“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Twin Peaks Shoot Out at Waco, Texas

Something Rotten in The State of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — The restaurant shootout among rival biker gangs in Waco became a last-ditch rallying cry Monday for opponents of a bill that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is all but certain to soon sign into law: legalizing openly carried handguns in Texas.
The shootout that left nine people dead and 18 wounded happened with only two weeks remaining for the Texas Legislature, where Republicans prioritized expanded gun rights from the get-go after Abbott was sworn into office in January.
Police chiefs and opponents invoked the chaos in Waco and Wild West imagery to make a final protest to a Senate committee before a bill that would allow Texas gun owners to openly carry handguns begins the final approach to Abbott’s desk.
“Officers responded quickly, but open carry would or could have provided more confusion,” Austin Assistant Police Chief Troy Gay said.
After an hour of testimony — mostly from members of the gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — the committee advanced the legislation to the full Senate by a 5-1 vote.
Abbott said concerns that open carry may have only exacerbated Sunday’s shootout are off the mark.
“The shootout occurred when we don’t have open carry, so obviously the current laws didn’t stop anything like that,” Abbott said.
Texas is one of only six states that don’t allow some form of open carry. Abbott has vowed to get Texas off that list, and could sign a bill doing so before June.
For the last five months, open carry opponents have packed the Capitol and testified repeatedly before the Republican-controlled Legislature about mass shootings elsewhere and the dangers of loosening gun laws further. The Waco shootout, they now say, brought the concerns closer to home.
Republicans on the Senate State Affairs committee were unpersuaded.
“There’s no such thing as a gun-free zone,” said Republican state Sen. Joan Huffman, a former Texas judge and prosecutor. “We try our best to control criminal activity. We have plenty of laws on the books to prevent criminals from committing crimes. As we can see yesterday, things still occur sometimes.”
Authorities say the Waco shootout erupted shortly after noon at a busy shopping center along Interstate 35 where members of at least five rival gangs had gathered for a meeting.
Preliminary findings indicate a dispute broke out in a bathroom and escalated to include knives and guns. The fight eventually spilled into the restaurant parking lot.
Officers shot armed bikers, according to Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton. It was not immediately clear whether any of the nine dead were killed by police.
Texas’ reaction to violent shootings has typically not been to restrict firearm laws. When a gunman in 1991 killed 23 people at a Luby’s restaurant in Killeen, about an hour’s drive south of Waco, a woman who saw her parents killed in the massacre became a state representative and helped pass a 1995 law legalizing concealed carry in public places.
“We keep coming back to the same thing of access to weapons. And you’re surprised something like this happens?” said Ed Scruggs, an Austin resident who testified against the open carry bill. “Whether those bikers were licensed (gun owners), it doesn’t matter. It’s just this atmosphere we have that everybody arms up.”
Associated Press writer Will Weissert contributed to this report.


  1. This is truly a WTF moment.

    Around 35,000 Americans kill themselves each year. More American soldiers die by suicide than combat. You are 2,059 times more likely to kill yourself than die at the hand of a terrorist.

    There is a degree of insanity when a society closes itself down for hyped up statistically insignificant security threats, has 45 states that allow open carry of handguns and tolerates an absurdity of a “Twin Peaks”.

  2. Where is the threat?

    What is the value of one human life?

    Is there a rational cost/benefit analysis on internal security?

    Is Texas part of the Homeland?

    What is homeland security?

    The police chief in Waco made some interesting statements about having SWAT teams in place before this incident began. Off duty police joined the melee. The ballistic forensics on who was shot and who did the shooting will be interesting.

    Bottom Line:

    I smell a rat.

  3. Any bets on who did the shooting?

    1. I do not think it was started by the Police.

      My hunch is the Texas Cossacks started it all.

    2. Though it might have been the Bandidos.

      >>“The view of the Bandidos is that Texas is their state,” said Terry Katz, the vice president of the International Association of Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators. “They are the big dogs of Texas, and then this other, smaller club — the Cossacks — comes along in 1969 or so, and they decide that they are not going to bow down.”

      While the police and government officials term the groups “gangs,” members insist on using the term “club” instead, and say they are often harassed and stigmatized for legal activities.<<

      The Idaho Vandals Motorcycle Club rules out this way.

    3. Pretty good circular firing squad, taken all in all.

      May flocks of Angels wing them all to their rest.

    4. We have learned recently that there is a gene for laziness.

      It has been known for a long while that there are genes for violence.

      We should celebrate events like this, where the violent are shooting one another, and not the innocent. It tends to cleanse the gene pool.

    5. I would like to see the used ammo report of the police. We will see who did the shooting.

  4. What happened to:

    >>An armed Bar is a polite Bar<<


    I picked that up right here, from you.


  5. Fox News is reporting that the American People, by about 65% to 35%, want to send US ground troops back to Iraq.

    The enthusiasm for this new endeavor is much less in the military itself, at the ground troop level.

    1. They've sucked Quirk in to the ole meme 'if a job is worth doing it's worth doing well'. Man the barricades it's time to go to war!

    2. .

      What do you propose we do, Ash?


    3. The Iraqi government has enough combat capacity to handle Daesh.
      The US does not have to send in troops, just has to supply sufficient the Iraqi with air support.

      19 strikes over three days, that just will not get it done.
      The US has still not delivered the F-16s that are in the pipeline. .

      The rational viewer would think the US was not all that concerned with the Islamic State and Ramadi, based upon the actions of the US military and the statements made by Gen. Martin Dempsey in mid-April.

      Almost as if the US wanted Daesh to take the city, only to lose it ...
      As in Vietnam, the US military likes to fight fixed-place battles, not counter insurgency.

      The US may just be setting up the battle space needed to degrade and destroy the Islamic State.

    4. Stop bombing, quirk, let them sort it out.

    5. .

      Easy to say, Ash.

      However, IMO, once Obama committed us to this war, once he involved our coalition of 60 allies (even if only on paper), once he established the objective to 'degrade and destroy' ISIS, the US can't just turn around and tell Canada or Australia or whomever to take their six planes and go home, 'we were just kidding', especially after Iraq has just suffered a major defeat. The ramifications would go beyond Iraq, beyond ISIS, and affect how we are viewed in the Far East, in Eastern Europe, and the rest of the world by friends, enemies, and frenemies alike.

      That being said, the way we are conducting this war at the moment you could very well be right.

      When GWB came into office he managed to take the only hyper-power in the world and transform it into merely a 'first among many'. Now Obama appears ready to put the paper into paper tiger.

      Once Obama committed us, I assumed the US would come out of this worse off than when we entered it; however, I also thought that if we could manage a few victories and get the Iraqis up to speed there would be an opportunity to slip out without too much damage. However, the fact is right now we aren't really fighting a war, we are merely providing flight training for our pilots.

      The fact is we were always destined to come out of this little adventure looking worse than when we went in even if eventually we declare victory and leave. However, we have seeded management of the war to Baghdad who has sub-contracted it to Iran. That means that even if we declare victory it is not us that wins but Iran.

      Unless the US gets serious, they might as well take your advice and leave.


    6. .

      The US may just be setting up the battle space needed to degrade and destroy the Islamic State.

      This assumes that the US has a strategy and more importantly that it is allowed to use it given the deference Obama seems to be giving Baghdad in determining how the war will be waged.

      We have to ask the question 'who is the dog, who is the tail, and who is doing the wagging'?

      19 strikes over three days, that just will not get it done.

      I've made this point since the beginning. Despite the daily briefings from Cencom, the amount of air strikes are a fraction of what we have seen in past actions. Now, whether this is by intent or is dictated by the type of war we are fighting is a reasonable question. However, if we are limited by not having the right personnel in place to coordinate our airstrikes then get them in place, that or as Ash suggests just go home.


  6. That police chief was dissembling. It is absurd that an armored SWAT team would need off-duty cops jumping into what looks to be the OK Corral. Wait and see.


  7. Gun violence rare for outlaw motorcycle gangs known for drugs, brawls

    But a brawl between rival outlaw gangs Bandidos and Cossacks quickly spun out of control, spilling into the parking lot. Law enforcement in the area, including 18 Waco police and four state officers, engaged some of the gang members in gunfire, Waco police spokesman Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.

    1. Any wagers that this turns out to be a police riot?

    2. Outlaw biker usually do not carry firearms in public.
      Ball peen hammers are favored by the Hells Angels.
      The police cannot arrest them for carrying tools when the bikers are stopped for traffic infractions, but will if they have a firearm or knife ...
      One of the Hells Angel's founding members lives in the neighborhood.

      Sonny Barger remains an active member of the Hells Angels in the Cave Creek Chapter having moved there from Oakland in 1998. The Angels are real active up in Chino Valley, up north of Prescott, too.

    3. I am nearly ready to take you on, on that, but all I've read is some headlines so far.

      One blurb I read or heard was that it started inside the Twin Peaks, then spilled into the street, after which the Police got engaged in some manner.

      Give me two or three hours to think about it.

      To me these kinds of bikers are just plain thugs. White thugs, black thugs, I don't like any of them.

      They all ought to grow up, and give up the drugs and drink.

    4. The Idaho Vandals Motorcycle Club, is just that, a U of I sponsored, peaceful group that like to ride.

      That's more like it.


  8. Shi'ite forces move in on Iraqi city taken by Islamic State

    Thousands of Shi'ite militiamen on Monday prepared to fight Islamic State insurgents who seized the Iraqi provincial capital Ramadi at the weekend in the biggest defeat for government forces in nearly a year.

    A column of 3,000 Shi'ite militia fighters assembled at a military base near Ramadi, preparing to take on Islamic State militants advancing in armored vehicles from the captured city northwest of Baghdad, witnesses and a military officer said.
    An eyewitness described a long line of armored vehicles and trucks mounted with machine guns and rockets, flying the yellow flags of Kataib Hezbollah, one of the militia factions, heading towards the base about 30 km (20 miles) from Ramadi.

  9. Back to Ramadi on the next post.

  10. Hezbollah v. ISIS

    What fun.

    May the violent gene pool continue to cleanse itself.

  11. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Did you read the article I posted ?

      It was quite interesting.

  12. Waco police: We’re ready to take on biker gangs
    posted at 10:01 am on May 18, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

    What is this, Hollister redux? A biker gang turf war broke out in a restaurant parking lot in Waco, Texas yesterday, escalating quickly from a brawl to a shooting. Nine people were killed in the shootout and 18 others wounded. Amazingly, the only dead and injured were the bikers:

    The gunfire erupted about 12:15 p.m. outside a Twin Peaks Restaurant, where members of the motorcycle clubs had gathered. The fight spilled into the parking lot, initially involving just fists and feet, but escalating quickly to chains, knives, clubs and firearms. Waco police officers were already at the scene when the confrontation unfolded because they had anticipated problems as hundreds of bikers from at least five groups gathered at the shopping plaza. …

    No officers, shoppers or bystanders were injured. The authorities said their decision to place officers outside the restaurant before the gunfire erupted most likely saved lives.

    “There were so many rounds fired from bad-guy weapons here, it is amazing that innocent civilians were not injured here,” said Sergeant Swanton, who added that investigators expected to recover about 100 weapons. “In 34 years of law enforcement, this is the worst crime scene — the most violent crime scene — that I have ever been involved in. There are dead people still there. There is blood everywhere.”

    Local police laid some of the blame on the restaurant’s franchise owners. The national office is less than pleased to hear that, and may take steps to end the franchise agreement:

    Swanton said that the restaurant’s operators also were aware of the meeting in advance, and he described the management as uncooperative with authorities in addressing concerns.

    “Apparently the management (of Twin Peaks) wanted them here and so we didn’t have any say-so on whether they could be here or not,” Swanton said. …

    But Rick Van Warner, a spokesman for the Dallas-based corporate franchisor, said the company is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the shooting and is “seriously considering revoking” the Waco location’s franchise agreement.

    “We’re very upset that clearly our standards of safety and security were not upheld in this particular case,” he said.

    Although some on Twitter seemed confused about the connotations of “biker gangs,” the truth is that the outlaw gangs have been considered organized crime syndicates for decades. Gangs like Hells Angels, Mongols, and Outlaws all have long dossiers at the FBI involving drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and the like. At least one of the gangs involved in the Waco shooting has its own listing at the Justice website:

    1. The Bandidos Motorcycle Club (Bandidos) is an OMG [outlaw motorcycle gang] with a membership of 2,000 to 2,500 persons in the U.S. and in 13 other countries. The Bandidos constitute a growing criminal threat to the U.S. Law enforcement authorities estimate that the Bandidos are one of the two largest OMGs operating in the U.S., with approximately 900 members belonging to 93 chapters. The Bandidos are involved in transporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana and are involved in the production, transportation and distribution of methamphetamine. The Bandidos are most active in the Pacific, Southeastern, Southwestern and the West Central regions of the U.S. The Bandidos are expanding in each of these regions by forming additional chapters and allowing members of supporting clubs, known as “puppet” or “duck” club members who have sworn allegiance to another club but who support and do the “dirty work” of a mother club – to form new or join existing Bandidos chapters.

      Police had been tipped off that hundreds of gangsters would come into town and responded quickly, arresting almost two hundred in their investigation. That prompted threats from other gang members, but the Waco Police insist that they’re prepared for other gang members, too:

      There are reports gang members involved in Sunday’s shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, may return to the area, but police say they are prepared, reports CBS News correspondent Vicente Arenas. …

      At least 100 bikers were detained and on surrounding freeways, police pursued other riders for questioning.

      Swanton said Waco police have been aware of criminal biker gangs gathering at the city’s Twin Peaks for months.

      It’s the most violent confrontation, local officials say, since the Branch Davidian standoff 20 years ago. It may very well not be over, either — although given the quick and forceful action by the police to shut down the biker gangs, it may serve as a warning to others. Perhaps others can learn a lesson about stopping violence before it gets out of hand.

      I am not certain what is meant by a Police Riot, but if the above article is at all correct, it sounds like a Biker Riot, to me.

      I doubt the Police would be out there 'rioting' without the biker presence.

      Nearly 100 weapons recovered, it says.

      I don't think these weapons were Police service revolvers.

      Without the Police, the bikers would soon take over Waco, as ISIS has done Ramadi.

      Then where are we ?

    2. >>The police had anticipated trouble and were out in force before the confrontation. “There were multiple people on the scene firing weapons at each other,” Sergeant Swanton said. “They then turned on our officers. Our officers returned gunfire, wounding and possibly killing several.”

      Law enforcement officials said the gun battle was primarily between the Bandidos and Cossacks, though members of the Scimitars, who are affiliated with the Cossacks, and two other groups were also involved. It remained unclear what had caused the first fight in the restaurant that led to a larger fight in the parking lot.

      Sergeant Swanton said the initial confrontation had involved a “parking issue.” Mr. Jimmy said that he had heard there was no such argument, but that there was a fight in the restaurant bathroom about something, although he did not know what.

      The Bandidos take their supremacy so seriously that in El Paso in 2012, five members and associates were arrested on allegations that they attacked bikers belonging to other groups because the Bandidos had not given them permission to wear their “colors,” or group logos. Members who fight in the name of a motorcycle club are often rewarded with patches and pins.

      Wrapped in their patch-covered jackets and straddling thundering motorcycles, biker groups are familiar sights along America’s highways. But the shootout here has brought renewed attention to organizations that sometimes describe themselves as “outlaw motorcycle clubs.”

      Bikers, their lawyers and other supporters say the constitutional rights of many club members are constantly under assault by law enforcement authorities. They accuse the authorities of harassing them because they are such a visible presence and because they are conspicuous in their disdain and distrust of the police and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the main federal agency that monitors biker groups.

      But to law enforcement officials, groups like the Bandidos and the Cossacks amount to crime syndicates that are prone to violent clashes over territory and real and perceived slights. In recent years, the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security added the Bandidos — along with the Hells Angels, the Outlaws and the Mongols — to a list of known criminal organizations that also includes the Mafia, the Chinese Triads and the Japanese syndicate Yakuza.

      The Bandidos are one of the few major biker gangs in the world. According to the Department of Justice, it has up to 2,500 members in 14 countries, with about 900 belonging to 93 chapters in the United States. Members of the Bandidos, whose motto is “we are the people our parents warned us about"....<<<

      Maybe it's just my aging process, but I don't like these turds.

      They are given the gift of life and look what they do with it......

      I'm not jumping to the conclusion this was any Police Riot, in fact I am jumping just the other direction, but I'm not betting yet. I need to know more....

    3. They cook up meth, and sell it. They sell cocaine, heroin, all sorts of shit. They are into all sorts of criminal behaviors.

      If they shoot up one another, well good for them.