I’ve heard of these bike/ATV swarms that have been seen around Atlanta, and I’m really thankful that I’ve never come across them before. I’m pretty sure I’d lose my shit if I knew that I was missing several green light cycles at an intersection and be stuck waiting for a swarm of like 200 guys on dirt bikes and ATVs to passing like a bunch of unwanted locusts.
But yeah, these group(s) exist, and it seems like Sundays seem to be the days in which they tend to go joyriding throughout the city, occasionally clogging up roads and disregarding the fact that other people on the roads actually exist and might actually have things they need to go and places to get to in a timely manner. As I said, I’m lucky to have avoided ever seeing them, much less get stuck in traffic on account of their illegal and selfish behavior, but with that being said, I’m pretty much destined to get stuck in traffic because of them sooner rather than later.
I came across this story about how the City of Atlanta is pondering whether or not they should crack down on them, which seems like a pretty obvious answer, but the fact is that the city doesn’t really know what course of action to take, be it impounding, arresting, destroying or all of the above, not to mention the cost of manpower and resources necessary to enact such a decision.
But the fascinating thing about the article is the accounts of those who are a part of the “club,” and how they (partially anonymously) try to justify their behavior, and how they try to spin in it a manner that what they’re doing is positive for the urban and black community, because when they’re riding, they’re not robbing or killing.
I think my favorite part of this article is the following quote:
“They look up to us. You know like, of course we’re breaking the law, but it’s better than having them going in someone’s house robbing and killing,”
So they’re basically admitting that what they’re doing is illegal, but saying it’s okay because it’s not as illegal as robbing and killing.
Sorry, illegal is illegal, and sure, the punishment for asshole driving shouldn’t be as severe as robbing and killing, but I sure as shit think these guys should be punished if/when they’re ever caught.
But the shit spinning gets better, because it has a tagline to it:
“Like we don’t mean no harm on bikes,” Quint said. “Our movement we have we call ‘Bikes up, guns down.’ We promote putting the bike up in the air instead of a gun.”
Sure, no harm is meant while riding, but no club can truly speak for every single member of it. The slogan might be bikes up, guns down, but I’d be willing to wager actual money that there’s more than one member that probably considers bikes up, guns up as well because cops can’t catch us, or something along those lines.
Just because a bunch of people on recreational vehicles don’t feel like adhering to conventional driving laws doesn’t make it suddenly legal, because they have numbers and their believed intent is nowhere near as detrimental as robbing and killing.
The sad reality is that the City of Atlanta is going to be amounting to dick, as in what’s actually going to be done about this. The club simply has way too many members for it to be busted in its entirety, and it’s entirely true that no police cruiser has remotely the capability to chase these compact and agile off-road vehicles. They’ll cite a lack of funding and/or manpower, and eventually the riders will develop their god-complexes of being incapable of being caught, and it’s only a matter of time before bikes up, guns up becomes the norm and all hell will break loose.
Good job, Atlanta. Way to allow crime to happen, just because it’s not as violent as other crime.