read the article first: “‘Theft
of power’ lands electric-car driver in jail”…
then come on back here.
pretty certain I don’t have the entire story here. There are several
things missing. For instance -- Was this an emergency for Kaveh
Kamooneh? Because that could change things significantly. Oh…
yeah… probably not enough that I wouldn’t still be chuckling at
Mr. Kamooneh for heading to the park without enough battery power
to return. But often when details start getting added to an event,
with some of them not so every-day-ordinary in nature, you can
at least tip your cap and move on without think this is just nutty.
I think there is enough information to assume that running on
empty wasn’t a problem though. And, that emergency option out
of the way, I can’t agree with him. Check out this passage from
Kamooneh said he believes he committed no crime. He said in
his experience as an electric car driver, seeking permission
was often an informal exchange and that he had never encountered
a problem before.
course I agree that theft is theft, what I don’t agree with
is that every taking of something without permission is theft,”
he said, adding that there was no one at the school to ask permission
from at the time.
many of us have found ourselves in the situation of running out
of gas? Virtually all of us I would imagine. And even for those
of us that haven’t, I’d wager that a warning light or two… coupled
with heavy traffic, an unfamiliarity of the surrounding area,
and concern on whether or not the car would get to a gas station
before running out… has provided some tense moments of driving.
during these moments, some wonderful examples of compassion may
it’s the person that owns the house your car stops near, and he
offers you a gallon or two of gas from the canister in the garage…
more than enough to get you to the gas station, and he refuses
to accept a penny in return.
it’s the person that pulls up next to your car, asks if you’re
ok, and then gives you a ride not only to a gas station… but after
you get a can and some gas, also goes out of her way to drive
you back to your car.
such examples of wonderful people bring up a couple of thoughts.
of all, in general the “informal exchange” that Kamooneh seems
to be describing usually is created in a time of need. I don’t
have much experience driving an electric car… and as such maybe
I’m missing something… but I’m having a hard time imagining many
drivers casually asking for a gallon of gas to top off the tank.
They don’t need the gas, but heck, just in case and I happen to
be here, maybe someone will give me a gallon or two to toss in
the tank. Convert that to topping off the charge on the batteries.
Even if we accept the concept that limited driving ranges might
make it worth the effort to always get the batteries up to a full
charge when possible, it appears to be that in this case Kamooneh
didn’t need the charge.
I can’t accept the justification involved here. Let’s go back
to my examples of compassion. Because a great guy offered me gas
when I ran out… or someone gave me a ride when I needed some help…
does that give me the right to assume such assistance is forthcoming
in every scenario?
for Kaveh Kamooneh, it very much does.
that is where I begin to have a problem with this situation.
just recap here…
one – Kamooneh claims to understand what theft is. (“‘Of
course I agree that theft is theft…’”)
two – From the article, Kamooneh seems to indicate he did not
have permission from anyone to plug in his vehicle to charge.
(“‘…I don’t agree… that every
taking of something without permission is theft…’”)
three – Someone felt strongly enough about what they had witnessed
that they contacted the police.
one, two and three… there they are.
live in a world where common sense isn’t all that common. And
that’s a frightening enough thought to begin with. But beyond
the general polite possibilities, for purposes of this situation
that means you simply cannot always believe permission is universally
granted or justified. Believing otherwise is more a sense of entitlement
that quite often is not only undeserved, it is dynamically and
no one was at the school so he could ask permission, then he shouldn’t
be plugging in his car to charge. (In exactly the same way, if
his gasoline-fueled car ran out, then he shouldn’t be walking
up the first driveway and if no one is home decide it must be
ok to syphon a gallon out of a car in that driveway.)
really is that simple.
amount of electricity used… the cost… isn’t in the least bit relevant
as a defense. That’s simply justifying his actions… harsh as the
terms may sound in this case… it’s justifying the crime.
even with that said… I certainly might be misunderstanding things.
So… give me more details.
me he had to rush to get his son to tennis practice, realized
upon arriving at the school that he didn’t have enough power to
return home, looked and looked for someone to ask, and eventually
plugged in his car out of desperation… and I’m listening.
me he offered to pay the school for the electricity… and I’m listening.
just don’t get that here.
to the article, he didn’t even stay with the vehicle. The notes
say that in the report filed, the police officer originally couldn’t
find the owner.
story has all the makings of entitlement -- of (my words) “…well,
I’m here and will be for a bit, so I might as well charge the
battery…” -- and Kamooneh doesn’t see the issue.
help me see something beyond entitlement here… help me see some
there really is no defense for Kamooneh. Theft is theft... and,
as every detail continues to show, this is.