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NickDG

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Just sent this one through the senators website. For all discussion going on about reacting yes or no, I chose to react.

Ronald
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Dear Senator Golden,

It is with sadness I recieved information about your bill proposing base jumping to be classified as a felony offense class D.

Of course, I do understand base jumping has a percieved air of illegalness around it. Especially as some jumps are made trespassing, or even sometimes endangering people. However, there are to my knowledge current rules as to deal with those breaches of the law.

The intended bill will put an innocent sport activity in line with serious sexual offences. I can not help bu think this is shooting with a cannon at a mouse. There are few base jumpers around worldwide, and even less in the USA. Generally, no harm is done and no damage created.

We all love this sport and want it to be safe. I personally would like to be it available for my son, if he wants to practise it.

I kindly urge you to retract your bill.

Respectfully,

Ronald Overdijk
The Netherlands

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Although you can't say its impossible, like it won't ever happen, but, I've never heard of a BASE jumper hurting anyone but themselves . . . does anyone else know different?

I have seen inexperienced jumpers land among the spectators at some past Bridge Days, but they are usually deep in the brakes with a big slow canopy and not likely to seriously injure anyone.

But if we keep up the downtown day blazing like the recent Philly vid making the rounds it's bound to happen sooner or later. And after mowing down some completely innocent pedestrian you won’t need to kill them for it to become a very big deal.

Are we forgetting why we jump in the middle of the night? The winds are calmer and there are only two kinds of people in the street. The kind who won't call the police, and the kind who are the police.

But I do have to thank the Philly boys for putting the cherry on my original post . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Are we forgetting why we jump in the middle of the night? The winds are calmer and there are only two kinds of people in the street. The kind who won't call the police, and the kind who are the police.

But I do have to thank the Philly boys for putting the cherry on my original post . . .

NickD :)BASE 194




The Philadelphia jump blasted across youtube, makes me cringe too. If i'm honest more because of the 'rad' commentary and the fact it's blasted across youtube than the fact they jumped that building in the day. They may have had their reasons regarding gaining access, i don't know, although seeing as how it is still under construction, it tends to point towards easy night access.

Anyway, that really isn't the point. The point is Nick I can almost feel the heat from your hands after all that rubbing with glee you did when this jump was brought to your attention, because in your mind it validates your prejudices and preconceptions of what the 'yoof' are all about and how they're fucking up and fumbling the passed-on baton of BASE.

Did you feel the same way about Owen Quinn I wonder and his WTC jump? Do you recall that amazing footage in one of Carl's early films of a jump from (i think) a Houston skyscraper, a two way with one on a square and one on a round. Beautiful day it was judging by the footage? What about Thor Alex and his NYC jumps? How about Dwain and Slim, i've seen a stack of their dayblazing building jumps?
I could go on....and you know it.

I just wonder why you feel it's so different NOW.

Like i said, it's not all fine and dandy in BASE today, and if i were a teacher i'd say there was definitely room for improvement, but hasn't it always been that way?

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I should add, I don't want to argue with you anymore Nick. Despite what you may think, I still have the utmost respect for you, but i felt it was worth counter-arguing because you carry great influence with people (jumpers, non jumpers and media) who do respect and listen to you, and i felt it was important they didn't just accept the nihilistic view that BASE is spiralling down the pan into oblivion because it is populated solely by populist robot-like glory seeking assholes.

There is still a solid punkrock core to BASE (and i mean anti-authority, not Gwen fucking stefani) so chill out, grab your slippers and pipe and relax. The resistance is alive and well.

Laters.

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injuries can ruin lives.
criminal records can ruin lives.
raising the profile of sites can complicate jumps (didn't that occur in the UK recently?)

my question, does every video need distribution?
before the internet, people would torture friends with slideshows of their recent vacations. new parents love to show photos of their kids. people simply wish to share their excitement. I get that. I also understand not everyone wants to see it... and when it shows a potentially illegal activity, is it wise?

now you mentioned some early footage. fair enough. well, imagine a sailing forum. imagine how cool it would be to have footage of Christopher Columbus sailing across the Atlantic. that would be the bomb. now imagine if 10% of those sailing across the Atlantic would post video... yawn.

or if you prefer, how many first time tandem videos have you watched? obviously the students love them and want everyone to watch their vid. is it newsworthy?

of course, neither example above depicts activity that inspires lawmakers to write new laws. authorities seem quite willing to address BASE jumping. I wish it weren't the case, but like getting busted up, it is a reality.

videos can be a great tool to improve. they capture detail a jumper missed. they can help relive memories far safer than by repeating a jump. but really, how often do others post video of themselves violating laws? how often do others post video daring politicians to write new laws?

some thought publicity would open up sites. it simply hasn't happened. they were wrong. maybe it will change, but it appears unlikely.

by keep your video and jumping personal, you can avoid complicating YOUR life. people advise others how to be safer all the time. we as a community like to find ways to prevent injuries and deaths. why not advise to prevent law enforcement issues? like tension knots they may be rare, but it remains a possibility.
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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The problem with long threads is people often forget what the point is and I do think you've gone off on a tangent with what you believe I'm actually saying.

I'm not arguing the case for videos on youtube. Never have, never will. All I ever took issue with is Nick's negative tone and sweeping generalisations towards a whole generation of jumpers. Generalisations which lead to the conclusion that BASE is about to implode and dissappear because WE, that's you and me and everyone I jump with, fucked it all up. And by disassociation he, and Carl, and Phil Smith and everyone he jumped with remains blameless.(THAT IS THE POINT)

My point is this. Yeah there are glory hounds, yeah there are videos splashed here and there, yeah day blazing a building is a sure way of burning the fun for all on that object, yeah inviting the media along for your 15 minutes of fame is very short term thinking and has potentially long term implications BUT, that has always been the case and always will be. When Owen Quinn leapt off the WTC do you really think the authorities reacted any differently then than they do today. A generation or two later when Thor Alex blazed through NYC do you recall the response then. Yet BASE lived on.

It was not the end. In fact it changed very little beyond the reactionary short term.

If BASE is regressing, then it began that slide long ago....perhaps even as early as when Carl screened his first film to a dropzone full of slack-jawed heathens. He didn't have to do that. He chose to share and i for one can not condemn him because of that.

We are all part of a BASE evolution, not it's destruction. Whatever laws may come it isn't going to stop us, in the same way that the losing of permits to jump El cap back in the day didn't stop people from jumping it. We exist despite these laws, not because of them.

I know that Nick is big on the idea of BASE jumpers being renegades and not snuggling up in bed with the establishment, and believe me, that's music to my ears too. I'm just reminding him that the battle isn't over and giving up and laying down his sword does us all a great disservice.

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Remember, the early jump in Houston filmed by Carl was in the infancy of BASE. The filming was done early Sunday morning, and, with no defining history, the collective attitude of the early BASE jumpers was that the spectacle of object jumping would be admired, not admonished. Boy, were we naïve. We failed to realize that the narrow views of authority would question the legalities of these jumps, but not surprised, as we were considered outlaw by some of our own in the USPA.

These early jumps were made by very experienced skydivers with much planning and forethought. Shortly afterward came a wave of glory hounds, including a lesser experienced wannabe that bounced off the side of the same building, knocking off a piece of the granite, before he plunged through the angular glass near the base of an adjacent building and required rescue.

Lawmakers and law enforcers make their living off our laws. Changing the Senator’s mind is akin to your dentist telling you there is no need to come in for a check up. BASE is a misunderstood fringe sport that is probably best performed on the sly, and unfortunately, that’s the world’s loss...

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Thanks Phil. That Houston jump is still (even in this day and age of aerials and gimmick jumps) an awe inspiring balls-to-the-wall jump which humbles me.

But as you said, even back then, there were glory hounds and attention seekers and despite them, BASE survived and will continue to do so. Fools will come and fools will go but i suspect BASE as an activity will outlive them all.

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Did you feel the same way about Owen Quinn I wonder and his WTC jump? Do you recall that amazing footage in one of Carl's early films of a jump from (i think) a Houston skyscraper, a two way with one on a square and one on a round. Beautiful day it was judging by the footage? What about Thor Alex and his NYC jumps? How about Dwain and Slim, i've seen a stack of their dayblazing building jumps?
I could go on....and you know it.

I just wonder why you feel it's so different NOW.



Because it IS DIFFERENT NOW!

I have asked the old timers about this and they said when they started, no one seemed to care. And then the bad experiences came from dayblazing buildings. And that's why the universal rule of night jumping started.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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Quote


Did you feel the same way about Owen Quinn I wonder and his WTC jump? Do you recall that amazing footage in one of Carl's early films of a jump from (i think) a Houston skyscraper, a two way with one on a square and one on a round. Beautiful day it was judging by the footage? What about Thor Alex and his NYC jumps? How about Dwain and Slim, i've seen a stack of their dayblazing building jumps?
I could go on....and you know it.

I just wonder why you feel it's so different NOW.



Because it IS DIFFERENT NOW!

I have asked the old timers about this and they said when they started, no one seemed to care. And then the bad experiences came from dayblazing buildings. And that's why the universal rule of night jumping started.



Not true, the MAN was there from the beginning with his gun and handcuffs...

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Senator Marty Golden is introducing a bill to make it a class D felony offense for those caught BASE....



What is the track record of private bills being actually passed into law in the US and NY?.

The situation in Canada (where I live) would be as follows:

If Senator Marty Golden is in a party that has majority in both chambers, the private bills usually die early in the committes, before even reaching the floor. If he is in minority, then the whole idea would be shot down on principle i.e. the majority always votes down minority bills. The content of the bill does not matter.

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One only needs look at the myriad of laws passed in the U.S. that are stacked on top of pre-existing ones that cover a particular offence. BASE jumping from a private object is already, and always has been, trespassing, plus whatever public endangerment, nuisance, or breech of the peace charges that may be added on.

The way it is now the initial punishment fits the seriousness of the crime and getting caught again, and again, means the punishment escalates accordingly. If you look back in BASE history you'll see the people who had several arrests and convictions like John, Felix, and others, were facing some big consequences. And the thing they all had in common was being pigs at the BASE trough.

Unlike many here on this board I can recall when almost any first offense involving BASE jumping got you a big laugh in court. Judges and prosecutors had no real knowledge of the sport so they didn’t see it as much of a problem. My hometown of San Diego was like that until just fairly recently. From the early 1980s onward there were only two cases of jumpers actually being charged and they were timed pretty far apart. BASE just wasn't on anybodies radar screen and the two or three times I've been caught red handed by the police I was let go. One time a cop actually helped me hide out until the heat was off.

Well, those days are over as everyone knows what BASE is nowadays. And if Sabre210 is irked by the punk attitudes displayed by the Philly ground crew so will any cops, judges, and prosecutors who see it. Oh, and Sabre210, I explained the dynamic between "now" and "then" concerning early BASE films, but I guess you didn't, or don't want to, get it. And as for Dwain, well, he's dead so I’ll keep my opinion to myself.

I didn’t mention Jeb in my original post but I will now, and in a limited way. I consider Jeb a friend and I think I'll get away with it. Jeb is now in the same boat as those before him. If this Wednesday night he's sitting home with nothing to do and decides he feels like going downtown to LA and making a jump he must now stop and consider the legal consequences if by some chance he's caught. Not only would it make national headlines again, they would probably throw the book at him.

Now it wouldn’t matter much if it was only his problem, but it’s not, it's a problem we all have to deal with. Every time there is a high profile BASE "thing" in the news it makes it harder on all the rest of us. I consider the fact I've never been arrested for BASE jumping a "gift" and getting busted is not what I'm thinking about when jumping. I'm thinking about not getting injured or killed, but the more we have to worry about getting busted the less we'll be thinking of the most important thing, which is going home in one piece.

I have no problem with people making BASE vids and either selling them, or passing them around for free, within the BASE community. This "in house" sharing is something we've always done. But if you can’t see the problem with pubic posting of these vids, or using the sport to gain a "name" for yourself, then that's it. Until you learn the lesson for yourself there's nothing more any of us can do except suffer the consequences of your actions.

Sometimes I think we could fix the issue if everyone just chilled out for a while. The public has a short memory and maybe we could turn the clock back, maybe we could convince them the "fad" is over. But in reality the toothpaste is already out of the tube. And history we'll forever remember who the chief "squeezers" were . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Sometimes I think we could fix the issue if everyone just chilled out for a while. The public has a short memory and maybe we could turn the clock back, maybe we could convince them the "fad" is over. But in reality the toothpaste is already out of the tube. And history we'll forever remember who the chief "squeezers" were . . .

I don't know Nick, there is always going to be those who won't put the cap backon, but in my experience, you can always squeeze out one more drop...


NickD :)BASE 194

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Sent this off via snail mail to the office address listed on his web site.

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Dear Senator Golden,

I understand that you plan to introduce legislation to classify BASE jumping (parachuting from fixed objects) in New York City as a Class D Felony.

I do not believe that parachuting from a fixed object, harming no one, merits the same penalty as vehicular manslaughter, assault, or various other violent offenses currently treated as class D felonies. Should a parachutist injure another person, or harm their property, or trespass, there are already laws in place to penalize those behaviors. Another law specific to the non-violent and non-harmful parachuting act is unnecessary, and will only serve to create additional bureaucracy, wasting the time and energy of law enforcement and the judiciary, and spending taxpayer dollars that could be put to better use.

I believe that your position on this issue is likely a result of a lack of education regarding the sport of BASE jumping. I understand that it can be difficult to find clear information about BASE, which is a perfectly legal recreational activity pursued by many law abiding citizens.

I invite you to attend any of the BASE jumping courses that I teach here in Twin Falls, Idaho (the site of the vast majority of BASE training in North America). Since I understand that you are a very busy man, I will also extend the offer to any member of your staff who you would like to send on your behalf, to learn about, and help educate you about, the sport of BASE jumping. Of course, unless you or your representative has sufficient pre-requisite skills (usually several hundred airplane skydives), you will not be able to make the actual jumps with the other students, but you would be able to participate in lecture and discussion sessions, and gain a better understanding of the equipment we use, the precautions we take, and the degree of preparation and skill that are necessary to make any fixed object parachute jump.

If you have any questions, or you would like to schedule a time that you can attend a course, please do not hesitate to contact me via email (Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com), telephone (+1.208.420.2602) or US mail (Post Office Box 2493, Twin Falls, ID 83303).

Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,



Tom Aiello
Chief Instructor
Snake River BASE Academy


-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Dear Mr. Aiello,

I would gladly accept your offer to attend your course, however I have already found a more geographically convenient course near my home town.

A very nice man who goes by the name of 'Magot' will be teaching me the ways of your obscure but interesting sport, and will even allow me to make a jump off of a building of my own! (he said something about a 'tard-over'? It sounded something like that)

He will also be teaching me about the culture of the sport's participants, and the customs thereof ('hookers', 'blow', 'beastiality'... any of these things ring a bell?)

Yes, Mr. Aiello, I believe that I am in good hands... I will be recording my entire experience on video and presenting it to congress with my revised bill.

Thank you for your concern for the freedoms that we all enjoy (as long as we first ask uncle sam for permission of course)

Sincerely,
Your Friendly New York Senator ;)

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