If you haven't heard of the McMissile incident, here's a brief primer.
A woman is driving north on Interstate 95. Three kids squirm in the back seat, and her sister, six months pregnant and having early contractions, sits in the front. The stress starts to simmer. Traffic slows, then crawls, then creeps. More stress. A car cuts in front of her, then scoots away. A short time later, it darts in again. She can no longer take it. She veers onto the shoulder and speeds up. Wham! She tosses a large McDonald's cup filled with ice into the other car.
The woman is also the wife of an American Soldier on his second tour in Iraq, the family gets food stamps, and she was recently accepted to nursing school. And the end result of this conflict? A two-year felony conviction.
Whether she would have received a two-year sentence if she was white, driving a Mercedes, etc., I'll leave that up to speculation.
The real problem here is that we have a court system and, indeed, a legal system, that punishes traffic reactions, and not traffic actions. Yesterday, while driving my mother home from the airport, a car leaped out in traffic in front of us, causing me to slam on my brakes. I laid on the horn. The car, with out of state plates and a "Believe" Christian sticker in the back, then proceeded to hit their brakes, nearly causing me to slam into the back of them. The guy, of course, was on his cell phone, too.
If I had hit this car after he had merged into my lane and when he applied his brakes (despite a lack of traffic in front of him), I would have been at fault. And, apparently, if I'd thrown a cup of ice into his lap, I would be facing a two-year jail sentence.
In many ways, in politics, in business, and even in traffic laws, America rewards the provokers and punishes the reactors. Preemptive war is welcomed, those protesting it are spurned. Deciding to tap phones is hailed as a protective measure, complaints about Constitutional Violations are laughed at. Businesses who lay off workers are rewarded with government subsidies, those who are unemployed are told they are no longer useful in our modern workforce.
And prima donna drivers who feel that they can cut off a minivan driven by a soldier's wife are rewarded. And if you decide to stand up to those who provoke, well, that's when they come for you.