Sunday shootout

Like many from Central Texas, throughout my life I’ve driven enough miles to wear down a trench along State Highway 6, Interstate 35 and other highways through Waco, Austin, Dallas and elsewhere. I’ve occasionally seen groups of motorcyclists riding on the highway. And I’ve noticed the Bandido logo. I gradually learned about the criminal organization behind that logo.

The Bandidos and many other motorcycle-gang colors stand for drug dealing, crime and violence — not for American values that we all cherish. Those who died in the Sunday gang battle, regardless of how each met his end, died for foolish, misplaced pride in his clothing and the right to enrich himself by being a destructive force in the lives of others.

It is more clear than ever that these vicious gangs pose a serious threat to our communities. It isn’t just the egregious violence. It’s the drugs, prostitution and other crimes, as well as the crime imported from other states, that the Bandidos and other criminal motorcycle gangs stand for in Texas. As one officer pointed out, “It’s their culture, they don’t care.”

There’s a rumor that motorcycle gangs linked to the Waco fight have “green-lighted” law enforcement — that is, encouraged their members to target law officers. I hope Texas law enforcement will “green-light” the Bandido criminals for prison, along with all other criminal motorcycle gangs, and bring a complete and permanent end to their distribution of rot in our communities.

I know not all motorcycle clubs are bad and not everyone wearing motorcycle vests and jackets is criminal. It is my opinion that the “good guy” motorcyclists and clubs who do not associate with any criminal activity should clearly distinguish themselves from the shame of the Bandidos in appearance and dress while riding, as well as in action.

I hope I never again see Bandido colors or those of any other criminal motorcycle gang on Texas highways. I have thought this for a long time — and now, enough is enough.

It’s time for Bandido colors to come down — and those of all other criminal motorcycle gangs prowling the roads and highways of Texas.

Mary Hirsch, a driver on the highways of Central Texas, College Station

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I congratulate Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton on his excellent work regarding the tragedy in Waco on Sunday. He represents the police and the citizens of Waco as an outstanding “talking head.” Thank you.

Sandra Burbidge, Waco

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Law enforcement says blood was everywhere after the violent shootout in Waco. But then violence is everywhere in our entertainment world. Music, movies, video games and TV shows are virtual parades of violence and pornography. What we spew shapes our minds and our behavior.

More than ever, we need standards, order and restraint in entertainment.

Robert Shaw, Deland, Florida

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