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You gotta wonder if the news media actually listens to themselves. I mean, here’s a group of yoots that form a “flash mob,” storm a department store, and make off with a bunch of merchandise. The reporter chooses to focus on the idea that responsible, honest citizens are concerned, and are exercising their Constitutional rights, and are choosing to carry concealed. And their biggest fear is that some armed individual might shoot a kid. Um…really?

In the real world, a majority of US citizens realize that while owning/carrying a gun doesn’t automatically make you a movie hero, it also does not automatically make you a bad guy or gun nut. We realize that, in a world where the idea behind a “flash mob” has evolved from “harmless prank” to “robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.” We realize that it would be all too easy for it escalate further into violent crime. And we realize that the responsible thing to do is to carry a concealed weapon, just in case.

It might surprise you to know that I don’t think carrying a gun means I need to jump in and try to save the day, should I witness a flash mob committing a crime. Nope. I’m not your Huckleberry on that one. However, if a flash mob (or anybody else, for that matter) suddenly decides that my daughter or I am a convenient target for a little of the old ultra-violence from the ringleader and his droogs, I’d rather be armed. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

What it really comes down to is the issue of personal responsibility. What galls me beyond belief is this lock-step Liberalism from the media, where they automatically assume that someone carrying concealed is looking to have a confrontation, and if any situation comes up in their presence, they’ll come out, guns blazing, and end up shooting some poor defenseless kid, who’s only crime was being part of a violent, criminal gang. Oh, wait…but that makes the gun owner seem as if they are exercising common sense, doesn’t it? The media? Not so much. Listen to these two reporters, with banter that sounds as if they are trying to out-do each other on moral outrage and groupthink points.

Am I worried about a flash mob? Nope. Not yet, anyway. (If the whole “let’s get violent and break some laws” meme goes viral among the flash mobbery, I’ll likely change that assessment. But I worry a lot less about any kind of bad things happening, when I have the ability to defend myself and keep my daughter safe. It’s not a panacea, but it sure does keep me from being one of the herd of sheeple. The truth is, if you carry a gun, you may never need it. And you probably expect that you’ll never have to draw down on another human being. But you also realize that bad things happen, and carrying a gun is a way to try to make sure they don’t happen to you.

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  1. The violent flash mob thing is already going viral. Hopefully police catching some of them and making examples out of them will also go viral.

    I had to laugh at them constantly referring to the “kids.” Looks like there are more than a couple 200+ pound kids in that video. I sure wouldn’t want to get mobbed and attacked by multiple of them.

  2. Not ‘keeds’, ‘keeds’, ‘keeds’ – u ignorant lib-socialist with a mic, but ‘Punks’, ‘Punks’, ‘Punks’… 1 small step from “Correctional facility” material!

    They r NOT “littel innocents” and should be subject to the HARSHEST Punishments LIFE -not the System- will serve them – now – as “PUNKS”. And their PARENTS should do the time right there WITH them! A just Society would see to it… the OBAMA society today will laugh it off.

  3. Brad Kozak says: “You gotta wonder if the news media actually listens to themselves. I mean, here’s a group of yoots that form a “flash mob,” storm a department store, and make off with a bunch of merchandise. The reporter chooses to focus on the idea that responsible, honest citizens are concerned, and are exercising their Constitutional rights, and are choosing to carry concealed. And their biggest fear is that some armed individual might shoot a kid. Um…really?”

    Sure, that makes total sense. To the general public (and to the media by proxy) here we have a potential matchup between unarmed youths and armed citizens facing off against them. The insertion of firearms into the confrontation represents an escalation where more people can get hurt more seriously/more quickly, and perhaps needlessly.

    Personally, I believe trained police officers would have their hands full with a flash mob turning violent. I don’t have any confidence that you guys would act in a level-headed manner because you do not have the training or temperament of professional LEOs. In the last blog item on flash mobs at TTAG, the discussion focused on firearms and tactics that would inflict the maximum amount of death and injury. That’s exactly the wrong approach and mentality. It’s not that I have an irrational fear that you guys will overreact. You have already promised me that you intend to overreact. Why should I take you guys at anything other than your word?

    • It all depends on the laws of the jurisdiction. If the local laws allows for protection of property, I’ll be protecting property per my inalienable rights.

    • You mean we don’t have the levelheaded temperament to chase a mentally handicapped child down the street to his house and beat the tar out of him, tase him, and mace him because of some perceived disrespected. For once I think I agree with you I know I don’t have that temperament, I only use force to meet force. Just one of hundreds of headlines from the first six months of this year alone, so don’t try the tired old few bad apples crap, or the isolated incident BS either, it happens far to many times daily nationwide for either to fit.

      • Your logical synthesis here: some cops are depraved; therefore, ordinary citizens are not depraved. False. Ordinary citizens can be equally depraved, if not more so, and they prove it every day.

        • All I did was point out your absurd assertion that somehow cops are more levelheaded than permit holders. It has been proven many times over that concealed carry permit holders are far more law-abiding than even your beloved police force. All one has to do is look up the stats in Florida since they instituted concealed carry in 1987. I think the number is 167 out of 2.5 million permit holders committing crimes, most of which are non-violent carrying a gun in the wrong place type of crimes. How many cops in that same time frame have violated the law in Florida alone? I’d bet a damn site more than 167.

    • Magoo, at least you’re consistent. Consistently operating from a flawed premise, that is, but at least you have a theme going. I specifically cited that carrying a gun would be a useful tool, should a flash mob turn violent and directly assault me or my family. Never did I imply that vigilante-style “justice” was an acceptable response to a flash mob engaging in shoplifting, robbery, or even just acting rude and intimidating the public. In point of fact, I specifically and emphatically stated that playing the hero was NOT the right idea.

      You really need to stop reading things into what I write. Twisting my words to suit your own agenda is equally ill-advised. (But I do appreciate that you toned down the personal attacks. Thanks.)

      I spotted at least one logical syllogism in your comments, when you infer that an armed citizen + “innocent yoot” = irrational violence on the part of the armed citizen. While we’re on the subject, where do you get your information that the flash mob is unarmed? If flash mobs have escalated from harmless fun to robbery, is armed robbery, assault, and mob violence really such a stretch of one’s imagination? And should a mob turn violent, wouldn’t a more prudent course of action be to have a gun on-hand, rather than simply assuming that the police can get there in time to save the day? (Given average police response times, that’s kinda whistling past the graveyard, dontcha think?)

      The real story here is your default assumption that the presence of anyone not in law enforcement carrying a gun will automatically exacerbate the situation into a firearms tragedy. As Joe (and others) have pointed out, those that practice concealed carry are NOT spoiling for a fight, nor are we looking at every situation as an opportunity to prove our macho street cred by whipping our our gun. Let me state this as clearly as I can: A gun is a last-resort option for SELF-defense. It’s not something I carry in the hopes that I’ll get to play Sly-Rocky-Rambo, or go all “John McClane” on somebody.

      Until you understand that fundamental distinction, there’s little hope you’ll see why concealed carry is a good idea, or acknowledge that your assumptions that a majority of those who carry are irresponsible, wanna-be commandos are ill-founded.

    • I can tell you have NEVER been in a life threating situation. Several times in my life all I had to do was SHOW the handgun and that STOPPED scared away the punks. A shot in the Floor is better than getting the SH$t kicked out of yourself. Before passing opinion get some REAL LIFE situations. A policeman is not right there to help most of the time.(not blaming them either) Thats is just the way it is. You just keep your tail between your legs and let it play itself out. I have seen this before Also. It gets YOU HURT,OR KILLED!

    • If the “kids” don’t commit violence, nothing will happen. If they restrained themselves from committing any crime, there wouldn’t be any worry about violence. Their life prospects would be vastly improved, as well.

  4. I know dozens of people who carry, and the last thing we want to do is shoot someone. I can’t imagine anyone shooting a bunch of ‘punks’ just because they stole some candy bars or other foolish crap.

    • JOE MATAFOME in “How to Fight a Flash Mob,” June 26, 2011 at 6:26 PM

      “The good thing about the 500′s is that one shot is a sure kill and if someone is standing behind them, their also done(It’s like killing two birds with one stone, but we’re using one huge bullet instead). The rest of the fools will most likely run after they witness the first explosion, and if they don’t then you finish them off.”

      • …which was a comment about a flash mob committing violence, not about a bunch of kids stealing candy.

        Nice try at confusing the issue, Magoo. But all that you did was commit yet another comprehension-FAIL.

        • No, I’m exactly on point. The danger is you guys will escalate a non-violent event into a violent one. Your very assumption is that the situation will be violent. It will be once you start shooting, that’s for sure.

          Now have a look at your tone.

          • No, Magoo, the danger is that the mob engaging in illegal activity will decide to do harm to an innocent person. Oh, right that has already happened. If as a result one of the mob dies when an armed citizen shoots him it will be the mob member’s fault.

            Crime is a Liberal method of social control. Crime creates an economic and social wasteland. Honest people are shut up in their homes and live in constant fear when they have to go out. Productive economic activity whithers away and the people are impoverished and dependent on the government. Meanwhile the social elites lives in gated communities and reap all the benefits. Welcome to East Germany or any city run by the Democrats.

            If you want a safer society ban Democrats, not guns. If you do that then fewer people will want guns.

            And I think as the first step we need to force people like Magoo to live in Ghetto.

          • Mob violence IS violence. It’s already escalated. It’s when the violence turns toward human beings that it’s time move to Plan B. Plan A being to avoid ever being involved in the melee.

      • I was being sarcastic about the 500’s because I thought it was funny at the time. Shooting at someone who wants to harm you is different from shooting some dum ass kids stealing candy. As Brad pointed out, you just love to try and twist the facts to prove your point. Brad’s way too smart for you Magoo, so you need to find some else to pick on.

    • Joe,

      I agree that if this were just about some kids stealing candy, people would need to be deranged to shoot them. Here’s the problem – these flash mobs are repeatedly attacking the same stores and are looting so much from them that it’s jeopardizing their businesses. I saw a report about one that hit a DC jean store a few weeks ago and stole dozens of pairs of pants, it was something like the third flash mob that hit the store in a few weeks.

      The mobs can also be exceptionally violent. In Chicago, they are having problems with people being pepper sprayed, beaten with rocks, and violently attacked BEFORE they are being robbed. In fact, an editor or writer for The Onion (the satirical paper) had her leg shattered by a flash mob attack.

      These mobs occur because the participants believe they can operate with impunity due to the numbers and ferocity of the attack. Unless police can break them of that perception, people will.

      • There are reports out of Peoria of mobs threatening and assaulting people, and from multiple sites around the country of people being severely beaten by these mobs.

  5. I’ve been reading TTAG for awhile without posting, but this deserves a comment. I have a CHL and I carry when I’m out and about. I have no intention of protecting anyone else but myself and my family. If I were ever caught in a “flash mob” I would make a tactical retreat. Whether or not I shot somebody on my way out of whatever mess I found myself in would depend on one thing and one thing only: am I truly in fear for my life.

    • Gun writer and TV produced Michael Bane talked about mobs and CCW in his recent weekly podcast.

      My take on his commentary is that we should always be in ‘condition yellow’ and especially so in crowd situations. Echoing from De Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” if you notice worrisome (to you) people starting to gather then just leave immediately. Ounce of prevention vs pound of cure.

      Having to defend yourself in a crowd with your gun would be a nightmare but arguably still better than letting yourself be killed.

  6. don’t you all realize this Magoo person or who ever he, is just baiting you. I personally no longer read his replies, since they are all the same, I just skip over them. I am sure he gets a big kick out of raising your blood pressure by spouting off the same anti-gun points in every one of his replies. As I said I no longer read his replies.
    My gun is for the protection of me and my family, for everybody else 911 is my solution.

    rick w.

    • I think your take on this is spot on. I have let various comments elicit a response from me when I should just realize that some posts aren’t worth the electrons. Definitely not worth my effort to read or respond. Perhaps ignoring certain posters and types of posts might actual put an end to them entirely. I smile just thinking about never needing to see one or read one again.

  7. Why do these miscreants engage in criminal behavior? Clearly because they think advantages outweigh consequences. If a couple were shot dead in gory 3D and publicized, it might give the rest of the “chillins” something to think about.

    One of these criminals will eventually try to do harm to someone who is prepared to fight back. When that happens, I won’t shed a tear for the criminal gunned down while committing a violent crime. Best they are removed from the gene pool early.

  8. Oh, you are correct, Rick.

    But we are stuck with the trolls until RF realizes that the few hits that the resident trolls generate for TTAG’s metrics are outweighed by the loss of hits & participation by valued contributors who are sick of the trolls.

  9. I’m with Brad on his key point: “However, if a flash mob (or anybody else, for that matter) suddenly decides that my daughter or I am a convenient target for a little of the old ultra-violence from the ringleader and his droogs, I’d rather be armed. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

    And our lib contributor, Magoo, may be reassured that I would NEVER use my concealed firearm to try to “handle a flash mob” and save some third party – like Magoo – from harm. My first reaction to any such incident will be to LEAVE the area; failing that, to get into some kind of physical cover with concealment that keeps mob members from getting behind me, and restricts their physical access to me. The last thing I would do is shoot them, and only if I was “in the immediate danger of death or grave bodily harm”.

    Why this approach? Because I see no reason to risk my life, my health, and a lawsuit to save some lib schmuck like Magoo who is too cowardly to take the necessary steps to protect himself or his family. Hey, let him live and die with the consequences of his choice. I am certainly not going to take the chance of one of my bullets going through or past a criminal and hitting an innocent third party to save a Magoo. I will reserve that option for my own self defense. If this seems a little cold and uncaring for the sheeple who won’t take obvious steps to protect themselves, tough shit. Call 911 and die waiting for the cops – that’s the advice the left gives me, so they can damn well live and die with their own advice. My concealed handgun is carried to protect me and mine, not the Magoos of the world.

    So relax, Magoo – you can count on me to let you suffer the consequences of your decision to remain disarmed. But hey, I’m sure you will be able to rely on the good will of flash mob scum – just start singing “Kumbaya”, or maybe “Give Peace a Chance”. And be sure to wear your “coexist” headband!

  10. The great thing about this site is that RF lets everyone on even if he doesn’t agree with their opinion. I didn’t like the TROLLS at first, but we need them to show us how dumb the gun grabbers can be. The evil gun grabbers don’t care about our rights, and they will do their best to take all our guns. Now I have to send the NRA another donation so that we can stop these fools from taking our guns.

    • Right, Joe. We try and differentiate between “tr0lls” and those who simply disagree with the majority here. We’ve banned three people for Tr0ll behavior. (Funny…they didn’t look “tr0llish.”) But when someone goes over the line, it’s a pretty easy call. When they keep the personal attacks out of the way and their arguments stay (mostly) on point, we try to keep them on the site, because, frankly, it keeps things interesting. We’re not running a groupthink operation here – free exchange of ideas and all that. But when a contributor gets so far out of line that he or she is annoying the rest of the readers on a regular basis, with personal attacks and the like, they’re gone.

      • “But when a contributor gets so far out of line that he or she is annoying the rest of the readers on a regular basis, with personal attacks and the like, they’re gone.”

        LOL. Unless they are MikeB or Magoo.

  11. ..then, later, in court, your flash mob guy will swear on whatever he believes in that he was an innocent bystander, there to buy a spaghetti strainer or something, when some armed lunatic up and shot him. That would be you he’s talking about…


    • Brian, that is a very valid point. If, however, the only choices presented to me at the time are to face such an accusation or be a statistic at the coroner’s office, I prefer to face the accusation.

      • Until it comes up that “poor bystander” have several “witnesses” (fellow “prankster… errr, “poor bystanders, victims of unprovoked violence outrage”,) and powerful enough relatives.

  12. Brad Kozak says: “Never did I imply that vigilante-style “justice” was an acceptable response to a flash mob engaging in shoplifting, robbery, or even just acting rude and intimidating the public.”

    I never said you did. What I say: It makes perfect sense to me that the general public, and media outlets by extension, will tend to be extremely skeptical about citizens arming themselves with firearms to confront flash mobs. I share their reservations. One of the reasons I do: I read TTAG.

    Really, what you say you might or might not do in a flash mob situation is neither here nor there in regard to the question you raised. You don’t speak for CC’ers, you have no authority or control over their actions, and you accept no liability for their mistakes. You are in no position to offer any assurances on their behalf, or even on your own, for that matter.

    • Magoo, I would not presume to speak for anyone else – not CHL holders, not the TTAG Armed Intelligentsia, and certainly not for gun owners in general. However, I’m perfectly willing to use data, statistical analysis, and history to prove you wrong. Constantly. Every bit of evidence points to the facts that concealed carry permit holders are statistically unlikely to get in any kind of altercation where using their gun is rulled to be a crime. So while it’s convenient for you to ignore this “Inconvenient Truth,” truth it shall remain. People that get concealed handgun permits, for whatever reason, are statistically less likely to use those guns of theirs in an inappropriate manner.

      Since you brought it up, are you authorized, nominated, or in any other way able to speak on behalf of conceal carry holders, flash mobs, or gun grabbers? (You may have me on that last one – not sure if you people are that organized, or if you just all drink the same Kool-Aid.) I find it fascinating that you get up on your soapbox, sans benefit of any data, and condemn an entire class of people (gun owners), then turn and point your finger at me, accusing me of representing the motives of people without the ability do to so accurately. I do no such thing. I have the facts on my side. Where are you getting your data? I’m all for debating the facts. But if you’re simply going to resort to debate tricks to sway the audience, I’m afraid you need to come back when you, um, have bullets in your gun. Rhetorically speaking, of course.

    • Yet you claim to speak for everyone, including the people you’re speaking to.

      • You talkin’ to me? I don’t claim to speak for anybody but me. But I can read data, draw conclusions, and report on the same. Given the statements made on this forum by our readers, it’s pretty clear that a vast majority of TTAG Armed Intelligentsia members see carrying a gun as a huge responsibility and are as far removed from some kind of self-styled vigilante as Audie Murphy was from Yosemite Sam. Again, I’ve got the facts on my side. Magoo? Not so much.

    • Mr Magoo, you appear to be saying that the reason citizens should not be armed is because there are violent and murderous people out there that might get shot if they attack an armed citizen.

      • That’s exactly what he/she/it is saying… Don’t you get it? You have a responsibility to be a victim. We cannot let criminals be victimized by your self-defense.

  13. Opponents of armed self defense always predict dire consequences when gun rights are expanded yet in every case crime rates fall and the world doesn’t degenerate into a series of wild west shoot outs. You would think that the Magoos of the world would take heart from that but all it seems to do is frustrate them. It is almost like they want the bloodshed to happen.

    By the way I haven’t heard of any flash mobs in Virginia yet. Could it have something to do with our “lax” gun laws. Just saying

  14. Mad About Guns Only Online is a self-professed cop-hater. Does anyone think that he really believes his latest turd in the punchbowl?

  15. Violent flash mobs are overwhelmingly African-American. Expect to be charged with a hate crime for defending yourself against such thugs.

  16. Ok, maybe I missed the part where we decided to take random current event buzz topics and blend them into a fear-mongering evening news smoothie, but how are flash mobs (which are groups of kids and young adults meeting in public at a specific time to do something silly/funny), CCW permit issue frequencies, and self-proclaimed vigilantes have to do with one another? I don’t think anyone in the history of the world has been frightened for their life due to a flash mob, and CCW permits for self-defense have nothing to do with vigilantes.


    • Don, there’ve been several incidents where the techniques of flash mobs have been used by groups with the intent to rob stores, as opposed to do something “silly” or “funny.” Google “Flash mob violence” and you’ll find a disturbing number of stories from all across the country, where crimes – REAL crimes have been committed by flash mobs. Here’s one such link. The point I was trying to make in the story is that it seems odd that the reporters are more worried about concealed handguns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, than they are the violent acts of flash mobs. I’m not talking about vigilantes. I’m talking about citizens who don’t want to become victims of mob violence, taking steps to protect themselves – not look for an excuse to put a cap in some mob member’s ass. Check out the police reports – we’re not playing “what if” but “what happens when?”

  17. It is unfortunate, but it seems that gangs and would be thugs have finally found a use for technology. What was once an amusing communal event, Flash Mobs, have now become a tool for the depraved. This past summer, over a couple of holidays, flash mobs or more appropriately “Flash-Gangs” have swooped down on local beach communities for a day of drinking, drug pushing, and fighting. These “youth’s” are under the impression, and rightly so, that a towns police force can’t keep order over so many people on such short notice. A perfect cover opportunity for any number of crimes. It’s no wonder that the issue of “Flash-Gangs” in New England, has been a growing trend largely in Massachusetts. A state with some of the most oppressive gun laws in the union. Yet, the problem with “Flash-Gangs” is apparently not an issue in it’s free wielding cousin states to the north.
    I care very little for the debate surrounding the ability of a civilian to carry a concealed firearm. It has been my experience, that anyone who argues against guns or CCW’s, does so more on moral grounds, supported by a very narrow set of cherry picked facts, if any facts what so ever.

    • Do guns kill? Yes, they do. That is what they were designed to do.
    • Are there stupid gun owners? Yes, plenty of them. But I still support their right to carry; More so than I support the privilege of many citizens to drive a car. More people drive, than own guns and their are stupid people on the road everyday.
    • Is it excessive to pull a gun on anyone, regardless of age if you and your family aren’t in imminent danger from someone who is intent on doing you harm? That is up to the individual to decide, and if they decide wrong, they should and will go to jail.
    • Does the media unfairly focus on guns in this particular story? Of course, but why should the way the media reports on guns be different from any other topic they cover. HOW did the subject of CCW come up at all, during this news investigation involving flash mobs? There isn’t an apparent connection beyond the need to sensationalize and drive an agenda.

    If you don’t like guns, and you think carrying a concealed weapon is an excessive response to rising crime, then don’t carry. But to suggest a legally armed populace is a greater threat then a roving band of miscreants intent on doing harm, is preposterous.
    I would suggest that you are much more likely to be shot by the unlicensed concealed weapon you know nothing about in a flash mob/flash gang organized to commit crime, then by the gun in the pocket of a family man, legally obtained and lawfully wielded.

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