I want to talk a little bit about vandalism.

I live relatively close to a rather large college campus and during my time in the neighborhood have come to expect a certain amount of vandalism. It usually strikes during football season when the combination of booze, youth, and misspent exuberance on behalf of the Buckeye’s meet up and bad things start to happen. The local authorities are trying to cut the amount of vandalism down this year by enforcing something called the “open container” law that had been on the books for a number of years but cops tended to conveniently “look the other way”. So far, it seems to be working. But another type of vandalism seems to striking with alarming regularity.

The type I’m talking about is directed towards owners of SUV’s. It seems that these people have been targeted by an “environmental group” that thinks it has the right to slash the tires of these vehicles and in doing so, send a message to the SUV owners about their choice of vehicle. So far, about 75 vehicles in the neighborhood that spans a 8-9 block radius have been vandalized.

While I don’t particularly care either way what kind of car a person drives and am privately amazed at the number of urban commando vehicles that dominate the roads of our fair city, I don’t see how slashing the tires of these vehicles advances this groups cause.

First of all, they do such a thorough job in their slashing efforts that the tires are rendered unusable. That means the owners of the SUV must call in a tow trucks. That means more emissions escape into the air. Next, since the tires are now worthless, they are sent off to one of those “tire dumps”. Ever see a picture of one of those? Looks like a mountain of tires dotting the landscape. Not exactly awe inspiring. We’ve all probably seen pictures in the news about what happens when one of these dumps catch on fire. Ah, the smell of burning rubber. Usually the conflagration is so bad that it can’t be put out and the fire department has to let it run its course. Naturally a plume of thick black smoke that can practically be seen from outer space accompanies the fire. I don’t even want to know what pollutants and carcinogens might be released into the atmosphere.

Next, you have the neighborhood effect. For the most part, my neighborhood consists of a nice mix of people. Traditional families and non-traditional families seem to genuinely care about one another. How long do you think they’re gonna stick around if they feel that their property is being threatened? How easy will it be to find a buyer for their homes if the vandalism continues? Next thing you know, houses will be abandoned and fall into disrepair. Is that what these folks want?

Hell, these so-called “environmentalists” seem to harming the exact cause which they purport to support.

I also realize that these people are extremists that make up a small percentage of those who would want to protect the environment. I mean, I’m no over the top environmentalist but I do care about thing such as global warming, clean air, clean water and other assorted things that make life worth living. Unfortunately, as is the case many times over, the actions of a few will, in the minds of some folks, supercede the actions of the many.

One last thing – couldn’t they get their message across by just draining the air out the tires or is that action not “radical” enough? Or maybe ply their trade at the dealerships where they can strike en masse on whole parking lots full of SUV’s? Maybe then the manufacturers will get the message and the little folks won’t have to fork over 400 bucks for a new set of tires.