The following video is somewhat graphic. Not because it shows blood or anything. In fact, if it was a movie, this would probably only get a PG-13 rating.
But it’s not a movie. It happened in Israel just a few days ago:
For those who might be skeptical of the validity of the video or who don’t want to watch the full video, CNN also has an edited version of it here. The reason that I’m posting the full video, however, is because there are a few things that need to be addressed regarding how fast crime happens and a myth about guns.
To briefly explain what happens in the video, it starts with a Palestinian driving his van into a bus stop, hitting two people. Several others begin to run. The timeline here is important.
0:11 — The terrorist (no other word to describe him) gets out of the van. 0:15 — The terrorist stabs the first injured pedestrian. 0:17 — The terrorist begins stabbing the second pedestrian. 0:20 — A private citizen (CNN calls him an “armed security guard” because they can’t ever acknowledge anything that could help the 2nd Amendment) arrives with his weapon drawn and aimed at the terrorist (who is still stabbing the second pedestrian). It is unclear if he has opened fire yet or not. 0:23 — The citizen shoots the terrorist repeatedly. 0:26 — Terrorist falls to the ground. 0:33 — Terrorist gets back up and slashes knife toward citizen, who shoots him again. The terrorist falls back to the ground. 0:39 — Citizen is able to kick the knife away from the terrorist, disarming him. 0:48 — A guy some people say is a police officer arrives on the scene from the left (he looks to me like he’s just a guy who was riding a motorcycle). 0:54 — Terrorist gets up and tries to run from the scene. 0:59 — Citizen fires at terrorist again. 1:08 — Another citizen arrives and kicks at the terrorist, terrorist kicks back and knocks the citizen down. 1:16 — The terrorist finally falls to the ground again, and the video cuts to a later shot.
So why is the timeline important? For a couple of reasons. First, notice that the terrorist is able to stab two people (one of whom would die) multiple times in just two seconds. In fact, by the 23 second mark (8 seconds into his stabbing rampage), he has made 9 distinct stabbing motions, three to the first victim and six to the second.
Secondly, note that the first person on the scene with a gun arrived and shot that terrorist for the first time at that same mark–8 seconds into the stabbing rampage, and 12 seconds after the van impacted the bus stop. It’s nearly impossible to conceive of a faster response time, and yet the terrorist still stabbed two people, killing one.
Third, the “police officer” on the scene arrived at the 48 second mark, 25 seconds after the first armed citizen had already shot the terrorist. Again, I don’t think this is actually a police officer, but let us assume it for now. This is an amazingly fast response time: the officer was on the scene 37 second after the van impact. Yet, you could see the elderly pedestrians who were trying to run from the scene at the very beginning of the video who almost certainly would have been stabbed had that armed citizen not been there alone for those precious extra 25 seconds.
And as I said, I think it was just a guy riding a motorcycle. A Google search tells me that Israeli police uniforms do look like American police uniforms, and the guy does vaguely look like a US motorcycle cop. But, he doesn’t seem to be acting as an officer would act, and most tellingly does not appear to be armed.
Finally, the terrorist was first shot at the 23 second mark. He got up twice, being shot again each time, and was still mobile and violent until at least the 1:16 mark. The terrorist did die in this attack, but we know for a fact that he was still alive for at least 53 seconds after being shot the first time, and he was shot at least three more times. (There’s no telling if the shooter missed on some of the shots, but the reaction of the terrorist does show some of the times he was hit.)
Why is this the most important aspect? Because Hollywood conditions us to think that bullets are insta-kills. Very rarely are they. In fact, because of the wider blade of a knife, it is quite possible that a knife is more fatal than a bullet, because it will actually cause more bleeding. The only real advantage to the bullet is the range factor–you have to be within arm’s reach to stab someone.
Some people have wondered why police officers will shoot at a suspect with a knife, and not only that but they will shoot him 57 times, and finally they always handcuff the guy before tending to his wounds. This video helps explain why. Even after being shot, the terrorist still tried to stab the citizen with the gun. Even after being shot multiple times, the terrorist was still able to climb to his feet, kick out at others, and try to escape. A wounded terrorist is still a dangerous terrorist. The same is true of criminals.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that our police forces never use excessive force. But hopefully it puts a little more perspective into the situation.