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Tuesday, 24 November, 2020

I Shall not Compromise

Date: 07 July, 1996

By: Chief

Imagehave heard a lot of riders, who don't like the helmet law, say 'it's my right to choose'. They shell out $20 or $30 bucks, join a MRO and go home figuring they have done their duty for freedom.

Wrong! It doesn't work that way. If you really feel the lid law is wrong, then get involved. You see, joining a MRO is not the answer. There are a number of reasons for that and I'm only going to cover the important ones.

First of all, you are not in control of your own destiny. MRO's have state directors, a board of directors, local or chapter presidents and so on. An entire bureaucracy is created, and you — the biker is stuck at the very bottom of this food chain. You may know how to rid the world of the lid law, but the general at the top ain't listening to the private at the bottom (what does a private know anyway?).

Secondly, most MRO's are politically motivated. The old, lets work with the legislature. Remember, it was the legislature who put this law on the books in the first place, why would anybody want to work with them? It doesn't make sense and it sure doesn't seem to work! Now it does make sense if you are at the top of the totem MRO pole. The MRO is blameless. Damn, thought we had the votes, but they turned on us. Heard that story before? I have. Think about it, the general still has his job and the private is still flying a lid.

That is why I prefer the path of out front and alone. I control my destiny. I can take the fight directly to the 'enemy', (cops, legislature, etc.). No one or organization is telling me what to do, how to do it and when it will be done.

I shall not compromise. No helmet law — PERIOD!

None of this 21 and older don't have to wear a lid stuff that MRO's are pushing. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! MRO's who take that position are admitting that helmets are safe. Christ, wake up people.

Protest. Yeah that's right, protest. Picket right in front of the local highway patrol office. That's one way and if you can get some of your friends to join in, so much the better. Call the local newspaper, radio and T.V. station. Let 'em know whats happening and to come on down. This has a habit of waking up the local constabulary and they will probably take pictures, write down license plate numbers and so on. This is good. Keep the cops off balance. Make them react to you.

Study. Learn the law and how you can use it against the establishment. Believe me, it works. You have to know the enemy — better than he knows you. Rules, procedures. What can a cop do. What are your rights. It takes time and effort. It's called training. Getting yourself ready to go out and get a ticket. There are other bikers who fight the system and fight it well by using the judicial system.

Civil disobedience. Ring a bell? Remember the 1960's? Protesting the war, burning bra's, civil rights marches? All that stuff. Hey it's the 90's but civil disobedience is a real eye opener. Out in California a couple years back, a few bikers, right at the state capitol burned a bunch of helmets! Wow did the papers get a hold of that one! The helmet burning made a hell of a statement. The MRO's didn't like it one bit. This was a "freedom rally?" The MRO's should have been 100 percent supportive. As usual, they weren't. It took away their control. But helmet burning and other acts are a sure fire (pun intended) way to attract attention.

Remember the days of riding free? The wind through your hair? Want those days back? Who doesn't. Then fight to bring them back! Why can't everyday be a freedom day? Why can't you fly free? Oh, there's a helmet law. So fucking what!! Protest, study, civil disobedience. apply those and fight. Yeah, you will get a ticket, that is the whole purpose. Get a ticket, go to court — prepared. File an internal affairs complaint against the arresting officer. File informal discoveries. Demand a verified complaint. Demur to the complaint. Never plead. File a motion to dismiss. Have your day in court. Bring a stenographer or at the very least, a tape recorder. If you are convicted, appeal. If the appeal is denied, file for declaratory and injunctive relief. Use the system against itself. Hey, get some of your buds involved. It's work — but you are in control. And, it can be real fun. Make those cops squirm before a judge. Learn from your mistakes. Pass your knowledge around. What have you got to lose?

Think about it. Just exactly, what is a helmet? If there is no definition, I can't comply and a cop can't enforce. That is where the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments to our Constitution fit into the puzzle. How can I obey a law I can't understand? Does that mean the law is vague? Yep. Isn't there something called a warrant of search? How about material evidence of probable cause? Isn't the cop required to have either a warrant OR probable cause? Damn right they have too. Do they — not on your life. Gee, isn't that a Fourth amendment issue? Sure as hell is. Do you mean, I can turn a helmet ticket into a constitutional battle? Uhuh. Courts hate this. I love it! Nothing (except sex) is as much fun as watching a traffic judge or any judge for that matter, try to wiggle out of this kind of argument.

Even if you lose your first time or two in court, did you fight a good fight? Yes. Did you learn from the battle? I'd say you did. Are you ready to try again? Damn right! Finally, did you compromise your beliefs? Hell no!! That my friends is the key. As P.T. Barnum said, "never give a sucker an even break." Make the state work to get your money. Use every legal trick in the book. You will win more times than lose. Besides, the more bikers get into fighting the law in the courts, the more gun shy the cops and the courts become. Sooner or later, some biker, will find the argument which will take the law off the books! That is a fact. Furthermore, it is easier to convince a panel of judges to kill this lid law than it is to attempt to convince and buy a legislature. Face it, we don't have the legislative clout — money to buy a law we want.

What is the helmet law we want? No law!

Try to get that one through the legislature. Go ahead try it, talk to your local assemblyman or state senator to sponsor a bill which will repeal and I mean repeal the current helmet law in its entirety. Not only must a bill get sponsored, the bill must go through more than one committee, be voted on and then shot over to the other 'body' and voted on. In addition to you going up against various politicians, you will face "special interest" groups, such as doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and so on. All of them will fight you tooth and nail! These special interests have money and are respected members of the community. We, on the other hand don't have the bucks nor are we respected. Both of which suit me just fine.

I do not kiss ass and I do not pick up trash!

In the final analysis, I see three options:

not compromising, not living under tyranny — living free and ensuring freedom for all.

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