motorcycle owners like to play fast and loose with traffic laws. In our cars we watch them weave in and out of traffic, accelerate like banshees, and put on displays. But a group of bikers in NYC went beyond all bounds of rationality and make me genuinely consider keeping a Glock in my glovebox. CBS covers the horrifying scenario: A man traveling in an SUV with his wife and two-year-old child is surrounded by a gang of showboating bikers. When one motorcycle brakes suddenly it gets tapped by the SUV…at which point the bikers literally act like Toecutter’s vicious gang in Mad Max.
The threatened motorist tries to flee, but bikers have already slashed one of his tires. Eventually, stopped and surrounded, the man is yanked from his vehicle and viciously beaten in front of his family, the scene recorded on one biker’s helmet cam. Fortunately, police are tracking down suspects and the beaten man was treated and released from a local hospital.
I stand firmly with the driver of the SUV and concur with the vast majority of news commenters who are appalled and horrified at the violence exhibited by the pack of bikers. One commenter, who identified himself as a fellow biker, said he supported the SUV driver’s use of his heavier vehicle to push through the mass of surrounding motorcycles and escape the terrifying mob. A few commenters, however, accused the SUV driver of justifying his own beating by engaging in an initial hit-and-run.
I’m sorry, but when an angry mob of bikers begins vandalizing your vehicle after you hit one of them due to their reckless driving you don’t exactly feel safe exiting your vehicle and trying to render aid, especially when your wife and toddler are in the vehicle. When the bikers were bashing and slashing the SUV did they really expect the driver to calmly exit and begin chatting about insurance? Any reasonable person would have done like the SUV driver and attempted to leave the scene and seek safety.
The news story genuinely upsets me and justifies mindsets I do not usually support, such as the “I need a gun to protect me and mine” mentality. It makes me, a mild-mannered high school teacher, feel like arming myself. Anyone could find themselves in the position of that unfortunate SUV driver, suddenly surrounded by obnoxious, unsafe, and aggressive bikers, the situation ripe for a fender-bender that leads to violence.
These NYC hoodlums just tarnished the reputation of all peaceful, law-abiding motorcyclists everywhere and made me feel the need to compromise my values and views on weapon possession. I do not appreciate it. But nevertheless, aggressive bikers beware: I saw how Mad Max ended, and the motorcycle certainly did not win against the enclosed vehicle.