Taxi cab drivers hate Uber. Local governments with politicians who get lots of donations from the taxi cartel, hate Uber. Liberals love using Uber but still "hate" it because the drivers are not employees but instead, contractors. They are contractors that get 80% of their fares but such trivialities are of no concern to the likes of the left. They see a successful business model and their first thought is, "How do we regulate that business?"
Unfortunately, in the wake of an Uber driver apparently involved in the shooting deaths of people in Kalamazoo Michigan, we will undoubtedly be treated to the typical phalanx of calls for increased regulation despite the driver, Jason Dalton, passing a background check for Uber.
Suspected Kalamazoo, Michigan shooter Jason Dalton reportedly works as an Uber driver, and even took on fares during his alleged rampage.
The chilling detail comes from 24 Hour News 8 in Michigan, which cited local police. Dalton reportedly dropped off a group at a Fairfield Inn in Texas Township, Michigan that was right next door to the Cracker Barrel restaurant — the third shooting location — where five people were gunned down on Saturday evening.
Uber later confirmed Dalton's status as a driver for the company in an official statement, shared with 24 Hour News 8. The station's own Luke Stier, who has provided ongoing updates via Twitter, noted that Dalton "had passed a background check."
Police are investigating reports from the Fairfield Inn, including an eyewitness. A woman at the hotel reportedly went outside to investigate after she heard gunfire and saw the suspect driving away from Cracker Barrel at "a normal rate of speed," the station stated.
More from Uber:
"We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We are reaching out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can."
This is a horrible story and one that will no doubt get increased attention as time goes on. However, there is nothing to suggest so far that anything Uber did or did not do helped contribute to this happening. This Reuters story says police have confirmed Dalton had no criminal record, easily explaining why he passed Uber's background check, a requirement in order to be a driver.
The concern I have is this will blown out of proportion. This page has some interesting statistics. Back in 2014, Uber says there were one million daily trips. There are over 160,000 people who drive for Uber. Uber operates in 400 cities.
There cannot be this kind of footprint by a company without issues. Yes, even deadly ones. Banks have security guards, cameras, vaults, etc. and yet 5,000 banks are robbed every year. Such incidents should not be exploited by idiot politicians in order to satisfy a vested interest group.
I hope I am wrong and the furthest this goes is the prosecution and conviction of Jason Dalton. But I won't hold my breath.
Image via Freestocks