5 Things to Know When You’re the Only Good Guy With a Gun

The Filling Station is a great place to fill up before a day at the range, and they have no qualms about feeding folks who exercise their 2A rights.

The Filling Station in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a great place to fill up before a day at the range, and they have no qualms about feeding folks who exercise their 2A rights.

Editor’s note: A few months back, I spent the morning in a small cafe in a rural Arkansas town with Jon Hodoway (the author of this piece) and Eric Fussell, who was running the cameras at the shoot we were headed to. The breakfast ended peacefully enough, but–as breakfasts go–it ranks pretty high up on the tension scale. You can read about that here: https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/5-ways-to-spot-concealed-carry/. What I presented in my article did not take into account Jon’s side, so he’s here to expand on the lessons learned.

~

Readers of a certain age will be able to put a voice to this famous line from radio personality Paul Harvey: “And now, the rest of the story.” If you haven’t read the story in the link above, I would encourage you to follow the link and do that first. I don’t suggest that because the facts presented herein will differ from those in David’s story, but this article offers a different perspective on the same scenario.

The Question

While sitting at the diner, David wanted to know if I was carrying. From my perspective, the question should have been “Why would anyone who has the ability to legally carry a firearm for self-defense rely on another to have a gun?”

My side of the story go like this. David, Eric, and I met at a diner for breakfast. All of us were legally allowed to carry a firearm in this state, and in this particular restaurant, which was one of the reasons I chose it for our meeting place.

Which brings me to point #1. As the Boy Scouts say, be prepared. This is, in fact, the Boy Scout’s Motto, a motto well known to all three of the Eagle Scouts sitting at the table. But only one of the Eagles was prepared.

I don’t carry a gun so I can go to bad places; I carry a gun because sometimes bad things happen to good people. In short- if you have plans to go somewhere, and you think you’re going to need a gun, go ahead and cancel your plans. That’s not a place you want to be on purpose.

It was a fairly safe choice in my mind to have a nice meal at that restaurant. What I did not anticipate was a biker gang also choosing to enjoy their morning there. Due to the layout of the restaurant, the bikes were not parked immediately in front of the doors. As such, it was difficult to adjust my expectations regarding the type of crowd we would find inside this establishment I had chosen before walking in.

I believed that my two fellow diners were armed, and I was not particularly concerned when our seating arrangement resulted in my back facing the gang in question. My seating became quite uncomfortable When David and the Eric both confessed that they were unarmed. They were in full-on Pre-victim Status, and my seating became very uncomfortable, very quickly.

What You Need to Know

The next step is really a daily ritual. #2 Know the condition of your gear. For those of us who carry everyday, we must check everything ahead of time, every day, as part of the ritual. Do you carry an extra mag? Are the batteries in lights and/or lasers working? Is there a round in the chamber? Is it an appropriate defensive round? If the answers aren’t all yeses, start again.

#3 Practice situational awareness. You are responsible for evaluating the venue, and assessing new information as situations develop around you. You are also responsible for your seating choices as they relate to potential threats, loved ones and exits. I clearly allowed myself to be set-up for failure by positioning myself with my back to the threat. Having been to the establishment before, I was fully aware of the exits and had a plan to use them.

What You Can Do

In retrospect, there are actions I could have taken to avoid this situation. I should have clearly determined whether my fellow diners were armed, and stressed upon them the need to get that way quickly if they weren’t. Both had guns near by. By CNN’s standards, we had enough guns to equip a medium sized terrorist cell. But both had come to breakfast naked, assuming they could tool up when they got to the range.

I should have done a better job of assessing the motorcycle enthusiasts that were dining there. We quickly Googled their colors, which led us to several pages that demonstrated their, shall we say, “less than tolerant” racial views. I’m sure that these beliefs may have contributed to some of their more violent tendencies that were also on proud display on the Internet. And this particular crew’s overt display of weapons–mostly ridiculously oversized knives–suggested that the weren’t shying away from the reputation.

Normally, I am not only one to take a seat with my back to the wall, but I’ll typically demand such an arrangement. On that particular day, I capitulated to my two unarmed buddies and that complacency could have cost us all dearly.

Should you share

I will quite often carry multiple guns on my person, allowing me for options. Options are never a bad thing to have. One of the options this allows me, which I think can be very valuable in certain situations, is to #4 share a gun with a trusted companion. In this situation, all I shared with my dining companions was dirty looks and harsh language. There are some situations where you may be legally allowed to carry, while your companion may not. But if the need truly arose, and you had a gun that your unarmed companion was familiar with, it would perhaps be an appropriate time to share.

For more on my sharing philosophy, take a look at my Truck: https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/everyday-carry-truck-edition/.

The Bottom Line

#5 Assume responsibility for your own safety. The only person responsible for your safety is you. If everyone at the table had practiced this one rule, I wouldn’t be writing this. Even in the company of very close friends, you have to formulate a game plan for yourself and stick to it. You can never assume that others have exercised the same due diligence that you have. If you truly care about the people in your life, you will stress upon them the importance of situational awareness and emergency preparedness.

This last point may seem a bit harsh to some, and I know it is going to sting, but I want to close with this; just because you carry a gun, you aren’t invincible. You’re not guaranteed to be a hero. You may feel good thinking you have your friend’s back, but wouldn’t it be great if he had yours, too?

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • David April 7, 2017, 11:43 am

    Most of the comments I read are of good content and well earned from experience. I believe the article was written simple for this reason, Keep thinking! We all make bad decisions at one time or another. It’s what we learn from them mostly.
    The author admitted he made a bad call in not carrying as well as assuming his partners were. Lesson learned.
    The point is this. Always keep learning, training and mostly being mentally aware.
    I train at Front Sight in Nevada at least once a year and sometimes more. I am not a bad ass or a candy ass. An accident placed me on disability. I was hurt, Not dead! I have evolved on how I do things, Improvise in life as we never know what is to come.
    I carry 24/7 unless in Government bldgs. and so on. I wear 511 Pants as they are comfortable and carry friendly. I usually wear a tourist style button down short sleeve shirt and I carry a Glock 27 .40 and 2 extra mags. When on my Heritage, I wear a shoulder holster w a Ruger P90 .45 and my Glock.
    I wish all of you a safe journey.

  • Mc September 29, 2016, 8:02 am

    \”Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet. There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.\” -Retired General James Mattis

  • BlutotheBiker September 1, 2016, 12:46 pm

    Hardcore Biker since 1978…indeed some scooter tramps and especially some 1%’er’s are better off left alone but most Bikers are good folks – even patch holders. I was never one cause I don’t take orders from anyone – ever, but most Bikers are great peeps. And yep, I am armed 24/7 and you’d be surprised how easily a Glock 23 with a Lone Wolf 357 Sig barrel and 14 rounds of “Sit Down and Shut Up” fits comfortably in my right front pants pocket. When I rode I usually wore either a shoulder holster, thus keeping the gun concealed under my vest and easily accessible, or shoved my Springfield Micro Compact 1911 .45 into my front right vest pocket…it fit like a glove!

  • mblack February 23, 2016, 11:14 am

    You were in more danger from hanging around with geriatric tackleberry’s than the “motorcycle Gang” you encountered. Bikers, 1%r’s, are not looking to start $^%$ with a bunch of old men eating breakfast for God’s sake. Biker’s beef with other bikers and are usually better with their weapons than most ccw holders and real gang members. When’s the last time you heard of a club in the midwest going around beating on people who didn’t deserve it. Just because you see club colors doesn’t mean it equals danger. Looks like you got fed and everyone made it out of the diner alive.

    • Tom Horn February 23, 2016, 8:50 pm

      mblack,

      I had friends who’s fathers were Outlaws (midwest biker club), and knew some of the Outlaws growing up. One on one, they seemed like fine folks. You didn’t want to cross them. I have to agree with Oliver’s post (about fifth up from last), you don’t want to end up between them and a rival club when something goes down. Also, see Post from AL Green (sage advice).

    • lreb June 30, 2016, 2:10 pm

      have to disagree, having had 2 separate, non-provoked ‘encounters’ with bikers during my 63 years on this earth. in both cases (Atlanta & Dallas), the 1%’ers were definitely looking to put some hurt on private citizens. despite Hollywood’s attempts to portray these “motorcycle enthusiasts” as being just like normal people, they are actually criminals, misfits, and the most degenerate of humans. one is wise to have a firearm if facing one or more of them. and they are NOT by any means super-human…they will fall just like anyone else.

  • Buster February 23, 2016, 11:06 am

    “Fear the man who owns but one gun. This man cleans his gun, loves his gun and carries his gun at all times.” I recall hearing these words from a firearms instructor back in the 90’s and it has stuck with me to this today. The point that the instructor was trying to get across to the classroom was the importance of becoming familiar with your weapon in every aspect. He was referring to range time, gun safety and gun maintenance, just to name a few. He was also talking about carrying a gun (on your person) in the same location and in the same holster every time you put it on. This must be a gun that is easy to carry and conceal, one that you will not make an excuse not to carry for some reason or another. I have personally found that a snub-nose S&W hammerless .357 scandium revolver carried IWB has worked well over the years. Yes, I do purchase my loose-fit Levi’s 2 sizes larger in the waist, but I can carry this revolver comfortably every day and I never have any excuse not to have it with me. At 50 years of age I am not the fastest runner, but maybe the little wheel gun will give me a chance to survive a skirmish. By the way, wives should have the same training and situational awareness that husbands do so that you can have each other’s backs in any given situation. We all understand that people are generally good, but it would be naive to believe that evil does not exist. Be prepared to protect your loved ones and always be prepared to make a good witness.

  • Mikial February 22, 2016, 5:50 pm

    “I believed that my two fellow diners were armed, and I was not particularly concerned when our seating arrangement resulted in my back facing the gang in question.”

    I’ll give you credit for having the intestinal fortitude to tell us this, but what the heck were you thinking? So, you’re sitting with your back to the potential assailants, unarmed, relying on someone else to protect you . . and they were not prepared to protect either you or themselves. Well, this is definitely a good example of what NOT to do, so thanks for that.

    The only time I am unarmed is if I cannot LEGALLY carry somewhere. That does not include stores with “No guns allowed” signs, but only includes government buildings or travel in a state where my CCW is not recognized. I generally always carry and EDC and a BUG and extra mags for both. I always sit where I can see the main entrance and if at all possible the other entrances. I try to position us near an emergency exit, and I watch everything.

    Paranoid? . . . . Absolutely! I haven’t survived the last 12 years doing security work in the Mideast, Africa and Asia by being complacent. And the USA is no different. Anything can happen anywhere, anytime.

    Face it, my friends, we cannot and should not ever depend on anyone else to protect us. It isn’t going to happen.

  • Craig Ramsey February 22, 2016, 12:58 pm

    I am saddened after reading this. I am more afraid of the author than the bikers in this story.
    As a life long hunter and gun owner, I suddenly understand the lefts concern and gun control position.
    I suggest the author seek professional help for paranoia, but that might make him unfit to carry.

    • R Bret February 22, 2016, 1:57 pm

      Between being parnoid and dead, I’ll take paranoid. Considering being paranoid and prepared I’d would be BOTH!

    • chinch February 22, 2016, 2:44 pm

      There are worse things than what you lefty Utopians regard as “paranoia”. Go on with your proud hunting and gun owning and leave the predators of society to us responsible paranoids.

      • Chemiker February 22, 2016, 3:18 pm

        The prejudice against bikers may have a little basis, but generally is wrong, in my experience. While I am not a biker (unless you count my 18 speed), the bikers I have known have been very good people. These included Banditos, HA, and similar. I treated them with respect, and they treated me the same way.

        On the second point, remember that even paranoids have enemies.

        • Mikial February 22, 2016, 5:58 pm

          Agreed.

          Lots of bikers come into the tattoo shop my wife and I frequent, and many of them are openly armed. Everyone laughs and talks and gets along. My experience with bikers has always been; Don’t start nothin’, won’t be nothin.

        • Roy February 22, 2016, 11:06 pm

          As a card carrying proud to call myself “Biker” I would like to point out there is no law against being a “Biker and not all “Bikers” are outlaws or dangers. It is like scotch, all Scotch is whisky, but not all whisky is scotch. Same applies here and the fact the Bikers parked their bikes in a “safe” or “appropriate” location is a strong suggestion these Bikers are just like those I ride with – we dress in leather, many of my group have scraggly beards and tattoos, they look like bad ass dudes but are some of the most dependable, honest and law abiding people in the world and my own group includes a couple Lawyers, a retired full bird Colonel, two Sergeant’s Major (retired, one Army one Marine), an insurance broker and two Registered Nurses. You may not know it to see us out on a 3 or 4 day ride, but we all clean up pretty good when we need or want to do so. Some (not all) carry when we are out and the reasoning in large part is to protect our very expensive bikes. Have you priced a late model bagger lately – the price tag exceeds the average new car and custom bobbers or choppers can top the price of new luxury car. If the author had anything other than “speculation” and stereotype based on movies about Hells Angels, etc. I may not be so quick to jump on this train.

          I agree with the basic premises – be prepare, pay attention, and if you carry to go someplace you will need your gun, change your plans. However, I would have been much more impressed with the Eagle Scout’s “situational awareness” skills had he taken the time to discover the existence of the bikes and made a situational judgement based on fact, not presumption. I will take my chances in a room full of Bikers and bandits any day, it is safer than a room full of wannabe eagle scouts with no military training that went to a 2 hour course to be certified and then write articles to promote stereotyping and paranoia any day.

          • scott February 23, 2016, 9:18 am

            To say these bikers sound just like my people means you probably didn’t read the part about how author googled colors of gang and several pages revealed their proud racism. Or maybe I just assumed racism is wrong and you are a racist. Have a good day.

    • Mikial February 22, 2016, 5:56 pm

      The difference between being “a life long hunter and gun owner” and someone who is prepared to defend themselves, their loved ones and innocents around them, is that animals don’t have guns and don’t shoot back. If you think being prepared is paranoid, then by all means please continue to wear your rose colored glasses and tell yourself nothing bad will ever happen to you. As the saying goes, I don’t have to outrun the bear, just the slowest member of my party. Well, people like you are the soft targets the bad guys love to go after.

      Good luck, but while they are robbing, raping and murdering you and your family, I’ll be getting my family to safety with my hands filled with a gun that I both know how and am ready to use.

    • Ted February 22, 2016, 9:22 pm

      I am more afraid of your mentality than the bikers. Thinking that being prepared for any possible dangerous scenario, especially in this day and age, is fodder for libs “concern and gun control position” is ludicrous and a wacko mentality. Do you own car insurance? Why? Do you look both ways before crossing a street? Why? Being prepared is always a course to take in life. Your mentality is dangerous to the safety of individuals and their families in this nation. Your mentality is what gives fodder for lib thinking.

    • Dave Hicks February 23, 2016, 9:29 am

      I live a few counties from Eureka Springs Arkansas.Albeit has been a while since I was there ,it’s has and was a famous tourist town.Arkansas may have been the Wild Wild west at one point in history but today it ‘as modern as anywhere . Even thought the Jesse James gang was known to go to Eureka Springs,I haven’t heard of a bank robbery near by n quite a while.So yes I agree keep your eyes open,don’t assume anyone dressed different is out to harm you .I live in a ranching area and you see a few cowboys, not all of them are packing six shooters some carry automatics.

  • Tom Horn February 22, 2016, 12:39 pm

    Although the word, prejudice,” has negative connotations, (eg. racism: unfounded prejudice based on race alone), prejudice is actually a useful defense mechanism handed down to us from our ancestors. It may have started when one of our ancestors became intelligent enough to realize that when you see tiger tracks, and the birds stop singing, you may want to take precautions, or become the latest Darwin Award winner.

    Almost all of us have friends, or are ourselves bikers, and are good people. To share tight quarters with a known violent biker club, and not exercise prejudice is foolhardy. In our current politically correct climate we are often asked to ignore our life saving prejudices, so as not to offend someone (eg. we randomly search 80 year old women at the airport because it would offend someone if we, “terrorist profiled.”). Don’t give in to PC-ness. It could cost you your life.

  • Little Bill February 22, 2016, 12:33 pm

    Good for you for carrying! And shame on your friends for NOT carrying.

    It boggles my mind that anyone who contributes a column for Guns America would NOT be armed in a public place where they COULD HAVE BEEN.

    They weren’t expecting trouble? They failed to imagine that they might find themselves sharing the restaurant with dangerous people? SHAME ON THEM!

    I thought it was the first rule of concealed carry… which EVERYONE knows: OF COURSE YOU CAN’T KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONNA NEED THAT GUN! THAT’S WHY YOU MAKE IT A POINT TO ALWAYS CARRY!

    I can’t help but feel I’m wasting my time to read ‘advice’ from someone who hasn’t figured out the FIRST THING about carrying.

  • SuperG February 22, 2016, 12:07 pm

    I live in Oregon and we just has SB941 rammed down out throats, so before you could have loaned your gun to your friend, he would have had to pass a background check, else you would have been breaking the law. This is what happens when you have a Democrat controlled legislature.

    • Larry February 22, 2016, 1:51 pm

      A sure fire way to correct lots of our problems is to vow never ever to again vote for anyone with a “D” behind their name.

  • Adam February 22, 2016, 11:38 am

    1. They played the game that many of us play, Who’s got a gun?
    They played the game with a biker gang.
    Same as they would with the weird dude wearing a fanny pack.
    (No one wears a fanny pack anymore, definitely a gun and a large one).
    2. If you find yourself in a gun fight and one guy is shooting at you… and you, just one guy shooing back, you only have a 50% chance of winning that gun fight. His buddies didn’t have any firearms on them, if he had 2 he would have handed over his other firearm and increased his and companion’s chances of winning the fire fight.
    Those bikers carry those weapons for the same reason the police carry weapons,
    to protect themselves. So weather it’s a Biker, a guy with a fanny pack or a motorist who has no problem be confrontational with you over your driving, Play the Game before you react and try not to get yourself killed!

    • Fake Nicety Alcala Zamora y Torre February 22, 2016, 4:53 pm

      I was recently involved in a situation where the other guy took umbrage at my driving. (I’ll admit, I cut him off unintentionally.) He pulled along side and tried to get me to roll down my window. I declined to facilitate his umbrage. This caused further disequilibrium on his part. He removed a large frame revolver from somewhere in the pickup (the cal. .40S&W I used started looking mighty small and I was praying a short barrel 12ga would magically materialize.) and began swinging it around the inside of the cab.

      Deciding discretion was the better part of valor, I ran the stop sign. He didn’t see the cop right behind him. Now I have to 150 miles to testify in court.

      My point, if you feel unsafe, JUST LEAVE. My plans always incorporate leaving if the situation calls for that. If I had been this guy, no matter how nice this family place was, I would have found someplace else that was safe to eat. I know you can’t let people like this run you out, all the time; but I would have picked a place that was more defensible and with fewer bad guys and more armed good guys.
      Oh, and I would move out of Arkansas. It’s not Arkansas I have a problem with, I just don’t get places east of the Mississippi River.

      • Roy February 22, 2016, 11:14 pm

        Have you looked at a map lately? Last time I checked, Arkansas was WEST of the Mississippi. Perhaps that is a mistake, after all, I did attend a public school in Arkansas, so my education is not the best . . . but I did learn to read a compass in the Marine Corps. I feel comfortable Sr. Drill Instructor Sgt. McLean knew what he was talking about when he very loudly and directly instructed on the subject and no matter where I go in Arkansas, that darn Mississippi River is always east of my location.

  • William Long February 22, 2016, 11:04 am

    Eureka Springs Arkansas is a popular destination for CPAs and lawyers and assorted other respectable folks who ride bikes and want to look like badasses on their weekends. Bet if you had scoped out their rides you would have seen Jap-made fake Harleys. “Colors?” Haha.

    Good article except for the alarmist attitude that inspired it. I myself probably would have struck up a conversation with a couple of the “biker gang members.” Likely if you got to know them well enough–in their own home town, not while they were out posing as thugs–you would find most of these guys possessing net worth greater than yours.

  • AL Green February 22, 2016, 10:36 am

    In the 1980’s I was crossing Texas heading East on I-10. I was wearing a cast because I had broke my ankle. My Harley had a Heel/Toe shifter so I was able ride it. I had left California and was heading to Florida when I decided to stop for gas. It was early Sunday morning & the Gas station wasn’t open yet so I sat & waited. About 10 minutes later a group of Bikers pulled in and started asking me questions about my cast so I told them I was on vacation and a women cut me off & I laid the Bike down, spending 2 days in the hospital. The conversation started out normal, but then it turned into questions about my m/c and me traveling alone. One of the Bikers walked over and sat on my Bike… Saying that my Softail was just what he was looking for. I stood up and pulled out my (Dad’s) Walter PPKS and told him to get off my bike. One of the others walked toward me so I pointed the gun at him. I was in pain from riding with my ankle in a cast, I was almost out of gas and I surly wasn’t in the mood to get robbed or beat up so I fired a round just below the approaching Biker. I told them the next round fired will be in someones chest. The Biker furthest away asked me if I really had the balls to kill someone & I replied that I didn’t have a problem with that when I was in Vietnam for 23 months!
    When the 11 Bikers decided to leave I noticed the name “Banditos” on their backs, I found out later that they were the scum of the earth and I would have been in “Deep-shit” if I wasn’t armed!
    I am 65 now & would do the same thing today, in the same situation!

  • John Nicholson February 22, 2016, 9:54 am

    Interesting (and disturbing) that so many took the writer to task for viewing the bikers with suspicion. Of course he looked upon them with suspicion, and even googled their reputation, because they looked dangerous. If you don’t take precautions when you see something that looks dangerous, well, I don’t know what to say about you. You’re unfathomable, and likely to be no protection to your family. No where did the writer say he did anything against them, just recognized the potential and was alert. And if you call the “Hells Angels” and the “Banditos” “clubs”, then I guess you consider ISIS is a “club” also. Let me ask you folks who think the writer was all wet on this. If pedophiles pretty much all dressed and acted in a certain way, and you, while not a pedophile, decided to dress and act the way a pedophile does, would you really complain that people who see you coming would get between you and their children? If you don’t want to be perceived as a thug, don’t dress like one. They have a distinctive “style” and it’s an ugly one, so why copy it? I know people in actual motorcycle clubs and it’s easy to tell the difference between them and motorcycle gangs. The gangs didn’t get their reputation undeservedly.

    • Timbo February 22, 2016, 10:38 am

      Sorry but comparing the Hell’s Angels or the Banditos to ISIS is ridiculous. These biker gangs/clubs/groups or whatever you want to call them are usually NEVER out to cause harm or mayhem to random ordinary American citizens. I have been around many of them quite often, (no I am not a gang member either) I live near Sturgis, SD and I ride a couple of custom built Harleys. Don’t misunderstand, I have always been on my alert around these types because trouble can and does break out around them- but has nearly ALWAYS been among/between them- not directed at regular people minding their own business! Are some of them criminals-yes, do they have run-ins with law-enforcement-yes, but I don’t equate that with an actual foreign TERRORIST group/army that can/will/does attack ANY Americans at random within our society. Lets keep this stuff in perspective please.

      • Fake Nicety Alcala Zamora y Torre February 22, 2016, 5:02 pm

        I’ll think about your comment the next time a biker stands over me with a .357 mag and orders me to save his obviously dead (from trauma) daughter. Then, that situation dealt with, followed us to the hospital and started waving his gun around and threatening to get his boys to kill us all if his long dead daughter wasn’t resurrected.

        One of Kugler-Ross’ well known stages of grief (Denial), only with a psychotic and a loaded firearm.

        After that, I treat all bikers as possible psychopaths and likely sociopaths. Even the accountants that ride around on weekends. You never know when they are going to pull out their laptop and try to tax you to death with it.

  • George Burns February 22, 2016, 9:50 am

    Get over it, you have seen too may movies. If a group of anything was going to attack you, it probably would have happened when you walked in. Not in the middle of the meal. Plus unless someone passed a remark, they could have been a bunch of attorneys out for a weekly bike ride. As someone who has been in several attack type situations, they go down real fast, you are unlikely to even see them coming, It sounds like your imagination got away with you

  • Drue February 22, 2016, 9:33 am

    I am the guy who reads and listens to both sides and then makes his own decisions. I have a CCW and I carry almost everywhere I go. I don!t when mowing grass, but do when I leave my home area. I carry concealed because I believe suprise is an effective deterrent. Many times you don!t have to use your weapon to neutralize a potentially dangerous situation. Why advertise that you are armed? Not the fatalist type, but have the correct weapons and sufficient ammo plus supplies to last awhile. My plan is to protect my self and family if need be, but not to live in fear. Being 66 years young, just be prepared, not a scaredy cat. NRA life member.

  • VAmtnMan February 22, 2016, 9:32 am

    Back to the wall diagonal to front entrance and kitchen door, clear view of dining area. Stay away from booths, they’re choke points that will get you killed and they’re bolted to the floor. A dive is a dive you should know one when you see one.

  • Rich February 22, 2016, 8:39 am

    Why are we supposed to believe these “bikers” had evil intent. It sounds like the author is reading a lot into this scenario that may not be there. I find his views of the world naive and not a little scary. I would stay away from him and his friends.

  • Jim February 22, 2016, 8:24 am

    As on old “SAGE” so eloquently told me one time, “If you find yourself not in CONTROL of the situation, change the situation.” That advice, along with another bit of advice, “Always know what’s going on around you,” has kept me comfortable and aware of my surroundings for many, many years. I also like the idea of always sitting with your back to the wall, just another of the ideas of knowing what’s happenin’. I’ve always imparted these ideas to my wife and our daughters as they were growing up. I believe these axioms have served us well. And…..about carryin’ and training, an unequivocal, YES!

  • Chief February 22, 2016, 6:09 am

    Good article and very good points .I watch folks all the time who pay no attention to anything going on around them . Situational awareness cannot be over stated . My firm belief is the day you do not carry is the day you will need your weapon so never be without if at all possible .Also in a situation of distress your skill set will suffer ,buying a weapon and burning a few mags is in no way real training .Training is repetition and skill is kept thru constant training . We hope we never have to use our weapon but if we do I for one plan to give my self every chance and hopefully the innocents around me the same .

  • Larry February 22, 2016, 4:33 am

    If the motorcycle “gang” was up early Saturday morning for breakfast & a ride, I doubt they were the Hell’s Angels of old. Personally, I fear the single individual who appears to be a nut job when I look at him. Fifty years experience tells me that he is the one more likely to begin shooting up the diner because his coffee is too hot.

    • Steven February 22, 2016, 6:52 am

      Bandido territory, Bandido affiliate gang. Had it have been Hells Angels, then the editor & friends would have likely have been in a bad situation.

      • Larry February 22, 2016, 1:59 pm

        I live in NE Arkansas. This mid north portion of the state & especially this town get lots of rich MC riders up from Little Rock for the weekends. I’ve been in SW Missouri & now NE Arkansas for the last 35 plus years & do not see large gangs with colors in these areas. Usually it is a group of white collar professionals riding 30, 40 even 50K rigs.

  • Chief Slowroller February 21, 2016, 12:09 pm

    did you wet your pants ? being so scared of the Bikers.
    they probably would have taken the Gun away from you and F+++ed you with it.
    you should try promoting respect as a way of life instead of Fear.

    • cary February 22, 2016, 4:51 am

      Don’t worry “Fat Jon” ( that’s your new club name) None of those guys were likely to steal your triple order of sausage gravy smothered hashbrowns…..but way to cook up a false scare for this piece. It’s also “club” not “gang” and bikers as a general rule are some the nicest ppl you will ever encounter.

    • Carl LaFong February 22, 2016, 5:56 am

      re: ” . . try promoting respect . . instead of fear”
      I speak for thousands, “Chef,” when I ask, “HUH?!”

    • Doc Holiday February 22, 2016, 6:44 am

      Labeling like Biker Gang…A lot of members of your so call biker Gangs have legal concealed weapon permits…YOU have more problems with “Street Gangs” than Biker Gangs….Or “Law Enforcement Gangs” that they think they are above the Law…Law Enforcement does not like People to Organize …witch in The Constitution states…If Your Government comes Corrupt YOU must form and take it back…So if you have enough Balls to print The Truth or”Ask “Your readers” if They feel if Their Government Is Corrupt or Not…Then label what groups or gangs or Patriots or Veterans that Still Believe in a Free Nation.

    • Oliver February 22, 2016, 7:45 am

      I grew up in a town that was disputed territory of the Warlocks and the Pagans. If you were in a bar with them, their ‘way of life’ didn’t care for you or your ‘respect’. They were killing each other, and you, if you got in the way.

  • Tom Horn February 21, 2016, 10:29 am

    Good article Jon,

    I am glad when some of my friends aren’t carrying. I harp on them all the time to take a combat pistol/rifle coarse, but they are so cheap, a pry bar wouldn’t open their wallet. It’s some of the best $ you can spend. Take a refresher with a different instructor every few years, and you’ll continue the learning process. I think some of my friends have never shot a pistol from prone, with their non-dominant hand, or from behind a barrier.

    Do you dress tactical? I see lots of guys at gun show with the tac/safari vests. I have retired my blue jeans in favor of cargo pants, but that happen long ago to forgo sitting on my wallet. You won’t find me in a pink polo shirt, but I don’t dress overtly tactical (vest, etc.). I like natural colors, but I think it’s just from being an outdoors-man all my life. I do think my camo hat, khaki and OD green clothing give people a notion that I may be carrying. Especially city folks. Dressing tactical can be a double edge sword. It can serve as a deterrent to those planning mischief, or it can attract unwanted attention (shoot that guy first).

    Lastly. I can’t remember where I learned it from, but we learned it early in life. I you find yourself in a bad neighborhood/situation, walk with your hands in your jacket pockets. Bad guys will not know if you are carrying (hopefully you are, and it’s in your pocket, Ruger LCR w/ Nemesis holster, etc.), but you’ll look like you are.

    • Retired Navy Spook February 22, 2016, 9:29 am

      Tom, I’m also a former jeans guy who switched to cargo pants several years ago. I retired and quit wearing suits and sport coats, decided to replace my old S&W J frame with a compact semi-auto that I could carry in my pocket, since I’m not a baggy clothes, un-tucked shirt kind of guy. I couldn’t find a semi-auto that was comfortable to carry in jeans, not even baggy mom jeans. I saw an on-line ad for La Police Gear’s own line of rip-stop tactical pants for $20. I ordered a pair in Khaki, (they offer something like 8 colors) liked them so well I now have 6 pairs, and, unless I’m going to a wedding or funeral, that’s pretty much all I wear. They’ve got pockets — lots of pockets. You carry a wallet, cell phone, knife, pistol and extra mags? They’ve got pockets for all of them. The cell phone pockets (2) in front are also big enough to hold 2 full-size, double stack mags in each one, The cargo pockets are big enough to each hold two 30 round AR mags, and The front pockets are big and deep enough to fully conceal a Glock 19. I normally carry a Sig P938 in a nylon pocket holster. It’s comfortable in any position, even in the car, and I’ve practiced and practiced until I can consistently draw it, switch off the safety and get a round off in under 2 seconds.

      One of the most important take-aways I got from this article, and something that every concealed carry holder should stick in the memory hole is this:

      I don’t carry a gun so I can go to bad places; I carry a gun because sometimes bad things happen to good people.

      • Cyrus February 22, 2016, 1:56 pm

        “I don’t carry a gun so I can go to bad places; I carry a gun because sometimes bad things happen to good people.”
        I Agree – kinda like the way I think, “It is better to have a gun and Not need it than to Need a gun and not have it”

        • Tom Horn February 22, 2016, 9:57 pm

          Yeah, Cyrus,

          And don’t come unarmed to a knife fight,
          Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight (I don’t agree with this one, see: James Bowie)
          And bring enough Gun.

          Like the Texas Ranger, who was asked by the incredulous woman, when he showed up at the wedding with his side iron strapped to his hip: Why are you wearing a pistol? Are you expecting trouble?
          Ranger: No, Mam. If I was expecting trouble, I’d a brought my rifle.

    • Say What? February 23, 2016, 12:09 am

      Putting your hands in your pockets in a neighborhood like you describe is probably the best way to die. People that live there are struggling and shoot each other over saying the wrong thing to someone that they deem “disrespectful”.

      Do you really think that they would hesitate one second to come up and put you in check? They are not the slightest bit afraid of you.

      Who ever gave you that advice has obviously never spent any real time in “those neighborhoods”. It’s a good way to be dead. While your at it why don’t you put your hood up if your jacket has one. At the very least before you put your hands in your jacket and play pretend, be sure to pull your hat as low as you can get it as well. Be hearing about you in the evening news soon I’m sure of that.

      • Tom Horn February 23, 2016, 3:18 pm

        I grew up in those neighborhoods. Have survived very well, thank you.

        You must always decide what the situation calls for. But, most of the time you must act from a position of power, or you will appear a victim. Just use your brain, as the situation calls for.

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