This video is a great example of how to handle road rage like a boss. I’ll let you watch it first and then add some comments but first some background information.
I always found road rage to be extremely stupid, despite the fact that I understand the emotions behind it. Given as I’m on the road all the time and am confronted with imbecile drivers every day, I totally get it. But if you’re old enough to drive a car, you should be old enough to control yourself when an idiot cuts you off or does other stupid things on the road. In many cases of road rage, the person on the receiving end makes all the wrong decisions and ends up escalating or prolonging the conflict as opposed to solving it. Like Marc once said, “Fuck you.” is not a good de-escalation technique…
The last time some idiot stepped out of his car to yell at me and was spoiling for a fight, I had my ex-wife and her mother with me. Stepping out of the car to get into a slugfest with him would not have gone over well with them. Let alone help me in the potential lawsuit that would follow, given as how dozens of witnesses would have seen me get out of my car too. So I gave the guy dead eyes and drove off as soon as the light changed. No blood, no foul except for the adrenaline surge I had to deal with afterwards. Since then, I have always avoided road rage incidents by anticipating trouble before it escalated beyond my control. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
Anyway, take a look at the video now:
Some points I’d like to mention:
- If my information is correct, this takes place in Israel. Given as terrorist attacks are not unheard of there and the country is always at the brink of war, the driver’s reaction of pulling a gun is perhaps not as extreme as you would think at first glance. That said, he isn’t some trigger-happy Rambo when you look at how he handles the situation.
- The driver tries to back up as soon as he sees the young thug who blocked the road coming at him. He doesn’t shoot first, he tries to flee first. My guess is he couldn’t back up further due to incoming traffic, but I can’t confirm this.
- You can hear (but not see) an altercation going on right before the thug runs back to his car. We don’t know what happened but it probably wasn’t a nice talk about the weather…
- The thug apparently isn’t done and runs back to his car to get what looks like a piece of iron pipe. He clearly brandishes it as he advances on the driver again. This changes the situation into something potentially deadly, which forces the driver to resort to other tactics.
- We see the thug suddenly raising his hands so at that point, the driver must have drawn his firearm. The thug is apparently ordered to drop the weapon and get down. He is smart enough to do so.
- The driver secures the iron pipe (notice how he doesn’t give the thug a chance to attack him while doing so), orders the thug to leave and secures his weapon and the pipe when he thinks it’s safe to do so.
With all the nonsense you see and hear these days about citizens owning firearms for self-defense, this is a great example of how weapons can be used successfully to keep you safe in case of road rage. Had the driver not pulled his weapon, he might have suffered serious injury or even be killed. From the looks of it, the thug was more than willing to take it to that level. Of course, you can’t prove a negative so we’ll never know how that would have played out. But as things stand now, both the driver and the thug are alive and well. No blood was spilled and no onlookers got hurt either. So all in all, the outcome couldn’t have been much better.
To be clear, I’m not advocating you should pull a gun every time somebody threatens you in your car. What I am saying is that the driver handled not only the situation well, he used sound tactical thinking every step of the way:
- He did not shoot first and ask questions later.
- He did not draw the weapon as a first option, he tried to flee first.
- Once the weapon was out, he used it in a responsible way to end the conflict and avoid casualties.
That’s a far cry from acting like a cowboy and shooting on sight.
On a final note, you might want to remember this video the next time you feel like stepping out of your car to face somebody who annoys you on the road. I doubt whatever he does is worth having a gun pointed at you… Instead, just do as I do:
- Take a deep breath.
- Think about the people who love you and how they’ll have to either visit you in prison or attend to your grave if things go wrong.
- Go home and play some Carmageddon, visualizing you are running over that guy or smashing his car with yours. Nothing wrong with killing some electrons…
You’ll live longer and enjoy life more too.
very instructive article. Thank you again Wim for sharing this with us.
My pleasure Ben, glad you enjoyed it.
Perhaps pulling a gun “is not a good de-escalation technique…”
I come from Australia and am glad we can’t have guns. If people can carry guns for self defence then it is quite possible the ‘thug’ could have been carrying a gun ‘for self defence’.
I do think the man with the gun acted pretty well in the bit we saw but am not convinced that guns are the answer.
John, I didn’t say guns were the answer. However, if you are going to use one, this video is a good example of how you should go about it. As a rebuttal, I would offer that getting your head smashed in with an iron pipe is worse than owning a firearm and using it correctly…
The argument you use against civilian firearm use is IMO incorrect. The average criminal or thug who wants to get a firearm doesn’t care that it’s illegal. He just goes out and gets one. So laws prohibiting civilians to own them are useless in that regard, they don’t stop people who don’t care about laws in the first place.
I live in a country where you can’t have them either. The statistics of criminals using firearms are rising every year. That includes firing AK-47s in broad daylight, killing civilians and LEOs alike. The gun laws have been getting stricter every year also. The result: nothing. The stats keep on rising. So how exactly is prohibiting people to defend themselves the answer? I don’t see it. Even stricter gun laws? It doesn’t work, as has been proven de facto. More police? We already have more than the average LEOs on the street when compared to the rest of the EU. So what is the answer then? Because right now, people only have one choice: to die when confronted with a criminal wielding a firearm.
So I really don’t see firearms for self-defense as evil or inherently wrong. Scary, terrifying even, uncomfortable to acknowledge it just might be part of the answer? Yes, all of those.
Old Bull Lee says
Well John, we could debate the exact definition of de-escalation, but pulling his gun is how the defender immediately and bloodlessly ended this conflict. You would prefer the thug beat the man to death with the pipe?
I’d be willing to bet that ‘plan B’ was to run the punk down with the car so presenting the firearm probably was the best choice for de-escalating. Not the rapidity with which the road raged resumed a calm quiet manner?
*note* not ‘not’
Dennis Dilday says
Guns are like everything else – if the culture supports their intelligence and responsible use, then they serve useful purposes. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, sex, cars, cell phones, manners, whatever, there will be responsible use and there will be irresponsible abuse. It seems all we can hope for is the most healthy balance we can get and as enlightened a leadership as possible to set policy…
Meanwhile we are on our own. Case in point: I was walking along the side of a building the other day about to go around the corner of the building, there was a late teenager coming the other way who could see me and my side of the building and the side of the building that I was about to be exposed to. He also saw the oncoming skateboarder – a big late teenager on a big skateboard coming fast in a place he should not have been. The guy could have warned either one of us that we would collide as I came around the corner. He had the time but he didn’t say a word.
It was up to me. And it was one of those slow motion moments – it would have been the skateboarder who would have been hurt if I hadn’t gotten out of the way in time. I did, and nothing happened.
So while we have adjust down our expectations of others we also have to raise our own standards.
I think the guy with gun handled it well. You can tell he lives in a place where personal security is deadly serious and he has done his work. His Government understands and has set appropriate policy. So this video is an example of reasonable balance in the system in the face of unreasonable behavior of one individual.
(One conversation we haven’t had is the fact that the gun guy must have done something that “caused” the club guy to pull over and get out….)
Good stuff Dennis, thanks for sharing. And I agree, we don’t know what the driver did to warrant the wrath of the thug.
However, in the eyes of the law of most countries, you are in the wrong for doing what he did. He is in no way, shape or form performing an act of self-defense that requires lethal force (which he is initiating as the iron pipe IMO qualifies as a deadly weapon). Simply because there is no ability or jeopardy (and you really screw the pooch on preclusion) when you race to catch up with the guy who “attacked you”, block off his exit with your car, confront him and start a scuffle, return to your car for a deadly weapon and then charge at him again… By no legal standard that I know of is this anything but the thug committing a bunch of crimes.
I’ll take it one step further and say that had the driver shot him, the video footage and witnesses would in all likelihood made a strong case in favor of the driver. “He cut me off” is not legal grounds to justify what the thug did. Which doesn’t mean I don’t understand how people can get pissed off because of what idiots do in traffic. But the law doesn’t care about that. Dura lex, sed lex.
I advise everybody to read everything at Brandon’s site , but especially this part. It is a great resource to get a better understanding of how the law sees self-defense and lethal force. No matter how much the young hotheads of today think they are in the right to bash somebody’s skull in with an iron pipe because he “dissed” him in traffic, the law doesn’t agree. And as the law will come into it, especially if you are so stupid as to do what the thug did in broad daylight with dozens of witnesses, the law is the only thing that really counts.
Not preaching to you Dennis, I know you know this. Just spit-balling some thoughts of your comment. :-)
I agree that this person handled the situation as best as he could. I’m at work so I don’t have any audio, but by his body language he seemed to be in control. The other person is lucky he didn’t have his gun out when he first ran up to the car and get shot.
Dennis Dilday says
I put the “caused” in quotes for a reason.
Here is another thought: who goes around with a video camera installed so that this footage could be taken in the first place? Is this not unusual in the virtual-everything world we now live in?
The gun guy is likely some sort of para-professional based on his body language (his stance mostly) – or could be. That said, maybe his world is such that a camera like that comes in handy for more than just YouTube clips. Of course now I just making stuff up:-)
Actually, dashboard videocams are becoming more and more popular. Maybe we’re both just getting old that we don’t have one. :-)
Dennis Dilday says
I threw that out there wondering if that might be the case.
It’s funny how different things are in different places. We just spent 4 days in Idaho and were struck by how different things are there compared to the Seattle area. The air was cleaner of course (accept for the forest fire haze that rolled in on Monday morning), it was very clean everywhere, the kids and women felt comfortable roaming the streets alone day or night, you could pump your gas and pay afterwards, we didn’t see a cop for three days, and in many other ways it just felt more “normal”. My wife said that it felt the the ’80s or early ’90s.
I doubt that there were very many dashboard video cameras installed – gun racks behind the seat, yes. So it may be as much about the place as it is about our age, which is getting up there too:-)
As you known, that’s one of the things I always harp about here Dennis: context is king. What is perfectly normal in one environment is unacceptable in another. This goes for pretty much everything in life, including visiting other places like in your example. Fortunately, there are still places like that one you visited. Where you can relax and enjoy it all a bit more than in a big city. Though I wouldn’t want to be the fool who starts crap over there, given as those gun racks are there for easy access. :-)