3 Quick Thoughts On The Waco Biker Massacre

This was not an episode of the highly entertaining television series Burn Notice or Sons of Anarchy. This was reality.

By now you are likely aware of the sequence of events.  Two to three warring biker gangs were invited to interact in a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, TX.  What supposedly began as a verbal fight in a bathroom begat a fisticuffs battle in the dining area, which begat a guns and knives showdown in the parking lot leaving 9 dead, several more wounded, and more than 100 arrested.

And as was the plot of a Burn Notice and Sons of Anarchy episode, once fighting began, more crews took to bikes and to I-35 in order to defend honor and brotherhood. We ride, we die.

As someone who spent the better part of 11 years calling Waco home, let me make a few observations about the social climate of such a scene.

1. Waco is a good town full of good people.  By and large people love Jesus, want to be moral, and want to do good.  Waco is a town with citizens that fit into a number of categories including entrepreneurs, church planters, Baylor bears, missionaries, the homeless, military veterans, and coaches.  The Branch Davidians and this national embarrassment do not speak to the reality of the community.  This situation, much like the Branch Davidian crisis, is an example of outsiders coming to bring a negative light on an otherwise great city.

2. We should not be surprised that Twin Peaks restaurant is an epicenter for nefarious activity.  Emily Mills, the CEO and corporate soul of Jesus Said Love (a ministry to women trapped in the sex trade industry) has put it quite succinctly in this recent blog post:

If you know anything about Twin Peaks, you know it’s in the same vein as Hooters. Not officially part of the sex industry, right? And yet many of our [sex industry] women transition here to wait tables when they get tired of taking their clothes off. One girl even told us, “I have one old man who comes into Hooters just to touch my butt. I let him because it’s easier to deal with him than some of the jerks in the club.” And so, the cycle of objectifying women and even sexually assaulting them goes unchecked. Times like today, places like this become hotbeds for violence: because where you permit injustice to one, you run the risk of permitting injustice for many…even putting an entire city at risk.

I think it wise for any community to think twice about granting permits to places like Hooters, Twin Peaks, Tilted Kilt, etc…  Maybe it is a bit of an overreaction to point to this isolated incident and cry injustice.  Or, maybe it is this kind of isolated incident that requires thinking minds to consider the question, “Is this an isolated incident, or a glimpse into the kinds of small evils that occur at restaurants like these everyday of the week?” See here and here for a snippet of the kinds of things that occur here on a weekly basis.

3. Don’t mess with Texas.  Seriously, do not mess with Texas.  At one of my previous churches in Texas I discovered that all of the deacons went through CHL training.  Which means that every week, our entire deacon body was packing in the worship service.  When I asked the head of the deacons as to why his deacons were packing he said, quite simply, “Because we will not let something like Columbine happen here.”

Texans, by and large, don’t play around when it comes to the safety of their communities. As the biker gangs discovered, one does not simply bring guns to a gunfight in Texas.  If the deacons are packing, you can bet the swat teams have substantially more force available.  One sergeant basically said that he would not recommend that any other bikers make their way to Waco after news of the situation got out.  Um, yeah. They would have to fight through Baptist deacons just to get to the police just to get arrested.

About Doug Hankins

Although not a Christian in his youth, Doug came to believe in Jesus during his teenage years. When not playing sports or pastoring Doug is probably spending time with his wife, reading a good book, or drinking some hot tea. Doug's first book Dawson Trotman: In His Own Words is available wherever books are sold. You can follow Doug on twitter.
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107 Responses to 3 Quick Thoughts On The Waco Biker Massacre

  1. Stormiedalef15@icloud.com says:

    This is some one who has done no homework on the situation. Cossacks are my family and this was mostly cause by cops! There were no guns drawn until cops started shooting… Pigs I’m done!!

    • jrf says:

      scary. why would the cops shoot? Hmmm maybe because folks had guns out. Dont like how police treat you? Try not breaking the law.

  2. karen says:

    Waco is not a DOPE town! Every town has drugs in it and it is not all about the drugs. Born in Waco, I know that it is full of good, god fearing people.

  3. Amber says:

    Thats was the dumbest thing ive ever read.! waco is a dope town not a damn godly town. What about hooters thats a sex industry you wanna talk bad about thing you dont understand people these days. Doesnt matter how many churches or whatever you have in waco its still a DOPE TOWN

  4. Pingback: The Good Within The Chaos Of The Waco Biker Story » doughankins

  5. Dane says:

    I appreciate your perspective, especially as it pertains to the citizens of Waco. Many of us find it unthinkable that an establishment of such sordid variety has been located in the heart of a family-oriented shopping center. Thankfully, it appears that the business will not reopen.

  6. James says:

    Massacre? Bit of a mislabel isn’t it?

  7. ron cameron says:

    Twin Peaks is claiming there was no fist fight(s) inside their building. So sad. Most of these bikers (and probably nearly all) are not citizens of Waco. I hope it leaves no blight on the city. After all, it is home to Baylor (the oldest University in Texas), Dr. Pepper, Big Red and Billy Joe Shaver !!

    • Tonja says:

      Ron trust me most of these guys are citizens of waco. The gangs in Waco are large and people just want to look the other way

  8. Marilee says:

    I find it interesting that the deacon in Texas would say, “Columbine” instead of “Wedgwood”….

  9. Bill Montes says:

    First of all it wasnt a massacre not even close by difinition. Hooters and Twin peaks where I am from are not the strip club stypes so stop putting everyone under the same umbrella. Im more willing to bet it maybe isolated to Waco on the type of waitresses they hire. Also one of the gangs involved was started by veterans. Got to get facts right and tell it as it pretains to the event and put your holy umbrella away

  10. It was also noted on the news today that the police have been talking to Twin Peaks about the activity going on for months and that this was a hot bed of activity that was forseen as coming and the owners did nothing about it. Just another FYI>

  11. tonja Bailey says:

    As Christians we are not to judge and this person’s whole article is about judging a place and people. Judging is sinning which in God’s eyes is the same as these guys murdering. And that folks is the honest truth

    ~raised by a southern baptist preacher

  12. David murphy says:

    I love that we are blaming twin peaks. Hey someone drove there truck through a lubys 10 years ago where I’m from was it bc the older lubys waitresses were wearing skimpy clothes? This incident would have happened at a bar or another restaurant if not there, maybe a TGIFridays… Who knows but don’t be so arrogant enough to say it’s because of the shorts and shirt they wear at twin peaks… Grandma get off your couch and peak outside I see modest normally everyday women running, shopping, eating lunch, etc in just as much as what they wear at twin peaks and there aren’t gangs rolling behind those ladies offing each other.

  13. Bob says:

    . I know many bikers many have been very close to me. And many keep a Christian faith.

    And I think this is an instance where plaid skirts, Short shorts and leathers and bikes combined with alcohol got way out of hand.

    Most Bikers do not have a fight mentality. But when they are threatened or there family is threatened. Much like any of us they will do anything to protect it. And the colors they where in many cases are there family by blood as well as brother and sisiterhood Thru affiliation.

    Many bikers are Veteran’s of our military. Have been shunned by many and misplaced by the government.

    I think to compare this instance to television is a mistake.

    But I do not condone what has happen here. I only wish to say that we should focus on this story as a moment of weakness provided by evil. And many people were involved That could use our help.

    • melss says:

      lets clear the air. there are two types of biker organizations: clubs&gangs. clubs have no criminal intent. where gangs do. these were biker gangs. NOT biker clubs. the Waco PD clearly stated that as well.

  14. Patricia Harvey. says:

    For years we Wacoans have had our heads buried in the sand when it comes to gang problems. There are at least 5 gangs that I know of here and working. They are in everyone of our schools, inside and out of Waco, and we need to face it, educate parents on what to recognize, and get rid of them! Administration Knows that they are there, but do not want to be Tagged as the school with the gangs. Young gang members grow up to be older gang members. Once in there is no going out. As they will tell you blood in
    Blood out! They work in Groups, the larger the better. They wear colors. They will have tats that symbolize what their group stands for, the younger ones(in Junior high and High school) will daily put ink on their hands, arms, and the the webbing of their fingers. They wear bandanas and NO KID today will wear a bandana unless they are part of a gang because they would be beaten up for it. The child will insist on wearing one color everyday! Everyday that color MUST be on their body and it is always the same HUE. Adult gang members will often wear one color only, and will drive a car the same color. They have a thing for having their picture taken with all the weapons they carry. Gangs love to work under cover, once they are found out, they often leave. If this email helps just one parent discover what their child is involved in, it is worth it. How do I know about this, I am a retired teacher and a taught drama. Often the children would reveal what they were up to in their acting and I would ask questions. I talked to many of them about Christ and many gang members went to church and claim to be believers. Some even attend with parents! One day I talked to a captain in one of the gangs, his very words to me when I asked him to leave the gang was “If I had met you earlier, I could have, but now I am in too deep!” He was a 7th grader. It is time folks! It is time!

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