Skip to comments.Hunting the Great White ... Minivan
Posted on 06/09/2005 12:26:21 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob
There was yet another interminable car chase in the streets of Los Angeles carried on every 24-hour news channel. Excepts of this eight-hour ball of excitement appeared on regular news programs. Everyone who saw none of this, please raise your hands.
Hold on, you. Admit it. You did watch. I confess, so did I.
This one was a white minivan that wandered over several freeways in downtown L.A. Several times the minivan came to a full stop in heavy traffic, while up to five police vehicles also stopped 25 feet behind the van. Meanwhile, a police spokesman droned on about not taking risks.
Eventually, the van was boxed in on the Number 10" for about five hours while the surrounding police sat there waiting for something to happen. Close to a bazillion dollars in time and energy of citizens were wasted; they were trapped on that closed expressway.
What is wrong with this picture? What can be done about it?
How many people are familiar with Herman Melvilles classic, Moby Dick? Okay, belay that. Nobody reads the classics any more. So, how many are familiar with the Batman comics or movies? Remember when Batman pulls out a flare gun? He fires it, and a harpoon-like projectile locks into a nearby beam? Then Batman and the damsel in distress swing to safety on the attached cable.
Hold that thought, and consider this. In real car chases, unlike movie versions, there are always slow-speed moments. They come on sharp turns, or in tight spots. At such moments, a cop in a vehicle or on foot could fire a special shotgun shell with a harpoon tip and cable attached, into the sheet metal on the fleeing vehicle. Then, in a matter of seconds, the vehicle could be reeled in or stopped, with no risk to the police or to innocent bystanders.
It is overwhelmingly obvious. Yet its never been done.
Switch to another obvious story. Entire forests of trees have been sacrificed to print stories about the improper handling of copies of the Koran at the Guantanamo prison for terrorists. What are we up against? The terrorists consider it a religious duty to blow up a mosque full of Muslims of various ages, plus (probably) a few copies of the Koran, here and there.
And thats the good treatment. The rough stuff is for infidels meaning mostly Westerners. Such people are not given Bibles, three meals and a cot. The best humanity they can hope for is a short period of torture and a sharp knife when their throats are cut.
What would be the public reaction if the MSM simply did its job? Print side by side a factual description of how we Americans treat prisoners we capture, with a description of how the terrorists treat prisoners that they capture. Again, a little common sense would make a bloated and one-sided story disappear.
Switch to another obvious story. Six months after John Kerry promised on Sunday TV to sign his Form 180" and release all of his military information, he has apparently signed something, and caused the release of some information, to just one newspaper. The one newspaper was a friendly one in Boston, which vigorously supported Kerry with its editorials and its news stories throughout the 2004 election.
The Kerry continuing campaign for whatever did not release a copy of his Form 180. With a little thought, the reason for that lack is self-evident. The former military person calls the shots in filing out that form. He/she specifies what records will be released. The most is to say release all records. Kerry, according to the blogosphere, has released only certain records from just one source.
The next question is who gets the records. The most is for the former service person to permit release to anyone. That means anyone in the press, whether they are friendly or not. Again, the results show that Kerry has not signed such a general release.
Some of us are long of tooth may remember a quote on the White House tapes of Nixon during the Watergate era. President Nixon discussed with his top aides a limited, total hangout. The idea was to dump a certain amount of inside information to give the impression that all was being released.
It didnt work for Nixon. It wont work for Kerry. But again, the question is, where is the common sense of the MSM? Dont American reporters think about what they are doing? Dont they have just a small touch for what Robert Frost called, a keen eye for the obvious?
The ocean of news is replete with white whales, waiting to be captured. But you DO have to be on the lookout for them.
About the Author: John Armor is a First Amendment attorney and author who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu
So how exactly did we get from car chases to Form 180??? LOL
We need a "CAR CHASE CHANNEL" Live 24/7.......
Now every brainless loser with access to a steering wheel can get their 15 microseconds of Nielsen notoriety, exactly like Jennifer Aniston, only different.
Is this a great country or what?
I wonder how many police pursuits there would be if there were a mandatory 20-year sentence attached to causing one?
I like the idea of a harpoon. Unfortunately nothing you stick into sheetmetal is going to stop a car/truck/van. An EXPLOSIVE harpoon, on the other hand....
Think of: Very low - Kerry - whale sh@t.
IF you SURVIVE!.........A REAL REALITY SHOW!!!!!.........
You don't need explosive, just EMP. All newer vehicles are laden with electronics that can fry, and when they do, the vehicles shut down completely.
The sheet metal on most vehicles would rip apart long before you could move the vehicle by pulling on a harpoon atached to it. The most vulnerable point is the tires - just ask any racing fan about that - so some police departments use spike strips to flatten the tires and thus disable the vehicle.
Well, the only problem with that is, if you fire a harpoon head strong enough to stop a car, with enough penetration to hook through the door, chances are pretty good you might skewer somebody inside the car as well.
Why not use an electromagnet hung from a big Jolly Green? Grab the car/truck, chopper if off the road to a 100 sq foor concrete pen and drop in in there!
You want to give a harpoon gun to the typical cop, the same guy who'll empty 47 shots into the middle distance in a gunfight, and nobody gets hit?
I think we'd be better off if they were armed with night-sticks only. It'd reduce the chance of innocent bystanders getting whacked, anyway.
My personal leaning for car chases would be a well publicized "one hour" rule after which if the hotshot driver hasn't pulled it over he may be totally destroyed without further warning and with any means available.
My recollection wants to call it "a modified, limited hangout."
My recollection wants to call it "a modified limited hangout."
This "reply" is to the thread in general, rather than start a new article on it...not to C.Billybob in particular.
H'yah!!! Round 'em up!
For a long, long time, I've been thinking about the harpoon being used to stop high-speed chases. Today, for the first time, I decided to search on the Internet to see if others were talking about this...because it seems so damn obvious. I was pleased to find the short mention of it in http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1419756/posts, "Hunting the Great White ... Minivan"
Then perused the rest of the thread. I disagree that a vehicle cannot be stopped using a harpoon in sheet metal. Surely it can if the design takes every possibility into consideration.
Although I am not one, it would be good if enough people with money and connections could get a working prototype going to present and prove that the idea is viable. When it's just talk, it isn't going far...but a working model just might eliminate the practice altogether.
The general public should not be subjected to high-speed chases. And the unfortunate truth is that people get injured as the result of chases that simply were not known to be for stopping a criminal involved in a crime of greater impact than the negative results of the chase.
Harpoon with built in rivet spread effect, covering a big enough area beyond the sheet metal impact point so as to not tear out. Officer's car mechanism for emergency release in case the officer's car is being dangerously dragged (explosive or powered threads spun to release the threaded back end of the harpoon cable assembly).
Additionally, homing devices which can be fired at the escaping vehicle, attaching themselves by harpoon-like body-piercing, fast-acting epoxy, high-intensity magnet or other means. Alternatives would be black-light or other glowing paint or a tiny loud siren to make the vehicle stand out to police vehicles including helicopters. Both of these in case the suspect's vehicle does escape. Although such could be removed by suspects, that would take time, stopping and getting out of the car to accomplish.
Have a better idea - a mandatory beating of the driver of the fleeing car after the chase is concluded. All officers who participated in the chase may beat and kick the offender until they (the officers) tire out. They may also invite inconvenienced bystanders to particpate as well.
The event will filmed and the film distributed to the various news channels.