Crime scene, 6th Street, Austin, TX (courtesy statesman.com)

“A manhunt was underway in Austin after a gunman opened fire on a crowded downtown street as bars were closing Sunday, killing one person and wounding four others,” usatoday.com reports. “Austin Police Chief of Staff Brian Manley said five people were shot shortly after 2 a.m. on Sixth Street, a bustling 7-block entertainment district lined with historic buildings that now house bars, upscale restaurants, trendy shops and music venues.” And then . . .

Seven minutes after the first incident, police received reports of another incident several blocks away in which a suspect fired a gun at another person in a parking garage, Manley said. No one was injured, and nearby individuals disarmed the suspect, who was injured and transported to a hospital.

The two incidents together led police to tweet out an active shooter warning, Manley said, but police now believe the shootings were not related.

Police secured both crime scenes and warned people to avoid downtown.

Yes, there is that. Avoiding downtown, I mean.

A relevant data point: the shootings occurred at three in the morning. You may have heard that “nothing good happens after 2:00 am” (immortalized in an episode of the same name in How I Met Your Mother). Like that.

And then there’s Sixth Street, not more than half an hour from where I currently sit. It’s a legendary parade (as the Brits say) of bars and nightclubs, boasting most excellent live music. (Austin bills itself as the Live Music Capital of America, and for good reason.)

My first visit to the music mecca was eye opening. The closed-0ff street thronged with tourists, rivaling New Orleans’ Bourbon Street for density. More startling: the cops had set up a veritable fortress right in the middle of area: an open-air substation surrounded by plastic Jersey barriers. There were at least 30 cops lounging around inside and outside the perimeter.

Whether it’s a street protest or a party, anyplace dozens of uniformed cops gather indicates that there’s a large potential for problems. Oh, you might say where dozens of cops assemble there isn’t a problem. But Art Acevedo’s boys in blue aren’t out in force on “Dirty Sixth” simply to soak-up the atmos.

Equally, I was surprised to discover that there were lots of rap clubs interspersed between the country and blues venues.

At the risk of being labeled racist (a constant worry these days), I reckon those types of venues are more prone to violence than someone singing about how he returned from the bar one starry night to discover that Darlene had left in the truck with the kids. Or how a good man feeling bad feels, in three chords or less.

Needless to say, the media isn’t revealing the ethnicity of those involved in the Sixth Street shooting. What difference would that make, right? Would it become a racial issue if you knew that many Sixth Street establishments have been accused of shutting down when there’s an influx of African Americans?

Regardless, put it all together and a simple picture emerges of the scene last night: lots of drunk people very late at night early in the morning. What was that rule for armed Americans? Avoid stupid people in stupid place doing stupid things.

That doesn’t mean avoid places like Sixth Street altogether. It could, but it doesn’t have to. What it does mean is that you might want to choose the time and place of your visit with care, and maintain extra situational awareness. And pack a gun. What of the near-blanket ban on concealed or open carry in the bars and clubs? An important factor.

My UK girls are arriving next week for a visit. The eldest is a professional opera singer whose love of music knows no bounds. But it will be bounded; by time, location and a chaperone. Who may or may not be carrying a gun.

73 Responses to Random Thoughts About Last Night’s Shootings in Austin

  1. If you find a girl that will use common sense when it comes to the location and time of a night on the town… Keep her. Not sure where daughters come into that, but hey good deal if they use a little common sense when going clubbing. In Utah there is no law prohibiting carrying in a bar and yep no problem. The problem is most bars probably have that magical no gun sign. No idea why people consider carrying in a bar such a scary concept. Ever heard of a designated driver?

    • A gun in a drunk’s holst er is no more dangerous than car keys in his pocket. They have to come out before any trouble can start.

        • That doesn’t appear to be true. Drunk driving deaths average around 10,000 deaths each year. Guns are responsible for around 30,000 or so deaths each year, but 2/3 of that are suicides. If you toss suicide deaths from gun deaths, drunk driving and gun deaths are about the same.

        • Do they kill so many people with keys in their pocket? Heck, I thought you had to take the keys out even to gouge someone’s eyes, don’t know how you could kill anybody without including a *CAR* into the equation!

        • Sober/drunk/drugged, Nothing human kills like evil POS (D) with scissors. If they have a woman’s legs spread in stirrups.

        • 2/3 of which are suicides. How many Alcoholics drink themselves to death every year?

        • “Guns are responsible for around…”

          I hate to be that guy, but guns are responsible for exactly zero deaths, ever. A gun, as an inanimate object, is no more responsible for anyone’s death than a drunk driver’s car is.

    • So at what point of alcohol consumption does an otherwise good law abiding person lose his right to protect himself with a firearm from a violent attacker?
      At what point of alcohol consumption does a 20-something hottie in college loose her right to fend off an attacker with a firearm?
      At what point of alcohol consumption does a 80-something grandma sitting at home have a nightcap loose her right to fend off an attacker with a firearm?

      • What that grandmother, hottie, or other is intoxicated to the point that their ability to intake and evaluate their environment has been compromised such that they are as likely to cause harm to an innocent other as they are to defend themselves.

        Similar to the point where operation of a vehicle is a problem.

        • Laws vary from state to state. whioe some states will have different limitations, I can’t think of any state that would not ask serious questions to a person who discharged a firearm while blowing .08, or otherwise showed impairment as the result of legal or illegal drug usage, or other externality.

        • as likely to cause harm to an innocent other as they are to defend themselves.

          I still missed the past where that negates their right to self defense.

        • “I can’t think of any state that would not ask serious questions”

          Katy, my point was they would not ask questions, they would throw you in prison, even if everyone agreed that you saved the lives of everyone in the bar, with your single shot striking the killer right between the eyes. Because of that NUMBER, never mind that you were clearly a stone sober hero. The laws have nothing to do with your capability being impaired, and everything to do with an arbitrary number, deduced by a bureaucrat with no name or accountability.

      • You don’t lose right to defend yourself you impair your ability to do so. If you want to go out drinking have designated driver with a permit with you.

      • “So at what point of alcohol consumption does an otherwise good law abiding person lose his right to protect himself with a firearm from a violent attacker?”

        That depends on where you live. Here in Colorado physical possession of a firearm while legally intoxicated is a felony. You can CCW in a bar and consume alcohol but when you hit that magic 0.08BAC you’re a felon.

        This applies anywhere. If you’re sitting at home watching TV on a Saturday night and knocking back some beers and someone breaks into your house (home invasion) if you get a gun to defend yourself it’s technically illegal because you were intoxicated at the time you picked up the gun. Whether or not you are charged will depend on the police that respond to the situation. Some will ignore your intoxicated status while others will lock you up. CCW classes, honest police and lawyers around here recommend that in such a situation you “put your bottles in the trash before the police arrive” as this greatly reduces that chances you are charged even if you’re obviously intoxicated.

        Other states are different. In New Mexico you can pretty much do what you want in your own house as long as you don’t threaten innocent people or have an ND. You can be drunk and kill a home invader and the cops won’t care about anything other than the legal technicalities of the shoot. If it’s a good shoot the fact that you were completely shitfaced when it occurred doesn’t matter.

        • In most places in Colorado (Denver, Boulder, and Aspen not included) I can’t imagine a prosecutor charging person with a weapons violation in a clear self defense case. Even in Denver, Terrance Roberts, a convicted felon, was not charged with a firearm violation when it was determined he shot a guy in self defense.

  2. When in my 20s I reveled in going places like that and if a bar fight happened, fine with me. That was a long time ago. Now days I might enjoy the music for a while, but I try to get out of the area before it gets too late and the drunks and stupid get into their acts, and bar fights are likely to turn into something else.

  3. ‘What of the near-blanket ban on concealed or open carry in the bars and clubs?’

    No such ban in Iowa. Bar carry all you want, just keep it under 0.08%.

  4. Just a normal Saturday night in Chicago. Stupid people-stupid places. Yeah keep your kids safe RF. Legally or not so legally…

  5. Robert, you have some keen observations:

    “any place dozens of uniformed cops gather indicates that there’s a large potential problem.” To which I might add any gathering of large groups of people no matter what the occassion.

    “Avoid stupid people in stupid place doing stupid things.” The all time classic catchall for good reason.

    “At the risk of being labeled racist (a constant worry these days), I reckon those types of venues are more prone to violence”. They are,; don’t worry about the “racist” label, it’s the defacto go-to for people with no proveable argument.

    I myself avoid large crowds because I’m usually escorting women and or children and I take that responsibility seriously. These days about the most I allow myself and my “crew” is a major league baseball game.

    • Good luck with carry at any MLB game. The flip side of the same coin indicates that the MLB stadium where that game is located isn’t in the safest part of town, especially around game time since the bad guys know people going in or coming out aren’t going to be armed.

    • It is not racist, (in a sane world) to state the facts. The higher percentage of blacks to whites, the higher the crime rate. Look at the demographics of any city, this is the case. I worked event security many moons ago, Rap concerts were pretty much guaranteed to devolve into mass fighting and calling out the cops; most other venues we could handle with our on-site security.

      A restaurant in Albuquerque that had been 24 hour for decades shut down from 2 am to 5 am after that time slot became a favorite for blacks to gather and hang out, which would regularly devolve into fighting between the patrons and threatening behavior and belligerence towards the staff by those same customers.

      • That’s too bad. I really used to enjoy going to the Frontier after closing time or run of the mill, late night meals. That was many moons ago, of course.

  6. Why, why, why are there “gunmen” (or, just to be sensitive, “gunwomen”)? There are never “machete men” or “knife women” or “pool cue boys”. The Lame Stream Media (and some not-so-lame) just luv that term.

    Kinda makes the LIV believe that guns are inherently bad. Just sayin’.

    • I have seen the MSM using the term “knifeman” with some frequency lately. I have little doubt that it evidences the run-up to knife control after Hillary destroys gun rights.

      • Likely Correct As I learned Thurs from a fat mammy TSA agent my Victorinox, with it’s 2.5″ blade, is a “weapon” and could not pass TSA/SS entry to the Trumpy rally.

        Really who NEEDS to carry a knife? What self loving metrosexual beta carries any pointy thing in his skinnyjeans? Don’t Need a knife to buy a latte at Starbunkos? Melt them down.

        • What self loving metrosexual beta carries any pointy thing in his skinnyjeans?

          Sometimes the jokes just write themselves. This one is just too easy.

    • The other thing the MSM really likes to do is imply more carnage than actually happens. This is a pretty good example: every headline is some variation on “Five people shot in Austin”, which on first glance many will take to mean there are five more bodies in the morgue. In actuality, there was one fatality, and three others were injured badly enough to require medical attention. The fifth reportedly didn’t even go to the hospital, so that’s got to be a pretty minor injury; perhaps she was “shot” in the strictest technical sense, but apparently only just barely.

      That’s not to say that only deaths count, and that surviving a gunshot wound is always a walk in the park, but it’s this kind of inflation of the severity of these incidents that makes people believe the myth of the “gun violence epidemic”. I don’t think that’s accidental.

  7. My random thought is that 25 years ago the only people to have heard about the shooting are the locals.

  8. Farago suggesting the demographic that frequents rap clubs has a substantially higher propensity for gun violence might not be politically correct and certainly invites accusations of racism, but it’s absolutely the truth. Anyone so naive to believe otherwise need look no further than the security measures in place at any high end upscale hip hop bar or club in any major U.S. city where it’s routine for all patrons to be scanned with a metal detector or thoroughly searched in a pat down before gaining entry. Few upscale clubs or bars catering to any other genre of music requires a TSA like security apparatus just to gain admittance and the very need for such security is a giant red flag to potential patrons that the venue might be an unsafe location to frequent.

  9. This raises some questions:

    1) weren’t the police nearby? Certainly their response would be quicker than most other situations where a person’s life is threatened.

    2) doesn’t something like this fall more in line with weekends in Chicago than gay clubs in Orlando?

    3) what time do the bars close? If they are closing at the same time, I wonder if there would be value to a staggered close (not sure how that would be determined).

    4) while in Texas, Austin in particular has a lot of restricted carry places. Did that help lower the victim count or does this serve to show the lack of utility begins the restrictions?

    • Staggered closing? I think the folks in the bar that closes at 1am would just walk up the street to the bar that closes at 2am. And so on.

      • Like I said, figuring out how to make it work would be hard (that is, a nightmare). Could max capacity limits might help send some stragglers on their way or would they just party in the streets?

        I admit, I don’t drink and never closed down a bar, so I don’t totally understand the mentality of drunks. I’m just trying to think of a way to limit the number of interactions between drunks.

        • Katy, on 6th street at 3 AM, the drunks are only there to interact with the other drunks in the clubs. Many, I imagine, are hoping to interact with other drunks of the opposite sex, but still …

    • Katy, Austin is nothing like Chicago and traditionally folks attracted to 6th Street are much more likely to be hippies, new bohemians, stoners, freaks, and fruits rather than homeboyz, OG’s, and playas.

      • Historically, I’d agree. My last trip to Austin it seemed more like what RF describes. The overall feel was that Austin is “growing up” into a big city.

        In this comment, though, I just meant that the events sound more like typical urban violence than a targeted terrorist (or terror-style) attack. Not sure why it made the news beyond that it is 6th Street and there are usually a bunch of hippies and hipsters there.

  10. @RF — Was there last year for the Firearms Festival and stayed around 6th street drag. I was there for 4 days and Friday and Saturday there was a massive brawl outside of clubs you are talking about. Yep, those clubs attract a certain type of people. I do have to say, the Austin PD are all over the place and pounced when they see something.

    Will be back again this year and there are few watering holes I plan to visit again. This time I will have my UT CHP with me but I cannot make it past 1am anymore so I hitting the pillow before the drunks start stumbling into the streets.

  11. I’m surprised the Austin based TTAG set didn’t swing into action to prevent this situation. Maybe a huge spotlight with a silhouette of an appropriate firearm to alert all members to action. Cape optional. Kevlar cape. Mmm. Would be super heavy I bet. Alfred!

  12. Stop with the BS “African Americans”.

    Are they American, Texan, alien? You want to describe by race or color that’s fine. If going to chose from a listing special interest category, pick something that is descriptive and meaningful rather than some PC libtard voter segment.

    • Our President is an African-American.

      The rest of the dark-skinned folk walking around this country? The vast majority of them have nothing to do with the continent of Africa.

      • He has no ties to Africa. He only visited his adopted family to perpetuate the myth. Instead of asking for his birth certificate, we should have requested a DNA sample.

        • And his family is Kenyan, not African. Zero connection to Africa for at least untold generations, calling him an African American illustrates the stupidity of the term.

    • I went on a couple of cigar crawls back in the day when I was writing cigar reviews for a glossy magazine. Good times.

  13. I’ve simply stopped caring about what might or might not get me called a “racist” when I’m pointing out facts.

    I don’t think that such clubs have problems because they’re frequented by black people. They have a problem because they’re frequented by gangbangers and other thugs the majority of which are black people.

    That’s just a fact. When a group of well dressed, middle aged black guys park their cars outside a bar and come in no one worries that anything’s going to happen. Ditto well dressed, middle aged white guys. When a bunch of thugs in tall-Ts with their pants around their knees come in, their race doesn’t matter, the thug attire and their attitude tells you shit’s about to get real. These people tend to be black. OTOH though you know things are not going well when a bunch of biker gang members enter the bar too. These people tend to be white.

    Race really doesn’t matter that much. A thug mentality is what matters. You can find that is biker bars or rap clubs. They’re just different flavors of the same shit sandwich. If pointing out that rap clubs tend to draw in a specific type of the dregs of society is racist then, well, reality is racist.

    • I knew someone who used to own a club/tapas bat. He knew other club owners and he told me that once a club starts playing rap, violence is soon to follow, which will then cause a club to go out of business. Pretty common cycle.

    • Well said!

      Naming the sub group is a little more effort but is specific.

      “Thugs can be manipulative, violent and predatory. Avoid them.”

      A club is inanimate. “That rap club has shootings.” “Fights break out regularly at that C&W bar.”

      What’s my action take away? I go elsewhere.

  14. Hahaha!!! The MSM just released info on the shooter they are searching for. He was arrested in June for possession of a firearm by a felon and released without bail. Now he’s killed somebody.

    Libs in Austin get what they deserve.

    • And we need “Common Sense Gun Safety” laws, nope we just need common sense.

      So where is the outrage at the Travis County DA for letting the release happen?

  15. For those not familiar with 6th Street in Austin Texas, the best way to describe the environment; IT’S A ZOO!

    The first time I witnessed the spectacle located just a few blocks south of the State Capitol was probably 30 years ago on a business trip and the duration of the visit was just long enough for me and a few drinking buddies to say we’d been there and saw the freak show before relocating to another bar or club away from downtown where normal Texans gathered back then to drink and dance with members of the opposite sex.

    In the interim I’ve been back a few times for a “you ain’t gonna believe this shit” laugh with someone who’d never been.

    Based on my now dated knowledge of 6th Street, instead of an man with gun, you were much more likely to see a old man with a long beard wearing a dress and cowboy hat wagging his dick around in full view of and totally ignored by Austin PD Officers. That literally happened on my final visit to 6th Street in Austin Texas 7 or 8 years ago.

    On that final visit I don’t recall seeing a large number of the demographic commonly associated with the gangsta rap thug lifestyle, but since Austin has long had a big problem with gang violence, an increase of hip hop clubs explains the need for an increased police presence in a larger group and APD is smart not to disperse manpower throughout the crowd exposing their Officers as a convenient target for any would be BLM inspired assassin.

  16. It’s funny that when I read in the local paper about criminals getting away they never mention his/her race
    How am I supposed to be on the lookout for the escapee if do not know if they are Asian, Black, Hispanic or White?

  17. Interesting. Considering the population of Black people in Austin is minuscule I wonder why this narrative is even present. Having used to live up there I noticed more crime from the Caucasian “street hippies” who pose as homeless people. They are involved in the majority of the drug trafficing, armed robbery, and heists. I’ve been present when locals would approach them for a fix ( Austinites let everything hang out in public with no fear of the popo ). Being a poor working class person who uses public transit/my two feet – I get to see a lot.

    As it is, Austin is losing droves of the remaining poor Black population as money hungry developers push them out of the east side and out of Austin completely. The only Black people that will be left are the affluent and college students.

  18. “I don’t want to be called a racist but……”‘ WTF? Everything you said either explicitly or implicitly was the definition of racism. Impressive coming from a minority like yourself

  19. “At the risk of being labeled racist (a constant worry these days), I reckon those types of venues are more prone to violence than someone singing about how he returned from the bar one starry night to discover that Darlene had left in the truck with the kids…”

    More prone to gunfire, probably. But there’s plenty of (usually non-lethal) violence among good ol’ boys when they get liquored up.

  20. The well known standard with Houston media outlets, which I’d assume is no worse than Austin’s, is that if the reporting is conspicuously silent on the ethnicity of the suspects, then it’s about 90% likely the suspects are black and about 9.99% likely they’re Hispanic. In other words, as to the race of the suspect, you’ll know it by its absence.

    • Denver’s the same way. Almost to the exact percentages you listed, with the exception being car thieves. Car thieves are never identified by race, and their names are only released when they got shot trying to run over cops.
      Theft for sales is primarily a hispanic thing, here. Joyrides are more a black thing, and white kids are all beta males who are afraid to drive.

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