Cook’s Corner

By now you are all aware of the events two weeks ago at Cook’s Corner.  I have driven by Cook’s Corner several times on my way into Silverado Canyon but, in all candor, I have never stopped there.  Perhaps it was the motorcycles?



I am not against motorcycles in the slightest.  In fact, I’ve wanted to own one for years.  Sadly, each time I get close to becoming serious about learning how to ride, some other folly in life takes precedence and the motorcycle (and the attendant culture behind it) gets pushed further down the path.



As such, going to a place that clearly caters to the motorcycle community has had a magnetic draw, but also a self-conscious acceptance that I am not part of that community.



Yet, tragedy, as well as righteous indignation, does tend to erase the demarcation points that mark off the boundaries of one community to another.  In this particular case it also changes the archetypes of the players involved.



Heroes, or those whom we have identified as heroes in the past, become massively flawed monsters.



Then there are the sub-stories that begin to emerge.



There are lessons here, too.



This then is, in a sense, a tale of two individuals who were thrust into the fray.



The first is a client of ours.  You may very well have met him before here at Artemis.  Bill Huff has a CCW, and has spent many hours training in our lab.  He also does tend to pay attention to what is being told to him.  This may have ended up being counterproductive in this instance.



During his initial CCW class with us (as well as his renewals) he was instructed that the OCSD policy is that CCW holders cannot bring their weapons into a location “whose principle purpose of business is the sale of consumable alcohol”.



What that phrase actually means is left up to interpretation.  I have always felt it is massively problematic, probably unconstitutional… and, frankly and ultimately, void for vagueness.



That said, it is there.



Mr. Huff saw Cook’s Corner as a “bar”.



That is a reasonable assumption.  I myself would have referred to Cook’s Corner as a “biker bar”… not a “biker dining establishment”.



So… when Mr. Huff met his fellow Marines at Cook’s Corner for Spaghetti Wednesday, Mr. Huff left his firearm at home.



He told me the most vulnerable he has ever felt was to know he was in the middle of an active shooter event without his gun.



As you can imagine, Mr. Huff is not exactly an advocate anymore for the “no guns in bars” policy.



We now move to another CCW holder whom I have never met.  NBC Local News the other day ran an interview with a Mr. Klein of Yorba Linda.



Mr. Klein did not attend one of our CCW classes nor, after doing a search of our contact management system, does it appear Mr. Klein has ever done any training at Artemis.  (I am thankful for this, as you will soon see.)



According to Mr. Klein’s interview:


1)  He was in the bar wearing his gun that he has listed on his CCW.


2)  He watched the goblin shoot his first victim (his estranged wife, who survived the ordeal).


3)  He watched the goblin then kill two others.


4)  He then felt bullets whiz by him as the monster shot randomly at people in the bar.


5)  Klein then lowered himself to the ground.

  • It was then that he “remembered he had a gun on him”.
  • Klein gets up from the ground and draws his gun.
    • Query: Why did he get up from the ground???  Was this to be a duel?


6)  He then draws his gun and racks a round into the chamber.


(Oh God… don’t get me started.)



7)  He then “cocks back the hammer”.


(WTF?  He racks a round into the chamber and THEN cocks back the hammer?)



8)  He then points the gun at the goblin and the two make eye contact.



9)  Mr. Klein does not shoot… because…?



10) The proto-human (who it is suspected is out of ammunition at this point, but that is not confirmed) turns and heads towards the door still holding his weapon.  Note:  The area he is headed to is where all of the suffering and injured patrons are now.



11) Mr. Klein does not shoot.



12) The slob leaves the “bar”.



13) Mr. Klein does not shoot.



14) The slob goes to his truck and retrieves at least one shotgun.



15) OCSD confronts the slob and ends the threat before he has the opportunity to go back into the bar and kill Mr. Klein.



I will leave this here for you to draw your own conclusions.  But I strongly suspect you know where I stand on this.  How many injuries (and deaths?) would have been prevented if Mr. Huff and Mr. Klein had been switched that fateful night?



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Comments (10)

  • Michael W Mullin Reply

    This was a very sad event at Cook Corner. I was been a CCW holder for years and last year i called the Sherriff Dept and Conceieled my CCW for the readsom that my eye are not what they should be. Hit a target is eary but if targer is running and not sure it would hit the traget. i talking with Don Barnes last week, he suggested that i might like to come back with my CCW next yeart. Wsith that in mind I thought i mighty train with you to might sure my eye are ready.

    I have been a memeber of our crew.


    09/06/2023 at 09:15
  • Jerome Schammel Reply

    Question. In comment #10 above, would it have been legal to shoot the proto-human in the back as he turned away?

    09/06/2023 at 10:17
    • Mike Reply

      It is legal to use deadly force to defend yourself or others who are in imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury.
      You see an armed man, who has already fired into the crowd, walking towards another group of people.
      Is it reasonable to assume he is going to continue his deadly assault at this new group of people? I would think so.
      You are trained to shoot center mass. Sometimes center mass means the back, if the threat is facing away from you.
      Mainstream media has conditioned people to believe it is wrong to shoot someone in the back.
      As usual, they are wrong.

      09/06/2023 at 18:28
  • Durwin J Coustaut Reply

    Wow! Great article/blog: Lots to contemplate. As a multi state ccw holder; I try to train as much as possible/west to east coast. I got a tour of Artemis & got to shoot on the simulators & VR rooms & took some classes (even through I’m not a member). Thanks ! I’ve been to cooks corner for years & we never saw it as a biker bar. I have 2 double action / single action semi autos. S&W 4506 & Sig 226 & a few Glocks. So much to learn here when the dust clears. 1) California’s un-constitutionaly chrushing BS laws. 2) Carrying not locked & loaded? Wow! What would I hope to do in that situation? “Get the hell out of there or take the shot & pray latter”. What I think might really happen? 1) I’m 6’5 240lbs a hard to miss target. 2) I would still be crawling home on the ground looking for some butt wipes & a laundry mat!! I have never been on any social media site/a writer or a good speller. Ive always learned something from any level of training classes. I met one of your staff “Landa ” I think. She had the John Wayne belt buckle. I got to meet you & your Wife. Great article it make us think ; Thanks Sir : Durwin

    09/06/2023 at 12:43
  • Hugh Evehart Reply

    It my understanding that you cannot carry in an area known primarily for selling alcohol instead of food. Given this incident, I am wondering if it is best to avoid bars or if it would be legal under California law to defend yourself with your handgun if you refrained from drinking alcohol on the premises. Thoughts?

    09/06/2023 at 12:58
    • Mike Reply

      So the decision is to risk losing your ccw permit vs losing your life

      09/06/2023 at 18:23
    • Michael Brown Reply

      This has always been a gray area, who is to determine whether or not an establishment “primarily“ sells alcohol instead of food? But a good rule of thumb is always if kids are allowed, carry away. Because if it is a BAR that maybe has a limited menu of bar food, odds are kids are not allowed there.

      09/21/2023 at 17:12
  • Norm Ellis Reply

    No comment!!!

    09/07/2023 at 13:47
  • Kelly m Stellhorn Reply

    As I sit here and read this article and everybody’s comments I’m reminded of the events that happened that night. In fact I don’t need this article to remind me of anything? I live it , every second of the day. Like and old film real playing over and over again. I guess if you’re trained for this sort of thing ( CCW) you defiantly have a different mind set going in? But the truth is Cooks corner is not solely a biker bar. Oh sure it’s a fun destination to ride to on the weekends. But if you show up during the week you’ll find the local community gathers here for good times and good food, more so than any biker gangs. And when Biker clubs do so up ? Cooks is known as a Neutral Bar where all clubs are invited. Cooks corner has been in business for almost 100 years now. Before this tragic event we’ve never had one shooting.
    I was there behind the Bar when the shooting started. It was unbelievable ? Before my mind could catch up with what was really happening I was in disbelief. Like I saw a singing telegram just showed up with a cap gun ? The shots sounded like firecrackers going off, not real? It wasn’t until the Fan next to me got hit and started clinking did I realize THIS IS REAL ? Fear set in so I turn to run but tripped and fell hard on my knee. People were running out the door , some hiding under tables , hiding in the restroom, those fatally shot. When I fell I lost eye contact with the shooter, he ran outside and shot people in the parking lot. So some people ran back into the building for cover. This all happened so fast with people running and bullets flying with Band members behind the shooter it is safe to say no one had a good shot if you did have a CCW ? Maybe after he ran outside? I encountered Mr. Kline as I was locking the store room door trying to secure the building. His gun was drawn pointed at the door ready to shoot the intruder if he came back ? At that time the Sherriff arrived and started to unleash a furious gun battle witch took out the gunman. I told Mr. Kline to put his gun away before he gets shot. I morn those that we lost and all those affected. It’s easy to say I would have done this or would have done that in this situation after the fact ? Something I’ll always think about…

    09/22/2023 at 10:53
    • Roger Reply

      Well said Kelly, being there and having first hand experience is very valuable to share with others, I can only imagine what you’ve been through. Steven’s blog and the discussions have been very insightful and thought provoking. I have been going to Cooks for many many years and have enjoyed hanging out with all the bikers that show up on the weekends – and I look nothing like a biker – and never had a concern here. In fact it’s a great time to check out all the cool bikes and colorful people, listen to music and have a good time. Cooks is also a restaurant and serves good food, and also welcomes children – it even says so on their sign. Wednesday night is famously known for all you can eat spaghetti, live music and good times. It is also very crowded on these nights. If you are not familiar with the inside area, it’s a long narrow space with the stage on one end and kitchen on the other, with a lot of people in between. A lot of people… I had the opportunity to discuss this “event” with Kelly afterwards (whom I hold in high regard). I am also a CCW carrier and trained by Steven, whom I also hold in high regard. I was NOT there the night of the shooting but am very familiar with the environment – it would have been total chaos with people everywhere including behind the shooter no matter where you might have been if you were carrying that night. You could have ended up a hero, but at the same time end up as the target of media attention for potentially hitting, injuring or killing innocent bystanders. That’s the risk we take and have signed up for once we decided to become a CCW member. There have been a few very good points raised in this discussion that are worth focusing on – first, what is/isn’t a bar for CCW purposes. It’s pretty clear to me having been trained by Steven, I would have no concern carrying at Cook’s, just know the “no drinks for you” rule… Heck, Cooks’ even has a self serve soda dispenser if you need more convincing. Now, the whole shooting someone in the back – this is very interesting and to Steven’s point there has been a lot of brainwashing on this topic. However, it was very clearly an option in this situation. But I have to admit I might have hesitated to take the “back shot” thanks to (or actually no thanks to) the brainwashing we’ve been exposed to for as long as I can remember… Thanks to this discussion I have updated my mental situational awareness database to better handle this situation. Oh, and yeah, not having a round in the chamber? That is definitely a CCW no no… Thanks for the discussion all!

      09/23/2023 at 08:41

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