PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — When two cab drivers got into a heated dispute about a fare, one cab driver pulled a knife. The other cab driver, armed with a concealed carry handgun, shot the other man in the head, neck, and stomach. Philadelphia police took the cab driver into custody and are investigating the scene.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Daily News, the knife-wielding driver was taken to the hospital. If he survives, he’s not likely to return to his profession.
This is a clear example of ‘failure to de-escalate’. Granted, by the time another man pulls a knife, the situation transformed from that into self-defense. You can’t control another person’s emotions or their irrational response. You can control your own response.
The reason why I say ‘failure to de-escalate’ was because a moment existed whereby a man had a choice to continue or withdraw. The ultimate proof of my own unsubstantiated suspicion will be born out during the investigation conducted by Philadelphia police.
Do I feel a person has a right to defend himself when threatened with deadly force? Absolutely. A knife can be used as an instrument of deadly force — just like a gun or a baseball bat or a rock.
There comes a time in a man’s life where he has a choice of being right or avoiding conflict. Heck, I don’t even know if that cab driver was right. I have no idea what his disposition was or how he treated other cab drivers. I have no idea if the cab driver who pulled a knife felt a legitimate threat to his life and decided brandishing would be a good move.
That’s the problem with real life conflicts — the distinctions of who had the opportunity to make the situation right and who escalated it first are hard to make. Thankfully, there are trained investigators working within law enforcement that will make that determination.
In the meantime, you can bet your bottom dollar that cab driver is going to spend every blessed cent in his bank account to pay for legal counsel. Legal counsel isn’t cheap. There’s usually a very large, substantial retainer up front and, if it goes to court, that first sum will pale in comparison to what will be required before an attorney steps into the court room on your behalf.
It’s expensive. Was it worth the cost of a single missed fare? Doubtful.
As for the cab driver who was shot, there’s about a zero percent chance he’s going to make a full recovery and go back to driving a cab. If he ever walks out of that hospital, it will be after a ridiculous amount of painful physical therapy. Bullets to the head generally require quite a bit of surgery and no one ever truly fully recovers from them.
The human body is pretty adaptable but there are limits to that adaptability. When a person takes the livelihood and well-being of another man, he really has to make sure it’s because there truly was no other option. Otherwise, that man is just a bad guy masked in good guy face paint.
I’ve seen so many road rage incidents since reviewing these sorts of news articles. So many incidents involve two parties having a heated disagreement and it escalates from there. The second one party approaches the other. There’s usually the intimation of force about to be used. Very rarely do you see two men arguing and cussing at one another and then see one of them come up and offer a handshake.
When that man starts stomping towards another man, the situation transforms from argument to fight. And fight equals force, and the man with the most force generally wins the fight. As a concealed carrier, if I see a situation is going that way, I feel obliged to remove myself from it. I don’t care what names I get called or how crappy I feel about the whole situation. I feel obliged that if, by my own action, I can preserve my life and that of another, I should make every effort to do so.