Family oriented, but hard partying describes most Outlaw MC's, many consider themselves to be basically law abiding but all will defend their families, their brotherhood and their country.
What ties these clubs together under the banner of Outlaw is their prospecting period. YOU EARN your patch, you don't just buy it. The patch is club property and it is a privilege to wear it and the responsibility of every prospect and patch holder to protect that property.
These types of clubs seldom if ever claim a territory.
1%er MC's are yet again different. They not only wear the three piece patch and have a prospecting phase, but they generally sport the 1% diamond on their chest. Not only are these MC's not sanctioned by the AMA but they claim territory.
The Outlaws MC were formed in 1935 originally as the American Outlaws Association
The Hells Angels MC were formed in 1948
The Bandidos MC were formed in 1966
NOT ALL Outlaw Clubs are 1% Clubs, but all 1% Clubs ARE Outlaw Clubs.
So now that we have a little bit of history on who and how Outlaw MC's are and came to be, and you are thoroughly confused - let's get on with the Iron Order MC controversy.
It is my understanding that the 1% MC world resents the Iron Order for primarily two things:
1) not asking permission to exist from the dominant clubs and not following CoC Protocols especially since they are not AMA sanctioned.
2) they are considered by many a cop club because they allow law enforcement officers as members if they can pass the prospecting phase and one of their founding members was a cop.
There are deep rivalries and hatreds in the US in particular when it comes to this MC and they were not made any better by the shooting in Jacksonville that took place last week.
The entire Outlaw MC world is a mine field.
Many Veteran's MC's are Outlaw MC's that have a prospecting phase and allow police officers in their fold.
Many Police MC's are Outlaw MC's in that they require a prospecting phase and sport a three piece patch and some of those MC's have been known to conduct themselves as if they were 1% clubs.
Our community is fraught with politics and pressure from the outside and the inside.
The fighting amongst the MC's can turn deadly in a heart beat and remember, many of the people drawn to these types of clubs have military, police and fire fighting backgrounds and generally the muscle to back up their point when in an altercation.
You do not have to be a "criminal" club to get caught up in the worst of situations, you do that by putting that patch on your back. Even when you ask permission of a local dominant and get it, that doesn't mean that when you travel you have the right to wear your patch in their territory, or so I am told.
Many clubs that have started in the last 10 years or so have not followed the protocols of going to the dominant of their region before sporting their cut, some because they didn't know that was protocol (there's that whole education thing) and some because they do not believe that in the land of the Free, the home of the Brave, that they should have to. That is because many of them have military or police service time in their background and feel they fought for their right to be who and what they are. Some clubs don't agree with that mind set.
Their argument is who did the Hells Angels, the Bandidos, the Rebels, the Outlaws or any other club pre 1988 ask permission of for their right to exist?
The CoC that set out the protocols was founded in 1988, in Canada they are the Ontario Confederation of Clubs and in the US - NCOM National Coalition of Clubs
That causes tension, like it or not.
If you choose to wear the cut of an Outlaw Club, then you need to be prepared for the day when, not IF, you have to defend that cut and your brothers and yes, that can mean with your life.
If you are what is termed a Law Abiding MC, that means little if a member from a territorial club resents your presence and decides to "handle" things.
This is a man's world, one where violence is justified as protection of one's patch, brother and territory first and foremost. All men on both sides of the fence swear an oath to their club and their brothers. And whether any of them get the irony of it all or not, they will all die to defend what they believe in.
The irony of the situation from a female's perspective is that they are separated by so little.
They have far more in common than they might think, but grudges, personalities and other forms of rivalry abound.
They all believe in Freedom, Brotherhood, Family, Loyalty, Integrity. They all EARN their patches, and they are all rebelling against society and its structure in one way or another. And yet, so many can't stand each other.
It is not a world for the faint of heart. It can get ugly. Very ugly. But no matter who I have ever talked to be they Outlaw MC or 1% MC member, they all feel the same way, their membership in the club of their choice is as essential to them and their lives as breathing is for the rest of us.
The rivalry, the angst, the political issues aside, every man I have ever met that has taken the steps to hang around, prospect and ultimately become a patch holder says the club has changed their life and given them something that was missing in their lives.
There are many who THINK they seek that kind of brotherhood. There are few who make the grade.
And that my friends is what I know about the MC world.
Have a safe day...
Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider