• Self defense and the RR

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

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  by Desertdweller
 
We should not condemn "buffs and foamers" without knowing what they may have dealt with in their personal lives. Railfans can be very helpful in certain circumstances. The most motivated become railroaders themselves.

But I certainly agree with the point Georgia Railroader is making. Signal maintainers typically work alone, and are subject to call anytime, night or day. They have no backup: if they are injured on the job and unable to call for help, that is where they will be found. With the price of copper over $4/lb., all kinds of thievery is taking place.

On the last railroad I worked on, copper thieves were cutting the windings out of main generators left outside at our open-air engine facility. When the Milwaukee Road shut down their electrification, they kept the "High Voltage" warning signs up, hoping to deter copper thieves. Wire was stolen anyway.

Les
  by Georgia Railroader
 
Desertdweller, you have a point. But so do I. I will not be a victim or statistic, I refuse. That's not me trying to be tough, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let some piece of * take me out and leave my family without me.

3rd rail, I'm not trying to "grandstand" here, and I'm also not the type to cry and just lay down. Cops aren't the only ones who have been exposed to violence. You have me confused with someone else, trust me I handle my business with or without a weapon. I have too much to lose.
Ricky Gates has no earthly relation to what we're talking about here, and no one I know sees him as any kind of hero.

You have a point about thieves stealing guns. People will get guns by whatever means they can, this is nothing new. As gunowners we have to be responsible, and there is nothing wrong with having guns in the house with kids as long as you are responsible and do it in a manner in which they cant get their hands on them. I grew up around them myself and was tought not to touch them.

Bottom line, people will do what they need to do in order to come home to their families(you can relate).
  by gprimr1
 
False grandstanding a good debate does not make, Mr. Georgia. I'm not a railroader and have stood trackside with my camera often and would venture to say that you would be reduced to a fetal position screaming for mommie if you had experienced some of what I have seen nightly. I don't think that to question the legitimacy of this gun ownership question is to make one a weenie. I have some real questions myself, such as would such weapons cause more harm than good. That's a huge and loaded question because it can be asked on many different levels. Is a rush of new handguns healthy in a family atmosphere with young kids in the home ? Do railroaders have the restraint to carry and control a weapon ? (I've got railroaders on RRN who have argued with me that in their opinion, it is ok for roads to authorize the equivalent of a one beer (.02) blood alcohol content while working. I've got others who strongly imply (I know that they want to come out and say it) that Ricky "Cheech" Gates was a scapegoat for a delinquent industry, making him almost into a folk-hero. I have had dealings myself with railroaders such as the trackworker who was holding opposite the NEC who engaged me in a lengthy foot pursuit and wrestling match (I won). Would I have wanted him to be armed ? Probably not. However, having said that, I know that the majority of rail roaders are good, clean living folks who may need protection. Even outside the physical connection with it's owner by means of poor safe-keeping, the number one way that guns get in the hands of criminals is through stealing them. More legitimate owners may mean more thefts which will mean more armed thugs. So...there is the age old argument. It's got nothing to do with the railroaders vs. non railroaders.It's got to do with some very weighty issues that need to be evaluated first and foremost. I hate to end this post with a cliche', but it's so appropos here. Be careful what you wish for as it may actually come true.
Over the last several years, there has been a rush of guns into the home. Crime rates in DC have dropped 8% since Heller vs DC was decided. In recent FBI crime data; the Northeast was the only area to see an increase in crime. Very few states in the North east allow citizens to carry.

Danger of guns in the home for children? Yes; but that is the parents responsibility to teach them. Many states have laws regarding the storage of firearms with minors in the house. Teaching children about guns takes away the mystery, and shows them they are real objects that can kill, not virtual things that you can push the reboot button. I've had people tell me they don't believe in teaching gun safety. It just floors me. We teach our kids knife safety, not to run with sissors, not to dive in shallow water, but ignore this?

Drinking and carrying? That's a crime in many states.

People horsing around; you don't shoot people horsing around. I encountered this situation in PA, and almost drew my weapon on a man and woman who looked like rapist and rapee, but were just playing. Proper restraint.

Many states require training before permits. My Florida permit required a class from the NRA. Training prevents problems. Railroad police can sponsor this training. Carry on the job can be limited to persons with supervisory authority.

Theft of guns; you'd be amazed how many guns the police loose.

Guns are not to be feared; they are tools.

I'm serious; everyone here sounds like they are open to the question; read Gun Facts. They just updated their information, it's all data drawn from independent sources, not NRA or Brady propoganda, just good, hard, honest facts.

http://gunfacts.info/

Did you know? In Warren vs District of Columbia Metro PD, the courts ruled that the police have no legal obligation to protect us?
  by 3rdrail
 
Georgia Railroader wrote: 3rd rail, I'm not trying to "grandstand" here, and I'm also not the type to cry and just lay down. Cops aren't the only ones who have been exposed to violence. You have me confused with someone else, trust me I handle my business with or without a weapon. I have too much to lose.
Ricky Gates has no earthly relation to what we're talking about here, and no one I know sees him as any kind of hero.
That's correct, Geogia, you are not...now. However, your comment was clearly meant to insinuate that rail buffs have no idea about the risky situations that railroaders face, which I, and probably others took offense to. The Ricky Gates, or .02 BAC interjection for that matter has everything to do with what we are talking about here. You show me a railroader who believes that he can either be smoking a bone or have a .02 in him and safely operate a locomotive and I'll show you a railroader who doesn't have common sense enough to be trusted with a firearm, either while carrying or when it's not on him. The gun that gets stolen from some clown's nightstand drawer while he's at the local bar has a good chance of killing someone in a city like Boston, sometimes little kids who happened to be playing at the wrong place and time. In fact, you may be interested to know that probably the majority of illegal guns that we pick up are guns that were stolen down south. I'm not sure if that is due to the ease at which many states would sell handguns prior to the 1994 Brady Act or if it just indicates poor ownership skill, but that's where a lot of them come from. The only reason for any civilian to carry a handgun in my opinion is that they are genuinely in fear for their life and can articulate that fear in terms of actual threats or violence. I also think that should a railroader be cleared to carry, that it should be on an individual basis after screening, interviews, background checks, and psychological evaluation is made. It should be a priviledge and not a right. If your road doesn't allow it and you feel threatened because of it, either stay or leave- your choice. Never mind the money angle that somebody brought up, if you smoke someone, you might as well marry them because you from that point on are going to have to live with that person longer than most marriages last. If you are not charged criminally, with the possibility of having to be subjected to a minimum mandatory long sentence in a state's prison, I can almost guarantee you that you are going to be sued by the victim's family. Yes, I said victim. Do you remember that scumbag who you blasted away ? Well, he's now a kid who never got a break who was trying to uplift his life at the time that you snuffed it out from underneath him. You will hear that in a courtroom for many years after the shooting. You had better been to within a mili-second of losing your life, because otherwise you are going to prison for a long time or lose everything that you own, or both. You will also be a target out there in these desolate areas due to the fact that you are carrying. You can't draw the piece unless the other person is armed, so if you are attacked mano y mano, now you've got something additional to worry about. If he's younger or bigger than you, you better hope that he doesn't shoot you with your own pistola after he takes it from you. It happens in a split micro second. It happened to a good friend of mine, P.O. Tommy Rose at BPD District 1, who was assigned to Booking one evening. A degenerate asked to make a "very important" second call from his cell. Tommy let the a-hole out, he grabbed Tommy's gun from his swivel holster, killing Tommy. The whole thing took about one second, maybe less. RIP Tommy, if you weren't carrying that evening, you'd be alive and we'd be having a Sam Adams right about now.
  by charlie6017
 
To Everyone:

Please, let's remember to remain civil with one another despite differing opinions. Obviously, this is a sensitive topic, so please just remember
to think before typing and just play nice.

It's okay to have different opinions, that's what creates a good debate! I really don't want to lock this down.

Have a great day!
Charlie
  by Georgia Railroader
 
3rdrail wrote:
Georgia Railroader wrote: 3rd rail, I'm not trying to "grandstand" here, and I'm also not the type to cry and just lay down. Cops aren't the only ones who have been exposed to violence. You have me confused with someone else, trust me I handle my business with or without a weapon. I have too much to lose.
Ricky Gates has no earthly relation to what we're talking about here, and no one I know sees him as any kind of hero.
That's correct, Geogia, you are not...now. However, your comment was clearly meant to insinuate that rail buffs have no idea about the risky situations that railroaders face, which I, and probably others took offense to. The Ricky Gates, or .02 BAC interjection for that matter has everything to do with what we are talking about here. You show me a railroader who believes that he can either be smoking a bone or have a .02 in him and safely operate a locomotive and I'll show you a railroader who doesn't have common sense enough to be trusted with a firearm, either while carrying or when it's not on him. The gun that gets stolen from some clown's nightstand drawer while he's at the local bar has a good chance of killing someone in a city like Boston, sometimes little kids who happened to be playing at the wrong place and time. In fact, you may be interested to know that probably the majority of illegal guns that we pick up are guns that were stolen down south. I'm not sure if that is due to the ease at which many states would sell handguns prior to the 1994 Brady Act or if it just indicates poor ownership skill, but that's where a lot of them come from. The only reason for any civilian to carry a handgun in my opinion is that they are genuinely in fear for their life and can articulate that fear in terms of actual threats or violence. I also think that should a railroader be cleared to carry, that it should be on an individual basis after screening, interviews, background checks, and psychological evaluation is made. It should be a priviledge and not a right. If your road doesn't allow it and you feel threatened because of it, either stay or leave- your choice. Never mind the money angle that somebody brought up, if you smoke someone, you might as well marry them because you from that point on are going to have to live with that person longer than most marriages last. If you are not charged criminally, with the possibility of having to be subjected to a minimum mandatory long sentence in a state's prison, I can almost guarantee you that you are going to be sued by the victim's family. Yes, I said victim. Do you remember that scumbag who you blasted away ? Well, he's now a kid who never got a break who was trying to uplift his life at the time that you snuffed it out from underneath him. You will hear that in a courtroom for many years after the shooting. You had better been to within a mili-second of losing your life, because otherwise you are going to prison for a long time or lose everything that you own, or both. You will also be a target out there in these desolate areas due to the fact that you are carrying. You can't draw the piece unless the other person is armed, so if you are attacked mano y mano, now you've got something additional to worry about. If he's younger or bigger than you, you better hope that he doesn't shoot you with your own pistola after he takes it from you. It happens in a split micro second. It happened to a good friend of mine, P.O. Tommy Rose at BPD District 1, who was assigned to Booking one evening. A degenerate asked to make a "very important" second call from his cell. Tommy let the a-hole out, he grabbed Tommy's gun from his swivel holster, killing Tommy. The whole thing took about one second, maybe less. RIP Tommy, if you weren't carrying that evening, you'd be alive and we'd be having a Sam Adams right about now.
The days of guys smoking dope and drinking on the job are over out here so I dont know where the hell you keep getting your ideas that we do that. Ricky Gates' name should not even be coming up LMAO.

Dont leave your gun laying around while you're out, kinda defeats the purpose of having one huh.

This thing has gotten waaaay too off course. Out.
  by gprimr1
 
The only reason for any civilian to carry a handgun in my opinion is that they are genuinely in fear for their life and can articulate that fear in terms of actual threats or violence.
That is the standard used in Maryland; unfortunately the police refuse to believe 99% of people meet it, even if they are crime victims. They require things like documentation of the threat. How does that work? "Oh Hi Mr. Criminal, would you mind threatening me in writing and going down to the store and notarizing it?"

By the time you realize you need a gun; it's too late.

I am going to say it again, I think your views on the subject are a little misguided. The media likes to sensationalize gun violence. How often do you see stories of guns used in self defense? Rarely, the media does not like to carry them, but they will plaster front page shootings? I get to hear the stories from people about how guns saved their lives.

If you really examine the facts, and cease to rely on emotion, the answer becomes clear. Guns are not the problem. Notice that the Brady Campaign doesn't use facts all that much; and when they do, they often cite their own facts.
It should be a priviledge and not a right.
So by that logic, freedom of speech is not a right, it is a privilege? The right to a speedy jury is a privilege? Sorry my friend, the Bill of Rights is very clear about that one. The right to keep and bear arms was put in the constitution because the founders understood one thing very plainly. "Man has only those rights he can defend." They knew that without firearms, all the rights they protected (the Bill of Rights does not grant rights, it merely protects them) were worth nothing more than the paper they were written on. The Right to bear arms is the teeth of the Constitution. Any other view; merely makes us sheep, our rights existing only at the wim of the government, but not just that. If the average police time is 20 minutes, and the police have no legal responsibility to protect us, how can I defend my right most basic, to life?
Never mind the money angle that somebody brought up, if you smoke someone, you might as well marry them because you from that point on are going to have to live with that person longer than most marriages last. If you are not charged criminally, with the possibility of having to be subjected to a minimum mandatory long sentence in a state's prison, I can almost guarantee you that you are going to be sued by the victim's family.
Actually, outside of the crime ridden gun control powerhouses, most states have laws that say if you are attacked, you cannot be prosecuted for the crime; both civilly and criminally. These laws are called Castle Laws. Pennsylvania is the most recent state to enact one. When you hear about people being tried, it is often because they did something dumb to deserve it, like the guy in the mid-west who shot the robber (legal) then went and got a new gun (not legal). I don't know what state you live in so I couldn't tell you if you have one but most states allow it.

Lastly I am sorry about your friend. It is a risk everyone takes who puts on a uniform and carries; but it is a risk I'd much rather take than end up in a situation where I need it, but don't have it. Because when seconds count, the police are minutes away.
  by Desertdweller
 
Greg,

I think you are absolutely correct in what you said here. The Constitution guarantees our right to own and possess arms. It does not grant that right. In this country, rights are something one is born with, not granted them by the government.

One should not have to prove to the government compelling reason to exercise what is a guaranteed right.

Experience in this country indicates that the more armed citizens there are, the safer the rest of them will be.

I've never heard anyone in the industry say that they considered Ricky Lee Gates to be a folk hero. The consensus is that he was a PIA that not only caused a serious accident, but someone who caused headaches for all his fellow railroaders as the industry reacted in typical knee-jerk fashion.

There is a real problem concerning youngsters and guns. At the same time violent gun-oriented video games are aimed at young people, anti-gun individuals are attempting to eliminate young peoples' exposure to real guns. This results in the mixed message that guns are for play, and at the same time they are objects of evil and mystery. Shootouts with paintball and airsoft guns do a lot of damage to the concept of gun safety we try to teach. When something bad happens, it's because of the gun and not the shooter.

I've had guns ever since I was old enough to cock a BB gun. I grew up in a rural household which included guns. Nobody was ever shot. We understood what they were, how they worked, and what they could do. And how to use them safely.

I've taught my children that guns are tools. Like a power saw or a hammer, they can be dangerous if misused. A couple of my children turned out to be pretty decent shots.

Now I have grandsons to teach about guns. They learn the cardinal rules of gun safety. Then I take them with me (one at a time) to the local law enforcement shooting range where they learn how to hit what they are shooting at. I am not a law enforcement officer, but I am allowed to use the range.

My favorite form of shooting, and what I try to teach, is target shooting from a distance. This is a practice that rewards self-discipline and the ability to mentally focus. Good skills for shooters of any age.

I certainly hope my grandsons never have to rely on their shooting skills to protect their lives. But they will be able to. I think most criminals are notoriously poor shots. They are too cheap and lazy to practice much, preferring to use their weapons to intimidate the defenseless. I remember going to a favorite shooting spot in the desert. Someone had crudely spray painted a bullseye on a sheet of plywood and shot it with a .38. The greatest distance they could have shot from at that location was 25 yards. None of their shots hit the bull: the points of impact were 2 feet apart! I stuck a Shoot-n-C target on the undamaged bullseye and drilled it, then left it as an example to them.

Les
Still hell-bent on self defense
  by gprimr1
 
There is another good book called "More Guns Less Crime" that points out the fallacies in the anti-gun movement.

The biggest one is that they believe that criminals will follow the law. I can't carry a gun in Maryland because I follow the law. John H Criminal can carry a gun because he disregards the law. So really, all the gun laws in the world will not prevent John H Criminal because he doesn't follow the law to begin with.

It will; however, put me at a huge disadvantage.

We sensationalize shootings. Every time I read about a self defense shooting, I hear "Oh he was such a good boy, he was on the right track, he was turning his life around" and other crap like that. Why do we never hear the other side of the story? How about the hard of hearing man I met in Towson who couldn't hear the criminal break into his house and come at him with a knife? By the grace of God, he had a .25 under the kitchen table where he read the morning paper. He would be dead now if he hadn't had that gun, but the criminal is now dead and he is alive.

I met a woman from Johannsburg South Africa. She was a huge supporter of gun control when they banned most civilian ownership of guns. She was dancing in the street that peace would come. Now, she said to me "I still don't know how I feel; but I saw that criminals in SA still had assault rifles and pistols after the ban, but we lived in terror because we couldn't own guns."

England banned guns and guess what, the English police are beginning to need to carry guns because the criminals are out of control.

I have a ticker showing me that since Jan 1st; 1,500,000+ guns have been used in self-defense. That is only the cases reported. There have been 8,000 gun murders, and 30,000 traffic fatalities.

Because we only see what the anti-gun media wants us to see, we assume it is "blood in the streets" when in reality it's not.

Another popular anti-gun trick is to claim that crime is down. By crime; they mean murder. Crime is so much more than murder.

Murder is down nation wide, but robbery, assault, rape, these are up in anti-gun states.

Most criminals won't attack a person with a gun. They don't want to die, and in most states, killing someone in the commission of a crime makes that crime a death penalty offense.

Break into my home and steal=5-20 years in jail

Break into my home, steal and kill me=death penalty is now on the table

In 2008, Georgia enacted new laws permitting the carry of guns in restereaunts that serve alcohol, parks and public transit. The anti-gun people cried that people would get in gun fights over chicken wings. Actually, although the number of people with permits went up 67%, aggravated assault and robbery DROPPED 8%.

When Georgia banned CCW at colleges, Assault/Robbery ROSE 322%. That is not a typo. Three Hundred twenty two.

In Texas, murder rates fell 50% faster than the national average in the year after their concealed carry law passed. Rape rates fell 93% faster in the first year after enactment, and 500% faster in the second year. Assaults fell 250% faster in the second year.

The facts are out their, don't' let yourself be a statistic of the anti-gun sensationalist media.
  by 3rdrail
 
  by gprimr1
 
Exactly my point.

MA has strict gun control; very strict gun control. Handgun carry permits are very hard to get in MA.

Yet this criminal broke those laws and committed a crime. He most likely acquired the gun illegally and broke the law in terms of carrying; discharging, and what should be capital attempted murder.

But the media will ignore all that and focus on how he was a good guy and got corrupted and the evil magic gun made him do it.

The cop was fortunate enough to have a gun to exchange fire. Perhaps the criminal attempting to evade the cops gun fire was unable to secure a good shot on the cop. If he has been an unarmed civilian, he might be dead now.

This woman was attacked yesterday by a man collecting rent from her. He beat her, broke her arm, slammed her head into the ground, and people watched but no one helped her.

She might be dead now if she didn't have a gun to protect her.

http://www.kesq.com/news/29079856/detail.html
  by 3rdrail
 
Don't believe everything that you read in the papers, Greg. I'm not going way way off topic by discussing the holes in this case, but trust me when I say that you may not want to present her as the poster girl for your argument. Also, that principal which you state regarding the police not being legally obligated to protect you is very misleading. I personally know many officers who have died doing that very same thing that this statement insinuates that cops don't do. If you don't believe me, watch TV this coming Sunday. And, in conclusion, if you want to wonder about how much the court, corrections, and parole system is looking out for all of us, I present to you this little piece about Terrell Muhammad, the convicted killer of my buddy, P.O. Tommy Rose.
http://newsblog.projo.com/2010/08/crans ... wante.html
  by gprimr1
 
I have a whole data base full of self defense stories.

http://www.nraila.org/armedcitizen/

Here's one from PA that is in the news

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/06/pa ... z1XDncAM9f

As for the police, I am not a cop hater. I love cops and have a great respect for them. I know that most of them are prepared to die to protect society. None the less, they legally have no requirement to protect me. They certainly 99.99% of the time do the best they can to help me protect myself; but none the less, I am responsible for my own safety. I should have the tools for that. I know that the cops will do the best they can to get there, but what if they can't get there in time? I have to be helpless?

I looked at the story about Tommy. I honestly am sorry that he died. I can't tell what your comment meant about the justice system, I think it is offensive he got 30 years in jail. There is only one penalty for killing a cop in my book. He should have been executed, plain and simple. I'm not a huge fan of the death penalty, but cop killing should be one use for it.

In Maryland we have the same problem. When you hear about shootings, the criminals have rap sheets long enough to fill a book, but the courts keep letting them out and they keep committing crimes. I want to see that fixed as much as I'm sure you do.

But that really makes it all the more important law abiding citizens have the right to self defense and not need permission to do it.

I still have the facts supporting that law abiding armed citizens are not threats.
  by 3rdrail
 
It's not always the fact that law abiding persons have the guns and will therefore act responsibly. The problem with giving out guns to persons who are not evaluated for psychological reaction in times of stress is that nobody knows what's going to happen before it happens (among other issues such as gun theft, etc.) Late one night at Forsyth/Hemenway, we made the corner in the cruiser with a young black kid stumbling in circles with blood spurting out of his face. He had just been shot by an older man who was a security guard, not in uniform, and who carried the requisite License to Carry. He also made no attempt to flee. We saved the kid's life by throwing him in the back seat of the cruiser with a towel compressing the wound and going full speed to the Brigham and Womens Hospital. Weeks later, he told us that he approached the guy for a cigarette. The guard was straight with us and told us that he thought that the kid was going to rob him, thought that he saw a flash (the cigarette ?) The kid had no weapon. He was black. The guard was white. He had no criminal record. The kid had a minor record. The guard was charged with Attempted Murder and if my memory serves me well, it was plea bargained down to A&B D/W.

The point that I'm trying to make is that this is not a black and white issue. There is a huge grey area here. For every success story involving a gun, there is a tragedy as well. There's no way that one universal truth, such as "anyone has a right to have a gun" can or should be enforced. Different psychological makeups, personalities, backgrounds make for a very difficult decision. We've got people in this country from third world countries who are used to seeing murders every day of their life. We've got people from this country who are so inundated with violence that to pop someone is like opening a bag of potato chips. We've got violent people with no criminal records due to the fact that they never got caught as well as the fact that some have fraudulent identities. I investigated a guy once who came after me only to find out that he was incarcerated in MCI Walpole the whole time, which I knew must be impossible. Either he was using the convict's ID or the convict was using his. It may have been a family arrangement, but we never actually could find out what the deal was, only that they were two distinct individuals. The FBI estimates that there are hundreds of serial killers who migrate from different areas of the country. Some have extensive records, some don't. Do you think all of these "clean living" individuals deserve a chance to see how they behave with a gun ?
  by Desertdweller
 
3rdrail,

I can see the logic of your argument. But there is a fatal flaw in it.

What would it mean to have a Constitutional Right to do something, if exercise of that right was subject to prior government approval? We would not be an independent nation if all gun owners in the 1770's had to pass a psychological test administered by King George's government.

The purpose of the Second Amendment was to prevent governmental tyranny. It is not about hunting, target shooting, or gun collecting.

You must know as well as I what would happen if all gun owners were subject to psychological test. Anyone opposed to government policies would be labelled "psychologically impaired" and stripped of their rights. Psyche screeners would be very interested in what organizations the gun owner belonged to, who his friends are, what bumper stickers are on their car. In surrendering our rights, we would get in return a police state.

Les
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