We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

What causes grown men to call each other names, grown women to shriek about the emperor’s lack of clothes, and a whole city to start playing war like kids on a playground? Cars, of course. The degree of hyperbole surrounding the mythical “war on cars” in the District has reached an unsustainable level. So I took to the cover of this week’s paper to try to take things down a notch, and to explain why, exactly, this nonexistent war has grown so heated.

For all the talk of a war on cars these days, things were actually a whole lot more warlike in yesteryear. The story goes through old news stories from the dawn of the automobile when ruffians and cops alike took aim at overzealous drivers with stones and even guns. It tells the story of an early supposed anti-car warrior in D.C. who was thanked for his efforts with slashed tires and a Molotov cocktail. And it shows how while today’s car war may be all talk, the talk can get unbelievably venomous.

So if you’re a driver, biker, walker, Metro rider, or bus user (you see where I’m going with this), hop over here or grab a copy of the print paper and give it a read.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery