Friday Cartoon: Guns, cars and… justice?

Artwork copyright Mark Markovich
Download full size (highly recommended)


— Related story: Grand jury: No criminal charges for woman in SW Multnomah Blvd crash (and other similar cases around the country)

— Illustration by Mark Markovich, concept by Jonathan “JR” Reed and Mark Markovich

— See past cartoons here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Brian E.
Brian E.
12 years ago

I have a lifetime membership in the NRA and I know that guns are more often used to kill yourself, a friend or a family member.

I interpret your comic like this:

Kill a friend or family member, go to jail. Kill someone you don’t know and go free.

Mike Fish
Mike Fish
12 years ago
Reply to  Brian E.

You’re missing the point. This isn’t a comment on gun ownership.

Mike
Mike
12 years ago
Reply to  Mike Fish

Isn’t that the beauty of art? Open to personal interpretation… unless someone is telling you your interpretation is wrong.

Mike Fish
Mike Fish
12 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Your right – I believe authorial intent actually matters. Gasp!

Mike Fish
Mike Fish
12 years ago
Reply to  Mike Fish

“You’re”… there needs to be an edit button…

Ely
Ely
12 years ago

I think the difference is that there are cultures within the country where guns are OK and cultures where they are not OK. Because of this non-OK culture, gun deaths are treated as criminal, as opposed to collateral damage. Because cars are OK everywhere, car deaths are viewed as a cost of doing business, and are perfectly acceptable.

People don’t realize that they are exactly the same. Intelligent, responsible use is required for both, and misuse, whether deliberate or unintentional, must have consequences as steep for the user as for the victim.

jram
jram
12 years ago
Reply to  Ely

well put.

Duncan Watson
12 years ago
Reply to  Ely

The US is the most gun friendly first world country in the world. But if you kill someone in a cleaning accident or hunting accident, you face penalties. This is not true of automobiles.

JK12
JK12
12 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Watson

Really? There are no laws at all about killing someone with a car?

NW Biker
NW Biker
12 years ago

Some serious truth here. The teenager who killed my friend with his mother’s SUV got a ticket for driving without a license. That kind of carelessness with a gun would (or least should) have resulted in actual punishment, rather than a few bucks paid out (I’m sure) by his parents.

9watts
9watts
12 years ago

The sad truth of the matter excellently captured.

kww
kww
12 years ago

Should be mailing this to the DA’s…

Schrauf
Schrauf
12 years ago

Best cartoon ever.

meh
meh
12 years ago

If you look at the stats, most automobile deaths are suicide not homicide.

The number of 2007 MVA deaths from the NHTSA

Occupants
Passenger cars 16,520
Light trucks 12,413
Large trucks 802
Buses 37
Other/Unknown 629
—————————–
TOTAL Occupants 30,401

MotorCyclist 5,154

NonMotorist
Pedestrian 4,654
Pedal-Cyclist 698
Other/Unknown 152
———————————-
Total NonMotorist 5,504

Grand Total 41,059

% of MVA deaths that are cyclists 1.69%

Joseph
Joseph
12 years ago
Reply to  meh

This collection of numbers makes any single death any less tragic? Fact is that cars aren’t being taught and treated like the dangerous items they truly are.

As many times as I’ve been nearly hit and even berated while on a bike, if I was to become part of that 1%, I definitely wouldn’t want some jackass with a bunch of numbers trying to cheapen my death.

Opus the Poet
12 years ago

That cartoon assumes that people that kill with cars are even charged with anything requiring a court appearance. They never even looked for the guy that tried to kill me with a motor vehicle.

Hart Noecker
12 years ago

What’s that circle thing in the sky out the right window?

Mike Fish
Mike Fish
12 years ago
Reply to  Hart Noecker

HAHAHA 😛

middle of the road guy
middle of the road guy
12 years ago

I did not know these things were equivalent. Since when was an auto designed with the sole intent of being a weapon?

Alex Reed
Alex Reed
12 years ago

That is a difference between the two. I don’t think it’s a relevant difference, though. Yes, if you kill someone with a car it’s in the midst of using the car for another purpose. However, you can kill someone with a gun in the midst of using it for another purpose (e.g. hunting).

I’m not sure, however, whether people who kill others in hunting accidents are given more than a slap on the wrist either. I just haven’t read about enough cases to know.

James Crawford
James Crawford
12 years ago
Reply to  Alex Reed

Yep, like the Portland cop who “accidentally” shot his partner when he mistook him for a three point or better bull elk or the Portland cop who wounded his wife in an obscenely brutal manner because he neglected to unload his 12 gauge before using it as a marital aid. His collegues made no arrest because they ” saw no evidence of domestic violence.”. Has the PDX police continued their program to distribute Kevlar condoms to their officers so that they can practice safe shotgun sex?

lothar
lothar
12 years ago

….exactly ! With this kind of rhetoric I would go so far as to say that Bike Advocacy is to bike safety as N.R.A. is to gun safety.

James Crawford
James Crawford
12 years ago

As someone who has had a grandfather shot by an armed robber and a brother murdered by a thief who was stealing a garbage can, I really appreciate this cartoon. My brother’s murderer intentionally ran him down with a Dodge van to resist apprehension for stealing a garbage can. The fifty foot long trail of cloth, skin, blood flesh and bone that was ground into the asphalt combined with the unarguable fact that the van started from rest left no doubt that this killing was intentional. Yet the jury refused to convict for intentional murder or even first degree assault. The fact that the killing was committed during the commission of a robbery (and the defense attorney attempted to convince the jury that it wasn’t Robbery 1 because the garbage can wasn’t worth more than $50) was the only factor that earned the perp a conviction for felony murder and thus a significant sentence. The perp actually got 25 to life rather than 13 yes and out in 7 because I took the liberty of pointing out to the judge that the 28 yr old perp’s 16 yr old live in girlfriend was pregnant which is prima facia evidence of statutory rape which allowed the judge to classify him as a sex offender.

I realize that this post seems inconsistent with my comments on the Fornshell/Santos post. It seems that spokers have difficulty understanding that there is a difference between an accident and an intentional assault.