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There’s nothing worse than being embarrassed in front of a stripper. So imagine 67-year-old James Allen Wells’ frustration when his debit card was declined while trying to pay for a lap dance. He was so enraged that he left the club, got a handgun opened fire outside the establishment.

According to authorities, Wells was at Porsches Theater of the Arts strip club in Waterloo, Iowa (not pictured above) Saturday night. When his debit card was rejected, Wells left the club, retrieved a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson Revolver and opened fire in the club’s parking lot.

As The Courier reports, Wells squeezed off five shots and managed to hit a couple of parked cars.

One bullet hit Dodge Durango in the rear window, a Chrysler Town and County was hit in the tailgate by a bullet and lodged in the back seat, and other bullets struck a Chevrolet Impala’s driver’s side door and windshield and lodged in the dashboard.

Wells then took off, leading police on a high-speed chase. He was finally stopped when his vehicle hit a curb and was arrested after fighting with police officers. Authorities stated one officer was injured during the altercation.


Wells was arrested for carrying weapons, two counts of second-degree criminal mischief, five counts of reckless use of a firearm, two counts of assault on a peace officer and one count each of eluding, reckless driving, interference while armed and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

Note that, against all odds, there’s no mention of a DUI charge.


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  1. Never been in one of these, though there are many here in L.A. and I’ve driven by them many times. Look like forgotten post-apocalyptic structures on the outside with 30-yr-old peeling paint and flickering neon signs. Can’t imagine anyone would think they’d find hotties inside. But again, I’ve never been in one, so I’m assuming.

    That being said, why would anyone want to use a *card* to pay? Don’t they take cash? How much is the going rate for a lap dance, anyhow? The guy didn’t have 10 bucks on him?

    • Haven’t been in one since I came back stateside years ago. They were often near the main gates of a lot of bases. I remember at the time the girls were often older than me and needed dim light to watch.
      And the beer was expensive compared to the NCO club.

    • Guesty McGuesterson,

      Like anything else, there are probably some mediocre ladies and some beautiful women who work at those establishments.

    • Guesty McGuesterson,

      After I typed my comment above, I remembered a topless club with the slogan,
      “1000s of beautiful women … and 3 ugly ones”.

      Now the question in my mind is how many of those women who work at those topless clubs are armed while “dancing”? And the far more important question, what kind of holster system can those topless ladies wear that will not interfere with their dance moves?

      • When I was younger, I was friends with an absolutely gorgeous girl who lived in Vegas and got a job at one of the nicer clubs near the Strip. She made $500+ her very first night, and was averaging several hundred dollars per shift and become accustomed to the money.

        She and I were really close and considered dating, but never did, as I met my wonderful wife and my life took a different direction. I was glad I listened to that little voice on my shoulder and didn’t accept my friend’s request of a first date. Somehow, I felt that a girl (no matter how amazingly gorgeous) who rubs a pole and shows her goodies to strange men for money wouldn’t make for good marriage material. I was right…after years apart, I briefly connected with her a few months ago (found her online and met in a public restaurant for lunch as I was passing thru Vegas) and learned that she has a trail of failed relationships behind her from men who “treated her badly and cheated on her”. She now has two children in a relationship with another man she isn’t happy with. Not a marriage, just a relationship, because getting married would change the repayment rules for her school loan, apparently. Geez.

        So glad I’m with my wonderful wife.

        • She made a few thousand a week and still hasn’t repaid her student loans?

          And she won’t get married because she’s in income based repayment?
          Seems like given her income, if that’s still her income, her payments would be high with or without a husband.

          Anyway, definitely not one to get into a financial partnership with.

        • No, blew through the money when married the first two times, was 30+ and therefore “aged out” for the clubs and therefore no more stripping, found that dating bad boys was tough on the finances, decided to start over and go to school before meeting her current partner (not legally married to this one). Now the father of her children is unemployed (at least he was when she told me earlier this year) so she has to be the breadwinner. Hence the education loans. That’s all I know.

          But again, glad I didn’t get mixed up in that, even though my “young man’s eyes” really liked the thought of having that body next to me every night if we had married. It’s not always worth the trouble, though.

        • Well said, man. Truly beautiful women dont work in those places. “Dancers” pick up serious bad habits and their superficial looks fade fast. Its a sad life really.

      • “And the far more important question, what kind of holster system can those topless ladies wear that will not interfere with their dance moves?”

        There is an answer to that, believe it or not, and TTAG covered it :

        “Prison Ahead For Woman In Vagina Gun Case”

        Reports that TTAG’s own Ralph are giving her a ride home when released are at this point, unverified… 😉

    • Haven’t been in one in a couple decades, but 25 years ago in Austin, there were *plenty* of college-age girls stripping, who could stop your heart with a smile. And some of the places served good food, cheap, during lunch hour. With naked waitresses.

  2. 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩

  3. So, I know a lot of people who are opposed to any sort of prohibited persons statutes. What about this guy? Do you think he should spend the rest of his natural life in prison? If not, do you think he should be able to go out and buy another gun the minute he gets out and start blasting the next time his card is declined?

      • Oh yes, you’re right. Felons aren’t allowed to possess firearms and obey the law once they’re out of prison.


      • Yes, that is what I’m talking about. Some folks- see below- think that there should be no such prohibition.

        • Most incorrect:

          Can a person prohibited by law from possessing a firearm own a black powder firearm?

          Because black powder firearms are considered antique firearms, the possession of a black powder firearm by a person subject to federal firearms disabilities is not prohibited by the GCA. However, a person subject to federal firearms disabilities may not receive and/or possess black powder firearms that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof which are classified as “firearms.” Additionally, state law may prohibit the possession of a black powder firearm by persons who are not federally prohibited from possessing them. Please contact your state’s Attorney General’s Office for information regarding black powder firearms.

          [18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3) and (16); 27 CFR 478.11 and 478.141(d)]

          Don’t know if anyone has ever fired a .44 or .45 black powder weapon, but that round lead ball can make one hell of a hole.

        • Hannibal, there is no such prohibition. There is a law which is never enforced except after the prohibited person has committed another crime, or pissed off a prosecutor.

      • Did you miss the part about him throwing a drunken tantrum with a deadly weapon? Maybe you live in an enlightened state that allows you to carry your own protection; many of us don’t. I prefer not to have someone with a (no pun intended) hair trigger temper having road rage around me while he’s armed. This is the kind of person that makes things tough for responsible law abiding gun owners. He’s the poster child for gun control.

        • … and that justifies denying him his rights for life? What other rights do we take away? How about his right to counsel? Protection against cruel and unusual punishment? There is no “short temper” exception to the 2nd amendment.

        • I know attention to S, he is an agent provocateur here, just to roil the waters.

          Sergei would be glad to arm the nut job in the article, who has demonstrated his ability to handle rejection by discharging a lethal weapon multiple times in a public place. It was just by sheer luck that he didn’t maim or kill another human being, but that’s OK, “Let him have his guns back so he can repeat the behavior and maybe kill some people next time“, says Sergei.

          That sounds very reasonable and patriotic, just what we need on the streets of America. /s/

          The Internet research agency uses posters like Sergei to place comments in forums like this that make gun owners look like crazy killers, it’s all part of Putin’s disinformation scheme to divide America.

        • Girls, girls, you’re both pretty and I’m sure you’ll both be asked to the Prom. Stop pulling each other’s hair.

        • So why stop at his 2nd amendment rights?
          How about his right to counsel?
          Freedom of speech?
          Freedom of religion?
          Right to due process?
          Protection from unreasonable searches?
          Protection from cruel and unusual punishment?

          The reality is that there is no logical justification for treating 2nd amendment rights any differently than any other constitutional right.

        • He has no right to shoot up someone else’s car, none of us does. That is why he is being charged with a whole host of crimes. The question is, should the fact that he owned a gun be, in and of itself, a crime. There are many who would argue that, no, under no circumstances should the possession of a gun be a crime – if for no other reason than because the 2nd amendment says so. There are, however, plenty of things you can *do* with a gun that are illegal and this guy did a bunch of them so, since he committed crimes, he should be punished. The simple truth is, there is nothing one can do with a gun that harms another person (other than justified self-defense) that is not already illegal. There are also a number of things that one can do with a gun that don’t harm anyone or anything that are also illegal. If there is no harm, why are those things illegal? This is the question at the core of the issue related to people losing their right to possess arms and also the core question regarding the legality or illegality of things like open carry, concealed carry, brandishing and so forth.

          It is possible that someone, who has a record that precludes them from owning a gun, could, in fact, own one and never use it to do harm. It is also possible that someone who has no record preventing them from owning a gun, could own one and do harm with it. The root of the question is: When is it reasonable or acceptable to suspend someone’s civil rights because they *might* be a person who will do harm? Depending on how you define the word *might*, the answer to that question ranges from no one to everyone.

        • That’s an absurd argument. No other right in the Constitution is dependent on the prior behavior of the person exercising those rights. I can see custody issues, but if someone is one the street, they have just as much a right to carry a gun as they do to legal counsel or not to be subject to unreasonable searches.

          Denying someone a constitutional right after they are no longer in jail is abhorrent. By that standard, all gang members with prior convictions could be denied a right to counsel or any host of other constitutional protections. But then again, consistency has never been a strong point for commies.

        • pwrserge is actually correct on this one. After one’s “debt is repaid to society”, there should be full restoration of rights. Otherwise, the debt is not repaid and society holds the leash to the person’s neck forever. I believe that restoration of gun rights should happen once the parole/probation period has ended.

        • It’s not about paying a debt to society, it’s about the fact that the gentleman showed he is not capable of handling the awesome responsibility of a lethal weapon.

          And obviously, when someone violates a right and causes harm to others property or life and limb, of course we can restrict their rights.

          Individuals who perpetrate a fraud in attempting to gain political office are often barred from seeking office ever again, they lose their right because they demonstrated the inability to discharge that right in a responsible manner.

          A person who commits voting fraud is often barred from voting in further elections, they have demonstrated they lack the integrity to discharge their right to vote in a responsible manner.

          No right is absolute, free-speech is moderated by slander and libel laws, attorney-client privilege is moderated by prohibitions on concealing criminal conduct, etc.

        • How do the rest of us demonstrate we are responsible? By not doing anything?
          Of course some don’t trust any of us by default.

        • @ pwrserge

          Not sure if you were responding to me or not but, if so, I must not have been very clear because I think you and I are in complete agreement.

        • “It’s not about paying a debt to society, it’s about the fact that the gentleman showed he is not capable of handling the awesome responsibility of a lethal weapon.”

          By your own logic, then, once someone has been convicted of a DUI their right to drive should forever be revoked, since the chance of a re-offense is high. No matter if not being able to drive means they lose their job, and their family is homeless…

      • If he had killed someone I would consider it an easy choice to deny him almost ALL his right for life (still has rights again cruel and unusual punishment, etc). Perhaps even execution, the ultimate denial of ‘rights.’

        I consider being a prohibited person a much less intrusive removal of rights appropriate for some crimes that do not rise to the level of requiring incarceration for life. And that removal of rights is perfectly Constitutional in the same way that imprisoning someone is as long as it is not an ex-post facto law and the defendant receives due process. There is nothing magical about jail in terms of punishment, and someone can and should be punished by other lesser means where appropriate.

        Do I think this particular guy should irrevocably lose his legal ability to own a gun for life? Maybe not. But I think he should have the burden put on him to go through a legal process and show that this he’s not going to throw such a tantrum again.

        • Decision point is really easy. When he is released from prison/parole, he should have all his rights restored, including voting and bearing arms. Anyone who argues against that should explain why the individual is considered reformed enough to be released. Obtaining a gun, legal or not, is easy to do, to prevent a dangerous person from committing violent crime forget whether he is armed, of course he is. Keep him in jail!!

    • I would be curious to know this dudes history. He’s 67 and just lost it in a strip joint?

      I’m betting dude was already prohibited from owning a gun.

    • Hannibal,

      Huh. You pose an interesting and worthwhile question.

      The only relevant question that we have to ask and answer: is that man truly a danger to people’s lives? If he is, then he should live the rest of his live outside of our society. If not, then he should live among us after paying restitution.

      Remember, a truly dangerous person can easily maim/murder us without the ability to purchase firearms at a federal firearms licensee. A dangerous person can easily steal a firearm or purchase one on the black market. Likewise, a dangerous person can easily drive a car into a crowd of people, stab and slash several people, poison several people, or hurl a Molotov cocktail at a crowd of people in a closed space (e.g. a topless dance club).

      Given that this man could have easily entered the topless club with his handgun and shot several people — and yet chose to NOT do that — I am thinking that he is not truly dangerous to our lives and therefore should not be a “prohibited person”. Who knows?

      • Yes, he is a danger to people’s lives

        Shooting into the air is dangerous.

        Had he hit someone, he would be charged with 2nd Degree murder (also called “Depraved Indifference Murder”) in many places. At the least, it would be Criminal Negligence.

        Shooting into the air in a location near people (he was in a parking lot of a commercial facility) is dangerous. Per se.

        • Hugh E. Not,

          I do not recall reading in the article that he shot into the air, only that he shot into unoccupied cars. If he shot into the air (especially at a somewhat low angle), then I would say that he IS a danger to our lives.

      • “Given that this man could have easily entered the topless club with his handgun and shot several people — and yet chose to NOT do that — I am thinking that he is not truly dangerous to our lives and therefore should not be a “prohibited person”.


        So someone could walk up and down the street in front of your house in the alley behind your house firing their pistol at random into unoccupied cars and you don’t think that that person should be restricted from owning a firearm in the future? After all, he could’ve easily injured your home but he didn’t.

        “Given that this man could have easily entered ‘your home’ with his handgun and shot several people — and yet chose to NOT do that — I am thinking that he is not truly dangerous to our lives and therefore should not be a “prohibited person”.


      • Let’s say that we believe he was a danger to people’s lives. After all, who knows who may have been in one of those cars without him seeing them. I would propose that a second question is worth asking: would he have been a danger to someone’s life without a gun? If he had that tantrum without a gun would he have just gotten thrown out and stormed off? Might he have decided to ram some cars with his own?

        I think it’s hard for me to come to the conclusion that this guy should be incarcerated for the rest of his life inside a prison based on this event. That said, I do think he was- and may remain- a danger to others if he is able to repeat this behavior. I don’t see jail as the only punishment available to the system, however. It never has been so. People have always been punished with other methods including fines and, upon being released from prison, probation.

        As long as a law imposing a punishment is made before the crime I see no reason why someone should complain when they are subject to it. If we can consider throwing someone in prison for life where they would have no right to own a gun PLUS hundreds of other limitations, what is so wrong about considering removing someone’s legal right to own a gun without imposing every other limitation? Then, if that person remains a danger (by buying a gun illegally, for example), perhaps it’s time to consider more restrictive steps.

    • He also drove like a maniac leading the police on a high speed chase that ended when he crashed out. He could have hit a busload of nuns. Should all people who drive recklessly away from police lose their driving privileges for life? Maybe they should be prohibited from ever owning a car again. This guy misused several tools that night. Seems arbitrary to fixate on the gun. If fact the police were in more in danger chasing the guy than no one in an empty parking lot.

      • “He also drove like a maniac leading the police on a high speed chase that ended when he crashed out. He could have hit a busload of nuns. Should all people who drive recklessly away from police lose their driving privileges for life?”

        Maybe. They are already usually suspended from driving for a very long period and have to go through a process to regain their license.

  4. I am very shocked there’s no DUI there. The first thing in my mind is “cocaine is a hell of a drug.”

  5. We had a guy do that here about 15 years ago. He was asked to leave for one reason or another and came back to shoot at the structure from the parking lot a Garand.
    Everyones reaction upon hearing the news was “there’s a strip club around here?…..Ewwww….”

  6. Every time one of these idiots does this, it tars the 99.9% of sane, law abiding gun owners.

    The penalty for misuse of a firearm (such as in this case) should be a 10+ year prison sentence.

    I don’t give a damn if he was having a bad day. There is no excuse. None.

    Rights mean responsibilities. He failed. End of subject. Mandatory 10+ years in jail for abusing your rights.


  7. I thought .38 SPL wasn’t good at punching through car doors. Of course, I guess the cars were slightly beefier in the 1930s.

  8. Geez doesn’t old guy have a smartphone with free porn? Oh and it doesnt “tar” any gun owner’s. It only reflects on deranged azzhole’s😖

        • That was my first thought. Sounds like Water Walker is a bit too vocal about spilling private marital information out into the Interwebz. Unless that’s just the way he does business.

    • IT absolutely tars responsible gun owners.

      The “middle of the road” people who don’t know jack-poop about guns read stuff like this and think that this is a gun-owner.

      The suburban housewives who just voted in Dems in Virginia, and now will pass a crap-load of gun restrictions? All middle of the road voters who think this guy is emblematic of gun owners.

      • You guys are on drugs. Equivalent to “all black youths are criminals” because a % commits crime. Oh and Haz I’m sorry your old lady is ugly. I married the best woman on earth😄

  9. He should be ashamed for walking into a building that frigging UGLY! I can just imagine what the “dancers” looked like.

    • Remember the fat dancer in Jabba’s palace in Return Of The Jedi? The one with the 6 boobs and the bowl full of jelly?

  10. I’ve always wondered what the difference was between a strip bar and a “gentleman’s showclub”?

    Do the girls read from the collected works of Marcel Proust while they’re shaking their thingies at you?

    • They do, trust me.
      So much money can be made without any kind of contact to pay for advanced degrees.
      My own mother has two Masters…
      Okay, she didn’t do any on that stuff, but she did work with MLK way back when.

    • “I’ve always wondered what the difference was between a strip bar and a “gentleman’s showclub”?”

      The cover charge and drink prices? Hey, Ralph and Rad, you two were lawyers, let us know…

  11. So he was there trying to help this poor innocent girl out of that life she had fallen into when his card was declined and…

  12. Well, this dude’s gonna be the face of more than a few of “OK, Boomer” memes. (Ah, the generational warfare will be strong on this one.) That sucks for him.

    Drop the charges, he’s gonna get savaged enough.

    Also…Old guy gets declined on his debit card, goes out with a wheel gun shooting up mid-range cars in a tittybar parking lot in Iowa? The comedy sketches/start of a miniseries/movie openings pretty much write themselves here. I mean, shit, what’s this guy gonna do next? Get cancer, move to North ‘Burque, find a dense but strangely likable sidekick and start selling top notch crank?

    Seriously, this guy basically wrote/lived a part for a fucked up Clint Eastwood character in some sort of gritty post-modern man-against-the-world movie. Like Gran Torino mixed with Traffic, Showgirls and Requiem for a Dream with a dusting of Grumpy Old Men

    • Fucking hell. Just what we Boomers needed. More bad publicity. Oh well. At least we won’t last much longer. We’re so old and shit.

      • Personally I think the “OK, Boomer” and “OK, Millennial” memes are close to the dumbest things anyone has ever come up with. I’m talking up there with that “Real Housewives of…” or Jersey Shore. Heck, even The Notebook.

        Where it bothers me is where it’s detrimental to the country and to civil rights. Unfortunately that’s a lot of areas of life these days.

        • Folks are for real taking themselves to seriously these days. Polarized is what we’ve become. But it was pretty bad in the 60’s too. I don’t remember the ‘civil war’ undertone from then. But there was a definite rift.

          Maybe it was just there was no internet back then?

        • I think the internet definitely plays a part in it.

          Part of it is also the way the educational system has fallen apart. Then there’s the way both the internet and other mass media are being used to sow division because the people doing it profit from it in some way. That’s not new but it’s got a lot more reach these days.

          The big difference that I notice is at ~65 age cutoff. People who graduated high school before or around 1970, regardless of their overall educational level (high school vs. BA/BS/ vs. Masters etc etc), tend to have an entirely different way to talking to other people than do folks who are younger than that.

          Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone as there are outliers in every group. But the main difference I notice is taking something someone said and then proceeding to either an assumption or an interrogative.

          Older folks, again generally, don’t tend to make huge assumptions based on what you say. They ask questions such as “So, if you believe that then would you agree that…” or “Based on what you’ve said here, what would you say about…”.

          Younger folks, by which I generally mean <65, instead tend to make assumptions and they're usually pretty inflammatory assumptions. "Oh, you like guns? So I bet you're a right wing nut that thinks bombing abortion clinics is OK, huh? Probably hate gay people too!" or "So you voted for Obama in 2008? You love Medicare for All, huh?".

          That breeds division because nearly no one, outside actual fanatics, thinks along such clear dogmatic lines. But the reaction to such a line of questioning tends to promote tribalism and our own assumptions about the other people. Pretty soon it becomes big groups, like "boomers" or "millennials". You can see that shit right here on TTAG with people blaming "millennial snowflakes" as if everyone 35 and under thinks or acts the same way. Which is hilarious to anyone 24-35 (those defined these days as "millennials") because there's a huge rift based on age there at about 30 that not many people seem to recognize. It's based on when the schools really started pushing that participation trophy shit, took away recess because "safety" and started overvaluing feelings to the point that by the time I was a senior in college the freshman had to have 9/11 explained to them because High Schools thought the subject was "too scary" to cover.

  13. Muslims don’t recognize Jews as a religion;
    Jews don’t recognize Jesus as the messiah;
    Protestants don’t recognize the Pope as the head of the church;
    Baptists don’t recognize each other at the nudie bar.

    Just had to throw that in.

    • “Baptists don’t recognize each other at the nudie bar.”

      Here’s a Baptist no-shitter for you –

      Here in central Florida, the cheapest fresh milk in town is sold at the liquor store…

  14. Mention naked women and every squirrell comes out to get a nut. Btw, who said he was drunk? Stupid beyond the call of sanity without a doubt but no mention of drink being bought. Now if they declined his card when ordering a VO and coke I’d bail him out myself. Bet those cars belonged to employees.

Comments are closed.