It's obvious Big Brother's picking on us because we're such an easy target, representing but a tiny fraction of the nation's automotive population, but that doesn't mean we have to roll over.
It wasn't me. The last time I dished out a little bureaucratic bologna, I got an earful from a reader or two. At the time, I could understand what the naysayers were saying to some degree. And having spent my time in the trenches as a Regular Joe Rodder before joining the ranks of journalistic pencil-pushers, I'm no stranger to the unwritten "don't ask, don't tell" titling procedure-the very same thing that got a famous hot rod builder in Southern California into a little hot water-and various vehicle code noncompliance. Clearly, that was then ... this is now. If you don't like it, don't turn the page-keep reading!
If you're from the camp that still thinks politics and hot rods don't mix, then I'm sorry to say, you are part of the reason we're in this particular situation to begin with. The act of ignoring something, for whatever reasons, doesn't make it go away-it allows it to get bigger and stronger, and without your voiced opposition, gives the elected powers that be the ability to move forward with their anti-hobby legislation and ultimately do things that you could've helped prevent in the first place. It's obvious Big Brother's picking on us because we're such an easy target, representing but a tiny fraction of the nation's automotive population, but that doesn't mean we have to roll over.
My previous rants-though fueled by the same motivation to get readers more involved in various state and federal issues that could (or already do) have an impact on our hobby-all lacked the same thing: backup support. Not this time, no sir. SEMA, and its storm-troopin' SEMA Action Network (SAN), has not only rallied its troops, but the entire cavalry of Source Interlink Media's automotive publications-together, our newsstand solidarity is aimed right between the bureaucrat's eyes ... our show of force is intended to penetrate legislature's minds, letting them know what they're up against and that we're not backing down without putting up a fight.
But this is really just an elaborated warning shot-the rest has to come from you, the reader, the hobbyist, the hot rodder who doesn't want to lose his or her rights to own and operate those vehicles we all cherish. Our flying below the radar wasn't going to last forever, whether we're willing to admit it or not.