Nine people were killed and 18 people were injured Sunday in a motorcycle gang gunfight outside a restaurant in Waco, Texas.
Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton described the incident to local media, thusly, “It is one of the most violent scenes I’ve seen in my 34 years as a police officer in Waco.”
Yikes! It was an apparent bloodbath at Twin Peaks, the name of the restaurant. Police recovered over 100 weapons from the surrounding area, including chains, clubs, knives and guns. And at least 165 people were arrested, the majority of which have ties to five different biker gangs. Thankfully, no civilians or police were injured or killed.
Needless to say, it was quite the crime scene. And it got me thinking, what can one learn from this scenario? Well, here are five lessons to take away:
1. Avoid Large Groups of Nefarious Characters
Based on reports, it appeared that the establishment was a known biker hangout. And that the dispute may have been over a parking spot. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t want to go to a place where one is bound to get killed over a stupid parking space.
What I mean to say is that, yeah, I’ve watched the television show “Sons of Anarchy.” And yeah, motorcycle gangs are cool in theory (i.e. in cinema, on TV) but that doesn’t mean I want to be around one in real life. Same holds true for mobsters or any other group of shady individuals. When possible, steer clear of folks with a bad reputation. If you know where they congregate, don’t go there. Go to Applebees instead.
2. Leave Before the Trouble Starts
Duh! This is a no-brainer that goes hand and hand with number one. Assuming you don’t know the area and end up going to a place that feels off (your spidey senses start tingling), leave.
Think about it. Pretend for a moment you’re eating lunch with your family at Twin Peaks and all of a sudden hordes of bikers pull up to the restaurant. Do you stick around to see what happens? What kind of food they order? Nope. Not a chance. Perhaps on a normal day or by the numbers, 9 out of 10 times, nothing will happen. But do you really want to be around for that 10th time? Don’t think so. Grab the check from the waitress, a few to-go boxes and skedaddle.
3. Assume Everyone is Armed
Maybe I’m weird, but I go through life assuming almost everyone is armed. Not babies, but everyone else. It’s a prepare for the worse but hope for the best type of mentality. So, if I’m in a crowded situation, I’m always concerned about (a) Who is behind me? and (b) Where are the exits?
If there are people behind me, chances are they’re going to beat me to the draw because I can’t see them. Therefore, I want to know how many there are at my six and if/where I can situate myself to minimize exposure to them. Just makes sense. Get to a place were you can hopefully see everyone. Now, it’s not always possible, but when it can be done, do it.
With respect to the exits, you never know when a situation will “pop off,” so to speak. But when it does, it often happens very quickly, in which case you want to move out of the danger zone or line of fire as fast as possible. Without knowing exactly where and how far away the exits are, this will be a problem. Always search for and find the exits.
4. Numbers Matter
Look, I may have a handgun on me with a couple of extra magazines, but in a situation where there are hundreds of people with various weapons, I’m not only outgunned, I’m outnumbered. I’m already starting at a great disadvantage. In this scenario, flight over fight is ultimately the best strategy for surviving.
5. Don’t Get Involved.
If someone at the grocery store or at a restaurant takes my parking space, I might bitch to my girlfriend about it in the privacy of our vehicle — but I ultimately let it go. I don’t let the minor offense ruin my day. Overall, I tend to ignore rude people. Life is so much better this way.
I’d highly suggest everyone adopt this mindset. Ignore rudeness. Don’t get involved in a confrontation over something trivial, e.g. a parking spot. Ask yourself this, are you willing to die for it? If not, let it go and don’t get involved.
So there you have it, five lessons one can learn (or help be reminded of) from the biker gunfight in Waco, Texas: avoid sketchy people, leave before trouble starts, assume everyone is armed, assess the relative size of the threat, and don’t get involved unless you absolutely have to.