Pop a round at a cyclist, get four months.

Erick R. dropped me an email about this one this morning. He’s got a post up over at Tuscon Bike Lawyer. Just makes you glad to be alive, don’t it?

A former Asheville firefighter will spend 120 days in jail for shooting at a bicyclist, narrowly missing his head with a bullet that pierced the man’s helmet.

Charles Alexander Diez, 42, pleaded guilty Thursday to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, but testified during his sentencing hearing that he only fired a warning shot and didn’t intend to hurt Alan Ray Simons.

“I was the one who felt truly, truly threatened,” Diez told the court. “It was not my intention to shoot him.”
See www.citizen-times.com.

As if that wasn’t enough to get your blood boiling, there is more.

Simons described being confronted by the 17-year Fire Department veteran on the morning of July 26 as he was riding his bike along Tunnel Road with his 4-year-old son in a seat on the back and his wife on another bike.

He said Diez yelled at him from his car, claiming he was putting the boy’s life in danger by riding on the busy roadway.

“We were out for an enjoyable ride, minding our own business,” Simons said. “At any point, he could have left.

“When I got to his door, the gun was pointing at my chest. I turned to walk away, (and) the gun went off. He chose to pull the trigger.”
Id.

This is a story many a cyclist can relate to on a very personal level because many of us have been there before. I sounds so goddamn familiar. We’ve lived it for years. You, the cyclist, are out on a ride. A passing motorist takes it upon himself to yell out his car window that you are 1) dangerous, 2) shouldn’t be on a bike, and 3) clearly in the wrong. Cyclist yells back something equally worthless. Tit for tat. Just like we’ve all been through, countless times out on the nation’s roadways. Just like it always goes, right?

This story goes another step further, to a place only some of us have been before. You see, sometimes the motorist stops and wants to fight. I’ve not been in such a punch up myself. But, I have had a guy get out of his car and come at me, wanting to trade blows. More than once. If we haven’t been in a fist fight ourselves, I’m sure you’ve heard stories such as I have from numerous friends and cycling acquaintances about people who have. I could name three or four guys right now that have been in fights with motorists. It happens. A lot.

On this fateful day, Diez stopped his automobile to continue the altercation. It was the first of a series of conscious choice he made. Remember, the car was passing by when this exchange began. Diez most certainly could have just kept on driving. Diez said he “felt threatened.” Well, why then did you stop your car? That big scary cyclist could have been nothing more than a passing memory disappearing in your rearview mirror, save your choice to take it to the next level. Nine time out of ten, in like situations, the motorist just keeps on rolling. Not this time. This time, Diez chose to pull over, he chose to wrap his hand around the grip that firearm, he chose to point his gun at Simon, and he chose fire a round at Simon’s head.

Right in front of the man’s family.

You’d think at this point the motorist has really crossed a line. That he has clearly attempted to kill another man. You might also think that society cannot tolerate such behavior. That this man should be punished for his action, for the choices he made that day, the choices that very nearly left a young boy fatherless.

You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

Police initially charged Diez with attempted first-degree murder after consulting District Attorney Ron Moore. But a grand jury declined to indict him on that charge, instead opting for the lesser assault charge. A first-degree attempted murder conviction requires a trial jury to find the elements of premeditation and deliberation.
Id.

Ok, no premeditation and deliberation. I can follow it thus far. Charge what you can get a conviction for. Nothing more, nothing less. (See definitions.uslegal.com/p/premeditation/, definitions.uslegal.com/d/deliberation/. See also law.onecle.com/north-carolina/14-criminal-law/14-17.html, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder.) The state opted instead to pursue a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

But, still, four months seems a bit light for shooting a gun at someone’s head and missing that target by an inch. Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious offense, commonly resulting multiple years of incarceration.

The presumptive sentence for someone convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill is 20-39 months under state sentencing guidelines.

Downs ruled that mitigating factors present for sentencing purposes in this case include that Diez has good character, served in the military, supports his family financially, has a positive employment history and has a good support system in the community. The judge found no aggravating factors, and Diez had no criminal record.
Id.

Mitigating factors my ass. What is unsaid, but I suggest extremely relevant, is the fact that Mr. Simon’s was 1) a bicyclist, and 2) not killed by that bullet. The fact the Simon rode a bicycle means he is presumptively wrong. Those who ride bicycles do not matter. And, the fact that Simon’s wasn’t killed allows people to think less of what could have happened that day, and concentrate instead on point one – he was a cyclist and they are always wrong.

The six hundred point gorilla in the room is the fact that we’re dealing with a cyclist. No one gives a shit about a cyclist. Not the motorists, not the cops, not the judges, and not the people on the jury. No one. Riding on a busy street with your kid? You’re holding up traffic. You’re dangerous. You’re wrong. You deserve to get yelled at. And if you talk back, you should expect to get dealt with. Harshly.

That is exactly what happened here.

I take my kids for bicycle rides, from time to time, in a trailer I tow behind me. My wife often rides along side on a second bicycle. What this case tells me is the next time we do so; I have to take whatever shit some asshole yells at me out his car window as he drives by. Because, if I don’t just take it like a good little boy, he might pull over, get out of his car, and shoot me right in front of my family. And if he does so, it will be my fault.

Because, clearly, I am a cyclist. And I am wrong.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather

About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

72 thoughts on “Pop a round at a cyclist, get four months.

  1. a buddy of mine, who lives in asheville, just sent me that link….thanks for posting it. the guy only gets 4 months for TRYING TO FUCKING KILL SOMEONE for JRA with his family….jesus fucking christ. to top that, the prosecution agrees with the judges verdict..”it’s fair”…wtf.

  2. At lest the county attorney initially tried to go for attempted murder. It seems that what is really going on here is that no one will put a firefighter in jail no matter what kind of shit they pull. The warning shot defense, it just slays me, total bullshit but isn’t that what defense is all about any way. I am not at all surprised that the fire captain came to his defense those guys stick together even when rape charges are brought.

  3. “cyclists with guns”

    I can see the jersey now, with a special pocket for your/my 9mm Glock.
    Maybe the Coen brothers could make a movie, ala Inglorious Bastards,
    I’m writing the script in my head right now!

    I live in asheville as well. And have followed the story closely.
    the real fault lies with the prosecuting attorney, and the Judge.

  4. The judge’s logic does not pass a smell test. Imagine this guy passes a mom driving with her 4 year unbuckled, so he yells at her and she flips him off. He then fires a warning shot through her window because he felt threatened. We’re supposed to believe this judge would sentence the shooter to 120 days for assault, with the balance as a suspended sentence? I don’t think so.

    We need to show up at trials like the 30 firefighters did for their buddy, or the cycling community did recently in Los Angeles. There’s a trial coming up in the SF bay area – driver on a lightly traveled back road crossed the center line, hit a cyclist, and left him to die. A reward led to an arrest 6 months later, arraignment coming shortly. There’s more info at http://www.findmarkskiller.com

  5. I also live in Asheville, and I don’t like the outcome of this trial, it is pretty much bullshit. He gets 120 days for taking a shot at someone? WTF? Doesn’t even remotely cover it. Not remotely. This guy should be in a cell for years. Years on end.

  6. Un-fucking-conscionable. I’d say unbelievable but as you so aptly said, “No one gives a shit about a cyclist.” Drivers pull all sorts of trick-fucks on each other all day long and most motorists consider it routine. Don’t even notice or remark. Cyclist rolls along and to drivers his very existence is an affront.

    I’ll never understand it nor accept it.

    I’m angry enough to chew glass.

    Thanks for your remarks, Johnny.

  7. …gotta agree 100% w/ your assessment as regards how cyclists are perceived in our society…

    …real justice would also have anyone handing down a moronic 120 days sentence for an egregious firearm assault doing jail time themselves…

    …sad & fucking sick !!!…

  8. Jonny, that makes sense. But you’re gonna have to reel that shit in if you ever hope to be a lawyer.

  9. yeah, i don’t buy “warning shot” either. pointing a deadly weapon at a vital part of another’s body = malice, therefore attempted murder. get some stones prosecutor.

  10. The punishment definitely does not match the crime.

    It usually starts with birds flipped or profanities shouted by either party. Sometimes it dials-up. Only once have I seen it come to blows. In that case, the cyclist handily won and the driver drove off.

    Once on a solo ride, I had high school kids throwing beer cans & bottles at me and then they drove off before any exchange could ensue. Probably the best result for both parties in that case.

    On rare occasion I thought of arming myself, but it just doesn’t seem smart for all of the obvious reasons.

    The real vengence would come from someone actually serving some serious time for these types of crimes.

    That lame punishment perpetuates the uneven human value placed by a car-driving majority of a person on a bike versus a person in a car.

    What to do…get more people riding bikes.

    I’m curious to hear the details of the Flagstaff incident that occured earlier this week.

  11. Well FUCK, y’all. All y’all got his name, right? and he gets out of the joint in four months. Shouldn’t be that hard to find out where he lives.

  12. Um, am I missing something here ? Under UK law, there’s no such thing as a ‘warning shot’ with a deadly weapon unless it’s fired in the opposite direction to the target. You intentionally discharge a lethal weapon (which all firearms, bar pea-shooters are) in the general direction of any living being, at the very least, if they die it’s manslaughter, or are injured it’s wreckless endangerment, or worse, either way, the law wil fry you, metaphorically speaking on the basis we don’t actually fry anyone over here. More’s the pity…..

  13. I had a beer bottle bounced off me. Later on when I tried to get the plate number when they parked one thing led to another, and it was five of them and one of me, I was trashed. 911 and hospital. I found out two things.

    One, where I live if you try to defend yourself, then you have participated in a fight and that is not illegal. If you curl up in a ball and let them kick you into a coma, then you can charge them with assault.

    Two, It’s not illegal to trow something from a moving vehicle at a person, cyclist, walker, woman with a baby carrige, only another moving vehicle, what does that tell you?

    At the end of it all the guy was charged with drinking in public and littering.

  14. Over here in Australia we are not as heavily armed, so the weapon of choice is the vehicle itself.
    It happened recently in Sydney NSW where a bus driver had a good go at taking out a cyclist who had the gall to ride in a bus lane. The cyclist caught up with the bus and punched the swine driving it; all recorded on security camera.
    The outcry nationwide against the “idiot” cyclist, who dared to share the feeling of having ones safety threatened, was long and loud. Road using cyclists put up with a lot of shit, but dare to dish it back and you are the worst of all bastards.
    As you said Jonny, we are a second class people and the subtext is we should know our place.
    Fuck that shit- Kill bad drivers.

  15. Wonder if this asshole had a permit to carry a loaded firearm. Probably.
    Wonder if he gets to keep it. He shouldn’t be allowed to touch a gun again.

    Hope someone fucks with him while on probation and sets him off again and he gets sent off for a while.

    And I hope a civit suit buries his ass and gives him something to think about long after the 120 days is up.

    How much of the 120 will he really spend.

    Along the same lines: http://www.kvue.com/news/Cyclist-Shooter-Charged-70410082.html

    Difference is this guy shot and hit, but it was “only” an airgun.

  16. Thank you so much for what you have said here,What is not said in this trial is MR.DIEZ your a liar!I sat through the trial ,got to say my peace,but it didnt matter he still lied under oath,He said i reached in his vehicle and held him down thats why he fired a “warning shot”.The shirt he brought in was missing a button,,It wasnt the shirt he was wearing!!on top of that when I went and ID’ed him at his house , he wasnt even wearing the shirt he had on when I saw him..He had changed into a white t shirt! what was he hiding?All through the case the defense kept bringing up what a great fireman ,husband and person he was>>??BS is what I say ,He had no right to bother me and my family that day.His sentece is light ,,he violated my civil rights,I need a lawyer pro bono any one knows one who wants this??? contact me alngater73@charter.net!

  17. Erik you see my post?heres where you can go look for video of some of my comments at the court house,, go look for WLOS news 13 in asheville ,NC I am serious this is me.I loved the fact that mr Diez took the easy way out and plead guilty so he wouldnt face a jury!The witnesses there that left thier testimony reputed his words that i put my hands inside his car and held him down..When I got to the drivers dide of the car,He had the gun already pointing at my chest saying I will kill you,I will shoot you.You think I would have even put my hands in there?The only thing I said to him then was,”Your going to shoot me?” “put the gun down and leave us Alone”..I then turned my head to the right to walk away and go back around the back of the vehicle,and He fired the gun.This is the truth.My witnesses saw this and unfortunatley My wife has this image burned in her head..BTW in the court we found out diez actually loaded his own shells,,guess what was in the 38? Hollow points..? WTF why does he need this on a sunday morning when all he was doing was running to Lowes and Wal MArt??IDOT He gets a few days in jail and i get a lifetime of ear aches and memories ,,Great

  18. Pingback: Weekend Roundup: SF Bike Expo, How to get off with light sentence, Joe Breeze, LA’s “Doorstop Dr.” and more « Bike Intelligencer

  19. Courts are, in fact, more interested in what a person makes, and how they appear to society. Driver = breadwinner. Cyclist = loser putting life at risk. Less than LESS THAN minimum sentencing for a murder attempt.

    You don’t go waving a gun, then pull the trigger aimed at someone AND GET A 4 MONTH SLAP ON THE FUCKING WRIST. That’s the criminal justice system for you.

    I say, open a civil case and ruin that mans life for his mistake. Ruin him. Make him become a bum riding a NEXT mountain bike to the food bank. THEN HE WILL LEARN how he has wronged. THEN HE WILL LEARN.

    There is severe discrimination going on, so much that I have considered applying for refugee status in a country where people *actually ride* bicycles, where they are not just a weekend plaything to put on the car’s roof rack. Nothing would be sweeter than if the man’s wife was there with a .45 ready to protect HER MAN and HER CHILD from this lunatic, and she had squeezed that trigger at him before he could take a ‘warning shot’ with the gun aimed at the man’s head.

    NEVER HEARD SUCH NONSENSE IN MY LIFE. But, then again, a bicyclist is just the new NIGGER. Our lives don’t mean shit to 12 jurors who drive to the courthouse and 1 judge who didn’t ride a bicycle either.

  20. They threw out the first degree murder charge because it wasn’t first degree murder attempt!! This was a favor by the cop, to his buddy, the fireman.

    Gotta love the fine intricacies of the GOOD OLD BOY NETWORK.

    Should have charged him with ATTEMPTED MURDER IN 3rd degree. But, instead they dropped the charge about 5 rungs down to ASSAULT with ‘a deadly weapon’ well, if I went after a person with my U-lock, it would be the same charge!
    The criminal court is a farce. If that guy was a pot head, with no job, and did the same exact thing to the upstanding cyclist citizen – he’d be hanged.

  21. so fix it .you are going to law school. get your degree and fix it. make a difference. fix it.

  22. Fucking bastard, this kind of “sentence” encourages otherwise sensible people to take the law into their own hands. Surely there must be some kind of judicial review process? Even in a Banana Republic like mine, this would not be accepted by the judiciary or the legal profession, particularly if a firearm was used.
    Luckily he was a crap shot, the jerk. I hope he gets shagged shitless during his 120 days

  23. “shagged shitless”….not to ruffle feathers, but do any of you really think guys in the stir give two shits about cyclists rights to the road? nothing will happen to this guy due to his actions, imho.

  24. Mike , I hope that fucker meets Missy Giove in prison and she ass rapes him with her piranha carcass only to be later rim pierced with her nose ring and broom sticked Dahmler style ! That would be a good start ………

  25. BackwoodsBob Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 12:03 pm
    Maybe we should start to shoot back…I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin.

    right on! i’ve mounted an ASP to my bike– mostly for stray dogs that might wanna bite me… GUNS?!– i don’t wanna have to be ‘strapped’ everytime i go for a bike ride!

  26. Try aiming a warning shot over the head of a motorist or grade school teacher for that matter a soccer mom . Your sentence would be handled a little differently dont you think . But you are a cylist so it really doesn’t matter . We are a bunch of expendable meaningless road side targets . I’m packin my whoopin stick …. What would the Hon.Judge Wapner have sentenced this guy ?

  27. I will say it again, the verdict stinks but if your police, fire, or other public safety you would have to fuck the mayors wife and burn down city hall to have any real shit brought against you. I am sure you guys remember the police Sargent in the Verde valley that got busted for an extreme DUI and got to keep his job. Non elected public servants in Phoenix loose there jobs for a whole lot less. Our courts are incapable of convicting certain classes people.

  28. What we really need is tons of cops, and other public safety riding off duty just waiting to pop any and every one that gives them even the slightest bit of flak. A soccer mom tries to right hook ya with the family SUV no problem put 7 rounds in it with a fire arm paid for by the state and get a paid suspension (vacation) from work for 2 weeks and a union layer to defend you against civil action. War veterans on bikes are good too but not as good since the public does not love them in the same way. I am telling you no one ever wants to believe a firefighter is any thing but a super hero even when faced with over whelming evidence they just block it out. There was a city of flagstaff fire fighter accused of rape not all that long ago, hardly even made a stir, fingers in ear, I am not listening.

  29. Jay, that would require the piggy-piggy to put down the donut and actually sweat for his Hamburger Helper. Don’t know how things are out your way, but around here it ain’t gonna happen.

  30. Missy Giove isn’t going to have contact with a male prisoner. This, to me isn’t something to make jokes or laugh about. I’m not finding humor here.

    There’s some merit to thinking that arming oneself, and wearing vests, is, in some areas, advisable to cyclits (Sad, isn’t it) Dogs are usually the reason, but sometimes it might be an aggressive, armed driver.

    The criminal justice system is biased. There’s so many flaws in this judgment, it makes Boston Legal look like solid law process. The civil courts are slow, clogged with corporations suing each other with high dollar lawyers.

    Mitigating factors, bullshit. I see aggravating factors.
    Worse sentencing has been handed down for shoplifting, property damage, breaking into an automobile, and carrying a concealed firearm without permit.

    At Grant and Swan two years ago, I was chased down by a rabid man in a red sports car. He didn’t like the way I was riding, so he pulled up to me and said “I’m going to gun you down!” while reaching into some clutter in his gearshift console. I was on a very fast bike. I rode into a parking lot and whizzed around to the othher exit, Swan side, and he was there. I got away from him, called the police, and nothing was done about it. Every car is a getaway car, and these people know it. These are hate crimes, and need to be recognized as such. A minority being targeted.

  31. I typed about six responses that eventually deleted because of how enraged i got after reading this. Living in the midwest I have been in hundreds of arguments with motorists, almost been intentionally run over countless times, once had a motorist get so mad at the group ride I was on, he tried to run over all of us at an intersection where there wasnt anywhere to go. My friend and his bike got run over, that prick left the scene and when the fat lazy worthless pin dick cop arrived, he said my friend was at fault. fucking insane.

    Well, when you hear about some crazy cyclist plugging a bunch of motorist declaring a motorist holocaust. It was me. Fuck ‘em just like Ice T be saying. I’m talking a mountain of fat lazy assholes dude, should make for a wicked cross course.

  32. Was it Gary Klein who brought up the old quote “an armed society is a polite society” a while back?

    Carrying a gun because of dogs seems a little over the top to me though.
    Try some bear mace, it will be quite effective and then there is no chance for a ricochet or other such fuckups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have had some encounters where I would have loved to have fired a warning shot into the offending person’s radiator, but I also realize that I could never actually do it. Self defense is one thing, revenge is another. Lot of power unleashed when you pull the trigger, and there are too many douchebags like mr. Diez that don’t realize/think about this.

    We certainly don’t need do do anything to further deteriorate our image, plenty of cyclists have done enough to rightfully piss off drivers/walkers/runners etc. Imagine jthe negative publicity after some asshole on a bike whips out his piece after a driver cuts them off.

    3rd place – Swan seems to a good focal point for assholes in cars, I had a couple encounters along that road as well, but fortunately the worst thing I got was a plastic bottle bounced off the road near me. A coworker driving home had some guy flash a pistol at him at once for honking after he was cut off. I personally felt safer driving in south tucson at times.

  33. I love the phrase:

    “God created all men. Sam Colt made them equal” I too carried bear mace on a bicycle tour, and when I backpacked to Chiapas and Guatemala. Better choice in 95% of the cases. Not when someone pulls a gun on you, though. Grant/Swan is a vortex of horrible, bad energy. (See crime map, Tucson) I lived for two months near this intersection. Only worse place is the radius around Glenn/Stone where the worst crime goes down in Tucson. South side has a bad rep but the crime map shows the truth. When I had to ride through the East side at night for a few 90 days, I carried a shiny big .45 on my left side where everyone could see it. Guess what – the harassment stopped dead, and everyone gave me plenty of room. Sam Colt made them equal.

    Hate crime bill protects drag queens (choice of gender) but not cyclists (choice of transportation):

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/28/hate.crimes/index.html

  34. 3rd ,so what makes you think that Missy would be housed in general public in a womens prison . Shes in lock down with the worst men and holding her own ! I mean she has a pet pihrana and could kick anyones ass in a second …..

  35. It is wise to remember that the cops,the judge,the prosecutor and TV audiences all drive cars…It would be wise for future perpetrators to stay out of Arizona.It is legal here to return fire…

  36. It’s legal anywhere in the US to return fire. Some states have more regulations on the concealment of them. In WA, all you need is to apply for a permit – no class involved. I read that getting a Utah concealed carry is good in 30+ states. Arizona is bicycle heaven – lots of cyclists, few altercations. It’s just you see more guns in AZ, there are more gun shops, and there’s more guns – period. You show one on your hip and you get left the fuck alone – that was my point. More guns never equals more violence. The liberal nonsense on this topic is convincing, but not realistic. I don’t love guns, I don’t lust for their use, but I like them a LOT more than cars. They do less damage to our world by a few orders of magnitude.

  37. By the way – North Carolina is the most bicycle unfriendly state I’ve ever been to, and yes, I’ve been to most over-hyped Asheville. I stayed a week and bailed. Fuck that place. I’ve been to all by 5 US states in CONUS. Minneapolis, Portland, and Tucson are the best bicycle cities in the United States, conclusively. In that order.

  38. For the past year or so I have carried a gun with me when riding solo on the roads. Some people may say it’s crazy, but people are trying to kill us out there, we need to defend ourselves. Thankfully, I have not had to use it, and most likely will never have to, but I feel a little better knowing if that carload of kids that just threw a bottle at me turns around for more fun…they will find out they picked the wrong guy in tights to fuck with

  39. so how about someone posts the contact info for the prosecuting attorney and judge and make our opinions known because i am pretty sure those douches aren’t reading this blog. all you lawyers in this thread have quick and easy access to this stuff? happy to write a few letters from across the pond.

    barry

  40. Yeah, great, and when you kill the “kid”, how you gonna feel then for the rest of your life? Doesn’t even have to be a kid. There’s good and bad folks everywhere. Don’t be so fucking paranoid.

    “An eye for an eye makes the world blind” -Ghandi

  41. you know what, upon further review, attempt is a tricky legal hurdle. with all sympathy to mr. simons, unless arizona is different (i don’t think so) an attempted homicide charge would have been reaching a bit.

  42. mattchew: It’s not really a reach. I don’t think any state actually has a legal provision for a “warning shot”. Firing a gun in someone’s general direction is implicit proof of an intention to kill them.

  43. From a follow up story on the Asheville citizen times:

    “Superior Court Judge James Downs sentenced Diez to 15-27 months and suspended all but the 120 days. If Diez screws up, he could get the full sentence.

    Diez must abide by a curfew and pay Simons $1,200 to cover medical expenses. He also lost his job as a firefighter.

    Diez could’ve gotten 20-39 months, but with a “mitigating factors” including good character, a solid military service record and a positive employment history — and no previous criminal record — he qualified for the lesser sentence.

    Contrast all this with the sentence an LSD peddler got Friday from Judge Alan Thornburg: a minimum of 175 months in prison, or more than 14 years. That guy, Benjamin Thomas Schaeffer, had more than 6,000 hits of the hallucinogenic drug in his possession outside an Asheville concert in 2006.

    Sure, he deserves a stiff sentence, and he got one: roughly 42 times what Diez will serve.”

    I am a lifelong North Carolina resident and Diez’s sentence is making me physically ill today. It’s disgusting.

  44. art: just my opinion – it’s not as much of a slam dunk as we’d all like it to be. if assault with a deadly weapon exists as an offense, it exists because the legislature intended it to be applied. if you had attempted murder any time you used a deadly weapon in an assault, there’d be no need for the lesser crime.
    i’ll concede that the discharge of a pistol in another’s direction implies malice (to me it makes sense). but what do i know, i’m no attorney…
    anyway… just sayin… let’s all just be happy that mr. simons is alive and well.

  45. mattchew,

    This has slam dunk written all over it.

    A warning shot is just that. A big boom to get your attention. Bullet goes flying up.

    But a warning shot that pierced your helmet ? What’s that ? An inch at best from your skull ?

    And you see no attempt to murder ?

    “mr. simons” is alive only because fire-boy was a lousy shot.

    Bite me.

  46. This surely must be the longest running commentary on any DC.com post. Am I wrong? Should we aim for 100?

    I’m happy that the man is alive, but I’d be more happy if I wasn’t frightened so often when I ride a bicycle, if I didn’t have friends that drive cars for only one reason: they are scared to ride the bicycle, and if I didn’t have to consider getting one more firearm because of the instability of the US dollar and the insanity of our death culture all around us. Guns are real – Fed reserve notes are a fiction.

    I’d be more happy if there weren’t half ass budgets for bike paths, where they begin and end like unfinished sidewalks in the third world. I’d be more happy if all paving from 1990 onward included a nice bike lane. I’d be happy if there was another way to ride from Tucson to Mexico other than the breakdown lane of I-19. I’d be happiest if they didn’t commission fancy fine art sculptures for bike path bridges that make great brochure photos and instead put that money towards simple ribbons of asphalt – what every cyclist needs to just get there. I’d be more happy if there weren’t 15 people studying the data for every one out there laying out bicycle infrastructure. I’d be so happy if it weren’t just liberal do gooder non-profits pushing for this ‘alternative’ transportation that they think bicycles are. Never forget: asphalt pavement was invented for the bicycle, not for the horseless carriage.

  47. littlejar – I recall seeing a few posts go in excess of 100, think the election fueled a few of them. probably too much agreement, in general on this one.

    Maybe I can spark a little more debate.

    Will carrying a gun really make you feel safer on a bike ride? Not really for me. I fear the driver that in an inattentive moment gets just a little too close as they pass. That scares the shit outta me. No bullets going to stop that. How many cyclists have been killed by gunshots/stabbings/assaults? How many just run over by some texting/drunk/careless dumbfuck? Just don’t see guns doing much to decrease the cyclist mortality rate. In fact, it may increase it. Probably safe to say guns don’t mix well with 1) stupid people 2) alcohol 3) anger/rage.

    I’m all for guns (ask Mikey) but think they have a place, and that probably isn’t strapped next to your Gu packs. There are certainly exceptions to that, but I’ll contend they are the minority.

    What are you going to do, be the first to draw anytime a confrontation arises? I am sure the law would love that–lycra clad douchebags flashing iron. We have seen how balanced the law has been with motorists/cyclist confrontations historically.

    If you already have a gun pulled in your face you probably aren’t going to go reaching for yours, unless you have been seriously practicing your old west quick draw and feel quite lucky.

    I have known two specifics incidents where guns were pulled on cyclists. Both ended without injury and both resulted in prosecutions/convictions. Adding an armed cyclist to either of these situations would certainly not have made things any better than they turned out.

    This is something I have personally given some consideration to, carrying while riding, particularly when I used to commute across Tucson and was notified I was riding through some sketchy areas. Again after encountering some pretty spooky folks out in the middle of the desert while mountainbiking alone on a few occasions. Ultimately, for various reasons, I opted not to.

    And after many years of riding in all sorts of terrain, I have yet to have an encounter where a gun would have made things turn out better for me. (other than the satisfaction of making somebody shit their pants after pulling a jackass move–and ultimately I probably couldn’t feel good about that either)

  48. Like Grandpa McCain says – it takes a ‘cool hand’ and in the case of being armed and facing someone angry, a person armed *usually* has a little more restraint. Only a suicidal idiot pulls a gun on someone who is armed. If you shoot, that means you’re probably going to get shot at in return. It is a micro-economic arms race, and it works. The gun is either one of two things: A: a deterrent to being a victim, or
    B: the ability to defend oneself against an armed assailant. The bottom line is this: If you do not have a gun, and someone with bad intent toward you does, you have no leverage in the matter.

  49. did he fire from inside the car? they could have gotten him on § 13-1209(A):

    A. A person commits drive by shooting by intentionally discharging a weapon from a motor vehicle at a person, another occupied motor vehicle or an occupied structure.

    that’s a class 2 felony. douche wouldn’t have been able to own a gun legally after a conviction on that one.

  50. Don’t be a retard. I paid about $1000 to lose that last three pounds of bike weight and I’m not going to climb with a .45 ACP strapped to my sweaty back. Or what, you’re gonna just put two rounds in the clip to save 12 ounces? You guys need to keep your priorities straight here.

  51. Oh this could turn into an awesome cycling debate as to what gun saves the most weight for gnarly climbs.

    “I hear Schleck is carrying a SpecialOps 330 carbon-ceramic .45 with high-density plastic shell casings, and with only 4 bullets it weighs a measly 412.4 grams!”

    “And Phil, what’s contador carrying today?”

    Anyone?

  52. …colonelsandersretired…re: que ???…

    …”The Good Roads Movement occurred in the United States between 1880 and 1916. Advocates for improved roads led by bicyclists turned local agitation into a national political movement…
    …Outside cities, roads were dirt or gravel; mud in the winter and dust in the summer.”
    …beyond that info, use your imagination…

  53. I understand people’s opposition to being armed while riding, but In defense: 1. I only carry on solo rides 2. I am licenced to carry a concealed firearm 3. I practice situational use with the firearm on a regular basis 4. and MOST IMPORTANTLY…it is my CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to carry my firearm…on a bike or not. As for the weight issue, like a steel singlespeed roadmachine I carry a S&W .40 w/ 190gr hollowpoints…. 15 of em’. Not light, but smooth and effective.

  54. Doing a really quick search, looks like the Kel-Tec PF-9 could be a good contender for the light weight category at 411 grams…loaded…but then if you are going to carry, probably not the department to skimp out on weight, so I have to agree with armedcyclist and the choice for the .40 cal. That is a good demotivator I would venture.

    I agree the gun is a great deterrent, but that is where it gets sticky. Do you pull your gun at the first sign of any possible trouble? If so, then you could take what is actually a minor situation and make it much worse for yourself. On the flipside, if you wait, by the time you realize the gravity of the situation you will probably already have lost your window of opportunity to defend yourself.

    I suspect that someone with bad intentions would probably be fairly quick to show a gun if they have it. This dilema is perhaps where having a highly visible gun would be the best deterrent, kind of like the audible/visible warnings you get from a rattlesnake. You don’t have to guess what you are dealing with, and as a result, most creatures will choose to stay away.
    Criminals and assholes both seem to be opportunistic like that, won’t go making trouble where they don’t know if they have the advantage, at least not if they are at all smart.

    armedcyclist – how do you carry that thing when you ride?

  55. It actually fits quite comfortably in a soft holster in the center pocket of my jersey. I have been riding on the road since I was 13 (22 years) and I have my share of brush-bys, yelling, honking..etc. Maybe I am older/more carefull now, but I have noticed in the last few years it has become considerably more dangerous. A few years ago I had 3 rides in a row with situations, 1. pickup truck with out of state plates, passenger swings his hand near my head and yells “nice tights fag” 2. the next day riding on a well traveled road with a wide (3-4ft) shoulder, a red CBR1000 comes from behind swerves in next to me, pulles in the clutch and revves the shit out of it…loud, fast and close (under 6″). I had heart palpitations the rest of the way home, it was the closest to death I have ever come. 3. A few days later a Jeep Cherokee full of high school kids comes by tires squealing, with a coke can flying out of the window towards me. I reported it to the police each time, with pretty good descriptions and nothing has happened (that I know of). Believe me, I have kids and I would never ever pull a weapon on someone unless my life or my family’s life was in danger. I can talk a dog off of a meat wagon, and beleive me I would try all angles before doing something as life changing and drastic as using a weapon…but it is a fucked up world out there and you just never know.