Five Things To Learn from the Biker Gang Gunfight in Waco

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.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Excaliber May 27, 2015, 5:29 pm

    This article shares the same stupid comment that has been widely publicized in all reports of the gun fight…

    “It is one of the most violent scenes I’ve seen in my 34 years as a police officer in Waco.”

    Apparently, he slept through the feds murdering 90+ at the Branch Davidian Compound. Or, maybe, it doesn’t count because it was the feds doing the murdering.

    Then there’s this:

    “Pretend for a moment you’re eating lunch with your family at Twin Peaks”

    Who takes their family to lunch at a Hooter-look-alike?

    • Vic February 16, 2018, 10:44 am

      Excalibur your analysis is sound..

      You can lead a horse to water…… but you can’t make a man think…

  • Spence May 27, 2015, 8:21 am

    From everything I’ve read this was no “gunfight” and the bloody violence was unleashed by the police. It is even being reported that the police killed nine of the nine killed; that it was like shooting fish in a barrel for them. Anything, however, can be spun to favor statist rhetoric in the newmurka. May your chains rest lightly upon you.

  • jedagi May 26, 2015, 11:10 pm

    Here, Applebee’s is almost as bad. Weekend night its full of a particular race of people that cant seem to congregate with out fighting and tearing up stuff.
    A good place for a napalm strike.

  • mrsmup May 26, 2015, 10:43 pm

    This whole thing started over wearing a banner that read TX. on the jacket/ colors. One group thinks they “own” TX. News flash, this is America, no organization can own a state….it belongs to “The People of The United States.” You don’t like a island no one lives on.They are only gangs of psychotic losers. The run in was planned in advance. That is the worst kind of situation to be stuck in. Get out as soon as you get that creepy, uh-oh feeling.

  • beachhawk May 26, 2015, 9:02 pm

    Excellent advice, but just good common sense. Carrying a gun does not make you “Dirty Harry” even if you are packing a .44 magnum. Avoiding a gunfight is always preferable to getting involved in one. Even if you prevail, you may be to be up to your ears in investigations and likely litigation even if you are not the aggressor.

  • Don May 26, 2015, 8:20 pm

    What we know is folks with common sense never present in the first place. Because law abiding folks were armed the death toll was far less than it might of been.

  • Splummer May 26, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Bet most of them were murdered by your hero law enforcement officers.

  • joe May 26, 2015, 5:10 pm

    There is another side to this story or maybe a few sides more and I think it is irresponsible to just take the word or the mainstream media when the investigation is not over. The other sides tell that there were no shells found on the floor of the supposed gang members. Also this was not so much a gang as a bike club and in all the people they arrested there are engineers and a retired cop. This could have been a government hit on what they classify as grassroots movement and people who just want to be independent from the government. Meanwhile, our criminal federal government keep adding laws behind our backs that will make every Christian, homesteader and any independent thinking individual a “terrorist”, while our muslin president keeps opening the door to 5 million immigrants and among then a large group of muslims that want to destroy us from within. I what expecting from gunsamerica to see all these other sides and investigate them before parroting what the rest of the media and the government want everyone to think. There are just too many of there operations in the recent years to model the mind and laws toward a complete domination of the people. And then all the “victims” can not be found , or disappear , along with any evidence to know what really happened. People are so blind, they live in whatever media tells them. 25 years ago, a student in politics told me, “the one who will control the power in the future will be that one who can control information” . Now I have seen this being build up and proven again and again.

  • DaveGinOly May 26, 2015, 1:03 pm

    Re: Assume Everyone is Armed
    I don’t like or trust babies. Seriously, babies and the various devices used to carry them can be used to conceal weapons.

    • Excaliber May 27, 2015, 5:40 pm

      In the movie “Federal Marshalls” with Tommy Lee Jones, the baby had a sawed off shot gun.

      I don’t trust babies.

  • TPSnodgrass May 26, 2015, 11:53 am

    Self-identified “outlaw” motorcycle gangs, are indeed a severe threat to anyone, regardless of affiliation who looks at these slugs sideways. I find it outrageous that some people want to blame the “Feds”(who in general cannot find their collective posteriors with either hand much less both, even with their heads firmly implanted into their own rectums. This is giving the “Feds” far too much credit for organization, intelligence collection, and positive ability to prosecute self-identified “outlaw” motorcycle gangs.
    Nope, the real people responsible for the Waco GoatRope, are the “outlaw” motorcycle gangs themselves. To insinuate, use innuendo or suggest that somehow, these self-identified”outlaws”, are not completely and wholly responsible for this cluster, is beyond stupidity. These lowlifes got exactly what they wanted. While it is unfortunate that so many chose so willingly to fight each other and law enforcement all at once, their actions are despicable. To say otherwise is the height of hypocrisy and faux-moral outrage. The “outlaw” motorcycle gangs are thugs/scumbags, as their own public actions prove.(No matter how many bicycles they buy at WalMart at Christmas time, they still are willing hardcore violent thugs.

  • A. Friend May 26, 2015, 9:28 am

    Horrific event! I noticed that everyone is trying to blame the owners of the restaurant. First blame should go to the culprits, the bad people who committed these acts. Next, the cops are off the hook. Yes they have control of the local media. Yes they are spinning a story (yes it’s their private version of what happened). BUT they had a responsibility to protect and serve. So two months ago they warned the owner. Then they asked the owner to close his business to a possible problem event. My first question is where were the undercover police in the bar and outside ready to prevent a problem. Serve and Protect, not report and clean up. It appears to me that the police wanted to close this Twin Peaks, PERIOD! What should the owner had done. Close his business and then make no money? Deny access to the bikers and get sued for refusing to provide service?

    Let me put it in a way most working people can understand. I am the police and I come to you and say I suspect that there will be an incident at your work in a week and you should not go to work that day. By the way, you don’t get paid for not being at work and you can’t take a vacation or sick day. That would work out well.

    I know thousands of police. I worked for 12 years with them. Most are very good people who try hard. Two major problems they will not admit to: 1. They are not taught to serve and protect but to report and observe after the fact. Yes that includes sitting in their cars waiting for speeders to pass by. How about driving around and observing hundreds of violations in action? 2. They are under great pressure to keep the system the way it is. To keep their jobs, to keep things moving along. Many police departments are now revenue collectors for their politicians.

    Lastly the store owner is not fully off the hook. He should have taken the extra step to contact one of the many federal agencies that want to make a bust of that magnitude. Yes there are feds that would have loved to be in that establishment before the trouble started and then had the ability to arrest the lot of them.

    Wise up people. Look at everything not just what one group tells you. Next it could be your house, your neighborhood or your favorite restaurant. Do your own homework and don’t take a single point as fact.

  • Dj May 26, 2015, 9:17 am

    Shame on you guns america! Shame on you for posting a piece of garbage and calling it a “lessons learned”! Shame on you for condemning people before you have the facts! Shame on you for persecuting AMERICAN’s exercising their 2AR right guess its s good thing no one is shooting you for using your 1st AR! Shame on you!

    • sevenheart May 26, 2015, 10:34 am

      What? I didn’t read any condemnation, only situational awareness and the intelligence to GTFO when things start to smell bad, not hang around for amusement and maybe a stray round or two to come your way and not to die over something as meaningless as a parking space.

  • Tony2Wolves May 26, 2015, 8:59 am

    Video shows only 1 person fired a hand gun after he came out of Twin Peaks (Twin Peaks Video). After firing 1 shot he ran back into Twin Peaks. Looks like the Feds had their man fire the first shot then leave. The Fed are the hidden group behind Waco. Snipers were Feds and killed most of the dead with center mass head shots. You cannot do center mass head shots if there is a mass fight going on with people moving. I call BS on the Waco PD spokesman version of what happened. He said he wished he could show everyone the video so we would know who was doing what. What is stopping the release of all video so we can know what really happened? Waco PD even arrested members of the Christian Motorcycle Club. If you had a CHL and had your and gun you were arrested by Waco PD for Prohibited Weapon and Organized Crime since OC Felony Charge invalidated your CHL. The Waco Biker Killings took the focus off JADE HELM 15, gave congress a reason to reverse their cut to DHS funding, and pass the Patriot Act Extension! Waco PD bought into the Fed BS. The cops had over 2 weeks to plan what to do and the best they could do was jump out of vans and start shooting high powered rifles in a high density area. I also call BS on police not being able to enter or be on Twin Peaks property, since Twin Peaks is licensed to sell alcohol! Any TABC License location is open to LEO inspection at any time. If you have no law enforcement background the story sounds good but from a retired criminal justice person this is all BS! By the way the Reported Threat from the Black Widow Biker Gang is BS also. The Black Widow Biker Gang is from some old movies and does not exist. There is a Spoof Facebook Page for the black Widows. The Black Widows were a bunch of bumbling dopes in the movies. This go to show you how stupid the Feds think we are!

    • rabrooks July 20, 2015, 11:27 am

      Yes repeat 11 killed! 11 headshots! A wild brawl with 100+ people, no gut-shot, no arms or legs! The cops were there in force, and waiting. The “one shot” was the signal. The cops had no plan for “self defense”. They were there to kill! Looking at all the weapons collected, if the bikers were really violent, those few cops would have been done! Every f’n one of ’em! They have sealed their own fate. Next time………

  • Hilly Tilbert May 26, 2015, 7:57 am

    Silly people, tricks are for kids. Watching this made for TV drama unfold on your view screen, suspending disbelief, getting angry or frustrated. This is another “event” produced for your consumption and the sooner you start asking “is this real or just theatre?”, the sooner, you can ignore this and get on with living well. That is the one thing the dividers fear the most.

  • Jay May 26, 2015, 6:41 am

    I although believe the Waco incident could have been avoided if the establishments management would have had a bit of common sense and said sorry no biker bar day , it’s canceled, especially knowing that some of the known biker gang catagory was going to show up at this event! I also know that the media and others who write about this incident, love to lump all motorcyclist into the biker gang category just because they wear a vest of something similar! A motorcycle club now becomes a gang and everyone is to stay clear, all bikers are bad all of a sudden and violent! Not True! If anyone out there who knows some of these individuals also know they are Fathers and Mothers etc…, they work for a living and are not a part of the DOJ’s motorcycle gangs list who are on that list for known drug and other criminal activity! Many of us wear colors as they are called and one of which that do are Veterans who ride motorcycle’s, others are Police, Fire fighters, Harley owners group and religious oriented clubs among others but what the media and others now are making out to be bad to the bone lumping them all together! Many of the clubs are now being warned Not to wears thier colors because of this incident and how it looks upon all of us! I commend the police for not letting this get out of hand but then again how many of the police saw the chance for some target practice with no chance of prosecution when things went south? We see it more and more in the news how many in the law enforcement agencies are just, if not more, in the gang mentality mind set, or I’m the law and it’s do what I say! I am not saying all law enforcement agencies are bad but then again neither all motorcyclist or motorcycle clubs which are now being lumped into the gang category. All common sense is gone these days especially in the media! If it isn’t race related it’s all about the violence and the stories that can be had because of a bad situation!

    • Smitty May 26, 2015, 8:22 am

      To keep things in prospective, no civilians where killed. Unlike the massacre that happened in Waco in 1993 that held a group of Christians hostage followed by the murder of woman and children. Of course I’m talking about the criminal gang known as the ATF.

      • Damon May 26, 2015, 11:26 am


        A valid point. ATF had arrest warrants for Jim Koresh and two other Branch Davidian members on suspicion of weapons violations. Mr. Koresh was often in Waco, and could have been picked up peacefully on the street, and the same with the other two. Instead, ATF tried to set an example, and killed dozens of innocents by besieging what was known to be a fortified, armed compound. This sorry episode, and the Ruby Ridge incident, are the legacy of Janet Reno’s time as director of ATF.

        • Larry May 26, 2015, 3:09 pm

          Don’t leave out Slick Willie &, by extension, the Evil incarnate Hillary, AKA, the Arkansas Broad Beam Hildebeast.

        • Mark Reynolds May 26, 2015, 10:51 pm

          Janet Reno was Attorney General, not the head of the ATF.

        • Excaliber May 27, 2015, 5:33 pm

          Janet Reno was the Attorney General of the United States, not the director of the ‘ATF.’

          The BATFE carried out the initial raid. Then handed it over to the FBI, who massacred the civilians.

      • WillB May 26, 2015, 12:33 pm

        Wrong, so far we know that 1 (maybe more) civilians were killed and we know that a lot of the shooting (including the one that killed the “civilian” was done by the police).

        • Marquita Martin May 26, 2015, 10:40 pm

          True, it appears to be a case of the police making a tense situation even worse with their on-steroids handling of the situation.

    • Dave Emery May 26, 2015, 5:40 pm

      One-percenters killing one-percenters. Business as usual and a hazard of the gig.Why all the uproar? Sounds like club business to me. Bandito’s can be quite the party crashers and they don’t have much of a sense of humor about being disrespected. I guess neither do the Cossacks. Honor is still important in some circles. They’ll work it out themselves I’m pretty sure.

    • don May 26, 2015, 10:47 pm

      Harley Owners Group or HOG is not a Motorcycle Club it is a riding group. Motorcycle clubs have colors and they are earned. Those colors cannot be purchased and worn by anyone simply because they want to wear them.

      Anyone can buy the HOG patch and put it on their vest or jacket. Just like Gold Wing Riders Association (GWRA)

  • Will Drider May 19, 2015, 10:23 pm

    Good points.
    Waco: 9 dead, 18 injured. Over 100 weapons found “around the area”; types not disclosed. 160 people arrested.
    Not to minimize the losses of those involved but all in all pretty light totals for 160 bikers whos reputations preced them. The Office giving the press brief makes the carnage seem like WW III happened there. We know the carnage was much worse with one and two person massacres carried out by other cold blooded criminals.

    On the other hand the Texas Police took control of this violent massive gang fight (with guns, knives clubs and chains being used) and arrested 160. Baltimore allowed the city to burn. The GOOD Citizens of Baltimore citizens should take note.

    • DrewfromOz May 26, 2015, 5:58 pm

      Really? These guys were too busy killing each other to worry about breaking stuff.
      Comparing Baltimore to this is a pretty long bow to draw….

  • Gregory Newman May 19, 2015, 5:43 am

    The Confederation of Clubs Deeply Saddened by

    May 17, 2015 Waco, Texas Motorcycle Club Incident at a local Confederation of Clubs meeting

    The National Coalition of Motorcyclists and all of its local affiliates are deeply saddened by the incident that occurred on May 17, 2015, and are praying for those involved and their families. Immediately prior to the start of a Texas affiliate’s monthly meeting, a motorcycle club that was NOT a member of the Confederation of Clubs arrived with over 50 people and attacked members of the Confederation.

    The National Coalition of Motorcyclists and its local affiliates are dedicated to peacefully promoting and protecting Constitutional rights, promoting fair treatment of its members by law enforcement, educating its members on current laws, open and peaceful communications between clubs, conflict mediation, and supporting various charitable endeavors. We are grieving.

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