Terrorism

Artifact: Licensing Global Terror

|

Credit: Courtesy Oklahoma Tax Commission

As any fan of Oklahoma! could tell you, the hot ride in the Sooner State used to be the "little surrey with the fringe on the top." (A surrey is a covered four-wheeled carriage.) These days, Oklahomans can pick from almost 150 specialty license plates with which to adorn their surreys, cars, or motorcycles. The options cost $37 and range from the anti-abortion slogan "Choose Life" (illustrated with drawings of a smiling boy and girl) to the cryptic "Killed in Action" (emblazoned with a Native American symbol) to several NASCAR-themed tags (featuring the racing numbers and signatures of about three dozen drivers).

Arguably the strangest of the bunch is a relatively new offering bearing the phrase "Global War on Terrorism." The plate was sponsored more than a year ago by state Rep. Rex Duncan (R-Sand Springs), who calls it "a 'show of support' tag that I believe many Oklahomans will be proud to display." Curiously, the plate does not refer to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh and associates, the deadliest terrorist act on American soil prior to the September 11 attacks.

There are no estimates of how many plates are in circulation, but more than 100 had been ordered by May 31, the minimum number required to keep the option available for another year.

NEXT: Hellhound on Their Trail

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I don’t know how I feel about this. I would not begrudge say a former service member who served in Iraq or Afganistan having this plate, but if it is on some soccermoms hummer I think it would make me vomit in my mouth a little bit. Just my $0.02

  2. “Curiously, the plate does not refer to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh and associates, the deadliest terrorist act on American soil prior to the September 11 attacks.”

    Curiously, yes because of missed the on going struggle to contain American nutcases still disgruntled over Janet Reno burning those people to death outside Waco. Radley, the good people of Oklahoma can put whatever they like on their license plates and if you don’t like it, tough shit, sometimes life is like that.

  3. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t see anything in the article where Nick says that they shouldn’t be able to make this kind of plate. He just says it’s silly, which it is.

    Just as the citizens of Oklahoma have a right to have such a plate, we have a right (under the same principles!) to point out how silly it is.

    I have a feeling that the crowd who have ordered this plate wouldn’t be former servicemembers, but rather the same crowd who have had the “Terrorist Hunting Permit” stickers on the back window of their pickup trucks and SUVs.

  4. John’s syntax makes me dizzy.

  5. I kinda see what you’re saying, John, but I’m not really sure what Radley had to do with it. I’d blame Weigal.

  6. Didn’t Gillespie write the article?

  7. On other news, anyone seen the Ron Paul Liberty Dollar?

    http://www.libertydollar.org/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=191

    Apologies if I missed it here.

  8. For a mere $37 you can remind people of an event they already remember anyway.

  9. Didn’t Gillespie write the article?

    Well, yeah, but, RADDDDDDLEEEEEEEEEEEY!

  10. We shall fight them in airport restrooms! We shall fight them with our Congressional hearings! We shall fight them with our color-coded terror alerts! We shall fight them with our license plates! We shall never surrender to the odious apparatus of the libera– err, the terrorists!

  11. OK can print anything they want on a license plate, true. It’s also true that anyone can express their opinion of how lame, stupid, brave, or whatever, they believe it is. I want one that says “Where’s Osama?”

    Of course I’m curious if anyone really bought the plates or if the government ordered the 100 just so it would be available next year.

  12. I, for one, am glad the average Tulsan can show all the Al-Qaeda operatives in his city what he thinks of them.

  13. Can I get one with “ITMFA” on it?

  14. I’m special and unique and people should know that and pay attention to me in every situation.

    Therefore, I ordered a special license plate from a pre-approved list to prove and validate my uniqueness.

    Have you seen my i-Pod cover?

  15. Radley, the good people of Oklahoma can put whatever they like on their license plates and if you don’t like it, tough shit, sometimes life is like that.

    John, the good people of Hit and Run can say whatever they like about license plates and if you don’t like it, tough shit, sometimes life is like that.

  16. iih,

    From your link, Duncan says of his Bible-

    “Mine is proudly on my desk on the Capitol and I don’t think I ever read a part of it that condones the killing of women and children in furtherance of God’s word,” Duncan said. “It’s one of the nicest things I’ve received in my three years in the Legislature.”

    I guess he hasn’t read the nasty thing.

  17. I’m special and unique and people should know that and pay attention to me in every situation

    I believe that’s why they make ringtones.

  18. And we thought people in the “heartland” hated New York City !

  19. Texas has a special plate with the slogan, “Keep Texas Wild” and a picture of a horny toad.
    I love that plate.

  20. “Mine is proudly on my desk on the Capitol and I don’t think I ever read a part of it that condones the killing of women and children in furtherance of God’s word,” Duncan said. “It’s one of the nicest things I’ve received in my three years in the Legislature.”

    Mantooth,
    But, but, he goes to church. Every Sunday! He must know more about the Bible than you and I.

    BTW, you sucked in Emergency. 🙂

  21. J sub D- No, he didn’t suck at all. Now set me up with a bag of lactated ringers.

  22. mantooth said: “I guess he hasn’t read the nasty thing.”

    You beat me to it. I can’t believe what an ass Duncan made of himself. That kind of ignorance is embarrassing from a neighbor, but mortifying from a State Rep.

  23. I guess they better ramp up production of the “Impeach Hillary Now” plates.

  24. Why are you talking about the Koran in a license plate thread?

  25. Marcvs,

    See iih’s comment @ 9:21 AM.

  26. Why are you talking about the Koran in a license plate thread?

    Be digressive/be be digressive

  27. John has a point. People from Oklahoma have a right to be as backwards and militaristic as the want. I just wish they wouldn’t use the twin towers as their battle cry. They were civilian office buildings, not the goddam Alamo.

  28. Where is the one with the stripper that says “support free speech”? or a drug needle and joint for “ending the war on drugs”. Those would be awesome too. Maybe they should start a custom licence plate law that lets you create your own design. That would be cool. Until then, I can only dream of the day that I can get the one that has the aborted remains of a fetus and says “I support a woman’s right to murder her own kids” Licence plate. Or we could have the one with condoms and other contraceptives that simply says “Personal Responsibility” who knows.

  29. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oklahoma had a license plate with the towers and “Global War on Terror” on the left side, and the Empire State building and “ban NYC elitist scum” on the right side.

  30. Ben Rushing,

    Don’t be silly. Don’t you know that some political ideas are more equal than others?

  31. As an Oklahoman, I won’t be getting that tag any time soon. This is just another way for the state to raise a little extra money on the side, since the lottery is raising SOOO much money for the state…

  32. “They were civilian office buildings, not the goddam Alamo.”

    Yeah? The Alamo was an abandoned church mission, not a castle.

  33. This is just another way for the state to raise a little extra money on the side, since the lottery is raising SOOO much money for the state…

    Dunno about Oklahoma, but here in Michigan, all the lottery money goes FOR THE SCHOOLS! Amazingly enough, I regularly meet people who swallow that, hook line, and sinker.

  34. Texas also has anti-terror license plates. Once I read about the OK plates, I figured it was just a matter of time until it was copied, then I spotted one on a truck this past week.

  35. Yeah? The Alamo was an abandoned church mission, not a castle.

    This is one of my favorite parts of the tour. Say hello to our residents, Pedro and his wife Inez. Pedro is working on an “adobe.” Can you say that with me?

  36. Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma; where to start… surely there’s someone in government with a modicum of state pride that could stop you embarrassing yourself like this.
    The freedom of speech was intended for loftier ideals than dodgy licence plates.

  37. I’d like to get this license plate.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Oklahoma had a license plate with the towers and “Global War on Terror” on the left side, and the Empire State building and “ban NYC elitist scum” on the right side.

    It is funny seeing them expressing false sympathy over the Twin Towers being destroyed when they don’t even consider New York to be part of “real America.” In fact, I’ve seen quite a few Midwesterners and Southerners on other web forums say that NYC being nuked by terrorists would be no big loss.

  38. W said: “hey cheney dig up that operation northwoods paper we need a pearl harbor event pronto”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.