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Flash mobs

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by jack76590, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. jack76590


    Aug 15, 2004
    Flash mobs seem to be a coming trend with the spread of the "social media". Once flash mobs only organized people to do funny stunts, like sing, act like zombies and then leave.

    Now it is being used to organized violent mobs to steal and harm people for "fun". The Philadelphia PD seems concern it will lead to violence - like no violence is presently involved. But what the PD really fears is the victims will strike back and harm the "children". I suspect fact Pa just passed a Castle Doctrine law played a part in this obviously political response from the Philly PD. See link

    Generally interested in your reaction to flash mobs as a self defense expert.

    First, do you think the frequency of violent flash mobs will increase?

    Since many of the flash mobs are occurring in upscale location, the advise of avoiding going to stupid places with stupid people does not apply too much. But doing your shopping on the internet and ordering take out might be good advise.

    But the honest citizen confronted with a violent mob may have to act quickly to defend himself. Yet he can not just shoot into a crowd. I don't see a defense working that is based upon the fact the MOB threatened me. For a defense to work I assume a person has to be threatened by identifiable person or persons and direct his fire in that direction. And not miss his target or targets. The manner in which a mob acts is going to make it difficult to justify action against a specific individual(s) via proof that that specific person(s) represented a threat of grave bodily injury or death.

    So in the case of defense against violence from a flash mob how would you recommend a person conduct themselves in order to justify a shooting response, if required?

    We can save the question of recommended guns and ammo for another thread.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    Jack, the real question is how to conduct ourselves so that we won't have to shoot anybody.

    This is a new phenomenon, and even the law enforcement establishment is still working to develop strategies for dealing with it.

    From what I've been able to gather, most thus far have been, in essence, mass shopliftings. In that situation, I'd advise GET THE HECK OUT OF THE WAY AND EXIT THE SCENE.

    In something like the flash mob scene that resulted in a teenager being beaten within an inch of his life, very likely suffering permanent injuries, it's obviously a deadly force situation. While the old legal principle was that any member of the mob shares responsibility for its actions, and therefore shares the general jeopardy that accrues to the mob from lawful self-defense by its victims, I haven't seen that tested lately in court and wouldn't want to be the test case.

    If it was the rescue of an obviously innocent victim already under life-threatening attack, or self-defense from same, both logic and ethics would indicate that force be directed to those inflicting the actual, potentially lethal harm. In other words, surgical aimed fire, not random "hose the foes."

    The PPD spokesman you cited noted that a high number of arrested flash mob participants previously had clean criminal records. After one of them is shot in self-defense, the media can be expected to play the shooter up as an over-reacting psycho, perhaps motivated by racial hatred if the shooting was cross-racial. You don't need me to tell you where that would go.

    I read the PPD spokesman's comment that you'd be surprised who's packin' as something we've known all along: the folks who get licensed to carry guns are the Good People in society, with a high number of physicians, attorneys, business people, and cetera. Somehow, I have the feeling no one from the police department will be saying that after a few 14 year old kids get shot in self-defense during a flash mob attack, particularly if they're shot by someone who could have avoided the shooting.

    IMHO, prosecutors and lawmakers and sentencing judges will need to get together on this QUICK, perhaps with RICO actions (it shouldn't take too much cell phone activity intended to deliberately form a flash mob, to add up to the number of predicate acts required for a RICO charge) and make it clear to those likely to participate in flash mobs that the cost to them is going to be unacceptable.


  3. jack76590


    Aug 15, 2004

    There has been a number of serious injuries, such as, the one you mention, that have received fairly wide spread reporting. However, I have read about other instances where people are punched, etc and receive relatively minor injuries that don't receive wide spread reporting. So while some or many of the flash mobs involve shop lifting I think many are focused on just general vandalism and terrorism. And the violence factor/motivation may increase.

    But motives of those in flash mobs are surely mixed. And this could create a problem with applying RICO. Some might claim they just wanted to get together with people their own age, etc, etc. And who knows some may never have intended much violence beyond perhaps yelling in the streets and blocking some traffic. I doubt if the announcement says let us all get together and maim people. And I doubt if there is one announcement.

    And use of RICO in this fashion could be dangerous. What if you and I responded to a call via the "social media" to appear at x place to oppose some form of gun control. Counter brady bunch supporters appeared and things went downhill. Yes we had no intention of letting things get out of hand, but it did. And the current flash mobbers would make a similar claim.

    And you are correct this does have a strong racial component. However, like crime in general, minorities often are the victims of crimes by minorities.

    I have read some people comment that the media mentions the racial makeup of every tea party rally, but never the racial makeup of a flash mob. Then on other side I read where a person said authorities react strongly to flash mobs because black youth involved but are more accepting of violence/vandalism after a sporting event because whites are often involved.

    I mentioned that we can leave the selection of guns and ammo to another thread. As you might expect that is already in discussion on other forums. Generally feeling is bring more ammo.

    Like you I agree this will be a situation where if shots are justified it will require the up most in precision and control. There will be a lot of movement and unlike most attacks it will not be in a isolated place with no or few uninvolved people present.