I met with the Mayor and Directors of Fort Smith, Arkansas last night, 5-5-15, after their regular City Business session. During regular business, accolades were given relevant to the “great success” of the newly organized “Iron Horse Motorcycle Rally” henceforth deemed to be an annual event for the City of Fort Smith. Almost immediately after the Directors and the Mayor praised the volunteers, the Police and Sheriff’s Departments, for their excellent work in the Iron Horse Rally, I was called forward to present my “subject of concern” for the “open forum” session.
Needless to say, I “rained on their parade” as I clearly articulated the fact that I had observed the exodus of their motorcycle rally as the loud “thugs” assaulted Van Burnen, Arkansas this previous Sunday, this, as I left Church and conducted personal business in that City. I explained the ramifications of permitting or inviting the “loud faction” of irresponsible “bullies” into their City and the disservice the Mayor and the Directors had done to the citizenry of Fort Smith by permitting the audible assault upon those they had a moral and ethical obligation to protect.
One Director asked if I had a problem with the loud bikers at the rally only, or vehicular noise in general, relevant to Fort Smith? To which I respond, “Yes.” I explained that one of the primary reasons I became a law enforcement officer was the fact that I have a visceral disdain for bullies and I assured them that those who operate an illegally equipped or illegally modified motorcycle are nothing less than “bullies, thugs, hedonist, narcissist” and care nothing for the rights of others…”the loud motorcycle thug thumbs his nose at the law and every citizen they assault with their noise and basically makes the statement, ‘I’m gonna do what I want to do and to Hades with the rest of you…I don’t care!'”
All-in-all, it was an interesting exchange of ideas and concerns. They now understand why I earned the title of “Psycho Cop.” As I was exiting the forum area, an elderly gentleman approached me and walked into the foyer of the building as I prepared to exit. The obviously upset man told me that he rides a “Goldwing” and that he was offended by being called a “thug.” I tried to explain that I was very clear in my presentation and my concerns were confined to ONLY those who ride loud. I explained that I had owned and operated some 31 motorcycles since I was 12 years old. I had ridden professionally and had accumulated hundreds-of-thousands-of-miles on motorcycles; had I been referring to “all” motorcyclists in my dialog, I would have essentially called myself a thug! He wanted nothing but to argue and insisted that I had insulted him. Over-and-over I tried to assure the man that my entire dialog with the Mayor and Council was focused ONLY on those who ride illegally…and it was! Anyway, he left less upset and finally understood my concerns, stating that he agreed with me regarding the noise and behavior of the “Harley” riders but that I needed to differentiate my concerns more articulately.
With that said, this battle reminds me of the struggle activists faced as they went to war with “big tobacco.” The multi-million dollar aftermarket exhaust industry; the expendable income of the loud motorcycle thugs; the successful motorcycle lobbyist faction; the public’s fascination with the “Son of Anarchy” facade; the political and financial influence of the motorcycle associations; the financial seduction that draws municipal leadership to compromise with the loud biker thugs and the revenue generated via biker rallies; the infusion of moral relativism and iconic tolerance within the American society combined with an overwhelming societal disdain relevant to speaking-out and standing in opposition to or buffeting the flow of mainstream consensus; these entities, in combination and in collusion…are a “Goliath” and an incredibly powerful foe to those of us seeking peace in an “unnecessarily” noisy world.
Now that I am near the end of my employment status with the Houston PD and have begun to actually “speak-out” publicly, I expect some form of backlash from my employer…it’s going to be interesting. Subsequent to my meeting with Van Buren’s Mayor and Council last month and though I literally live “in the woods,” I’m hearing the thunder of bikers at the intersection of the paved-to-gravel road leading to my residence…has the harassment already begun?…we will see.
Arkansas’ Motor Vehicle Code (Presented to Ft. Smith Mayor and Directors)
27-37-601. Noise or smoke producing devices prohibited.
(a) Every motor vehicle shall, at all times, be equipped with a factory-installed muffler or one duplicating factory speciﬁcations, in good working order and in constant operation, to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.
(b) No person shall use on a motor vehicle upon the public roads, highways, streets, or alleys of this state, nor shall any person sell for use on a motor vehicle upon the public roads, highways, streets, or alleys of this state, a muffler, other than as deﬁned in subsection (a) of this section, cutout, bypass, similar device, or any type device which produces excessive or unusual noise or smoke.