As everybody knows, wharfinger is correct when he states that
car alarms have been reduced to a public nuisance
from whatever practical good they might once have served, due to
their 99 and 44/100% rate of false alarms.
In fact, if you or anyone you know has ever witnessed
a car alarm activating because of an attempted break-in,
please call the California Milk Advisory Board so they
can remove your picture from all the milk cartons.
But if it helps assuage your guilt at never even trying to address
the situation in a civic manner, take my experience to heart.
I did, in fact, once call the police. There was a car parked on
the street in front of my apartment, which activated its alarm
every day (amazingly, at about the same time -- 2 to 3 in the afternoon,
which is at least better than 2 to 3 en la madrugada).
It would wail for at least half an hour; I never was able to see if it
stopped just because, or if the owner appeared and took care of it.
I didn't know whose car it was, so I couldn't address em
So, I called the police one afternoon. Eventually, a patrol car appeared
(of course, the universe conspired against me, and the alarm stopped while
I was on the phone), and the following conversation transpired.
I: Hello. This car's alarm goes off everyday in the
afternoon, and continues for quite some time. What can we do about that?
Mr. Policeman: It's not a problem now...
I: Yes, I know. But it was when I called you, and it
happens every day. Don't we have any recourse?
Mr. Policeman: Well, I can issue a citation if it continues
excessively, which I think means for forty-five minutes. But I'd have to
sit here and observe it for that entire time, and I'm not going to do that.
That was that. This was several years ago, in Santa Barbara.
So, here at least, it seems that wharfinger's solution may be optimal.
It occurs to me that there is another solution: it would be possible to
construct a device that envelops the car and generates sound waves that cause perfect destructive interference, thereby nullifying the sound.
But, IMHO we are not obligated to such extremes, and even though, as a
libertarian I am sworn not to initiate violence, I say,
Let's whack the damn things!
Especially the ones that cycle through the eight
different types of wail. You know the ones I mean...