Deadly Bumper Stickers

‘”Holy crap” I exclaimed as I stood on my car’s brake. I wondered if I could stop soon enough to avoid rear ending the PT Cruiser. It abruptly relocated itself in my right turn lane without so much as a turn signal. I hadn’t had the experience of testing my new cars brakes in an emergency. When I say new car I mean the recently acquired 2000 Buick with 100,000 miles is new to me. The second owner had told me the car had all new brakes. I was about to happily learn she hadn’t lied. I was contemplating how I had just taken 10,000 future miles of rubber off my four mismatched tires. Next, the car’s front-end rose and the back-end lowered returning the Buick to its normal ride height (or 100,000 mile tired springs height). It wasn’t until then that I breathed a sigh of relief at avoiding an accident. As I looked directly ahead something really stupid was in my line of sight. It would remain so for the next few miles until my failed assassin exited the highway. What I’m talking about is a bumper sticker that was on the back window of the PT Cruiser. It read, “I’m keeping my gun, my money and my liberty you can keep the change.” It was a clear shot at Obama’s campaign that talked about change.

Being someone who believes in peace, I had not thrown MR. PT Cruiser the finger, blown the horn or shouted at him. I had not even contemplated sticking my size 12 EEEE Dexter Boots (you can tell they are old as they were made in the USA) up his ass. Though, now that I saw his bumper sticker I would have liked to have given him a piece of my mind. I would have said, “Obama has made no move to take your gun and no president has. You have just bought the NRA lies to help sell their memberships. Obama has not taken your money as he has not raised taxes. In fact he gave you the biggest middle-class tax cut in history. As far as liberty what the heck liberty has Obama taken from you?” Of course a conversation with my would-be assassin Mr. PT Cruiser would have been a waste of my time as conservatives like him hate facts.

Mr. PT should learn it is not President Obama who is taking our liberty away. The fact is that we are losing our liberties like freedom of speech because of conservatives like Mr. PT. On Tuesday (one day before my experience with Mr. PT) I learned how expressing your freedom of speech could get you killed. Before I went to the Pig Iron Press second Tuesday open poetry reading in downtown Youngstown, I visited the Occupy Youngstown outpost. A woman (I told her I wouldn’t use her name) that has been spending considerable time there joined us for our poetry reading. I really enjoyed her poetry but was disturbed by an event she told us about that had happened the night before. She has decorated her car with messages about the Occupy movement and other liberal type comments. She was driving in her car with her nine year-old son, on the way to visit her daughter who had moved into a new place. A man in a truck tried to intimidate her by following her inches off her bumper for ten miles. He would not pass her but stayed on her bumper. He had bounced off the curb a few times and she thought he might be drunk. She was terrified and called ahead to tell her daughter what was happening. She had her daughter get a camera ready. As she entered the area where her daughter lived, she was afraid to go right to the daughter’s place. She drove through a field and the truck followed her. She almost hit a tool shed and finally backed up and rammed his truck a few times. He got out of the truck to check the damage and she sped to her daughter’s. The man in the truck stopped in front of the daughter’s house. The woman was not able to get the truck’s license plate numbers but snapped a photo of the man which she took to the police.

Telling us this story I could see the fear and tears in her eyes. She asked, “Do you think it was because of the slogans I had on my car?” We all agreed it probably was. She then stated, “I think I’d better remove them.” I’ll be damned if I would remove them from my car as no one is going to take away my freedom of expression. On the other hand if it was a car Mrs. E. was driving I’d do like this woman and remove the slogans.

This is not the first time I have heard of someone terrorized over a bumper sticker. I remember a few years back when there was a debate about stopping hunting in the Cuyahoga Forest. An elderly woman had a bumper sticker supporting efforts to stop hunting in the forest. She was followed by a hunter in his truck who severely beat her. I’m saying these folks on the right tend to be more dangerous than ones on the left and a bumper sticker can get you killed. Over 25,000 accidents including 370 deaths were recorded in the U.S. just because of road rage caused from bumper stickers. Driving can be frustrating because of traffic jams, poor driving skills, and inconsiderate motorists. Add in a bumper sticker that rubs someone already enraged and you have the recipe for road rage. I feel those on the right are more inclined to become enraged because of a bumper sticker. I see bumper stickers trashing choice, gays, liberals, climate change, immigrants, health care etc. Those of us on the left feel that these folks are entitled to have these opinions. If I had bumper stickers promoting, pro-choice, atheism, anti-guns and anti-hunting how long would it be before me or my vehicle was damaged or shot full of holes? Having such a bumper sticker would make me suicidal as I’d be inviting, “Suicide by right-wing extremists.” I’ve actually seen a bumper sticker that read, “You are behind an angry religious right-wing extremist.” I guess that was my fair warning.

Awhile back commentators on the right were outraged that Homeland Security warned about right-wing extremists in our country. A short time later a right-wing extremist killed Dr.Tillis who was a director of a clinic in Wichita, Women’s Health Care Services, who provided abortions. Dr.Tillis was gunned down while he was in church. FOX NEWS right-wing commentator Bill O’Reilly had called him “Tiller the Baby Killer” in 28 episodes of his show. After Dr. Tiller’s assassination Southern Baptist minister Wiley Drake said, “I am glad that he is dead.” Since 1993, nine people who worked in U.S. abortion clinics have been murdered. Nine people have been injured, including a woman who was widowed in the same attack, and a nurse who was maimed and lost an eye. There have also been 17 attempted murders. Add in the mass murder of 69 people and 60 injured by a right-wing racist in Norway and you can see we are dealing with a dangerous element when we on the left choose to use our first amendment right of free speech. A conservative American blogger praised the Oslo Norway shooter. See here.

The Mr. PT Cruisers on the right can express themselves without the fear of folks on the left because we respect the rights our forefathers gave us. So Mr. PT (Pawn Teabagger? Propaganda Trash?) it isn’t President Obama taking away people’s liberty it is your right-wing terrorist friends. Also, please turn off the right-wing hate radio stuff and the media joke that is FOX NEWS and spend that time learning how to drive.

Killing Dr. tiller wasn’t enough as anti-abortion foes are now after his colleague.

Steel Pulse: No More Weapons

Bootstraps

The Framers of the Constitution knew that free speech is the friend of change and revolution. But they also knew that it is always the deadliest enemy of tyranny. ~ Hugo Black

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