It's hard to find fault with a disabled Iraq war vet's gift to his 7-year-old son.
But I will anyway.
35-year-old Jessie Vigil's gift was to paint his mustang to look like a police car. Not just any police car, but the one from the "Transformers" movie. You see, his son is a huge fan and it made the perfect surprise.
And guess what?
It isn't illegal in Las Vegas, New Mexico to make your vehicle look like a police car! Vigil even added mock (but VERY realistic looking) red and blue lights on the top of the mock squad car. He also painted "POLICE" on the white doors.
A closer inspection reveals the words "To punish and enslave" instead of "To serve and protect", but those words aren't as obvious at first glance or from a distance.
As of this writing, I have yet to hear back from my local police department on their own policy pertaining to this sort of thing. I can't imagine they would support the idea.
The argument is that so long as he isn't pretending to be a police officer, no harm is being done. Plus the local police don't drive Mustangs. Plus, the local police (as many departments do) sell their older vehicles to people without re-painting the vehicles.
But isn't this sort of deception potentially dangerous? People will, no doubt, change their driving when they see this car. Maybe in a dangerous fashion. People might even come looking for assistance. Others might do harm to the driver and passengers BECAUSE it looks like a real police car.
And what if your child sees it and asks the person for help, or puts their trust in the driver thinking they are the real deal? Imagine what a child molester could accomplish if they drove around schools and parks in what looked like a real police car!
"Hey, Johnny! Your parents were in a bad accident. Hop in the car and I will take you to them." We teach our kids to trust the police. But this would be walking right into a trap.
Should I be able to paint my car to look like an ice cream truck and drive slowly through neighborhoods? Can I make my van look like an ambulance? Is THAT ok?
I used an example of this idea a long time ago from my list of immediate things we can do to scare illegal aliens away.
I talked about how effective it would be to put fake I.C.E. and Border Patrol vehicles around hot spots for illegal alien activity. It's true! Illegals would run from these like vampires from garlic.
And my example involved the actual AGENCIES orchestrating the tactics.
Here we have a private citizen painting their car to look like a police car.
As cool as it may be for a 7-year-old to have a car that looks like the one from their favorite movie, it still shouldn't be allowed.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to fire up the Batmobile and head to work.