Professional over the road CDL truck drivers are a unique breed of men and women. Strong, determined and masters of stamina, they keep the life blood of our country moving. Truck driving isn’t for everyone . . . in fact, few can actually handle the daily stress and long, endless hours of being out on the road. Long haul trucking is a rough life.
Along with this lifestyle come dangers. Driving through unfamiliar territory late at night looking for your loading or unloading destination . . . totally exhausted trying to find a place to park and you finally settle on the one spot you can find: along the side of an exit off ramp . . . or broken down out in the middle of nowhere . . . in this crazy world we all live in, danger can be just around the next bend.
I remember one night when I pulled into a truck stop in Jessup, Maryland and literally fell right into bed. What seemed like a few minutes later, I heard someone shouting, then some more yelling, and then . . . gun shots! The shots rang out about three trucks down from where I was parked. Seconds later, I was crawling into the driver’s seat, pulling back out onto I-95! To this day I don’t know what occurred, and at the time I didn’t want to know.
At present, there is no Federal Law that states that it is illegal for CDL truck drivers to carry guns in the truck with them. I’m the first to say that there have been several times when I would have felt much better had I had a handgun in my possession. But the question remains . . . should professional CDL truck drivers running over the road be allowed to carry hand guns with them? I find myself evaluating the pros and cons. The large majority of these men and women are good, honest and hard-working adults. The main priority is providing a living for themselves and their families. Should they have to face potential threats in crime infested areas without a means of protection, due to a few “bad apples” in the bunch?
Any professional trucker will tell you that when you are taking a high value shipment into an area of Detroit, Chicago, LA or New York City, etc., at 2:30 A.M., the potential of an attack is always probable. I recall several years ago when drivers were getting killed and their loads stolen while running across I-10 in South Texas along the Mexican border, where you can drive a hundred miles and only see a few cars.
On the other hand, trucking is a hard, stressful vocation. Tempers can flair at the drop of a hat. All one has to do is listen to the CB radio and you will hear constant fighting and berating by many drivers. One fight, one temper, and if one driver has a gun and other does not . . . ? For all the good, law-abiding drivers out there I wish they could be allowed to carry protection. But looking at the insane world we live in now, could it actually bring about more problems? On the other hand … it is our Constitutional Right!
What do you think?
About the Author:
Aubrey Allen Smith is the author of the Truth About Trucking. An expert in transportation, and former police officer and a deputy sheriff, he has helped many new drivers discover the scams within the trucking industry.
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