Life to Bike Thieves | Bicycling
(Photo by Rex Roof )
“Death to Bike Thieves” reads the sticker that you can buy when registering your bike at a certain national website that shall not be named here.
I shudder every time I see one of those decals. I’m not much of a fan of either vigilante justice or the death penalty, particularly not for misdemeanor property crimes. But even among the more progressive circles of the bikeverse, this casual advocacy of violence exists.
Actually, it’s not entirely unheard of for it to be carried out. A quick Internet search turns up recent stories from around the world, including graphic photographs and videos, of people being beaten, sometimes killed, occasionally with their bodies mutilated after the killing, on the suspicion of having stolen a bicycle. A guy in Bolivia is murdered. A man in Sao Paolo’s neck is U-locked to a post. A homeless guy in Florida is beaten to a pulp, and his bloody mug shot is posted triumphantly to message boards around the bikeosphere. The meme currently making the rounds features a paintball gun.