Company says the bullet holes are a great accessory and give vehicles a different look.
COMPTON, Cal. — Some people are turning to an expensive and controversial way of customizing their cars: paying to riddle your car with bullet holes.
"Since they’re real you don’t have to worry about anyone flipping you the finger on the street. They’ll know better," says the company’s website RiddleMeThis.com, which offers a customized house-call service to apply .50-caliber and smaller .22-caliber holes to the family sedan or minivan.
"Dude" Rock, 25, hires family members and members of his organization to customize a customers car, often while they are at home or at night. He said he’s working his way through nursing school and has "accessorized" dozens of cars in the Compton area since 2001.
"They’re a great accessory," Rock said. "I guess it’s just for the look, it’s like a fad, y’know. I honestly don’t think it will fade, I mean, my business is doing nothing but growing. I personally shot up three cars last Friday night."
"My cousin Rudy, down the way, he’ll shoot a car up anywhere. I mean, fenders, windshields, doors, even tires, because authenticity is what he’s all about. He’ll do it all."
On their website, they announced their intention to expand their service to other areas.
"Yeah, now that we’ve tapped out the local market, we’re looking to branch out into different styles, you know, different designs because I’m an artist, not just a business man. Maybe buckshot or somethin’ in the rural areas, and semi-automatics for that urban look, if you know what I’m sayin’. Yeah, I’ll even shoot our name or corporate logo into the doors, or into the hood or roof. And the holes go pretty good with a ground effects package."
"This new look clearly has benefits for me, ’cause it’s an all cash business and brings in a lot of loose cash."
"This is clearly an expression of the rage and anger at capitalism by the ghetto in artistic form. This is modern, anti-capitalist, post-modern revolutionary art at its finest," said urban culture theorist, author and Rap poet, Harvard Professor Cordell Johnson, who was asked to comment on this growing trend. "Its a beautiful thing, if you think about it."
Danielle Merton, 21, was surprised one morning to find her 1994 Honda Accord riddled with 10 bullet-holes.
"A lot of people ask me about them and why my car got shot up," Merton said Monday. "I don’t know, but I like it. I’m going to try to be different from now on, too. My car getting shot up was the best thing to happen to me all year."
Merton, who works for a rubber and plastics manufacturer, said it was cheaper than, say, customized wheel rims.
"And it didn’t even cost me anything. Other people have to pay thousands of dollars to a bunch of thugs when their car is shot up" she said.
However, not everyone welcomes the new fad.
A random passerby suggested that these people shouldn’t be allowed to do this. "I don’t know why someone just doesn’t come up with, like stickers or something that you could put on instead. I can see shootin’ up someone else’s car, you know, but why shoot up your own?"
"It sends the wrong message to our youth," said Gregor Winn, Director of the Victims’ Deserve Rights Foundation in Maryland. "It’s like a badge of honor. It sends the wrong message. What’s next — drive by shootings? I mean, their just running around shooting up people’s cars and extorting money. What’s wrong with this country?"