The Chainlink

Thanks to all who read, shared, and commented on yesterday's post on Chicago Now entitled Rahm Dedicates Dearborn Bike Lane to Dozens of "Little Bike People".  That was only the beginning of my efforts to refute the lunacy that goes by the name of John Kass.

Today's post parodies his demands to register bikes and license riders by comparing it to the gun control debate

Please consider dropping by and adding your comments at Chicago Now or below.

http://www.chicagonow.com/easy-as-riding-a-bike/2012/12/dont-regula...

Thanks!

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This is a gun control piece, and off topic for this forum. I would debate you, but I have more respect for the forum rules than that. Take your anti second amendment hit piece elsewhere.

Jason, I'm sorry if I offended you and you feel that this violates forum rules. 

This is a piece comparing the scrutiny we cyclists are put under with the lack of scrutiny others are put under.  I also mention the number of pedestrians killed by motorists and yet the call for our regulation is greater than something that causes more than 1,000 and 10,000 deaths respectively.   

There are a lot of comparisons that can be made, especially when it comes to a growing demand for regulation of our activities.  I'm specifically looking for comments to use in my follow-up piece with John Kass and his call to register and license our bikes.

Feel free to debate me in the comments section of the post.  I don't offer any personal opinions on guns other than it's time we had a meaningful discussion.  

In the meantime, I'm going to continue fighting Kass' characterization of us as public enemy number one. 

Jason said:

This is a gun control piece, and off topic for this forum. I would debate you, but I have more respect for the forum rules than that. Take your anti second amendment hit piece elsewhere.

You think one columnist (Kass) and some angry randoms posting in comments sections in online newspapers is more scrutiny then the second amendment and gun issues receive? You can't actually believe that. I actually liked your article when I thought your point was neither needed regulation. But then it just spiraled into anti-gun lobby rhetoric, where it ended. Perhaps it doesn't read as you intended.

I can see a lot of work went into this article, but the idea to draw a parallel to anything having to do with gun rights or gun control when the events of last Friday are still front and center on our collective mind should have been briefly considered and rejected.

Jason

Point well taken.  As a writer, you try things and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. 

I'll review it and possibly do some editing.  I appreciate your feedback.

As for Kass, I am concerned that he will make it more difficult for us out on the street rather than at City Hall.  Rahm and Klein have our backs, but the motorist that is incensed with the perceived unfairness issue may actually cause us physical harm.  That's the lunacy of this - cars and guns kill the same amount of people annually - 10,000 times more than we do each - yet we get tagged as the dangerous ones.

If you get a chance to read Bike Snob NYC's Enlightened Cyclist, you'll appreciate his point that discrimination by travel mode is the last publicly acceptable form of politically correct bigotry in America...



Jason said:

You think one columnist (Kass) and some angry randoms posting in comments sections in online newspapers is more scrutiny then the second amendment and gun issues receive? You can't actually believe that. I actually liked your article when I thought your point was neither needed regulation. But then it just spiraled into anti-gun lobby rhetoric, where it ended. Perhaps it doesn't read as you intended.

I would argue just the opposite. If we really care as much about innocent human life as one might infer from all the discussion following last week's terrible events, then isn't now a perfect time to point out the inconsistency of an outcry about guns while we ignore the carnage of cars?

h' said:

I can see a lot of work went into this article, but the idea to draw a parallel to anything having to do with gun rights or gun control when the events of last Friday are still front and center on our collective mind should have been briefly considered and rejected.

Tony

Excellent point.  If you listened to the radio interview between Kass and Gabe Klein you'll notice how Kass remains quiet or quickly deflects when it comes to addressing enforcement of motorists (who clearly cause more damage).

We cyclists have been pointing out the auto issue, but in more subtle ways.  Maybe we need to do a better job of drawing out the contrast with bikes and the similarity with guns.  All come down to safe operation and taking the responsibility to others more seriously.

Something else for me to work into my followup posts - thanks!

Tony Adams said:

I would argue just the opposite. If we really care as much about innocent human life as one might infer from all the discussion following last week's terrible events, then isn't now a perfect time to point out the inconsistency of an outcry about guns while we ignore the carnage of cars?

h' said:

I can see a lot of work went into this article, but the idea to draw a parallel to anything having to do with gun rights or gun control when the events of last Friday are still front and center on our collective mind should have been briefly considered and rejected.

So, should we start regulating kitchen knives and other sundry utensils that are used to cause great bodily harm and disfigurement to another human being as well ?

I am just wondering what else we will have to register after some  ( I will keep my rude description of those people to myself) jerk decided to use it to hurt someone else. Axes. Chain saws. Sledgehammers. Screwdrivers. Nail guns (Pneumatic & Electric). Hammers. Basebal/Softball bats. etc.

We need to just let Mr. Kass talk his gibberish. If the mayor and such are behind us, there is very little that Kass can do. Let him spout his issues. It's like letting the grape die on the vine. If no one gives him any added attention, his message will go away. However, if you keep bringing him and what he says up, it will give his words power and he will flare up like a fire being fed wood/fuel.

He has his opinions. It is The United States. He has the right to voice his thoughts. It was guys like myself that have served that have given us all that right. His job is to right about "whatever". Our bicycling will eventually fall off of his radar, because in all honesty....if he wanted to really pick a topic of greater concern...he should probably have chosen the level of poverty in our city, or how the city wastes God-awful amounts of money through several city departments (just look at the DMV, City Hall, and see how many people are just "getting a coffee"...lol!) or the amount of crime on the south, southwest, and west sides. I bet because it doesn't affect him immediately, he doesn't care about those topics.

Some bicycle rider might have cut him off (maybe while avoiding some debris around one of the many "well maintained" manhole covers) on his way to some "lunch/meeting" that he deemed "IMPORTANT", and that is why he has us in his sights....for now.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Have a Great Day !

 

Respectfully,

 

Manny

Manny

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

I know I don't have the reach that Kass has, but if I can tap into the right formula that will get this post shared and read by more Chicagoans, I hope to mute his uninformed POV.  Who knows what motivated him, but he seems like the typical angry white guy that can't accept anything progressive.  He really was a "broken record" on that radio broadcast last week.

You're right, where he sits, he can do a lot more good going after real taxpayer waste looking elsewhere.  We're just easy targets because of the size of our group. 

Hopefully, he will move on to something else...

Brent,

We can only hope. Hope it happens soon, but be prepared to stay the course.

Ignore him. His attention will quickly move on to something else.

It's the way of our modern society. I call it "Selective ADHD". It comes from our impatience and modern technologies (internet, apps, "smart-phones, etc.)

 

I wish you the best of luck with your goal, Brent.

 

Have a Great Day !

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Manny
 
Brent Cohrs said:

Manny

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

I know I don't have the reach that Kass has, but if I can tap into the right formula that will get this post shared and read by more Chicagoans, I hope to mute his uninformed POV.  Who knows what motivated him, but he seems like the typical angry white guy that can't accept anything progressive.  He really was a "broken record" on that radio broadcast last week.

You're right, where he sits, he can do a lot more good going after real taxpayer waste looking elsewhere.  We're just easy targets because of the size of our group. 

Hopefully, he will move on to something else...

Manny,

When kitchen knives and other utensils are used to cause 30000+ deaths per year, we'll want to regulate those too.  Just like we regulate cars because of their potential lethality.  Just like we regulate poisons and hospitals.  Just like we regulate and license anything else that can cause great harm.  Hell, if my bike starts offing people left and right, you bet it'll have to be registered and I'll have to be licensed to ride it.  All these regulations except for guns.  And really, guns are the only thing that serve no other useful purpose but to kill.  And I know gun laws will not stop all killings and automobile regulations don't stop all accidents and wall street regulations don't stop all cheating.  But I don't want my kid to live in a Mad Max world and I don't think you do either so we should start somewhere.   So the argument you present is hollow, and this is a cycling forum and this is off topic but really, I've heard your tired argument too many times and it's still worth about 2 cents and 30000+26 dead per year.

Manny Fuentes said:

So, should we start regulating kitchen knives and other sundry utensils that are used to cause great bodily harm and disfigurement to another human being as well ?

I am just wondering what else we will have to register after some  ( I will keep my rude description of those people to myself) jerk decided to use it to hurt someone else. Axes. Chain saws. Sledgehammers. Screwdrivers. Nail guns (Pneumatic & Electric). Hammers. Basebal/Softball bats. etc.

We need to just let Mr. Kass talk his gibberish. If the mayor and such are behind us, there is very little that Kass can do. Let him spout his issues. It's like letting the grape die on the vine. If no one gives him any added attention, his message will go away. However, if you keep bringing him and what he says up, it will give his words power and he will flare up like a fire being fed wood/fuel.

He has his opinions. It is The United States. He has the right to voice his thoughts. It was guys like myself that have served that have given us all that right. His job is to right about "whatever". Our bicycling will eventually fall off of his radar, because in all honesty....if he wanted to really pick a topic of greater concern...he should probably have chosen the level of poverty in our city, or how the city wastes God-awful amounts of money through several city departments (just look at the DMV, City Hall, and see how many people are just "getting a coffee"...lol!) or the amount of crime on the south, southwest, and west sides. I bet because it doesn't affect him immediately, he doesn't care about those topics.

Some bicycle rider might have cut him off (maybe while avoiding some debris around one of the many "well maintained" manhole covers) on his way to some "lunch/meeting" that he deemed "IMPORTANT", and that is why he has us in his sights....for now.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Have a Great Day !

 

Respectfully,

 

Manny

John Kass, who could never hold a candle to Mike Royko (irrespective of your agreements or disagreements with Royko) jumped the shark ages ago.  I appreciate you reading him so that I don't have to, but I question whether he has the power to do anything except attract that tiny subset of reactionary people who spend their time writing comments on newspaper articles.  He's a guy who thinks he's a muckraker but really only represents the establishment.  Perhaps Tribune views this as a way to get people to read it, look at the ads and maybe buy a subscription--I don't know. 

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