Why Canít the World Be Safe for Idiots?
By Paul F. Stifflemire,
my, my; isnít ďBeckyĒ Hergatt a busy one?
¬†¬†¬†¬† In October 2002 she was
in Washington, protesting President George W. Bushís plan to go to
war with Iraq. She was part of what the Village Voice called ďa
sprawling mass of 100,000 individuals, families, and batches of
friends who, to paraphrase Spike Lee, just got on the bus.Ē The
Voice reporter, Esther Kaplan, was discussing the protestorsí signs
when she wrote: ďThirty something Rebecca Hergattís read ĎSunday
School Teachers Against the War.í Hergatt, who traveled from what
she calls the "little Republican town" of Mansfield, Ohio, said this
wasnít only her first political march, but her "first time east of
Pittsburgh." She said sheís been in turmoil since September 11,
plagued by a nagging sense that "we had it coming." When the
president proposed a new, preemptive war, she said, "I just felt
like it was immoral to keep my mouth shut."
¬†¬†¬†¬† Last June she nearly
killed her son. Being an ďactivistĒ she blames General Motors, and
wants Congress to enact legislation to make cars safe for idiots
like her. Iím sorry, but tereís no escaping the conclusion that it
is Hergatt, not the car, who is dangerous.
¬†¬†¬†¬† According to a news
report: Hergatt's son Mac, 5, survived a near-fatal accident June
13 when he put his head out a window of the family's 1992 Buick
Regal. Unaware of the child's actions, Hergatt put up the power
windows of the car while parked in the driveway of their Pavonia
West Road residence.
¬†¬†¬†¬† Last September at the Washington Press
Club a credulous media failed to see the glaring inconsistency in
Hergattís story: In her speech to the press club, she spoke about
how she struggled with the power window, which did not budge. Her
13-year-old daughter, Cheyanne, was able to turn the key in the
ignition and open the window. Wait a minute. First weíre told
that Hergatt put up the power window, and trapped her son. Next
weíre told that Hergattís daughter had to turn the key in the
ignitionósupplying poweróand then was able to open the window,
freeing the boy. Hergatt could not have operated the window without
power. Apparently she turned off the ignition, herself causing the
window to continue choking her son.
¬†¬†¬†¬† A month before Hergatt had
told a different story to WNDU TV: I got to the door and he was
limp and hanging by his neck from the rear passenger window. As I
approached the car, I could see from his face sticking out the
window that he was unconscious and blue.
¬†¬†¬†¬† In fact, virtually
all of this type of injury occurs when parents leave children
unattended in a car with the keys in the ignition.
Whatís Wrong With This Picture?
¬†¬†¬†¬† According to an WFMY News2
story entitled: A Vehicle's Power Windows Can Be a Silent
Nine-month-old Faith is Britt Gates' second daughter. Her
first -- Zoie --would be four now, but she died tragically two
Brit says it happened when her husband put the
toddler in their car to rest as he worked close by. ĎHe was always
turning to look to make sure she was okay and he just turned his
back for a second,í says Britt Gates. While he turned away, a
power window trapped Zoie.
ĎShe couldn't have been
trapped for more than a minute. Because so many people were around
but, it's just, it's such silent killer that you don't - the
child, whoever it happens to - can't yell for help.í
¬†¬†¬†¬† And that paints quite a picture, of an evil, silent, deadly power
window ďtrappingĒ little Zoie all by itself. But, at the end of the
story, WFMY News2 letís this little informational gem drop,
seemingly from out of the blue:
And here is a tip to keep this from happening to you. Power
windows can only operate if the key is in the ignition. So unless
you're in the car ... never leave the key in the ignition to play
the radio or run the heat or the air conditioning.
¬†¬†¬†¬† And perhaps that is why there have been fewer than 25 deaths in
the United States in the past 10 years in which children, left alone
in the automobile by their parents, with the key not only in the
ignition, but in the position in which power is applied to the carís
electrical fixtures, have accidentally choked to death.
¬†¬†¬†¬† But the
news media is, once again, willing accomplices spreading the panic
over those ďsilent, deadlyĒ killing machines.
¬†¬†¬†¬† KIRO TV, KCRA TV,
WPXI TV, WFAA TV, ABC News in Chicago all reported the same story,
featuring Britt and Zoie, and warning of the deadly, silent danger
of power windows.
¬†¬†¬†¬† But they did not tell their audiences that the
story was supplied to them last July by Consumers Union of U.S.
Inc., the same organization that, along with Kids Ďn Cars has
drafted and is pushing legislation that reads in part: ďWithin 12
months after enactment, the agency [National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration] shall develop a performance standard for power
windows to ensure that they do not pose an unreasonable danger to
children. That standard shall include ensuring that windows have
auto reverse mechanisms and switches that are resistant to
inadvertent operation by children.Ē
¬†¬†¬†¬† Kids Ďn Cars states that they
ďstand for the right of every child to be protected from disability
or death due to being left unattended in or around a vehicle, and
the right of every parent and caregiver to be free of worry,
confident each child is protected from such sudden and preventable
dangers.Ē Apparently, that would include stupid parents.
¬†¬†¬†¬† This is
another case of a group attempting to absolve individuals of any
responsibility for their actions, specifically attempting to ensure,
through legislation, that parents can leave their children
unattended without fear of consequence. The only question is why the
media affords such ďadvocatesĒ any credibility whatsoever. What Kids
Ďn Cars is doing is attempting to force the American automobile
manufacturers to make their cars 100 percent safeóeven for idiots.