Flash Mobs In Phila


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loadedround
August 10, 2011, 08:13 AM
I would like to run a question to ask of those more versed in legalities than I am. For the past several months Philadelphia has been plagued by Flash Mobs of teenagers running bersek through the city. There have been more than several instances where innocent people were beaten severly and/or robbed. The police have been unable to get a handle on these Flash Mobs even with numerous arrests. My question is, could a citizen with a CCW defend himself by using deadly force if he felt his life threatened by these mobs? Please bear in mind that Pennsylvania had passed the Castle Bill last month. I would be very interested in hearing your comments.

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M-Cameron
August 10, 2011, 08:25 AM
My question is, could a citizen with a CCW defend himself by using deadly force if he felt his life threatened by these mobs? Please bear in mind that Pennsylvania had passed the Castle Bill last month. I would be very interested in hearing your comments.


isnt that the point of a CCW?

it would be kind of pointless if you could only use it when your life wasnt threatened...

Pilot
August 10, 2011, 08:28 AM
I posted this a while back.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=600298&highlight=flash+mobs

loadedround
August 10, 2011, 08:46 AM
M-Cameron:
You missed my point. Even with a CCW and the Castle Bill, how would the legal system react to shooting a 12 or 13 year old kid acting like a savage? This could turn into a race thing very easily in Phila.

M-Cameron
August 10, 2011, 09:02 AM
M-Cameron:
You missed my point. Even with a CCW and the Castle Bill, how would the legal system react to shooting a 12 or 13 year old kid acting like a savage? This could turn into a race thing very easily in Phila.

if you feel your life in in eminent danger, and youve exhausted any other means.....you really dont have a choice now do you.

legally, if you are justified, you are justified......if you went through all the proper actions, your as safe as you can be in a situation like this, i dont believe the law differentiates between a 12 year old threat to your life and a 45 year old threat to your life.

as for how the public will react, that depends entirely on what spin the local media wants to put on it.....

a threat to your life, is a threat to your life...it doesnt matter how old they are.

MagnumDweeb
August 10, 2011, 09:12 AM
Non-lethal options should be added to your carry. I carry a CCW and pepper spray/tear gas spray combo sprayer. If a bunch of 13 year olds attacked me I'd hose them down. Granted I'm 252lbs 5'9"(size 36 waist to put it in perspective) and bench over 350lbs so swinging on kids wouldn't look good no matter what I did. Now if a bunch of little savages rushed me with baseball bats and knives putting me in reasonable fear of imminent death or severe or disfiguring injury then I'm grabbing my Rossi snub nose .357 or Glock 23(whichever is riding in my pocket, and yes I pocket carry a Glock 23 behind my wallet in my front left pocket).

So pepper spray first, if somehow you are getting rushed by more and more of the little dirtbags after trying to dissuade the scum by non-lethal means it's a crap call. You may legitimately fear being stomped to death by a pack of rabid children, it can happen when a dozen of the little wastes of life and strong advertisements for birth control are running amok, but a jury may think you overreacted. An urban jury especially not you like you choosing to live over dying. They might think you should have fired a warning shot in a crowded city possibly hurting an innocent bystander.

Basically you are SOL in my opinion. I'd contact the State Attorney General and do my best to get a written opinion from them on flash mobs and your rights to self-defense. If anything should go bad then, you could state you relied on the legal opinion and instruction of the highest legal office in the state. As usual you should talk to an attorney and disregard the opinions of folks on here who have no legal training and especially are not admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.

Pilot
August 10, 2011, 09:24 AM
I also now carry a non-lethal alternative in pepper spray. It seems these flash mobs are mostly unarmed, and basically beat you and kick you, or hit you with whatever they can pick up. A large can of mace/pepper spray/tear gas, may be the best defense that won't end you with $100K or more in legal fees defending yourself from a lawsuit.

I am also considering one of those collapsible batons, but still researching on their legaility in Philly.

wheelgunslinger
August 10, 2011, 09:26 AM
I don't mean to be picky, but you're using the term "flash mob" incorrectly.
Flash mobs show up and do choreographed dances at seemingly random places and times.

You're talking about "wilding"
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/04/this_wilding_thing_is_really_c.html

tkaction
August 10, 2011, 09:53 AM
For what possible reason would you go to Philly? I was born in PA. and lived here for 60 years and have been to Philly 2 times. If it is sightseeing, take a tour bus, otherwise you can live without it. For those that live there I cant speak, but I am sorry. Philly is not part of PA.
I would most certainly carry pepper spray and CCW. I am very aware of situations and I think that I could avoid the confrontation by not being there to begin with.

Ole Coot
August 10, 2011, 09:56 AM
I refuse to be a victim, period. I worked in riots from the 60's in DC, NYC blackout and had only minor problems with gangs. I was a lot younger and could deter them, can't now. Can't go by age today, just look at the size of most of the "kids" and you are forced to use whatever force is necessary. You can usuallyl pick out the leader and if you cut the head off a snake the rest will die.

tkaction
August 10, 2011, 09:56 AM
Anyway, the bell is cracked!

Carl N. Brown
August 10, 2011, 10:06 AM
I don't mean to be picky, but you're using the term "flash mob" incorrectly.
Flash mobs show up and do choreographed dances at seemingly random places and times.

I often mean to be picky. Lately in the mass media, I have seen "flash mob" used for any public group activity coordinated by cellphone, twitter, etc. including not only the lame commercial on TV, to what I want to call "flash dances", to mobs looting as in UK the past four days.

Yeah, using the same word for annoying but amusing activities like public dancers (my first encounter with the term) and for alarming and dangerous activities like organized looting is confusing. Makes me feel like the term has been highjacked and perverted by the news media.

NMBrian
August 10, 2011, 10:17 AM
Disparity of force = fear of great bodily harm and or death = justified.

Kleanbore
August 10, 2011, 10:28 AM
Posted by loadedround: My question is, could a citizen with a CCW defend himself by using deadly force if he felt his life threatened by these mobs?Well, not exactly.

How the individual "felt" is not really a determinant. What counts is whether the individual had reason to believe that deadly force had been immediately necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

That may not seem to be materially different, but the distinguishing factors are that (1) one's threshold of trepidation is taken out of the equation, in that what constituted a reasonable belief will be judged by others; and (2) the term necessity means that the individual had no other choice but to employ deadly force as a last resort.

Please bear in mind that Pennsylvania had passed the Castle Bill last month.Not to be critical of the Governor or the legislature, but the term "castle doctrine" has a well-established meaning that goes back many centuries: it stems from the concept that a man's home is his castle.

The new Pennsylvania law, like those in a number of other jurisdictions, adds a "stand your ground" provision. Under the common law, an individual had a duty to retreat, if defeat were safely possible, before using deadly force.

The new law states that a person need not retreat from a place where he or she has a legal right to be.

That does not eliminate the provision that deadly force may only be lawfully used when it is necessary as a last resort, and it does not mean that that retreat is no longer a very good idea if it is possible. It simply removes one element of the actor's evidentiary burden in his defense of justification.

Put another way, it does not give a citizen a license to shoot in a situation in which he or she had not been previously justified. It simply changes the lines on the field on which prosecution and defense of justification are conducted.

Carl N. Brown
August 10, 2011, 10:43 AM
The kicker is, if a person reasonably believed they would simply be beaten and/or robbed, use of lethal force could easily be painted as unnecessary. Imminent threat of death or greivous bodily harm = justifiable homicide. Imminent threat of theft or bloody nose != justification of lethal force. The youths, yutes or yobs that engage in these crimes are counting on that being the case. This is a situation where civilized restraint is contributing to a breakdown in civilization.

Gangs that organize mob activity through cell phones or Twitter have probably done a street-wise benefit and cost analysis and believe that the benefit of their actions exceed the costs.

highlander 5
August 10, 2011, 10:45 AM
I don't know if it was this blog or NES but a while back we were discussing something similar and I mentioned that a lot of these "kids" are huge. And I don't mean fat and out of shape. I'm 5'8' 210-215 lbs in my 60s and not in the best shape. There are teenagers at my local super market that are at least 6-8" taller than me and out weigh me by at least 40-50 lbs. Now my days of rolling around on the ground with someone 1/3 my age and in much shape have long since past. Add to the fact that I've had half a dozen eye surgeries and shoulder surgery,well you can figure out the rest.

HOWARD J
August 10, 2011, 11:16 AM
In MI we are not allowed to carry pepper spray or a knife with a decent blade.
Under our CPL (ccw) we are only allowed to carry a pistol.
They want to make sure that we shoot the guy.

Sam1911
August 10, 2011, 11:26 AM
...how would the legal system react to shooting a 12 or 13 year old kid acting like a savage? This could turn into a race thing very easily in Phila.
The legal system doesn't include a law that says defending yourself against a teenager -- or against a black, Hispanic, white, or purple guy ... or woman -- introduces some higher standard of necessity, or more hurdles to your affirmative defense.

A jury might, and probably would, be swayed by either of those issues -- to one degree or another -- but the case you present to justify your assault or homicide simply must present the facts of why your actions were necessary and reasonable. They're either going to accept the defense you present, and agree that you had to do what you did, or they aren't.

cambeul41
August 10, 2011, 04:16 PM
I don't mean to be picky, but you're using the term "flash mob" incorrectly.
Flash mobs show up and do choreographed dances at seemingly random places and times.

How about flash mobs who sing rather than dance? Is "flash mob" in such cases an incorrect usage?

If someone were to define gasoline as "the fuel for internal combustion engines," would it be incorrect to call the same stuff gasoline if it was used for arson or necklacing in Soweto?

A flash mob is the mob that has been gathered in a flash. What it does can be good or bad. Just as "democracy" can be good or "mob rule at the ballot box."

Vermont Guy
August 10, 2011, 04:35 PM
You raise a valid concern. The right to keep and bare has a social component. It is more then having a gun, more then being willing to use it, more then being able to use it. I doubt a Philly jury will have much sympathy for you.

I just finished a good book that relates to this very thing. Tom Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities". A good read for all the "judged by 12" crowd.

ZeSpectre
August 10, 2011, 04:43 PM
Means
Motive
Opportunity

If the parameters are met (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Means,_motive,_and_opportunity) you are probably in a self-defense situation.

hermannr
August 11, 2011, 12:53 AM
I think WA uses a good rule: "The reasonable man". this may or may not be you, or someone else...but would a reasonable person (taken the sum of society) in the same situation, fear for his, or someone else safety?

Examples, you have an open carry (legal in WA) 1911, in a proper holster, on your hip and you are walking down the street. you are not doing anything with it, A reasonable man would not reason to fear. No differet than wearing a hat.

Example #2: You put your hand on that weapon, pull it out of the holster and point it at someone...yes, a reasonable man might fear that.

With the mob thing, can a 6' 1", 200 lb 60-70 year old man fight off 50 teenage boys? (reguardless of size) I would say that older person would be a reasonable man to fear for his health an safety if that mob of teens were menecing him. Time to pull your weapon.

It is very possible that as soon as you display your weapon, the threat will diminish. If it does not, pick off the leader first, the rest will run.

Of course, If that mob saw you were armed in the first place (you were open carrying) you may not even need to pull it to deture them.

Owen Sparks
August 11, 2011, 01:01 AM
I'm not taking a beating.

loadedround
August 11, 2011, 06:59 AM
Gentlemen:
You have all given me food for thought. Since I have been retired, my wife and I go into Philadelphia very infrequently, much prefering the suburbs. However if and when we do, I will be carrying and will not hesitate using my pistol to protect my wife and myself. Enough said, I just pray that it never happens. Thanks for all your thoughtful replies. LR.

indiandave
August 11, 2011, 12:59 PM
Keep in mind Governer Casey signed the Castle Doctrine bill but it does not take effect until the beginning of September.

jtscuba02
August 11, 2011, 04:07 PM
Isn't it a shame that you have to be worried about a mob of kids(?) when going to one of the most historic cities in our country? I have been to Philly a few times, was never armed, and never felt threatend.

loadedround
August 12, 2011, 10:08 AM
If you have read the Philadelphia news papers and seen the actual scenes on TV you would be worried also. Plus adding to that the interviews with the injured and beaten citizens. I must add this addendum without seeming to be bragging; my younger son works in center city Philadelphia as a IT professional and he too is worried about these flash mobs. My son is 6'3'' 195 lb in excellent physical condition. Was an All State qualifier in wrestling and holds a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do and a regional champion in his weight class plus being an active karate instructor. If he is concerned about a crazy mob of teenagers bent on destruction, shouldn't the rest of us be concerned also? Your call.

Dave Workman
August 12, 2011, 05:44 PM
Isn't it a shame that you have to be worried about a mob of kids(?) when going to one of the most historic cities in our country? I have been to Philly a few times, was never armed, and never felt threatend.

Yes, it is.
What's really troublesome to me about it is that one wonders where the parents of these kids are, and why didn't they teach these kids a little better about right and wrong?

That sounds corny, I realize, but somewhere along the line, it looks like a whole generation of parents really dropped the ball.

At some point, these flash mob attacks are going to happen in the wrong city, to the wrong people who come up shooting (justifiably, of course) in their own defense, and then where will we be, huh?

Ann Coulter compared the London rioters to animals. Bereft of all moral character. A mob is a mob wherever it happens to be on the map.

Hangingrock
August 12, 2011, 06:24 PM
There are places/areas that I simply don’t go to. In other words I practice avoidance. Example Winston-Salem not to be confused with a major city has its sections that I simply do not go near or drive thru.

Haines Shopping Mall started having problems with gangs of youths roaming the mall. Mall management and retailers soon realized retail sales were being significantly impacted. They implemented a procedure that required adult chaperones be with youths or the youths would not be admitted. Minority advocates complained charging racism but that argument was with out standing because the procedure stipulated all youths.

jtscuba02
August 12, 2011, 09:52 PM
Loadedround, I have seen the videos of some of the mobs and the victims. That's why I question the use of the word kids. They looked like adults to me. I wasn't taking a swipe at you. I have been there as recently as this time last year. It seems to me that you would want people to come, to bring money and spend it. That's something I guess I will never understand, people complain about their station in life, but always seem to want to keep it.

jtscuba02
August 12, 2011, 09:58 PM
Hangingrock, we have a Walmart here in Fayetteville that's the same way. First place I CCed after getting my permit.

Pilot
August 13, 2011, 07:22 AM
Keep in mind Governer Casey signed the Castle Doctrine bill but it does not take effect until the beginning of September.


Governor Casey? Did he come back from the dead?

I thought the Castle Doctrice focused on an intruder to your home, hence the name "Castle". :confused:

We should be hanging up these little bastards by their Buster Browns, just like the mayor in "Jaws" said. Except they are typcially wearing $200 Nikes. :rolleyes:

jad0110
August 13, 2011, 07:56 AM
At some point, these flash mob attacks are going to happen in the wrong city, to the wrong people who come up shooting (justifiably, of course) in their own defense, and then where will we be, huh?

Yep, it is only a matter of time before one of these groups of thugs makes a fatal error in the victim selection process - like an armed off duty cop or citizen that knows how his/her way around a gun.

fletcher
August 13, 2011, 08:25 AM
I thought the Castle Doctrice focused on an intruder to your home, hence the name "Castle".

Some states include wording in their "castle doctrine" law that removes duty to retreat from anywhere that you have a right to be. But, not being familiar with PA law, I don't know if they do or not.

Sam1911
August 13, 2011, 09:09 AM
But, not being familiar with PA law, I don't know if they do or not.

Post 14. (RTWT)

P5 Guy
August 13, 2011, 12:58 PM
If the mobs are of one race and those mobs only target individuals for another race doesn't that make these attacks on individuals hate crimes? And if hate crimes are they not violations of Civil Rights? And shouldn't the DoJ step in to investigate?

loadedround
August 13, 2011, 01:32 PM
P5guy: Your comment makes a lot of sense and that is exactly what has happened in Philadelphia so far by continued observation of TV coverage and newspaper photos. I won't make any racial statments on this but it certainly lends itself for some serious thought and discussions on the part of our citizens, politicians, and clergy. As previouslly stated a flash mob situation may occur in the wrong city and with the wrong people and there will be hell to pay.

Buck Snort
August 13, 2011, 01:38 PM
legally, if you are justified, you are justified......if you went through all the proper actions, your as safe as you can be in a situation like this.......



Oh yeah. Obeying the law ALWAYS guarantees you'll not have to worry about a thing!

Gottahaveone
August 13, 2011, 01:39 PM
If the mobs are of one race and those mobs only target individuals for another race doesn't that make these attacks on individuals hate crimes? And if hate crimes are they not violations of Civil Rights? And shouldn't the DoJ step in to investigate?

Nice thought in theory, but the concept of a "hate crime" is sadly a one way street......

Buck Snort
August 13, 2011, 01:42 PM
I don't mean to be picky, but you're using the term "flash mob" incorrectly. Flash mobs show up and do choreographed dances at seemingly random places and times.


Oh, by all means, lets be sure and get the terminology correct!!

loadedround
August 15, 2011, 07:42 AM
Gottahaveone: This exact question came up in a front page opinion column in The Philadelphia Inquirer Opinion page. Again it was strictly one sided. A very right wing liberal newspaper, but that's all we have. LR

USAF_Vet
August 15, 2011, 02:59 PM
Nice thought in theory, but the concept of a "hate crime" is sadly a one way street......


I know a kid (who is now serving a life sentance for murder) who was convicted of a hate crime, because of his history of choosing white targets. This was one of the aggrivating factors that led to his life w/o parole sentancing. Of his storied criminal history, the vast majority of his victims were white, and the overwhelming majority of those were violent crimes. He is what convinced me than juvenile justice is a farce in this country. He attacked and killed a guy mere weeks, maybe a couple months, after being released from a year plus incarceration in a juvenile facility. Oh, he managed to snatch $0.47 from the guy as he lay dying.

staggerlee213
August 15, 2011, 04:44 PM
Wouldn't Gerald Ung be a good barometer of what to expect?

loadedround
August 15, 2011, 05:31 PM
Remember also Bernie Goetz the "Subway Vigilante"?

staggerlee213
August 15, 2011, 05:42 PM
Not sure how similar 1984 in New York City and 2011 in Philadelphia would be though

loadedround
August 16, 2011, 08:57 AM
I mentioned Bernie Goetz because he had defended himself against 5 punks who tried to rob him. He was acquitted of all charges except one, carrying an unregistired handgun. Couldn't you stretch the defination of "flash mob" to cover these teenage punks? They were not running wild but congregating in a subway car. BTW, Philadelphia was quiet over the past weekend.

Art Eatman
August 16, 2011, 10:27 AM
Rather than go in circles here, how about a "What to do if a flash mob..." thread in S&T, if there hasn't already been some discussion?

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