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Friday, 04 December, 2020

A Bunch of Paper Tigers

Date: 20 March, 1997

By: Chief

Imagessemblyman Dick Floyd has said it more than once. Bikers are a bunch of paper tigers. It now appears that he was correct.

Floyd, author of California's notorious mandatory motorcycle helmet law (AB-7), is right! You see, he made a statement back in 1992 or 1993 that bikers and "MRO's" would not be able to repeal the bill he got passed and signed into law because we are nothing but a "bunch of paper tigers." Roar a lot, but can not accomplish anything. . .at least not in the legislature.

Well (a deep subject), the law went on the books in 1991 and took effect January, 1992. Quite a bit has transpired since then... but the law, unenforceable as it is, remains on the books. Amendments to the law have been introduced every year since then, but to no avail. Yeah, there have been four (for the record type) court decisions pertaining to the lid law:

But the law still remains!

As it stands right now, and god I hate to admit it — I really do, but it appears that Dick called it 100 percent correct! WE are a bunch of 'paper tigers'!! We can not accomplish one damn thing! We yell, curse the lid law, join an MRO, ride our bikes to a Freedom Rally(?) and bitch some more. But, do we wear our helmets we despise so much? Yes! The question becomes, if you hate wearing a helmet. . .why do you? Answer that one, honestly!

Do I wear a helmet? Damned right I do. And I hate the lid law more than you can possibly imagine. What kind of helmet do I wear? Glad you asked. My helmet (I have four of these) is a red, white and blue bandanna with the letters "D O T" embroidered in gold across one corner. I purchased these lids in Virginia, Norfolk to be exact, last year and have been wearing them ever since. I got tired of wearing the "Ill Eagle" beanie helmets. They weigh 6 1/2 ounces and that is too much extra weight for my neck to support. Understand that for transportation, all I own is a motorcycle and I ride 6 days a week. Now that we understand that and are now singing to the same sheet of music, I will ask the question once again; if you hate wearing a helmet. . .why do you?

I live in Santa Cruz County (California). I ride from Monterey County in the south to Solano County in the north and Stockton to the east. Every time I ride, I fly my bandanna helmet. Have I ever received a ticket? Yep, eight of them. I beat 6 of them. In fact, the last ticket I got was March, 1996 and I won that one. Haven't been able to get another ticket since then. Am I followed by the CHP or other cops? Yeah. Do they stop and/or ticket me? no!!! Do I go trolling for tickets? Every single day! Are there others that do the same? Yes, a very few. What say you?

Apathy! To me, that is the main problem. Bikers, or at the very least, those I have observed, don't or won't get involved. The 'let somebody else fight my battle for me' syndrome. Now, I don't have any problem whatsoever with those bikers who want to wear a lid. That is their choice and that is just fine with me. I have a problem with the "other" bikers. Those who have been afflicted with 'let somebody else fight my battle for me' syndrome. As far as I'm concerned, the "other" bikers should have their helmets painted pussy pink!

Moving right along, there has been a bunch of noise coming out of Arkansas recently concerning a helmet law 'repeal(?)'. Hell, even the 'MRF' claimed a repeal (back to the age of 21). What repeal? There has been no repeal of Arkansas's lid law. The Governor signed a bill into law which amended the law from every biker must wear a lid to just those under 21 must fly a lid. Victory? I sure as hell don't think so. A sellout, yeah. That is what it is to me. A discriminatory sellout is actually closer to the truth. A 'don't kill me, kill my brother instead' victory at best. Look at Pennsylvania. Another 21 and over bill has been introduced. The State ABATE goes so far as to "encourage the voluntary use of helmets." And that is in their own "official" position paper! Some rights organization. . .bah, humbug.

Out here in California, the State ABATE was braying (as in jackass) about introducing a 'full repeal' of our current lid law. I thought rock 'n' roll! This is one bill I will be happy to support and really push for passage. Well guess what? Full repeal, my ass! AB-1412 is just another stinking compromise! Another 'don't kill me, kill my brother instead' bill. The funny thing about it is the bill went in as a full repeal, but the legislative sponsor didn't "feel comfortable" sponsoring a full repeal, so the bill was changed to an amendment PRIOR to being introduced! How to you like them apples? Our purported MRO capitulated without putting up a fight. Betrayal, disgust, are the terms which come to my mind. So, just to set the record straight, and for the record:

"I do not compromise and I will fight this bill with every breath of my being.

"A full repeal or nothing!"

Is that clear enough?

I would rather have no bill introduced and fight the cops in the courts than to sellout my beliefs. I'll say it again:

"I do not compromise!"

In case you haven't noticed, I'm pissed! Why? Simple. In Santa Cruz County, there are a lot of people who ride. But only myself and a lady I know wear bandana helmets. Every other biker I have seen wears a big fucking helmet! Why? It makes no sense to me. If a bill was signed into law stating all bikers must jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, are you going to do it? Of course not! Then why, just why, do most bikers insist on obeying a law they detest?

Back in January, ABATE of California had their semi-annual freedom [farce] rally at the steps of the capital in Sacramento. Every biker that rode up for the rally was wearing a lid. Once they gathered on the grass at the capital to protest(?), you could hear the same sound again and again: "Baaaa, Baaaa." An hour, maybe two hours later they all left.

If you like wearing a lid, fine. If you don't, fight back! Don't be a 'sheeple'. Fly a bandana helmet or a coconut or a welding cap or anything but what the 'man' wants you to wear. Hell, become a helmet manufacturer and certify your own skull, file a letter certifying your skull with your local hall of records and fly free. What is the worst that can happen? You get a ticket. Big deal. Fight the damned ticket! Whatever you do, do not give in! It's as simple as that. The more people getting tickets and fighting them, the larger the backlog of cases courts have to hear. It drags the system down. Sooner or later, somebody, somewhere, will take out the law. . .completely.

What are you prepared to do?

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