Is Protection Necessary?
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Just wanted to pop back in and clear up a point. I may have worded my question poorly. I'm not actually considering, taking a gun with me, nor do I think I need one. It just seems, from what I read here and in other forums, that every person in the parking lot at every truck stop is someone that I need to avoid and be scared of, and I didn't really think it could be that bad. So I wanted a bit of positive to offset all the negative I've seen/read.
And for that, thank you all for your responses. I feel a bit less stressed about everything.
You don't need to worry about anything. I've never had a problem, never seen anybody else have one either. Truck stops are pretty safe. I have a license to carry, so would I like to have my gun with me? Sure. But I don't feel vulnerable without it. I just keep my doors locked, and my tire thumper within reach.
I keep seeing posts that say "my company doesn't allow it," or a "shipper (or receiver,) won't let me on their property if I have one." I've said it before, and I'll say it again, unless you TELL them, how are they going to find out? Is your employer or a customer going to do a physical search of you? Now maybe they have metal detectors at some places, but outside of government facilities, I've never seen them.
Concealed carry means just that, CONCEALED. Where people can't see it. It isn't rocket science. Yes, you could be arrested for it in most states. But unless you run afoul of the law, it isn't going to happen. And in the event you are involved in something that you cannot just walk away from, would you rather be dead, or in jail?
Almost all confrontations can be avoided. Walk away. Be mature. But if you have somebody who is intent on doing you harm, be prepared.
A weapon in your truck will be totally useless if you are inside the truck stop.
If you do choose to carry, you'd better have the right mindset, or you will be in a world of hurt. You have to maintain proficiency with whatever you are carrying. And there is a world of difference between a real life confrontation, and standing at a range punching holes in paper, or being out in the tules shooting bottles and cans. Even combat veterans find that in a firefight, they don't send those bullets exactly where they want to.
Movies and TV not withstanding, the vast majority of people would be unable to defend themselves, even if armed, in a real life or death situation. They will most likely become a victim of their own gun or knife, so unless you really know what you are doing, you are just fooling yourself into security.
Now I wasn't a trucker for a real long time, about 12 years. But I never even came close to thinking I needed to pull my gun. OTOH, I was a cop for over 20 years, and it was a different situation.
It seems these threads on firearms come up at least once a month or so. Don't folks ever do a search, before posting a question?
The only problem I ever have is when people see me and think I am a famous movie star. I don't like the attention but carrying a weapon is nothing that I would do for that. And let me tell you all once again, NO, I did not play the banjo in Deliverance.
Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2015
I unload in Downtown Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco every week late at night. I've had to pull my gun twice in the last 3 years, once was when i was in my trailer pulling pallets to the back for the lumper, and a guy tried to rob the lumper not knowing I was in the trailer, he ran like a little girl. The next time I was in Sacramento and getting out of my truck, and a guy pulled a knife on me, I put my 9mm to his head, he dropped his knife and ran.
So yes, I would carry a weapon.
In 30 years of trucking I haven't needed one yet, so far a 6 cell maglite has worked and I have sprayed 1 guy in the face with a fire extinguisher near Hunts Point...but I do carry.
I know someone that got robbed of $32 and shot helping a broke down 4 wheeler, the biggest thing is to know what state you can legally shoot someone in.
I have to quote I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6...spend the night on Mack Ave in Detroit then tell me you disagree.
But I doubt many will really heed you.
You make very many good points, the best of which is the mind set of the person carrying.
I was never a cop, but I was armed as bus security for the Santa Clara County Transit in CA.
San Jose has never been known for a gentle nature.
We had a bad situation develop one night where every bus that drove through a certain street was being attacked.
The road supervisors were the first called to observe the situation, and their cars were also attacked.
When I got there the entire block was present, a couple hundred people, and they were all mad about something.
As I was trying to make sense of the situation someone told me that a certain kid (a young teenager) was involved somehow, so I approached him and asked if I could speak to him.
He yelled a few things and pulled a knife on me.
As he advanced I backed up, telling him that if he kept advancing on me I would defend myself.
He dared me to shoot him, and advanced some more.
Long story short, I convinced the crowd to hold him back.
I never drew my weapon.
Didn't want to kill a kid, which I would have if leather was cleared.
If I pull it, it's never as a simple threat.
Like Ender, if I decide to put you down - it will be once, and for all.
Funny thing is, all the violence had nothing to do with the busses.
Earlier that week a toddler had been killed. He was behind a car that was backing out of a driveway, and the driver didn't see him.
The grief was too much to bear, and the people took it out on the busses.
I learned of that as I was talking to some of the people that helped with the knife kid.
He was only caught up in the chaos, and my uniform.
It's easy to pull a gun and kill someone, made easier every day with all the kill-em shoot-em-up games.
But having the mind set necessary to be responsible enough to carry a firearm, isn't so easy.
And to the OP.
In 3 years OTR I've never been in a situation where I thought having a weapon would be needed.
I've had my daughter ride with me on occasion, and I've not always been with her when she ventures out of the truck. She liked to go for long walks around the truck stop, talking on her phone.
She never had a problem at any truck stop.
Granted, some places are pretty bad. One poster mentioned a couple.
But for the most part I doubt you will have any kind of problem.
Never thought I would have to address this. A fire arm is a tool. Makes a difference of being dead & alive.
I go Yes. First load, Conn Edison, NYC. Person jumped on our truck. Give me your $$$ didn't comply. He shot me. I shot him. He died. Never shoot a Texas Trucker with a .25. Bad idea. Shoulder wound. Dead Junkie. Blew him over the hood of a car. .44 will do that. Left handed was his downfall. He thought I reached for my wallet but didn't happen. I don't abide by laws when my Wife is at stake. My Truck is Our Primary home. Right to bear arms. Some was the guy that said sorry, & some other guys helped me out of the state. He was the Mayor or something. Most expensive load of pipe they will ever get. I didn't sue, not their fault. I keep a Pistol always. Not to show off, just if needed.
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