An ounce of prevention…

Life inevitably includes pain, but much of the pain human beings experience in life is self-inflicted. As a species, human beings have a remarkable tendency to do things that are incredibly stupid because we are often quite terrible at considering the potential consequences of our current course of action. Texting while driving is a good example. I have watched people piloting a 2.5 ton missile at 80 miles per hour weaving all over the interstate and placing themselves as well as dozens of other people in mortal peril because they cannot bear to let a friggin’ text go unread and unanswered for a few damn minutes. I don’t think these people are mentally deficient. They are just people. People have a bad habit of becoming frighteningly casual with dangerous situations if those dangerous situations have not produced consequences for them. The habitual texter behind the wheel has done this particular activity dozens, hundreds, possibly even thousands of times without having a crash. That experience will trump whatever rational understanding of the dangers they may have because those dangers are abstract. Theoretical. It doesn’t become real to them until they actually experience the consequences of that behavior…and by then it is too late.

Most people also have no real experience with criminal violence. It’s an abstract, theoretical danger. Most people, as a result, are pretty poor at deciphering clues that they are about to become the victims of violence or that they are in uncomfortably close proximity to some criminal violence that is about to take place. You have to be awake enough to see things, knowledgeable enough to recognize what they are, and proactive enough to avoid the danger or you will find yourself smack dab in the middle of it.

That’s what happened to a bunch of people in Waco, Texas last week. When the sky gets dark and the wind picks up and you see streaks of lightning jumping between the clouds, it’s an indicator that conditions are ripe for a tornado. Sometimes there are abundant warning signs that conditions are ripe for a swirling torrent of human stupidity and it would be best to do whatever possible to remove yourself from the area where the funnel cloud of idiocy will touch down. If you are heading to, say, get a bite to eat at your favorite restaurant prominently featuring waitresses with exposed midriffs, fake tans, and industrial strength pushup bras and as you are pulling in you notice a whole bunch of motorcycles parked outside…well…that would be a clue that some stupid could go down here.

There are people in this world who enjoy motorcycles, and then there are “bikers”. I have nothing against people who enjoy motorcycles. I like cars and guns and guitars and I’ve made social connections with other like minded people around those enthusiasms. Nothing wrong with that. “Bikers” don’t do that. Bikers fancy themselves to be some sort of badass with a special dispensation to inflict themselves on the rest of the world and seek out like minded jackasses so they can get their anti-social rocks off. Stuff like this:


It’s pretty damned arrogant to believe you have the right to shut down an entire freeway…and yet these douchebags, emboldened by their numbers, did just that. Of course, nobody was hurt in that incident so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that sort of asshole (yes, I said it) is extremely easy to set off:

I’m sure many of you remember that incident, where what the NYPD termed a “rolling riot” led to an innocent man being dragged out of his vehicle by a bunch of dudes with criminal records and beaten senseless in front of his wife and children.

So when I say that seeing a large gathering of bikes some place is a good indication of the potential for a problem, there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. Prior to the Waco incident making national news I doubt that most people had heard of the Bandidos or the Cossacks or a number of other smaller gangs (because that’s what they are, folks) that showed up to this “summit.” If you did know what a “Bandido” is and you walked into this restaurant and saw a bunch of “Bandido” vests, making a hasty exit would be priority 1 because the “Bandidos” are a bunch of violent thugs.

It seems like most people in the restaurant and in the surrounding establishments (this thing happened in a shopping center), like the texter mentioned earlier, didn’t recognize more than a theoretical danger indicated by the bikes and the dudes in vests and as a result they got to duck gunfire and try to shield their children from stray bullets as these jackasses played Sons Of Anarchy on a Sunday afternoon.

The “1%” symbol of the Bandidos gang. The old saying goes that 99% of motorcyclists are decent law-abiding people. Self-styled outlaw gangs started proudly wearing the “1%” patch to indicate that they aren’t.

I’m sure a percentage of the people who were in close proximity to that nonsense were blissfully unaware of any potential danger. A larger percentage, I’ll wager, saw the warning signs and did nothing. They saw the bikes, the vests, the 1% patch, and various other indicators that probably gave them a vague sense of discomfort and danger…but they did nothing. They likely did nothing because their rational mind immediately started making excuses for the situation. Most of us have been taught all our lives that you can’t judge people based on appearances because it’s wrong. Perhaps you’ve even been forced by your employer or school to attend some sort of “diversity” seminar where some dude making 10 grand a speech cheerily tells you that you can’t make any character judgments about someone who has a face tattoo or you’re a bad person.

I have news for you, folks…somebody who carves a swastika into his face is communicating some very important information about himself to the rest of the world and you would be a damned fool to ignore it. Believe it or not the survival of your ancestors often depended on making very quick judgments about the likelihood of other people to kill or severely injure them based on just looking at them. They got good at it, and it’s a useful survival skill that has been passed down to you. Use it.

That vague sense of danger you sometimes feel is the part of your brain tasked with keeping you alive warning you that something doesn’t seem kosher with the situation you are seeing. It is impossible to have complete information about the environment you are in or the people around you in it. Thankfully you generally do not need complete information about everything to make a useful judgment about it. Trust your instincts and act to avoid the potential problem when you get that feeling we’ve all had at one time or another.

Don’t make excuses for the situation. Don’t start rationalizing it. Don’t start convincing yourself that you’re probably just being paranoid and paving the way to keep you on your current course of action that will take you right up to those two dudes on the street who are seemingly coordinating their movements centered on you. Or continuing to get a seat at a table in a restaurant afloat with bikers sporting 1% patches.

Digging your way out of the middle of a problem is always…ALWAYS…much harder than just avoiding the problem in the first place. Be alert, and then when something does give you cause for concern act instantly and decisively to get away from the problem.

12 thoughts on “An ounce of prevention…”

  1. The number one cause of death in single seat jet aircraft for the Navy and Marine Corps is failure to initiate ejection. The point you make is so important. When your spider senses are tingling, it’s time to pull the handle and get out of the situation. This goes along with SA and being aware of what’s going on around you. Whether you are carrying a gun or not, this will save your life. Thanks for the reminder

  2. The NY “rolling riot” part… it ends up the guy and his wife may not be quite as innocent as you’d think. She apparently was throwing things out the window at the bikers before anything they did, and I can’t quite remember but it ends up he did something else too.

    1. You failed to mention the motorcycle rider they ran over who is now permanently paralyzed and the undercover NYPD officer who was also part of the so called “gang”. A group of people riding motorcycles together does not automatically make them a gang. Whats next you can’t have more than 6 people in your house at one time? Cuomo tried to push a bill after the motorcycle incident on the west side highway banning more than a certain amount of motorcycles to ride together. I can’t recall the number but we should not stand for this kind of nonsense. If I want to go for a ride with my friends it shouldn’t be considered breaking the law.

      1. If you aren’t shutting down highways and assaulting people, it shouldn’t be a problem. These bikers did precisely that. The NYPD officer was not “undercover”…and was, in fact, charged with a crime.

  3. Early in my career I worked and lived in New York City. A wonderful experience for a young kid but one thing you learn is when its time to cross the street. It becomes almost a subconscious reaction. You see or hear something ahead or behind you on the sidewalk and you just cross to the other side. No drama.

  4. Unless you are in a “Biker Bar” when you meet any group of 1% bikers, you are likely as safe or safer than any group of other people.

    In public, even 1%’ers are generally civilized.

    Now if you fuck with ’em, you can find trouble. But if you interact with them as you would (should) any other stranger in a public place, you’ll be fine.

    They generally don’t want trouble any more than anyone else. At least not in public.

    1. And there are indications that this summit may have been generally intended as a peaceful meeting to discuss some inter-club politics and yes, some members got brawly, but likely nobody would have died if the SWAT team hadn’t fired into them with hundreds of rifle rounds.

      Again, nothing in the first week after an incident that is reported is correct, but there are troubling signs that the police may have escalated things far higher than was warranted and now wants to make sure none of the arrested bikers talk to the press until arraignment and memories have faded somewhat.

      Time, forensics and inevitable video will tell.

  5. I don’t think that second video is the best supporting evidence for your case. I fail to see why the press made the family out to be the aggrieved party. They not only rear ended and then ran over an, albeit stupid motorcyclist, but then they fled the scene, leaving a man paralyzed in their wake. Quite frankly, had I been in that group of motorcyclists and witnessed that, I would’ve been pretty P.O.’ed too.

    Mad enough to rip him from his vehicle and beat him nearly to death? No definitely not. But mad enough to chase him down, and block his vehicle in, while I await the local LEO’s? Hell yes.

    FWIW, I certainly don’t see parallels between this occurrence and what just happened in Waco. And if I’m being totally honest, frankly, I’m a little surprised at the tone. One could easily switch out bikes for guns, and bikers for gun enthusiasts, and you would have a piece that everyone here would rightly be up in arms about.

    I think the core premise of your article was sound. As to the rest, perhaps after a long day, I just misinterpreted it.

  6. As a member of the 99% biker community and having had direct contact with members of 1% clubs both socially and professionally I see no need to AUTOMATICALLY leave a place because there are 1 percenters present. If the situation is tense or anyone is showing signs of aggression, by all means get out of the way.

  7. “but likely nobody would have died if the SWAT team hadn’t fired into them with hundreds of rifle rounds”.

    With all due respect Sian, you’re full of $#it, that’s not what happened. It’ll be a let down for all the anti law enforcement bull$#itters and liars once the investigative and ME reports become public and reveal that Bandido shooters are responsible for most of the fatalities. Well placed center mass return fire with M4’s by the Police will likely account for 2 maybe 3 fatalities.

    Did you read about the alleged firing of hundreds of rounds fired into a crowd by the Police on the internet, or did you just make that $#it up all by yourself?

    1. Were you there?
      Right now we have conflicting reports. The one witness talking says it was an ambush against the Banditos and 3 or 4 of them were shot to death by the Cossacks immediately, but any Bandito would be pretty eager to try and pin it on their rival gang, so anything he says has to be taken with a large quantity of salt. I haven’t heard a thing from any ME on the fatalities other than where they were shot. Meanwhile the $1M bail for each arrested gang member and the utter silence coming from the Waco PD is awful suspicious. Also hundreds of rounds fired is not hard at all when you have up to 10 SWAT and 4 other cops firing at once.

      I’m not blaming anybody yet, but usually we know a bit more than this after a week.

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