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Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons

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Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons

Old 03-14-11, 12:53 PM
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Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/088...SIN=0888644876

https://www.cyclelicio.us/2011/car-murder-weapon/
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Old 03-14-11, 01:22 PM
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Sweet! This will help me get rid of my neighbor with the loud dog.
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Old 03-14-11, 02:03 PM
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"...the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts..."

Pure tripe covered by a veneer of academics... Any tool made by the hand of man can be used as a weapon... And a weapon/tool does not cause the violent act...
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Old 03-14-11, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
"...the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts..."

Pure tripe covered by a veneer of academics... Any tool made by the hand of man can be used as a weapon... And a weapon/tool does not cause the violent act...
The bolded statement is true, but the automobile seems to be the ONLY tool when used to kill, the investigators assume "accident" (as pointed out in the link).
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Old 03-14-11, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
The bolded statement is true, but the automobile seems to be the ONLY tool when used to kill, the investigators assume "accident" (as pointed out in the link).
I suggest you read the blurb from the OP. The academic only reviewed cases where the car was used as an intentional weapon, not accidents...

The author had the intention of showing "...the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts...", which is pure intellectual drivel.
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Old 03-14-11, 03:47 PM
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Really awful cover art...
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Old 03-14-11, 03:51 PM
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My favorite line in the "blurb"
[Rothe] questions the popular assumption of 'vehicle violence as naturally occurring traffic safety accidents or normal events.'
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Old 03-14-11, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
"...the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts..."

Pure tripe covered by a veneer of academics... Any tool made by the hand of man can be used as a weapon... And a weapon/tool does not cause the violent act...
Have you read the book? Just interested, because if you haven't, I don't buy your blanket dismissal. The fact that something is examined in an academic manner does not make it "tripe"...there is plenty of that in academia, but there is also plenty of academic analysis that is more informed and correct than "conventional wisdom". So for me, it's more of a question of whether the book does a good job of making its case. I don't know the answer to that, because I haven't read it yet.

I'm not convinced that there isn't a connection between our automotive society and violent acts such as road rage and intentional vehicular homocide. Even things like hit-and-run strike me as intentional violent acts (not necessarily the initial collision, but the intentional decision to not render aid), and there is seemingly an epidemic of that going on. So I wouldn't say that the quote you highlighted is ridiculous just on its face. It may be that this book doesn't prove that, but I don't see that it couldn't. I personally believe the anonymous depersonalizing cocoon created by the automobile contributes to some of the road rage we see out there. It's true that any technology is just a tool, but it's also true that human beings are animals with complex psychology that is influenced by the technological devices we surround ourselves with.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
I suggest you read the blurb from the OP. The academic only reviewed cases where the car was used as an intentional weapon, not accidents...

The author had the intention of showing "...the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts...", which is pure intellectual drivel.
A common observation among cyclists is that if you want to get away with murder, use your car as the murder weapon. The crime often receives only cursory investigation as “just an accident.” Unless gross negligence by the driver is involved (driving under chemical influence, for example), the driver often gets away with no more than a traffic citation.
"I suggest you read the blurb"
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Old 03-14-11, 06:38 PM
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When I lived in Russia for two years, I found that vehicular murder was a favorite form of execution (THE favorite was just plain and simple midday middle of the street shootout). About 15 years ago, Long Island police began to reopen cases of 'vehicular death' of pedestrians in areas which were popular with Russian immigrants.

I am sure the article is 50% tripe and 50% truth. The number of variables whcih must be controlled is large and I am sure all kinds of hidden agendas were involved in controlling them.

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Old 03-15-11, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mnemia
Have you read the book? Just interested, because if you haven't, I don't buy your blanket dismissal. The fact that something is examined in an academic manner does not make it "tripe"...there is plenty of that in academia, but there is also plenty of academic analysis that is more informed and correct than "conventional wisdom". So for me, it's more of a question of whether the book does a good job of making its case. I don't know the answer to that, because I haven't read it yet.

I'm not convinced that there isn't a connection between our automotive society and violent acts such as road rage and intentional vehicular homocide. Even things like hit-and-run strike me as intentional violent acts (not necessarily the initial collision, but the intentional decision to not render aid), and there is seemingly an epidemic of that going on. So I wouldn't say that the quote you highlighted is ridiculous just on its face. It may be that this book doesn't prove that, but I don't see that it couldn't. I personally believe the anonymous depersonalizing cocoon created by the automobile contributes to some of the road rage we see out there. It's true that any technology is just a tool, but it's also true that human beings are animals with complex psychology that is influenced by the technological devices we surround ourselves with.
No I have not read the book, and unless it gets purchased by my local library I have no intention of it since I won't waste the money on such pseudo-scientific drivel.

The blurbs were enough to indicate to me that the author had a premise that he set out to prove (as opposed to test). Things like "Rothe unflinchingly examines the use of vehicles in cases of assault, abduction, ****, gang warfare, terrorism, suicide, and murder. What separates an everyday driver from a motorised menace?" and "Everyday occurrences such as road rage and intentional property destruction illustrate, for him, the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts." and "he also goes to great lengths to talk about how cars feature in other criminal acts like sexual assaults, abductions, gang warfare, acts of terrorism, suicides and murders."

Cars are tools. Inanimate objects. The premise that they cause humans to act violently is patently ridiculous.

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Old 03-15-11, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
"I suggest you read the blurb"
For you it appears that the book may offer some useful advice; "He also recommends that drivers [and cyclists] protect themselves by obeying the rules of the road, avoiding confrontation, and staying away from aggressors."

After all how many years have you been collecting a list of license plates of drivers that have offended you? Do you still seek them out at home to confront them over their offenses?

So is your bicycle at fault because you are filled with road rage over the "cagers" and "JAM's" that offend you on your daily travels?
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Old 03-15-11, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
For you it appears that the book may offer some useful advice; "He also recommends that drivers [and cyclists] protect themselves by obeying the rules of the road, avoiding confrontation, and staying away from aggressors."
So now you agree with the contents of the book?
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Old 03-15-11, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
So now you agree with the contents of the book?
Since you seem unable to comprehend what you read I'll post with the appropriate graphical emphasis:

For you it appears that the book may offer some useful advice; "He also recommends that drivers [and cyclists] protect themselves by obeying the rules of the road, avoiding confrontation, and staying away from aggressors."

After all how many years have you been collecting a list of license plates of drivers that have offended you? Do you still seek them out at home to confront them over their offenses?

So is your bicycle at fault because you are filled with road rage over the "cagers" and "JAM's" that offend you on your daily travels?
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Old 03-15-11, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
Since you seem unable to comprehend what you read I'll post with the appropriate graphical emphasis:

For you it appears that the book may offer some useful advice; "He also recommends that drivers [and cyclists] protect themselves by obeying the rules of the road, avoiding confrontation, and staying away from aggressors."

After all how many years have you been collecting a list of license plates of drivers that have offended you? Do you still seek them out at home to confront them over their offenses?

So is your bicycle at fault because you are filled with road rage over the "cagers" and "JAM's" that offend you on your daily travels?
So you claim the book is only valid for me, but "Pure tripe covered by a veneer of academics... Any tool made by the hand of man can be used as a weapon... And a weapon/tool does not cause the violent act... " as it applies to everyone else. A rather two faced position.
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Old 03-15-11, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CB HI
So you claim the book is only valid for me, but "Pure tripe covered by a veneer of academics... Any tool made by the hand of man can be used as a weapon... And a weapon/tool does not cause the violent act... " as it applies to everyone else. A rather two faced position.
Did you really not understand what I wrote or are you simply be argumentative?

I said the book appeared to have advice that was useful for you. Specifically concerning your apparent level of road rage...

Although given your behavior on this forum perhaps I should classify it as a more general rage, since it doesn't seem to be limited to just "JAM's" and "cagers"... I'd guess the author would have to assume that there is something about cycling that causes folks to experience extensive anger as a precursor to violence...
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Old 03-16-11, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
Cars are tools. Inanimate objects. The premise that they cause humans to act violently is patently ridiculous.
I agree with this, however I think when you develop a culture of irresponsibility around a dangerous tool, that's when problems occur.

The same could be said of guns. I think cars and guns both are useful tools and the tool does not cause problems; what causes the problem is cultural acceptance of the irresponsibility and misuse of that tool, something that we should have very little tolerance for. Not to get into a wholly different debate, but I think this is mostly done for guns already, but not cars. Stories of irresponsible use of guns (be it crime or something like a hunting accident) is usually met with more cultural ridicule than irresponsible use of cars, generally speaking. That's what needs to change.

In essence, I agree with what you're saying, with a qualifier attached.

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Old 03-16-11, 02:34 AM
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If only his book could be taken seriously. I doubt that it would cause motorists to ever care to change their behavior in reaction to cyclists and, I doubt that it would cause law enforcement to ever care to change their reaction to a cyclists' death.
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Old 03-16-11, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike
I agree with this, however I think when you develop a culture of irresponsibility around a dangerous tool, that's when problems occur.

The same could be said of guns. I think cars and guns both are useful tools and the tool does not cause problems; what causes the problem is cultural acceptance of the irresponsibility and misuse of that tool, something that we should have very little tolerance for. Not to get into a wholly different debate, but I think this is mostly done for guns already, but not cars. Stories of irresponsible use of guns (be it crime or something like a hunting accident) is usually met with more cultural ridicule than irresponsible use of cars, generally speaking. That's what needs to change.

In essence, I agree with what you're saying, with a qualifier attached.
We hold drivers responsible for the accidents they cause. The problem for cyclists appears to be that we don't necessarily hold them responsible criminally. There are specific criteria for criminal responsibility, not the least of which is the requirement to convince a jury that the defendant is guilty. Traffic accidents are extremely difficult to establish that level of liability.

However, the system was never really intended to be treated to a special set of criminal liability, it was intended that drivers would be held civilly liable for the damage they cause. Something that is much easier to establish. It just doesn't seem to satisfy the desire for vengeance (not justice)...
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Old 03-16-11, 07:59 AM
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I think a better analogy than guns is knives. I have knives in my home for their intended non-violent purposes. Knife accidents happen, but usually to the user, not a bystander, and are usually minor, and their unintentional nature is usually quite clear. But if someone in my home wanted to do lethal harm to someone else, a knife would be the most easily available tool. This is unthinkable to me, but I haven't taken so much as a fist-swing at someone in anger since junior high school; I can't speak for the minds of violent people.

Cars are clothing; we travel in them, and rubbing paint is the equivalent of bumping elbows. Some people are more aggressive than others in public places with some competitive element, but usually not homicidal. It's often hard to be sure when a foul is accidental though.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
No I have not read the book, and unless it gets purchased by my local library I have no intention of it since I won't waste the money on such pseudo-scientific drivel.

The blurbs were enough to indicate to me that the author had a premise that he set out to prove (as opposed to test). Things like "Rothe unflinchingly examines the use of vehicles in cases of assault, abduction, ****, gang warfare, terrorism, suicide, and murder. What separates an everyday driver from a motorised menace?" and "Everyday occurrences such as road rage and intentional property destruction illustrate, for him, the profound connection between our automotive society and violent acts." and "he also goes to great lengths to talk about how cars feature in other criminal acts like sexual assaults, abductions, gang warfare, acts of terrorism, suicides and murders."

Cars are tools. Inanimate objects. The premise that they cause humans to act violently is patently ridiculous.
No, it isn't "patently ridiculous", because it's not immediately obvious that you're correct. You're basically saying that it's not even worth discussing, because it's such a stupid and ridiculous idea. I don't agree with you: I believe that the tools we use CAN, and do, influence our psychology and may, in combination with cultural factors, help influence some people towards aggression. That isn't the same thing as saying that those people aren't RESPONSIBLE for their own decisions, because obviously they are. It's just saying that it's not as simple as "cars don't kill people; people kill people". That sounds nice, but it isn't necessarily true in my opinion.

I would also note that it appears to me you've expanded greatly on the book's premise, simply to create a strawman. It doesn't appear to me that the book necessarily argues that the car CAUSES the aggression, so much as it is "connected" to the aggression, which I think is much more plausible and supportable.

I also agree with the person above who said they think that car culture is a big part of it. It's not considered socially acceptable in the United States to fire a handgun into the air in the suburbs, because it's irresponsible. But irresponsible and aggressive driving IS socially acceptable, at least in part because the car is so ingrained in our culture that people simply accept it, and the 30,000-40,000 deaths a year associated with the car, as a fact of life. I think it's at least arguable that the reasons for this acceptance of aggression and irresponsibility are, in fact, unique to the car.

Personally, I think it's foolish to judge a whole book based on the jacket blurb. I may check this one out at some point, but it doesn't seem to be available for Kindle at the moment, and I've been buying most of my recent books in electronic format.

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Old 03-16-11, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sggoodri
I think a better analogy than guns is knives. I have knives in my home for their intended non-violent purposes. Knife accidents happen, but usually to the user, not a bystander, and are usually minor, and their unintentional nature is usually quite clear. But if someone in my home wanted to do lethal harm to someone else, a knife would be the most easily available tool. This is unthinkable to me, but I haven't taken so much as a fist-swing at someone in anger since junior high school; I can't speak for the minds of violent people.

Cars are clothing; we travel in them, and rubbing paint is the equivalent of bumping elbows. Some people are more aggressive than others in public places with some competitive element, but usually not homicidal. It's often hard to be sure when a foul is accidental though.
And there is a level of aggression that is beyond basic foul... there have been instances of folks going beyond merely "bumping elbows" while driving vehicles, and doing so with intent. There are documented cases of road rage and of motorists driving with intent, at cyclists, for instance.

There is also the Jekyll/Hyde syndrome for some motorists who become "someone else" when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
We hold drivers responsible for the accidents they cause. The problem for cyclists appears to be that we don't necessarily hold them responsible criminally. There are specific criteria for criminal responsibility, not the least of which is the requirement to convince a jury that the defendant is guilty. Traffic accidents are extremely difficult to establish that level of liability.

However, the system was never really intended to be treated to a special set of criminal liability, it was intended that drivers would be held civilly liable for the damage they cause. Something that is much easier to establish. It just doesn't seem to satisfy the desire for vengeance (not justice)...
Traffic "accidents" are extremely difficult to establish that level of liability for NOW, under our current laws and enforcement apparatus. That could be changed. We could change the laws regarding vulnerable road users, just like we changed the laws to make it easier to prosecute drunk driving heavily. We could put better, more sophisticated enforcement tools in place to better determine the causes of accidents, too. I would support the use of a "DriveCam"-like device being mandatory for motor vehicles (device that records video of the interior of the car and acceleration, braking, engine data continuously and retains about 15 seconds prior to crashes for forensic analysis). If we did that, we could actually enforce the laws against texting while driving, aggressive driving, etc, effectively, because there would be solid evidence. I realize that this solution isn't without problems, but I bring it up just to point out that we could be doing a lot more than we are to enforce the laws we have. We don't because motorists don't want to be scrutinized in how they drive, and they are the majority of the public.

I would also argue that while civil liability can work pretty well in many cases, it's not an appropriate substitute for criminal liability in cases where people are killing other people through extreme negligence. Civil liability only is probably a good idea when the vast majority of cases involving traffic disputes are just property damage or minor injuries (as is the case with collisions between motor vehicles). But motorists can easily kill cyclists or pedestrians simply by engaging in the same sort of "minor" negligence that would lead to a little scraped paint or a dented bumper if they hit another car or SUV instead. Because the consequences are so much more severe, I think it's wrong that it's treated the same way. The penalty should be much higher, and the laws much stronger, if only to impress upon motorists that they need to actually pay attention to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians to a greater degree, not a lesser degree, than they pay attention to the safety of other motorists.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:46 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by mnemia
No, it isn't "patently ridiculous", because it's not immediately obvious that you're correct. You're basically saying that it's not even worth discussing, because it's such a stupid and ridiculous idea. I don't agree with you: I believe that the tools we use CAN, and do, influence our psychology and may, in combination with cultural factors, help influence some people towards aggression. That isn't the same thing as saying that those people aren't RESPONSIBLE for their own decisions, because obviously they are. It's just saying that it's not as simple as "cars don't kill people; people kill people". That sounds nice, but it isn't necessarily true in my opinion.

I would also note that it appears to me you've expanded greatly on the book's premise, simply to create a strawman. It doesn't appear to me that the book necessarily argues that the car CAUSES the aggression, so much as it is "connected" to the aggression, which I think is much more plausible and supportable.

I also agree with the person above who said they think that car culture is a big part of it. It's not considered socially acceptable in the United States to fire a handgun into the air in the suburbs, because it's irresponsible. But irresponsible and aggressive driving IS socially acceptable, at least in part because the car is so ingrained in our culture that people simply accept it, and the 30,000-40,000 deaths a year associated with the car, as a fact of life. I think it's at least arguable that the reasons for this acceptance of aggression and irresponsibility are, in fact, unique to the car.

Personally, I think it's foolish to judge a whole book based on the jacket blurb. I may check this one out at some point, but it doesn't seem to be available for Kindle at the moment, and I've been buying most of my recent books in electronic format.
I judge books based on the jacket blurb every time I buy a book... Something that I think most people do. Its one of the reasons they put those blurbs and "recommendations" on them.., to get the people to buy them.

The premise laid out in the jacket blurb is ridiculous (and I have already quoted the blurbs that make that premise clear). Granted that is my opinion. In yours its reasonable--fine. People are willing to believe many things, but the pseudo-academic approach the author took doesn't give the idea/concept any validity nor does your belief.

Oh, and the only connection between criminal acts such as sexual assaults, abductions, gang warfare, terrorism, suicides, and murders and the automobile is the possibility that the criminal was using a vehicle to get to/from the crime scene. If they had walked to the crime scene does that mean that shoes have a connection to the crime? Did the influence the criminal?
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Old 03-16-11, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by myrridin
I judge books based on the jacket blurb every time I buy a book... Something that I think most people do. Its one of the reasons they put those blurbs and "recommendations" on them.., to get the people to buy them.
Obviously. But you're not just deciding whether you'd like to read it: you're posting online about how it's "pseudo-academic" "tripe". That's what I find silly about your posts. If you're going to make such a sweeping criticism, and go so far as to post a "review" of the book online, you should at least bother to read what the author, rather than the marketing people who wrote the jacket, have to say. As I said, I haven't read it either: but I'm not summarizing the book's whole contents based only on the jacket blurb. And I have limited time for reading, so usually I read a few detailed reviews of a book before I commit to starting it. Even doing that would be better than just reading the book jacket.

The premise laid out in the jacket blurb is ridiculous (and I have already quoted the blurbs that make that premise clear). Granted that is my opinion. In yours its reasonable--fine. People are willing to believe many things, but the pseudo-academic approach the author took doesn't give the idea/concept any validity nor does your belief.
You haven't quoted anything that makes it "clear" that it's a ridiculous premise. My opinion is my opinion, but you seem to be making some logical leaps from what the blurb actually says to what you think it's saying.

Oh, and the only connection between criminal acts such as sexual assaults, abductions, gang warfare, terrorism, suicides, and murders and the automobile is the possibility that the criminal was using a vehicle to get to/from the crime scene. If they had walked to the crime scene does that mean that shoes have a connection to the crime? Did the influence the criminal?
There's your same strawman again. I don't see strong evidence that the book is arguing that the car necessarily "influences" the criminals in those cases. It does say there's a connection, and there is, though you can argue about whether it's an important one. Even if all the car does is make certain crimes *possible* that wouldn't be otherwise, it's still a connection. And I agree that the connection is more tenuous when we're talking about murders, gang warfare, terrorism, and so on. I think it's less clear that there isn't an influence on criminal psychology when we talk about crimes that are directly committed using a car as a weapon, such as intentional road rage and vehicular manslaughter.
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