On Sat, 17 Jul 2021 07:06:17 -0700 (PDT), Quadibloc <jsa...@ecn.ab.ca
>On Friday, July 16, 2021 at 1:51:39 PM UTC-6, Questor wrote:
>> Those vent windows were notoriously easy to force open, which in turn made it
>> easy to snake something through them and open the door. There's a good reason
>> why cars no longer have them -- they facilitated auto break-ins and theft.
>Surely the design could have been modified so that it would be impossible to force
>them open without either breaking the glass or ripping off the metal of the door?
Perhaps. I'm not a mechanical engineer, so I don't know much about what would
be cheap and easy to do. (And if it's not cheap and easy, it's not going to be
done across many thousands of cars.) It seems to me that the nature of the
vent -- the vertical pivot, a short and simple mechanism -- lends itself to this
kind of exploit.
>But in any case, that's not a good reason. Surely the appropriate solution to a
>problem like that, which imposes the costs where they belong - on dishonest
>automobile thieves, not honest car owners - would be to increase penalties for
>car theft so that those penalties would work as a successful deterrent.
What a naive, idealistic -- and punitive point of view. You seem to be unaware
of just how quickly and easily a reasonably skilled thief can break into a car
through a vent window. The correct unit of time to use is seconds, not minutes.
Couple that with the obvious impossibility of patrolling or monitoring even a
majority of cars. Unless they get caught in the act, thieves breaking into cars
rarely get caught, so the risk/reward ratio for them is generally favorable.
We should be able to leave our doors unlocked too -- but we don't, because
simply locking a door is a more effective deterrent than raising the penalties
for burglary. If vent windows are a serious vulnerability, then eliminating
them will prevent more break-ins than harsher penalties. This goes along with
other common sense precautions, such as not leaving any valuables in your car.
Aside: Years ago I had a old, bulky Telefunken portable multi-band radio that I
kept in my car so I could listen to FM stations, as the car was not so equipped.
One night thieves broke into my car, ostensibly to steal it, but when they got
their hands on it they realized it wasn't worth taking. In the morning I found
my car had been broken into, but nothing was taken -- they left the radio on the
>We haven't had any nuclear wars, so what I mean by a "successful deterrent" is
>one that results in us not having any car thefts for a similar length of time.
>Of course, perhaps one stupid person will have to steal a car, so that people can
>actually see the penalty carried out for it to have the required emotional impact
>to achieve the desired result.
>Of course, there's that pesky Eighth Amendment...
If increasing the penalties for crimes was truly effective, then we could simply
assign the death penalty to every infraction and presto, crime would virtually
stop overnight. At some point increased penalties have no appreciable effect.
Rather than incurring the time and expense of grinding through the judicial
system, reducing or eliminating the opportunity for a crime to occur is cheaper
and often easier. This has been the trend in car design, but there is always a
new wrinkle: a big problem these days is catalytic converter thefts.