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“Ricky Thornton, the pickup truck driver [who pointed a gun at a biker in a video gone viral], told mySA.com that the bikers had been driving recklessly prior to the events shown in the video. ‘Anybody in their right minds going to know there’s a little more to it than just him walking up to my damn truck,’ Thornton said. “Thornton, a 54-year-old mechanical contractor from Irving, said bikers were weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other drivers and popping wheelies on the freeway. One biker leaned on his truck at a stoplight before the events of the video, Thornton said. A biker also almost wiped out in front of his truck while he was driving, he said. At another point . . .

Thornton said that 10 or 12 bikers surrounded his truck.

“I was completely surrounded by motorcycles,” Thornton said. “I definitely felt threatened. I would not have pulled my gun out if I had not felt threatened.”

Thornton, who described himself as a biker, stood by his actions: he said his attention had been focused on the other bikers when the motorcyclist who filmed the encounter rapped on his passenger window, startling him.

“I would do it again if the same situation came up,” Thornton said.

The 54-year-old Texas man, who said he was in Nevada on business, told mySA.com that he believes the bikers were trying to provoke him.

“They tried to get a response out of me and they got one,” Thornton said.

Fair enough?

145 Responses to Texas Man Who Pulled Gun On Bikers: I’d Do It Again

  1. Sorry. He’s in a full size 4000 lb truck. Last I checked playing bumper cars with folks on bikes leads to truck win.

    He brandished. When no lethal threat was imminent. The bikers did this on MLK day in my area. It pissed off the rush hour folks, made local news helicopter highlights, but the bikers were an annoyance, not a threat. This guys an idiot.

    • No it doesn’t, because if the bikers perceive it that you purposely hit one of them, then the whole group of them may start attacking you or give chase, and you’re not going to outrun motorcycles in a truck. Which means your options are to either let them attack you or start trying to run more of them over, and who knows what all of that leads to.

      People don’t know who these bikers are. There was that Asian family who got attacked by the urban bikers in NYC, driving a Land Rover SUV. The driver panicked, ran one of them over, and they thus gave chase, thus terrifying the family. The SUV eventually got blocked by traffic, and the bikers proceeded to smash in the windows and slash the guy’s face with a knife. Some of the bikers were COPS and did nothing.

      • And IF that happens, then he would have been justified.

        There’s video. Video is quite clear, there was no danger AT ALL; none could be perceived AT ALL.

        • Funny and curious how a lot of go-pro biker videos show them strictly obeying the rules of the road during one of these encounters. I don’t believe the limited video told the entire story. That said, he should have prepared without brandishing.

      • in addition to what others have already said, IF the “bikers” were really all that bad, and you genuinely feel threatened, the last thing you’d want to do is show your hand/gun while essentially surrounded 12 to 1.

        In reality, all the bikers were engaged in was, at most, traffic violations. Film them and report to police if you feel they posed some “general threat” to traffic. Ensconced in a two ton truck, they showed no indication of posing an immediate lethal threat to the driver. The right to bear arms does not imply the right to play Judge Dredd the Traffic Cop at ones discretion.

    • If this man’s story is accurate and the situation has been unfolding over the course of 10 minutes or more on the interstate and after, he could have exited the situation at any time. Just slow down your truck and let the group of motorcycles pass. Or, pull off the road and grab a cup of coffee for 10 minutes and let them get clean out of sight.

      • That is the very best answer and the guy is a idiot to show his gun at many times he could have just stopped or moved away you cannot shoot somebody if you have access to leave the area. Just because you are harass by someone that doesn’t give you a right to shoot them

        • IMHO, you have the right to shoot somebody in that situation when your window has been broken, and the shards are *inside your truck*!! As in, they have broken your window coming in after you. If your window is not broken, or the glass is outside your truck, you do not want me on your jury.

        • There’s a difference between standing your ground against an attack and childishly getting all worked up over minor, non-threatening nonsense that you could have and should have avoided as soon as you saw it. If you see someone doing jumping jacks on the sidewalk you walk around them, mutter an insult and continue on your way. You don’t try to occupy the space they’re flailing around in or pull a gun on them just because they’re an inconsiderate jagoff.

      • They were NOT a threat at the time and your straw man is bending under the weight of your appeal to emotion and sliding down the hill of a slippery slope. Just because something can be a certain way is meaningless and using it as an argument in defense of an action is specious at best and willfully ignorant in any event. You can be a murderer if you want but people don’t get to go around pointing guns at you because you’re capable of murder and there would be zero excuse for it if they did. No biker in that video was being hostile or threatening physical harm to anyone at the time and Mr. Coward pickup driver being startled or there being a lot of bikies is no defense. In fact, his entire story is nothing but churlish self-justification via logical fallacies of an indefensible act perpetrated by a lowly coward who thought a gun made him tough. In this case, the gun made him weak.

      • Whether I am wrong or not, simply ignoring them would eliminate the problem. They get run over, what’s it to you? But you’d better not be trying to run them over, although when I was riding you could try all day and it wouldn’t happen unless I was stopped at a light. This guy’s a jerkoff, but it sounds like the bikers were, as well, since they don’t seem to have filed a complaint.

      • Actually, the man did not feel threatened. A person does not voluntarily eliminate a barrier, window in this case, if they feel threatened. This guy should be arrested, fined, and have his CL revoked. He is a prime example of how not to handle a firearm, and is not helping preserve the right to have a firearm. People referring what happened in NYC are not capable to see the difference in situations. There’s no footage of any threatening behavior. And again the man was clearly not threatened by the bikers which was displayed by him rolling down the window. Sorry, but the guy shouldn’t carry. The way he handled it is the exact way anti-gun supporters see pro-gun rights people. GG.

    • A quick call to 911 when he started to perceive a threat, maybe even when they started to behave badly in a vehicular sense, would have helped his case.
      Rolling down your windows and starting a shouting match, along with his two friends in the passenger seats doesn’t look like he is trying to stay out of harms way either.
      They’re all idiots.

    • Sorry, but you don’t get to choose if he felt threatened.
      There are several videos of people using their vehicles to defend themselves when they felt threatened only to get swarmed by bikers and get the sh1t beat out of them.

      • Apparently the edit/delete button doesn’t work properly. I thought this was a different video. This guy is a D’bag. If he was threatened enough to use deadly force he should have attempted to leave and call 911.
        Having said that why do all these bikers need to act this way and give all the rest of us a bad name?

        • Some bikers only use bikes as a symbol of their doper/criminal lifestyle. Which makes bikers who love to ride and those who need cheap transportation look bad. Usually you can tell the difference by the tattoos.

        • “Having said that why do all these bikers need to act this way and give all the rest of us a bad name?”

          That’s simple, they’re “claiming” the space they are in as theirs—and implicitly telling everyone else to stay out. While they’re riding in a group, popping wheelies, weaving in and out of traffic, leaning on people’s trucks they’re establishing turf in the same way that street gangs establish turf. The only difference is that the biker’s turf moves with them. As long as they’re in this special space they’re free to do anything they want, behave in ways that wouldn’t be acceptable if they weren’t together. Bikers aren’t alone in this, of course. Militant bicyclists (!) do the same thing in San Francisco. The “Hollywood Stuntz” bikers got someone seriously hurt and a family attacked by doing this stuff in NYC a couple of years ago.

  2. No it’s not fair enough Ricky!. Pulling his gun in that instance was unnecessary and not prudent. He could have it in his hand, he could have it ready, but pointing it was wrong. If he thinks he would do it again, I’m of the opinion then that he should be relieved of his weapon for a substantial time. Not everyone should have a gun and seems that idiot is one of them.

    • ” If he thinks he would do it again, I’m of the opinion then that he should be relieved of his weapon for a substantial time.”

      I agree.

      However, it is *possible*, (although not likely), that he *may* reconsider that course of action…

  3. OK, so they were riding like idiots, even given that, the only threat of that to you is the possibility of accidentally running over one of the idiots. None of those motorcycles weighs more than 10% of what your truck does. Simply stated you are almost completely impervious to their idiotic behavior, if it bothers, you turn off and go a different direction to your destination, or call the cops on them. Your gun should be your last resort, not your first option!

    • What happens if you bump one of them and they then decide to surround your vehicle? Or you run one of them over and they take it personally? Look up the video of what happened to the Asian family in NYC when a group of bikers decided to surround them.

      • If they do something that makes you honestly think you are in danger of death or serious bodily harm, then act accordingly. Don’t act based on what they could do if it turned out like something you saw on the internet, before they actually start doing it.

      • That’s a lot of what-ifs several steps into the speculative future. At the time of the biker tapping on the window to ask what’s up, there was nowhere near enough justificatin for the driver of the truck to threaten him with deadly force. He needs to be charged. Maybe not jail time, probation could be sufficient, but he does need to be relieved of that license to carry for a while.

      • Kyle, your argument is idiotic. That’ s the same as saying we should ban AKs and ARs because look what happened at Sandyhook in Newtown. You’re pointing out one obscure instance, which I have tell you, it fails the reasonable test.
        He got scared and piddled his Depends at had to point his gun like a pansy-ass bit–. That’s all there is to it.
        With a bunch of pissed off people around, unholstering his weapon and having it out of sight in his hands is reasonable, what he did was irresponsible and imprudent with no valid justification whatsoever.

        • I never said he was justified in pulling the gun like that, I was responding to the original post in which the person was saying that because the guy was in a truck and they on motorcycles, what’s the worst that could happen? And I was pointing out that just because he’s in a truck doesn’t mean he is safe.

      • There’s a reason why the qualifiers like “immediate” or “imminent” appear in most laws on self-defense. If the bikers had actually attempted to extract him from the truck by force, then that would be a justification to point his gun at them – but not the mere prospect they might do so in the future.

      • Pants wetting huh Kyle? Ooooh I’m scared, I’m scared. There’s a bunch of dirt bike riders and they might, they might… NOTHING AT ALL before the cops get there if they’re called like they should be. While discretion is the better part of valor, neither cowardice nor childish stupidity is any part of discretion.

        • I never said he was justified in pulling the gun like that, I was responding to the original post in which the person was saying that because the guy was in a truck and they on motorcycles, what’s the worst that could happen? And I was pointing out that just because he’s in a truck doesn’t mean he is safe. Also the video doesn’t show the whole story.

      • Try this, Kyle; “we need to remove all firearms from society, because someday a group of bikers might happen to be driving in the vicinity of a truck and scare the driver, causing him to panic and run over a couple. Then if they surrounded him, he might become fearful of an attack and decide he needs to shoot them. If nobody has any guns, the whole problem could be avoided.” Does that make any sense? Because that’s the logic you appear to be using. The Asian family you refer to, when that guy beat his window in and reached for him he should have been met by a .45 slug. Before that, no, you’re talking about murder.

        • That’s not the logic I am using. I never said he was justified in pulling the gun like that, I was responding to the original post in which the person was saying that because the guy was in a truck and they on motorcycles, what’s the worst that could happen? And I was pointing out that just because he’s in a truck doesn’t mean he is safe.

    • Also, whatever they might have been doing, however they might have been driving, is only an allegation. The video shows no evidence of any of that. The brandishing, though, was recorded and factual. Also not to be missed is that it is not relevant how the man in the truck “felt”. Anyone can feel anything at any time. That’s why the laws say some variety of “reasonable” threat.
      No reasonable mind would say a bunch of motorcycles are a credible threat to a truck, no matter what fancy story the man can come up with. No matter how startled he might, or might not, have been.
      There did not appear to be any reasonable threat to brandish a firearm over, and he should be charged, and a jury should evaluate the altercation, and if convicted he would then have lost his right to bear arms, due to his own bad judgement, and due process, exactly as the Constitution specifies.
      Contast that with Obomba’s executive orders and such. A doctor’s note or the word of an anonymous VA official(or the story of a guy in a truck) is NOT due process. Due process requires a court and a jury. Everything else is somebody’s decree. Arbitrary, like the detention of Assange, at least according to the UN.

      • What he was feeling absolutely matters, although it’s not the entire story by itself. If he felt he was in danger, that’s one of the elements of self defense. It’s not the entire story because it also needs to meet the reasonable person standard. Someone who is paranoid can’t just shoot a guy for looking at them because they honestly felt threatened, because being looked at doesn’t present a danger to a reasonable person.

        Similarly, just because he could explain a scenario that loosely fits the facts wherein he could have felt he was in danger, doesn’t mean he can use lethal force if he was actually just angry and thought he could come up with an excuse. Based on the way he was driving, his lack of a 911 call, his interaction with the bikers while moving, and his demeanor once he stopped and rolled down his window, my belief is that he was angry and wanted to put some bikers in their place.

      • “and if convicted he would then have lost his right to bear arms, due to his own bad judgement, and due process, exactly as the Constitution specifies.”

        Sorry. You’re going to have to point out where precisely the constitution specifies ANY method by which a person could have “lost his right to bear arms”, as I seem to have misplaced it. He would have surrendered his right to breathe free air, but not RKBA, insofar as the constitution is concerned.

    • Ya know, if this idiot thought he was gonna scare off the idiot on the bike, it sure didn’t work out for him.
      The nitwit in the passenger seat didn’t help matters by rolling down the window either. That brings to mind a good thought, if any of you folks are in a similar situation use the switch to turn off your passenger’s ability to roll down the windows! The window may not be a lot of protection, but it will keep bad guy hands out of your vehicle and off passengers who aren’t smart enough to leave the damn window up!

  4. Brandishing is a federal offense in several states. No need for that, in this case, at all.
    The bikers were d1cks, of course, as was the youtuber asking for a Darwin Award.

  5. No, not fair enough. He was completely out of line, as was his mouthbreathing passenger who started screaming “Get that god damn gun out” while he’s still reaching for the window switch. Oxygen thieves, both of ’em.

    And don’t even get me started on trigger discipline.

    • Yea I thought the same thing about what front passenger was saying at that time.

      I don’t buy the ‘felt threatened’ line, they would not have opened windows.

      • He took cop lessons 101. Kill a dog wagging his tail, you felt threatened. Kill someone, they lunged at you, you felt threatened and shot them. Black guy with hoodie, you felt threatened and had to shoot him.
        Bikers being knobs, you feel threatened, but have to act like a man and point gun. Without gun, you’re a d—- bag in a truck too scared to yell and cuss out the bikers.

        • Interesting, would the biker would have tapped on a police car’s window to ask the cop, “What his problem was?”

        • Congrats! You’re the first to veer far enough from the topic to introduce the obligatory TTAG anti-cop rant.

  6. If that’s the best story he can come up with, he’s convinced me he’s wrong. The video showing him with finger on trigger, and the actions of all in his truck are wrong. The only way I can make it all fit is that he/they had some interactions with the bikers. He could have stopped his truck, taken a turn, backed out of it somewhere. I was on his side till I read this.

  7. Sorry, he’s an idiot. Not only brandishing, but look at him point it across his passenger’s body. Geez.

    Rule #1 when I carry is “if it comes out of the holster, someone is getting shot”. So it doesn’t get drawn to scare someone or to prove how big a man I am.

    • Rule 1 is “It only comes out when a life is in immediate danger.”
      You can pull and not have to shoot someone. There are tens of thousands of DGU’s every year (probably many times that number) where a gun is pulled and no one gets shot. Those numbers have been used in many articles on this very site.

      • Yes, definitely. Nothing wrong with a draw to low ready if it looks like you might have to defend yourself. Don’t feel obligated to shoot a guy in the back as he runs, if his response to this is to decide it’s time to drop his knife and stop asking for your wallet.

        • That is very true. But he’d better be really quick turning away, or he’ll have a hole or two in him before he manages it. Assuming that he did not pull his knife and announce his intentions while still 30 feet away.

    • Your Rule #1 is idiotic and probably illegal.

      Until you pull the trigger, you have a spectrum of force available to you. Letting an unlawful aggressor know that you are armed is both legal and a good idea.

      If four unarmed muggers surround me, I may not have a legal justification for shooting him but I might have a legal justification to let the know that I won’t go easily.

      None of us were there and none of us saw what happened to them. Clearly they felt threatened (rightfully or not).

      • Well, they felt something. I wouldn’t mind seeing a drug test about that time. They did not appear rational.

  8. That guy’s a dangerous idiot. Why isn’t he being charged with assault?

    Imbeciles like him pose the biggest threat to our collective 2A rights.

  9. Hopefully he doesn’t lose his gun “privileges.”

    This probably won’t help in that endeavor:
    “I would do it again if the same situation came up,” Thornton said.

  10. The guy is an idiot, but I keep thinking of Alexian LIen in NYC, getting surrounded by bikers and beaten up. The only reason he’s alive is because they stopped, and people have died with less violent beatings.

    I probably wouldn’t have drawn down on them, and I definitely wouldn’t have provoked them, but the second that a dozen aggressive bikers (or aggressive anyones) surrounds my vehicle, I’m going to at least be preparing to defend myself.

    • I agree. Like the Alexian Lien incident, if they broke his window, assaulted him, and tried to drag him out, that is completely understandable for a DGU. Some lines you just don’t cross. Trying to kill people with your fists and helmets is one of those.

  11. For his actions to be legit, he would need to show a situation where a reasonable person would perceive a threat of death or serious bodily harm. I don’t see that here based on the video of the original post, or based on his explanation. If one of them had tried to get into his truck, or displayed a weapon, or made some verbal threat combined with physical aggression that he could explain in detail, he might have something.

    Not sure if Nevada law has some kind of language that changes the picture, but if I was given the original video where I work, the charge would be Assault 1.

    • Yes’m the mere act of pointing a gun, whether loaded or not, is an assault. He could have been shot in self defense, and done so legally – what if the biker was carrying? This guy should be charged with a violent felony and loose his right to own guns. He is a hothead, and demonstrated his admitted lack of emotional control while possessing a potentially deadly weapon. The only thing that was standing between him and a deadly battery is 1/2 inch twitch of a finger.

    • Without a complaint, I doubt you would be getting any sort of a charge approved. Step one would be his announcement that it was a stunt, all parties voluntarily participating in a video production, and you just made a fool of yourself and the department you work for. This was a video on youtube, not a filed complaint. No grounds to prosecute without a complaint.

      • You’re right, there is no criminal charge for a crime like this without a cooperative victim. My comment was based on the assumption that the biker filming the original video would either call 911 or if contacted, be willing to provide a statement. Even without a cooperative victim, if something like this happens where I work, we would still investigate as completely as practical, then forward the case to the prosecutor’s office with a note that the victim didn’t want us to do anything, fully expecting the prosecutor to decline the case.

        There are, unfortunately, many cases where felony assaults and other serious crimes are committed and nobody wants to talk. I suppose I was talking more about the law in general and how it relates to incidents similar to this, than wanting to personally go down there and file a case.

  12. On one hand, this appears to be an overreaction. On the other, I have seen large groups of bikers present a danger to individual cars. The car may be bigger than one lone bike, but a swarm of bikes can…swarm.

    I don’t know if pointing was appropriate, and have only seen this video and not the viral one, but I don’t have an issue with him insuring that the bikers were aware that he was armed and would respond if his vehicle (and thus his ability to safely operate the vehicle in a manner that keeps him and his passengers safe) was compromised.

      • Depends on the behavior that accompanies the swarm. A large mass presents no threat and can generally be ignored, just as large groups of cars (aka rush hour) can be ignored. A large mass which includes dangerous behavior – causing harm (such as striking the vehicle) or serious risk of harm (stopping on the freeway) is a problem. I would generally consider brandishing only appropriate when harm is actually being caused, but would not frown upon having a weapon close at hand when the serious risk is presented, as it is part of the path to harm.

        A vehicle peaceably journeying has no obligation to cede the road to those who would not – it may prudent to let the danger pass, but should never be considered a duty.

  13. Yeah, he was a little too pre-emptive..It goes back before pulling the gun…. He didnt have to roll the window down. I would have had my gun in hand to be sure…at low ready , and kept my eye on that window till the light changed. But if that glass broke, he would have been a dead man period..

  14. For those who aren’t well informed there was a similar incident in NYC a few years ago that was caught on video. A guy, his wife (a REAL “female”) and young child in a car seat were on the West Side Highway headed North when a pack of “urban” bikers began their shenanigans, blocking traffic, cutting off drivers, doing stunts in front cars when one of the ne’er-do-wells got “bumped” by a vehicle. Members of the pack, including “EEOC/AA” hire corrections officers, fireman, other city employees and convicted felons (most with suspended licenses & NO insurance some on STOLEN bikes), targeted the driver that “bumped” their cohort. When the SUV driver tried to get around him, the biker that was “blocking” (obstructing traffic) the violent fools surrounded the SUV drivers vehicle, began smashing his windows with their helmets, lengths of rebar, and heavy chains and attempted to pull him from his SUV. Naturally the driver fearing for his life ran one of the bastards over as others tried to pull him from his vehicle. Charges were brought against the bikers, some pleaded “guilty” one was left paralyzed from the waist down and the driver was exonerated by the investigation and the bikers own video.

    • I know this story. Watched both videos. This guy was wrong. The biker was wrong for knocking on his Window, but the truck should not of opened the window. If biker was smashing open the window let him have it. This situation could have been avoided by A) not flipping the bird B) biker not question the bird c) keep the window up and drive away D) Not pulling a gun.

    • I really dont get how he wasnt charged. id be hard pressed off the video to say i was threatened. Granted thre is probably context missing, the motorcycle rider did take the video, what did he cut off the front

      i got charged for displaying mine when a convicted crack dealer in a Taho (5-6k lbs) tried repeatedly to hit/force me of the road and i was driving a 82 Mercury Capri 4cyl (2400-2700lbs)

  15. But, but, but – Maria Bello in the promo ads for her ill-fated TV show, Prime Suspect, brandished her gun in the back of a taxicab because she was hung over and thought the cabbie was trying to take advantage of her.

    If all I ever knew about guns and how I use them was what Hollywood policemen have taught me, that would be enough, right? Or do I need to include all the good Hollywood cowboys too? Of course, I could just use Clint Eastwood and all his movies, that would cover it.

    • Didn’t Clint Eastwood do an five part series on instructional revolver videos?

      Though for some reason he chose to do it under the assumed identity of “Dirty Harry.”

  16. If bikers start messing with vehicles like that and someone pulls a gun, tough shit on the bikers. People don’t know who these bikers are. There was that Asian family mentioned above who got attacked by the urban bikers in NYC, driving an Land Rover SUV. The driver panicked, ran one of them over, and they thus gave chase, thus terrifying the family. The SUV eventually got blocked by traffic, and the bikers proceeded to smash in the windows and slash the guy’s face with a knife. Some of the bikers were COPS and did nothing.

    • To add though, I wouldn’t have brandished the way the guy did, and I’d have waited for an immediate threat, such as the bikers purposely blocking the vehicle. Also the guy shouldn’t be talking to media.

  17. I ride, I drive, I carry. Only comment I got to make is I sure don’t want most of you guys on my jury if the SHTF.

      • I’ve had people try to get my attention in traffic anywhere from stopped up to crusing speed on the freeway, sometimes to tell me I had a bad brake light, sometimes to tell me they liked my car, sometimes even to ask if I would sell them my car. I never shot any of them.

        On the other hand, in the recent blizzard I seem to recall a news story about a guy who walked towards a stuck car to see if the driver needed help, and got shot and killed for his trouble.

        • The unfortunate good Samaritan was slain because the person who spun out was drunk. When the guy offered assistance, he offered to summon police which made the drunk man enraged and afraid of arrest for DUI, and was shot. Not the victim’s fault in any way, but there was more to it than simply offering assistance and being slain.

      • Then you are, to put it delicately, a fucking idiot. I knock on people’s windows pretty regularly, because people around here like to drive without their lights on after dark. I blame well-lit streets and electronic instrument clusters that look identical whether the lights are on or off.

      • +1. Anybody knocks on my window at a stoplight is gonna say hello to my little fren.

        So… What if that person is from a car next to you with a passenger who is having a heart attack and they are pounding on your window because they need help? Our rules for defense are there for a reason.

    • I sure hope you are not as stupid as this guy. If this guy really feared for his life why wasn’t one of the two adult passengers on the phone trying for police assistance. If he truly feared for his life why did he not lock his Windows to keep the friends from opening them. If he truly feared for his life why didn’t he use his truck to put distance between him and the biker. Monday quarterbacking would be a lot different if he had his own video evidence.

    • Do you seriously consider this to have been a “SHTF” situation?

      The only sh*t I saw here was sitting in the front seat of that pickup.

  18. I am sure the bikers were being reckless. That is their fault. But that’s all that would have happened if not for this guy…

  19. Huh? How the hell is anyone defending an idiot banging on his window(MORE than a “tap”). To me that is assault. No-I wouldn’t have pulled a gun. But Mr. You-tuber is dumber than a box o’rocks. I’ve had a lunatic bang on my window at a traffic stop. No gun on me so I nearly ran him over rather than break my windshield. And been surrounded on the Dan Ryan expressway(Chicago) by a pack of malevolent bikers up to no good. I see situational awareness preached on TTAG. No one gets to bang on my window in traffic…

    • But you did the smart thing. You drove away. If dumb biker gets run over because A) he is impeding traffic in the wrong lane or B) gets run over because his action makes you fear for your safety, then that’s a whole lot different than the dude(s) in the truck rolling down his windows and threatening with a gun. The entire video was full of fail from redneck and bikers. This brings a good case for having dash cam.

      • Not really Jeff-I yelled at him to stop and when he didn’t I said I’m going to run you over. He dared me to. I came within inches of striking him. THIS is Chicago-where I’ve seen homies stop at a light and jump out to attack another car with baseball bats. Where lunatic homeless wash your windshield in heavy traffic and expect you to pay them. Where I was jumped in the subway. Once some gangboy touches your window all bets are off…or azzwholes on motorcycles.

        • Kid messed up my clean windshield once and held his hand out, I gave him a quarter and he told me it wasn’t enough, I ran the window up and hit the washers. But hell, he was like 12, I saw no threat.

    • Here in WA, misdemeanor assault incluldes ‘unwanted touching.’ If someone taps me on the shoulder to get my attention, technically that could be a criminal assault. There’s not a court in the state that would take it, and I’ve never met a cop who would try and arrest for that, but technically it could be an assault. That in no way means that the use or threat of force is justified.

      The amount of force used whenever it is used should be reasonable for the situation. Someone banging on your window in traffic could well lead up to something worse. I don’t think anyone here is applauding or defending the bikers, and if they hadn’t been acting like hooligans (I’ve been riding bikes long enough to know how bikers tend to act) and especially hadn’t knocked on the guy’s window, it never would have happened. All we’re saying is that the amount of force used was so far out of line it may well be criminal.

  20. Annoying bikers only, no need to pull and point your weapon.
    No signs of other weapons or escalation on the part of the bikers, but truck driver should have chilled out. At the ready…sure but that dirty harry stunt……….i’m saying no.
    Thought about the passenger catching a muzzle flash to the face or worse.

  21. This guy was definitely provoked, and the bikers kept making it worse. Who knows how long it went on before filming started. Then the guy comes up banging on his window looking for a confrontation. Even after the gun is pointed at him, he still continues to talk shit. Gangs of bikers feel like they are hard because they travel in large packs, driving reckless and putting motorists in danger. Whether right or wrong for drawing his strap, hopefully the bikers will think twice about messing with motorists in the future.

    • “bikers…driving reckless and putting motorists in danger. ”

      You do know the weight differential between a motorcycle and pickup, right? Have you seen what happens when a motorcycle collides with a car?

      Anyway, who was doing the reckless driving here? The pickup driver was the one shown to be driving while shouting, gesturing and otherwise not watching where he was going.

      • That means nothing, because other bikers could chase him down and attack him for having hit, accidentally or purposely, one of their own.

        • At any time, either you or I “could” do something, that is reason for absolutely no action whatsoever. Would you like being slapped by a pretty girl because she was afraid you could say something naughty to her?

  22. Monday morning quarterbacks…. Personal opinion, if someone raps on my window and I can’t move (cars in front of me) more than likely my gun will be in my hand, wether I raise it up depends on my personal evaluation of the event. Yea he looked like he wasn’t in fear when he pointed the gun, but we were not there, the end.

    • The guy was lightly knocking on the window. He had to knock many times before he got their attention. That scares you? You think it’s right to point a gun at someone for that? Why even open the window? Where was the threat. It’s people like you that support the anti’s view that people with guns act like this. The guy in the truck just gave a huge gift to the antis.

    • Just to be clear the guy in the truck did the right thing at the stoplight and gave himself a truck length gap beofre the next car. The truck guy could have easily pulled ahead and away from the biker. He did the wrong thing by pointing a firearm with finger on the trigger. Tell you something about me, I would flip people the bird in traffic and get angry. I would not be willing to start a fight but would finish one. Now that I carry, I play the Frozen game and “Let It Go”. Flipping some @$$hat the bird is not worth possibly escalating something into a DGU. I don’t carry to win a road rage fight, I carry to defend myself from a situation I can’t avoid. In my perception the truck guy failed on multiple levels. He should have had one of his idiot passengers calling 911 and the other filming. Bonus for having a gun but stupid points for having it deep in his arm rest, pointing it with finger on the trigger and flipping the bird to anger a group of bikers to begin with. Stupid on the biker for knocking on the window, caring about getting flipped off, and sticking around when truck guy was digging for his gun.

  23. Ricky Thornton is a fool who will be luckier than he deserves if he isn’t charged for brandishing his handgun at the biker. The entire video is a textbook example of the wrong way to handle a road rage situation.

    As far as I could see, the bikers posed no imminent, deadly threat to Ricky and his passenger. Even if they were in danger, the loudmouthed passenger forfeited their right to claim self defense when he voluntarily engaged in an argument with the biker. Neither could the biker have claimed self defense since his knocking on the truck window initiated the confrontation.

    When confronted by road rage, keep your doors locked, windows up and do not engage the angry driver. Instead, report the situation and location to 911 and request police assistance. If possible, try to escape by driving away. If the other guy chases you, the police catching him at it will enhance your credibility and destroy his. Your gun is a last resort if the guy attacks you before the police arrive.

  24. The truck driver is an absolute moron who has no business having a permit to carry a handgun. The motorcyclists didn’t present any imminent physical threat or danger to the idiot in the truck. They only pissed him off because he didn’t approve of what they were doing, and took it upon himself to police the public highways.

    Confronting those lawbreakers wasn’t his job and threatening someone with a handgun should earn him a trip straight to jail.

    Just another irresponsible moron who provided additional justification to the arguments of gun control advocates.

  25. This guys a f&@ktard… Pulling a gun first is brandishing and demonstrating lethal force is intended. Being a dick on a motorcycle does not legally constitute lethal force.

  26. The video being clipped the way it is leads me to believe there was more interaction than meets the eye. That being said both parties are idiots and escalated needlessly.

    A ccws job is to de-escalate first and leave the work of stopping them to the PD. Get video and plate numbers if that and call it a day.

  27. The guy should go to jail. He makes responsible gun owners look bad. The anti’s will point to this and say, “See? This is what I’m talking about. This is what happens when people are allowed to have guns.”

    I’m not saying they have a good argument, but to those on the fence or just not well educated on the subject (90% of the U.S), it is a good argument.

  28. It sure did NOT look even remotely threatening. The bikers seemed to be doing their own thing. One comes around and blind-sides them by LIGHTLY knocking on their window (it took a long time for them to even notice the knocking). This is not a threat. If they felt he was threatening, then the REASONABLE thing to do is to leave the window closed, NOT THREATEN TO KILL HIM.

  29. People on bikes think they are hot crap and that everyone should kiss their ass. Most of the people on bikes and in large groups are thugs looking for a fight. The groups are mostly ex military or law enforcement

  30. I’m sorry.

    I drive, I ride (a sportbike. Solo.) And I carry. While I’m sure the motorcyclists may have been a bunch of jerks (not that likely, given the looks of their bikes. But anything is possible nowadays.) NOTHING they would have done while in motion could have possibly constituted a lethal threat to his very large truck, and certainly not “leaning against my truck” at a stop.

    In short, all of it may have been rude, provocative behavior, but even so, there is that, and there are the legal requirements. AT MOST, I may have had my hand on my gun and kept it in my lap, finger off trigger, but once you raise that gun and point it, there’s no going back.

    This is a simple case of C&I and/or reckless driving among the motorcyclists, and poor judgement on the part of Mr. Thornton. Yes, a brandishing charge is warranted. If I were that judge it would be one party’s word against the other and whatever available video evidence there might be. And at this point, Mr. Thornton’s actions are legally indefensible. Now, if said rider had SMASHED the passenger window instead of knocked, THAT would have been a whole different kettle of fish, and Thornton would have been justified in raising his sidearm. But he didn’t and and Thornton wasn’t, simple as that.

    Tom

  31. I make it a rabid habit to study DGUs. Brandishing laws are enforced differently from state to state, so I wont jump on that argument. Regardless, he revealed his firearm too soon. It is unlikely he would convince a court he feared for his life at that point, although he did do a great job of showing the world that he is the angry aggressive type. But, this goes to the real lesson of this: Swallow your pride, subdue your anger, deescalate and walk away. As Cooper said, the best way to survive a gun fight is don’t be in one.

    • This website likes to tout estimates of tens of thousands of DGUs, most of which are where a gun was presented and no crime occurred. It sounds like many here would agree that the anti-gunners are right and the DGU numbers are probably grossly exaggerated. If anything what we have are thousands of gun nuts brandishing weapons at innocent situations like when gangs of strangers surround, tap people on the shoulder, and ask, “What’s your problem?” Obviously guns are the problem and we should throw this guy in jail.

  32. I’m so happy this moron took time out of his busy schedule to appear on national TV and promote the impression that gun owners are hysterical fuckwits who will stuff a gun in someone’s face at the slightest provocation.

    Looking at the videos leading up to the brandishing, it’s clear this guy is full of crap about being surrounded and threatened. I have a sneaking suspicion Mr. Redneck enjoys himself a little meth.

    BTW- here’s where you can find the video prior to the one with the brandishing. It sure seems Thornton is either a liar/delusion/high, or some combination of.

    • The only remotely dangerous thing those bikers did was when the one guy rode down the median for a short while. That was certainly illegal and such horsing around is uncalled for on public roads. But all in all these guys were riding very responsibly and menacing anyone (except in their own, paranoid minds)

      • From the video I can’t see anything threatening BUT I can’t see everything and it’s edited. Of course there are 12 of them and one of him. One of the guys could have easily said ” where gonna kicks your ass” or ” you got s orobkem”. When one guy says that it’s a concern. When 1 guy with 12 buddies surrounding you says that it’s scary.

        I don’t think these guys where looking for trouble , at least not that much or looking that hard. But it could have been 11 good guys and one hot head being aggressive off camera. Those bikes could absolutely get him. I had a friend killed when he was hit by a motorcycle rider who was drunk. Also he is in traffic and could easily have to stop for traffic and be pulled out of the truck. It’s hard for me to tell if he’s being dumb and hanging back to threaten them OR being smart and leaving enough room to get around the car in front of him by driving on the right.

        Also aggressive driving by a car or motorcycle can certainly be a threat. A motor vehicle ( even a bike) is a deadly weapon. I didn’t see the guys surround him , or make aggressive gestures. But what happens just off camera or what was said by some of the guys we can’t know

        He didn’t seem to need to announce he had a gun in the car. .on the their hand in response to ” why don’t you do something about it” or some other veiled threat I might answer ” I don’t Want any trouble , I have a gun in the car you need to back away, or I’m calling the police. ”

        I had an incident while working (I’m drive to locations for service calls for work) where some guy was being annoying now and trying to provoke me into a fight. It was him and his friend but one guy was being aggressive. I was in my parked car. He started tapping hard on my window. I told him to back away from my vehicle in a command voice and he did, I drove off.
        I was considering would I have to pull my gun, and had I felt he was trying to break the window I would have brandished. I was parked in a way getting out would take enough time for me to be in danger.

        The guy was bigger than me and likely high on drugs. I dunno if I could have taken him, but belted in my seat belt sitting I was inns disadvantage of position. Even though his friend was not acting threatening in any way, I was pretty sure if he jumped in the fight it wasn’t gonna be on my my side of you know what I mean.
        If he would have made a more serious attempt at breaking the glass or another car would have appeared and blocked me in I would I might brandished, and if blocked in by another car maybe even pointed , preventing me from leaving is certainly a threat. Had he broken the window I would NOT have brandished as it was the window on my side and he could have taken my gun. I would have had to shoot in that case, thankfully telling him to back off and “im not going to get out and fight you ” was enough to buy me space.

    • Interesting, but why does the video cut which the last one did too. There’s some time missing in there. He is a tool for mentioning he has a gun, and they are idiots for not breaking off at him saying such. Why would one in their right mind with any intelligence kick a hornets nest?

      I will say it most certainly seemed no effort was made to box him in or otherwise contain him with the bikes. Please charge him with brandishing so we can applaud. Nutn did a whole thing on “how not to be a jackass when concealed carrying.” Perhaps he should watch it.

  33. Lots of Monday morning quarterbacking without seeing the full video. It’s kinda like Hillary slowly releasing non-classified emails and saying that she never improperly handled classified emails. Riiiiiiiigght. The biker is going to release what looks good for the biker.

    I’ve dealt with Hell’s Angels, Mongols, Street Kings, Vice Kings, and other OMG’s and they are definitely dangerous. We saw a TTAG video about a motorcycle gang who pulled an Asian man out of an SUV and beat the crap out of him in front of his family.

    Not saying the brandishing was justified or not, but I am saying that all the evidence should be in before a judgement is made.

  34. If your gun is coming out means you are going to use it, imminent danger and you perceive great bodily harm or death is imminent. In this case they can considee it brandishing. Texas I don’t know but that’s how it is in Virginia. And firing a warning shot is a no go.

  35. OK, story time:

    Several months ago, I stopped at a traffic signal on my way home after a long day earning bread for my supper. I had vehicles in front of me and to both sides. The gentleman behind me exited his blue Mustang (“Hm, that’s curious….”) and moved in my direction, with seeming intent. Upon arriving at my closed window, he started yelling at me for some perceived slight, the perpetration of which I was unaware, and then questioned my manhood and invited me to depart my chariot to engage in fisticuffs in an attempt to settle the matter. I simply stared at him in mute silence, as I was unclear as to what the poor addled chap was on about.

    My silent stare appeared to agitate the gentleman further, and he commenced to beating my window, once, twice, thrice again, with the meaty part of his closed fist, as if he was pounding on a bar to make an emphatic point. To be honest, I started to be concerned for my own safety, and was genuinely surprised the thin piece of glass separating me from the great outdoors did not give way. After the second impact, I retrieved my cellular telephone and commenced dialing the local authorities. I did this in an obvious and ostentatious manner, making sure the big numbers were in full view of the man. Despite this warning, which I considered only sporting, the man continued to protest vociferously and abuse the window of my vehicle. As the phone was ringing, he struck my car at least twice more.

    At this point, I decided that more enthusiastic measures were necessary, so I shifted the still ringing phone to my left hand, and with my right, extracted my firearm from the Grassburr holster mounted out of sight next to my right knee. I laid the small black gun on my right leg in full view of the man, a mute testimony to the seriousness with which I regarded his continued actions. It took a moment (and one more strike of his hand against my window) for the sight of the weapon to register, but when it did, his reaction was immediate. The reconsideration of his anger was apparent in his eyes, and he decided that retreat was his best and safest option. He returned to his vehicle, and we went our separate ways, with him making a u-turn and going back in the opposite direction (I presume he had pursued me past his original destination) and me proceeding straight ahead.

    About the time he walked away, the police dispatcher answered the phone, and I informed her of what had just occurred (leaving the ballistic part out) and gave her a description of the vehicle. Nothing more was ever heard about it.

    That’s the closest I’ve ever come to using my firearm in anger, and God willing, it will remain as such.

  36. The guy with the gun overreacted.
    However, the bikers were physically aggressive, touched the guys property, and bikers in general are known for committing acts of violence, even though most bikers are not violent.

    With one aggressor, the gun draw can be delayed, but waiting for them to surround and attack your car is waiting long enough to be defenseless. A gun will rarely save one from an outnumbered and surrounded situation. A shooting by the biker may not be considered self defense, as they began the confrontation and only responded to an escalation.

  37. Just so I’m clear- a few of you are stating, he should wait until the gang breaks out his windows and drags him from the car to beat , slash, stomp, and attempt-to-murder him , THEN he’d be good to use the gun?

    Because that’s what a few of you said.

  38. I think we’re trying the accused in a public forum. We don’t know the exact circumstances, and will never know them. That’s for the DA and the jury to figure out.

    I do know that a lot of scooter riders are assholes, and that when you get a bunch of them together they do really stupid stuff, and threaten and intimidate regular people. This guy, apparently, has had enough of that. So have I.

    “An armed society is a polite society”. – RAH

    Charlie

  39. Having ridden with a number of Clubs, a true club has road discipline, sounds like a club provoking a driver
    for whatever reason, more like a group of A**h****S! Wana be bad boys! What did the Colors read if any, what type of bikes, American or Rice burners?
    Sad to say but actually a Vehicle the size of a Pickup has an advantage in weight only, what driver did was OK lucky the bike dude didn’t catch one!

  40. Upon brandishing his handgun and losing tactical advantages he should have immediately shot himself in the foot thereby avoiding the perceived threatening incident….OR called 911 reported the bikers actions with a phone video showing plate numbers than slowed down and turned out of the bikers way avoiding the whole potential threat. If the bikers called 911 first Forest Gump may have been arrested for brandishing prior to investigation of full incident. Asking for trouble …..

  41. The entire video has been released by the biker. The truck driver was the aggressor. A person sitting on a bike is not a threat and they did not have him surrounded. If any were off their bikes, then maybe. He is just your typical road rager making excuses that he got caught. This is why I carry when I ride.

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