• 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

  • 154 posts
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 11
  by 3rdrail
 
I would agree that it seems to be common sense...but does anyone know of an instance whereby a member of a train crew doing yard duty or otherwise was threatened with a deadly weapon ? I am aware of an engineer who was jumped by hoods somewhere around NYC and of course, the infamous LIRR shooter. I do not know of any other instances anywhere else (not including kids throwing rocks). If my perception is correct, or nearly correct, that to me would indicate that weapons are not needed, and don't meet the requirement to accept anxilliary risk that goes along with ownership of a firearm.
  by kevikens
 
I'm speculating here but I'll wager there have been numerous occasions when the mere brandishing of a firearm by a rail worker had the desired effect of deterrence. The rail worker the prudently kept his mouth shut, thus no incident was ever recorded
  by scharnhorst
 
Desertdweller wrote:I think a lot of posters here are missing the point. The purpose for carrying a concealed weapon is the preservation of one's life, or the protection of other innocent lives. It is not to have a gun to brandish at outlaws, or settle disputes with. Life or death: that is the sole purpose.

If one is working on a railroad, and a criminal threatens one's life, what difference does it make if carrying a gun is against the company rules? If you lose your life, you are not going to have a job anyway. Has anyone willingly allowed themselves to be murdered rather than break a company rule?

I have worked for railroads that involved night work in high-crime areas. I have worked in places where full automatic weapons fire can be heard anytime day or night. I have worked on train crews where at least one out of three employees were carrying concealed guns.

For my own part, I have always felt safer working on a crew when someone was armed. If I was running a locomotive, and the conductor mentioned he had a gun on him, I would ask him if he would use it to defend me if necessary. Every person I asked this question of answered "yes".

It has also been my experience that lower-level railroad managers acknowledge the need for crews to be armed in certain areas, and generally are willing to overlook the rules infraction if not done blatantly. I have worked for twelve railroads, and have never known an armed employee to get into serious trouble for bringing a gun to work.

I worked for a railroad once that had two train crews robbed at gunpoint. The place was so dangerous, they had to hire an armed security guard just to protect the employees' parked cars. And yes, he had to pull his gun on occasion.

This should not be reduced to a political discussion. It is a matter of life and death. Getting fired is a lot better than getting shot. Trust me on that one.

Les

Why not try to explane that to each State Government and the Federal Government about the hand gun laws and you'll find that you can't take a hand gun across state lines unless its registered in that State if you do get caught they don't give a S**t if your a police officer or in the Military if your not on official business and you privately own it its illegal. Some states not all also forbid AR15's and AK47's along side some hunting rifles and some shotgun models. A vary limited number of large city's also forbid the same guns listed above from being in there limits. All this info can be seen on order forms from JGSales, Sportsman's Guide and others.
Cross into Canada with out saying anything about a weapon and your in for a lot more trouble
  by Desertdweller
 
3rdrail,

Well, since you asked, yes, I do know of instances where railroad employees were threatened at gunpoint. The two crew robberies I mentioned were at gunpoint.
I also worked on a train crew where the conductor and brakeman were threatened at gunpoint for blocking a road crossing. And I was threatened in a yard office once by a very ticked off person holding a gun in my face. You'd better believe this happens.

Scharnhorst,

I think you are missing my point. If your life is being threatened, that sort of takes precedence over state laws and company rules. If you don't think so, that is your decision. As for me, I'm not going down without a fight.

Les
  by scharnhorst
 
Desertdweller wrote:3rdrail,

Well, since you asked, yes, I do know of instances where railroad employees were threatened at gunpoint. The two crew robberies I mentioned were at gunpoint.
I also worked on a train crew where the conductor and brakeman were threatened at gunpoint for blocking a road crossing. And I was threatened in a yard office once by a very ticked off person holding a gun in my face. You'd better believe this happens.

Scharnhorst,

I think you are missing my point. If your life is being threatened, that sort of takes precedence over state laws and company rules. If you don't think so, that is your decision. As for me, I'm not going down without a fight.

Les
If you feel the need to take a gun to work that's your decision. I'm making a point that if your stupid enough to cross the state lines with a hand gun and it is not registered there then good luck to ya and all the legal stuff that follows in any case you will lose and no lawyer will touch you with a 10 foot pole in the case of being a vigilantly hell bent on self defense. I don't know what the charge would be for an unlicensed hand gun plus manslaughter charges I know that it would have a long stance in prison for both.
  by Desertdweller
 
Scharnhorst,

And what might the penalty be for getting shot?

Les
  by 3rdrail
 
I'm sure that all the comments here are true...and I believe correct also. What it probably comes down to is if you feel as if the risk of not having a firearm is too big a risk to take. I don't have enough information to comment on that risk. Once you make that call, you then have to worry about all the other family, legal, and job ramifications. They can alter your original opinion also. I will say that in Boston, although I have never seen or heard of a railroad worker being faced with a firearm, I certainly have seen my share of bodies found "the morning after" in desolate locations. Now, although, certainly, many of these were not merely robberies, I know that some were, along with "thrill" kills and other demonic behavior. Guns can be either your best friend or your worst enemy, sometimes even at the same time ! Good luck to all of you guys that work those desolate places where anything can and will happen. You have my respect and I wish you all great safety.
  by scharnhorst
 
Desertdweller wrote:Scharnhorst,

And what might the penalty be for getting shot?

Les
Like I said if you choose to carry a fire arm that's your business. I can already see that your not any smarter or any better than the people doing the harm to railroad personnel. I can also see that your a risk taker who care little about what the state and federal laws are as well which also makes you no better than the crooks wondering around the rail yards. The smart ones are the people would choose to register a hand gun in the state or states in which you travel by being smart your only covering your ass from prosecution for having an registered handgun if caught. But In your case I can already see that your the vigilant cowboy type who thinks there above the law and thinks they can do what ever they want and the cops will look the other way.
  by kevikens
 
Be careful this does not degenerate into an ad hominem argument. What those in favor of rail workers having access to firearms on the job probably mean, and most devoutly desire, is to see the laws and regulations changed so that it is permissible conduct. Since much rail traffic moves across state lines engineers and or conductors could be treated the way airline pilots are. They may, under certain conditions and restrictions, carry firearms regardless of what airport they take off from or land at. So rather than trying to secure a plethora of state permits make conductors and engineers subject to federal regulations with respect to firearm possession. If the FAA can license pilots why not the FRA rail workers? This is Labor Day. Rail workers unions, why not float this idea among your workers and if there is support go to the FRA and inquire about it.
  by Desertdweller
 
Kevikens,

I'll address this post to you
There is no point in trying to reason with Scharnhorst. I was trying to present the situation as it exists in the industry today, and how the railroaders themselves are dealing with it. The ultimate responsibility for one's protection lies with the individual, not the company or the government. It is far from an ideal situation.

Railroaders do not live in a little world isolated from the rest of society. They have a responsibility to their families to come back safely from every trip.

This should not be a political issue, nor a cause for personal attacks. Personally, I hope that Scharnhorst never finds himself in any of the situations I've described.
He may find his opinion changes quickly.

I do think it is inappropriate to lump those who would protect their own lives and those of their fellows in with the perpetrators of these crimes. Perhaps in the cities Scharnhorst frequents, criminals respect gun laws and do not present a threat to the disarmed citizens. But I doubt it. If there are people who cannot see the difference between an armed criminal and a hard-working railroader just trying to do his job, that is certainly part of the problem.

"Vigilantes hellbent on self-defense" ? Why, then, do crime rates fall when citizens arm themselves? Because criminals are too cowardly to risk an encounter with someone who will protect themselves. If you are carrying a concealed weapon, you'd better be hellbent on self-defense. Statistics show that when an armed citizen pulls a gun on an assailant, even if he doesn't use it, it costs that person an average of $50,000 in legal fees to defend himself for protecting his own life. Is your life worth $50,000? It is worth much less to the bad guys.

Les
  by gprimr1
 
This thread is all over the place; so I'm going to try to offer some perspective. I am a huge advocate of the 2nd Amendment and have concealed handgun licenses from Florida and Pennsylvania.

The comment about not being able to take a gun across state lines without registering it is false. Absolutely false. Only NJ, NY, MA, IL, HI and CA and maybe one other state require registration.

Over 40 states do not require the registration of handguns.

49 states issue permits to carry handguns; 41 of them issue based on objective criteria.

Handgun permits rarely cover rifles or shotguns, almost always it is you may carry a handgun.

Carrying a gun puts you on another level. You have to be twice as responsible; brandishing handguns is illegal. You pull your gun only when there is a threat to your life. Nothing else.

The Florida State Police released a study that you are more likely to be bit by an alligator than attacked by a person with a concealed handgun license. Texas reported that less than 1% of permit holders committed any type of crime.
I do think it is inappropriate to lump those who would protect their own lives and those of their fellows in with the perpetrators of these crimes. Perhaps in the cities Scharnhorst frequents, criminals respect gun laws and do not present a threat to the disarmed citizens. But I doubt it. If there are people who cannot see the difference between an armed criminal and a hard-working railroader just trying to do his job, that is certainly part of the problem.

"Vigilantes hellbent on self-defense" ? Why, then, do crime rates fall when citizens arm themselves? Because criminals are too cowardly to risk an encounter with someone who will protect themselves. If you are carrying a concealed weapon, you'd better be hellbent on self-defense. Statistics show that when an armed citizen pulls a gun on an assailant, even if he doesn't use it, it costs that person an average of $50,000 in legal fees to defend himself for protecting his own life. Is your life worth $50,000? It is worth much less to the bad guys.
This is spot on. Criminals don't obey gun laws; in fact, in the Supreme Court case of Haynes vs United States (1968) the Supreme Court ruled requiring criminals to register guns (in states that require it) amounts to self incrimination. Yes, criminals are exempt from the very gun laws that are designed to stop them.

Armed Citizens are not what you need to be concerned about; criminals are.

There is a lot of misinformation out there; the media and various anti-2A groups love to spread half truths and distort facts.

I used to be anti-2A until I read this book and really thought about the facts.

This is the book: http://gunfacts.info/

It is not published by the NRA, or the Brady Campaign; it is just facts, academic facts.

I usually CCW when I am rail fanning, so long as the state allows it.
  by Freddy
 
If any of you ever get to be a maintainer and the phone rings at 3 30 on a cold Sunday Feb. morning and the signal center tells you the code lines out and you drive an hour
out into the boonies between Atlanta and Birmingham and find 2 redneck dudes coiling up your wire and the fat one sends a round that makes a CRACK sound by the side of
your head when you start to get out of the truck. Your mind will get made up real quick as to whether or not you'll tote a weapon. True story by the way.
  by Georgia Railroader
 
gprimr1 wrote:This thread is all over the place; so I'm going to try to offer some perspective. I am a huge advocate of the 2nd Amendment and have concealed handgun licenses from Florida and Pennsylvania.

The comment about not being able to take a gun across state lines without registering it is false. Absolutely false. Only NJ, NY, MA, IL, HI and CA and maybe one other state require registration.

Over 40 states do not require the registration of handguns.

49 states issue permits to carry handguns; 41 of them issue based on objective criteria.

Handgun permits rarely cover rifles or shotguns, almost always it is you may carry a handgun.

Carrying a gun puts you on another level. You have to be twice as responsible; brandishing handguns is illegal. You pull your gun only when there is a threat to your life. Nothing else.

The Florida State Police released a study that you are more likely to be bit by an alligator than attacked by a person with a concealed handgun license. Texas reported that less than 1% of permit holders committed any type of crime.
I do think it is inappropriate to lump those who would protect their own lives and those of their fellows in with the perpetrators of these crimes. Perhaps in the cities Scharnhorst frequents, criminals respect gun laws and do not present a threat to the disarmed citizens. But I doubt it. If there are people who cannot see the difference between an armed criminal and a hard-working railroader just trying to do his job, that is certainly part of the problem.

"Vigilantes hellbent on self-defense" ? Why, then, do crime rates fall when citizens arm themselves? Because criminals are too cowardly to risk an encounter with someone who will protect themselves. If you are carrying a concealed weapon, you'd better be hellbent on self-defense. Statistics show that when an armed citizen pulls a gun on an assailant, even if he doesn't use it, it costs that person an average of $50,000 in legal fees to defend himself for protecting his own life. Is your life worth $50,000? It is worth much less to the bad guys.
This is spot on. Criminals don't obey gun laws; in fact, in the Supreme Court case of Haynes vs United States (1968) the Supreme Court ruled requiring criminals to register guns (in states that require it) amounts to self incrimination. Yes, criminals are exempt from the very gun laws that are designed to stop them.

Armed Citizens are not what you need to be concerned about; criminals are.

There is a lot of misinformation out there; the media and various anti-2A groups love to spread half truths and distort facts.

I used to be anti-2A until I read this book and really thought about the facts.

This is the book: http://gunfacts.info/

It is not published by the NRA, or the Brady Campaign; it is just facts, academic facts.

I usually CCW when I am rail fanning, so long as the state allows it.

Thank you. Great post.
  by Georgia Railroader
 
Freddy wrote:If any of you ever get to be a maintainer and the phone rings at 3 30 on a cold Sunday Feb. morning and the signal center tells you the code lines out and you drive an hour
out into the boonies between Atlanta and Birmingham and find 2 redneck dudes coiling up your wire and the fat one sends a round that makes a CRACK sound by the side of
your head when you start to get out of the truck. Your mind will get made up real quick as to whether or not you'll tote a weapon. True story by the way.
This. Until the buffs and foamers have been where we have been and been caught up in situations we have.......
I dont give a damn what any armchair lawyer or legal know it all has to say, my life comes first. I'll worry about all the legal matters later, but I will be around to deal with it, you can bank on that. Whole different world out here vs standing trackside with a camera.
  by 3rdrail
 
Georgia Railroader wrote: Whole different world out here vs standing trackside with a camera.
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.
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 11