I bumped into a guy at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon. Literally.
We were both trying to read our wife's chicken-scratch that passes for a list. I'm pretty sure "beer" wasn't on either list, but that's the aisle where the man-to-man collision took place.
As I looked up to apologize, I saw a large guy wearing a biker's vest flying colors.
I have a long history with bikers, mostly positive. That would also include history with some of the one-percenters, also known as the outlaw motorcycle gangs. I've never really had any problems or issues with them.
Bikers generally just want to be left the hell alone. I can relate to that completely.
Bikers have their own lifestyle. I can relate to that.
Bikers will also stand solidly for something they believe in and I absolutely relate to that.
The overwhelming majority of bikers we see on the roads and bi-ways and highways of America are not the outlaw one-percenter bikers. Instead, they are simply lovers of the open road, the roar of their Harley and the fellowship of like-minded individuals.
The biker I ran into was sporting colors that read "Bikers Against Child Abuse."
Our church had a chapter of Bikers for Christ and I'm familiar with a number of Christian fellowship biker groups. Every year I contribute to the local bikers' ride for the Marine Corps' Toys For Tots program.
I asked this guy about his colors and he unhesitatingly told me about the organization. He didn't talk like a PhD (thank goodness), he didn't stand like an apologetic sissy (at around 6' 4" and extremely fit, that would've been hard to do) and he explained the group's mission quite well.
I asked for a website address and he invited me to follow him outside when we finished shopping. In the parking lot, he gave me a brochure.
Back at the house, I punched up the website and was amazed. Bikers Against Child Abuse is a worldwide organization with chapters not only all across the United States, but all across the world.
Well, why not? Child abuse is not specific to just the U.S. or any one country.
Now, lest you think that BACA is a group of badass bikers looking to go and kick the crap out of the slimy weasels who get their rocks off beating and abusing children, that is not the case.
The mission and operation is far bigger.
In fact, the first line in the brochure the biker gave me states "We are child support focused. We are not a vigilante group. "We do not search out and hunt down bad guys, nor do we pursue those who are under suspicion of hurting children."
Instead, BACA works within the system and stands as "guardians" over and with children who have been abused and who are scared or terrified as a result. It is frightening enough for an adult to testify in regards to having been beaten or raped or assaulted. Imagine the sheer terror a child faces.
But imagine two colors-flying bikers, who fear nothing, standing on each side of you, with a gentle hand on your shoulder and a quiet whisper in your ear assuring you that NOBODY is ever going to hurt or harm or even scare you while they are around.
That's what real men do.
The members of BACA do not go looking for a fight; rather they stand shoulder to shoulder with abused children assuring them that there will be no further harm coming to them.
These men stand for something. They're not vigilantes. They're not knee-cappers. They are far from it. In fact, the individual chapters conduct a rather lengthy, in-depth background investigation on each prospective member, then require a full year's worth of riding with the chapter before membership is considered.
That's a better vetting process than we have for most cops, let alone politicians.
And yet, there will be those who see a couple of Harleys roaring down the street with riders flying colors and the inevitable shaking of the head and "scumbags" will be on the tip of the tongue.
Think again. These "scumbags" are real men and they are standing for children who are abused by lesser men--men who often look at the bikers as "beneath them."
Funny how society, left to itself, often works.
Bikers Against Child Abuse is a 501(c)3 organization which means donations are tax-deductible. I am now helping support our local chapters because gas is expensive.
But not nearly as expensive as the damage that fear and injury does to our children.
Bikers Against Child Abuse. Real men worthy of our respect and support.