21 February 2013

(A Break from the Gun Series) - Winning the Ban on Assault Roadsters

It is sickening to see car nuts slobbering over yet another assault roadster – a car with an excessively high engine capacity and features that nobody needs to exercise safely any constitutional right to travel.

These killing machines are designed for speed professionals. Civilians have no business parking them in their garages.

The latest entry in the orgy of assault roadsters was unveiled on American shores in Miami last week. It is the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador.  For $440,000, untrained civilians can obtain – without a background check – a two-seat power demon with a 6.5 liter V-12 engine and AWD drivetrain.  The engine produces 700 hp in a vehicle having only a 4100 pound curb weight, creating a ridiculously high power to weight ratio. The reported acceleration is 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds with a top speed in excess of 210 mph.

Why? Why the name of all that’s holy are we unleashing these speed wagons on the vulnerable people who ply the highways in our society?

Mind you, whenever anyone dares suggest rational limits to the capabilities of automobiles, such reactionary forces as the American Automobile Association and Motor Trend Magazine organize a carefully scripted terror campaign on right-thinking citizens. Even though the opinions of their membership/readership do not reflect the opinions of the vast majority of law-abiding American car owners, these and other auto hate groups intimidate government with mass mailings, phone campaigns and the threat of withholding political contributions. They frighten the general public with silly rhetoric. They suggest that if government can take away your Lamborghini, surely it can take away your Toyota Corolla. 

Let us carefully define what we’re working with. What is an assault roadster?

Assault roadsters they take many forms.  Their most common characteristic is the engine. They all have fossil-fueled, internal combustion engines with more than six cylinders and more than 2 liters of displacement. In addition, other features frequently appear:, such as:

  1. Aerodynamic styling with drag coefficients equal to or less than 0.33.
  2. Spoilers on the front and/or rear.
  3. A height less than 47 inches
  4. Ground clearance less than 5.5 inches
  5. Tires with an aspect ratio less than 50%
  6. Carbon fiber or carbon-ceramic brakes
  7. The use of exotic materials – e.g., carbon fiber – in the monocoque.
  8. All-wheel drive
  9. Multiple air intakes
  10. Turbochargers

The assault roadster ban will prohibit the manufacture, possession or transfer of any vehicle with an engine having more than six cylinders or displacement more than 2 liters which also has any two of those 10 characteristics.

The radical car lobby depends on a strained reading of the Constitution in claiming that assault roadsters cannot be controlled.

The right to travel, some say, is based in the Privileges & Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution, Article IV, Section 2. Other say that the right to travel is a more basic human right, on a par with defending oneself from a murderous attack.

But the devil is in the details. Assuming that citizens have some sort of basic travel right, this does not mean that the government cannot regulate travel and prohibit dangerous abuses in the implements of travel. We have a right to a free press, and yet the courts support a cause of action for libel. We have a right to bear arms, and yet no one seems to object to banning machine guns.

What was the Founders original intent? Could it have encompassed conveyances with rapidly firing engines and the other characteristics of the assault roadster? Certainly not. The swift horse and the sleek carriage were the speedy conveyances of the wise Founding Fathers. It is disingenuous to say that lethal speedsters such as this Lamborghini were within their contemplation.

And so, the possession and use of assault roadsters is without legal foundation. Moreover, they are marketed without moral compunction. Carefully edited footage from the debut of the Aventador in Miami included conventionally attractive young females talking about these assault roadsters as being “turn-ons.” What stronger evidence to we need for us to realize that marketers are selling these are some sort of perverse fertility symbols, not as a reasonably necessary method of conveyance.

The ban on assault roadsters is an idea whose time has come. The elimination of automobiles with excessively large engines and other speed paraphernalia violates no one’s legitimate rights.  We would merely protect citizens. The Aventador, the Corvette, the Challenger, the Mustang, these and their sad sisters have no place in responsible citizens’ driveways.

Ample precedent exists both for congressional banning of constitutionally inappropriate automobiles and congressional approval of moral and safe transportation alternatives which protect adequately the right to travel. Just as the “Feinstein Bill” lists certain approved firearms, so can the “Assault Roadster Bill” reassure citizens by providing a list of what automobiles are approved for their transportation enjoyment. They will be happy to see the blessing of the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Ford Focus, the Honda Accord, and the other automobiles used by the great majority of Americans for responsible work and recreation.

This battle will take the tireless efforts of those who care more deeply about the safety of the children, the elderly and indeed the average citizen than for the simple bloodlust of hearing the V8 rumble.

America, our time is at hand.


1 comment:

Cindy Rollert said...

They'll pry the keys to my supercharged v8 out of my cold dead hands!

Love this post!