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Flash Mobs In Phila

Discussion in 'Legal' started by loadedround, Aug 10, 2011.

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  1. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    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.
     
  2. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    isnt that the point of a CCW?

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

    Pilot Member

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  4. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    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.
     
  5. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    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.
     
  6. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    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.
     
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    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.
     
  8. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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  9. tkaction

    tkaction Member

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    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.
     
  10. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

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    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.
     
  11. tkaction

    tkaction Member

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    Anyway, the bell is cracked!
     
  12. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    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.
     
  13. NMBrian

    NMBrian Member

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    Disparity of force = fear of great bodily harm and or death = justified.
     
  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

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    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.

    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.
     
  15. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    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.
     
  16. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    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.
     
  17. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    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.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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.
     
  19. cambeul41

    cambeul41 Member

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    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."
     
  20. Vermont Guy

    Vermont Guy Member

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    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.
     
  21. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    Means
    Motive
    Opportunity

    If the parameters are met you are probably in a self-defense situation.
     
  22. hermannr

    hermannr Member

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    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.
     
  23. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    I'm not taking a beating.
     
  24. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    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.
     
  25. indiandave

    indiandave Member

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    Keep in mind Governer Casey signed the Castle Doctrine bill but it does not take effect until the beginning of September.
     
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