By now you’ve probably seen the various video clips showing a guy in a red pickup truck pointing a gun at a motorcycle rider. Naturally, the “Internet lawyers” came out of the woodwork, either attempting to justify the actions of the truck driver, or taking the side of the biker.
I am both a motorcycle rider for my entire adult life and a shooter since childhood. I have also carried a handgun legally for decades. So I come at this from a relatively balanced perspective.
And the truth is, after looking carefully at all of the evidence, it seems clear to me that both of these guys share the blame for what transpired. I also believe that any unbiased, rational look at ALL of the video, including what led up to the eventual confrontation, will lead one to agree that this entire incident should never have taken place.
Here’s essentially how it unfolded: a group of bikers were riding along a divided four-lane commercial road, primarily in the left lane. The pickup truck was in the right lane.
The bikers were engaging in some showboating. One biker, on a dirt bike, can be seen riding on the inside (median) shoulder of the road, doing an occasional “wheelie” and kicking up some dirt in the process, but none of the bikers did anything that I would consider outrageous, and certainly not threatening to other drivers. I’ve seen far worse in my years of riding.
It was here that the driver of the red truck showed a serious lack of common sense. Apparently, he seemed to find it impossible to keep from expressing his disapproval of the bikers’ behaviors. Instead of ignoring them, he is seen yelling out of his window and simultaneously “flipping off” the motorcyclists:
Stupid. And completely unnecessary. There was simply no point in provoking a confrontation, especially when there was no threat to him or any other drivers, at least none that has been shown.
But then, it was the biker who had his own lapse of judgment. Once again, instead of just letting things go, he pulled up to the passenger side of the pickup truck and tapped on the window with his left hand. It was then that angry words were exchanged, during which time the driver is seen pointing a pistol at the biker.
Thankfully, no one got hurt…this time. Which is probably why no charges have (so far, at least) been filed against either party. Both of these guys, especially the guy with the gun, were lucky, because this kind of behavior often leads to criminal charges, especially if injury or death results. In this case, prosecutors likely saw the incident as not worth their time and trouble.
But one thing that really bothered me were some of the statements made in the “comments” section of the various news stories covering the event. My favorite was one that claimed, “The guy in the pickup truck was totally in the right…”
Really? Folks, when it comes to cases like this, you would be wise to remember that it will be prosecutors who determine whether or not charges will be filed—not you (or Internet pundits).
Over the years, I’ve learned that minding your own business is good policy. Even more so is controlling your temper. Anger has probably caused more deaths than any other emotion. So if you carry a gun, keep yours in check. Always.