Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Two Cents and Billy Lane

with one comment

I was reading one of those news forums, you know, the kind where you can post a comment on the news, or a comment on a comment, for that matter. The subject was celebrity bike builder, Billy Lane, and the outcome of his legal maneuverings regarding the charge that, while driving drunk, he passed a number of vehicles with his truck and hit an oncoming motorcyclist, killing him.
While some forum readers disparaged a legal system that allows for wide latitude in sentencing for a particular crime, the consensus was that Billy drank, drove and killed with his truck and that he should pay the price, regardless of his celebrity status.
That he used his wealth to try to mitigate the punishment didn’t endear him to readers who, in the same circumstance, would in all likelihood have been represented by a public defender and sentenced to the maximum punishment.

That was the bread; here’s the meat:

One commenter posted, “Fuck Lane, kill a biker, go to jail”.
He was answered with the question of whether that applied in this case because the victim was riding a “moped, or something” and was hardly a “biker”.

That sentiment was echoed in the mass emailing of an article by  “Katmandu”, a Lane groupie who also seems to think the value of one’s life depends on whether he straddles a motor scooter or an 800 lb. fashion statement.
Excerpts of a rather tedious bit of sea lawyering, and my thoughts thereon, follow.

Let me run it down to you in a way you will understand.

Gerald Morelock was on a SCOOTER, one of those slow moving, un-suitable machines for a major roadway, not a motorcycle. And for god’s sake, do not call him a biker.

Oh, great, another skirt going to run it down to us in a way we’ll understand and tell us about “Real Bikers”. That’ s pretty presumptuous, I’d say. [translation: In a less politically correct time she’d be shaking her tits at the Playmate Lounge instead of running it down in a way we’ll understand.]

She writes of Billy Lane:

“He’s not the damn poster child for DUI vehicular manslaughter. The lifestyle we live and love reached up and slapped him down, hard, and YOU tell me you don’t ever drive with a buzz on.  I say that’s bullshit”

My response:

1. Wrong, darlin’, he is the poster boy; he drove drunk and killed someone.  Had the victim he been your dad/brother/husband you might have a different take on it.

2.  “The Lifestyle”?  Jesus, please.  If I ever start to prattle on about living a “lifestyle” just cave my head in.

3.  Sure, I’ll tell you I don’t ever drive with a buzz on. I’ve been sober for over 25 years, but thanks for the stereotype. You “say that’s bullshit”?
I don’t know if whomever you hang with tolerates your mouth; perhaps he’s too busy living The Lifestyle to teach you respect, but your statement has been given the consideration it deserves.

That you drive impaired, endangering yourself and those around you, is less than a lame cop-out for Billy’s misdeeds. That you did time for something similar doesn’t give you special insight or an elevated status, in my book. It just means you are, or were, a fuck-up who paid the freight.

And why wasn’t Morelock’s alcohol level brought up?

Maybe because he didn’t kill anyone, ya think?

What about his lack of experience on a scooter, witness concession that he entered the highway without looking into oncoming traffic?

It doesn’t take much experience to stay in your own lane, ask around.
I don’t know why the witnesses had to concede anything, but Morelock didn’t die from not looking into the lane he wasn’t turning in, Lane killed him with a truck. Nice attempt to put the victim on trial, though.

“Kill a Biker, go to jail.” was and still is a bumper sticker we’ve used for years, in attempts to get the general public to open their eyes to our headlights. Hearing it used in a court of law against one of our own was surreal, vicious, and just plain wrong.”

(She actually published that and allowed it to be emailed to a large number of people.)
So, we were just kidding? I don’t think so. Lots of riders believe that
“Kill a biker, go to jail” is a good idea, meant to be taken literally, even by famous rich people and retired politicians.

Yes, someone died. People die, get used to it.

Said that to Morelock’s family, did you?

This “motojournalist” even suggested that the victim’s legal choice to forgo wearing a helmet should have been considered as a mitigating factor.  That reads like an opportunistic politician or an Associated Press hack wrote it rather than someone living “The Lifestyle”.

But, I digress. This isn’t about some smoke-blowing chick or some other snotty poser trying hard to convince the guys that he’s a Real Biker, it’s about values and accountability.

Values aren’t something that can be turned off when they become inconvenient. We value life, or not, for instance. There should be no sliding scale designed around the size or make of the machine one rides, one’s wealth or club. That doesn’t say we value life, that says we value status.
If we have values, then we demand that people, including ourselves, accept the consequences of actions. In the courthouse, sentencing guidelines are an attempt to make the the punishment for crime both even handed and sure.

Kill a motorist while DUI, go to jail.


Written by fiddle mike

August 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Posted in biker, motorcycle, Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. Not just sane rational points that I agree with – but very nice writing.

    Universal Robinson

    August 27, 2009 at 7:35 pm

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