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Friday, July 28, 2006

Belltown Shooting: Two Bystanders

Posted by on July 28 at 21:16 PM

Eyewitness and neighbor, Robin Alexander: An older black woman who has lived in Seattle all her life, Alexander was walking along the street outside the women’s shelter on Virginia across from the Jewish center when she heard a shot fired and a woman shout, “He’s waving a gun!” Everyone started running, she says, but she calmly kept walking to the end of the street, only several yards away from the Jewish center in the middle of the block. “If someone has a gun, I’m going to keep moving and not make it none of my business.” She says police arrived immediately and “swarmed” the woman who had been shot and was wounded outside the building. Alexander couldn’t get back to her apartment and, like dozens of others, felt stranded outside the police tape. Two people setting up their chairs for tomorrow’s SeaFair parade gave her a place to sit. Two hours after the shooting, she was still sitting and waiting, a black padded eyemask resting on her forehead as an artifact from the relaxing day she’d been enjoying hours before. Alexander, like the man who offered her the seat, felt the shooting was another sign from God of the coming apocalypse.

Scott Stezelecki, buff and with a Boston accent: Stezelecki says he trains government employees in counter-terrorism tactics, after himself being trained in Israel. Indeed, he was wearing a tight navy-blue T-shirt reading, “Israel: International Security Academy,” and as passersby repeatedly stopped to ask him what was going on, he became sort of the official curbside know-it-all on the situation. He said events like this happen in Israel all the time, and the reaction is much different than in America, where civilians are afraid and confused for hours. Since all Israeli citizens have gone through two years in the army, people react much more intelligently, much more like a group that knows roughly what to do, and conscious of noting identifying details of suspects. However, he thinks the Seattle police on the scene today were doing a good job. “They’re covering all their bases,” he said, as he stared at the police tape. He came down just to scope out the site, so he could talk about it later and offer his services to any groups that wanted them. “What do you think about this happening?” I asked. “It’s expected,” he said.

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America needs a mandatory draft like Israel. People in Israel react much more intelligently to these situations because everyone has to serve in the military. The Stranger did an excellent article on Israel's draft - read it. Everyone at The Stranger is doing a great job of standing strong with Israel and the local Jewish community, thanks for going against the conventional Seattle wisdom.


There are some good arguements for a draft. Most notably the public would have to pay attention to the use of force.
Did you serve Josh?

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