Flash-Mob Violence, Read The Signs…
Some Flash Mobs Turn Violent…Surprised?
As of recent events, from the news reports to the web reports, there is a new “Gang Tactic” that is becoming more prominent and obtrusive in our society as a whole; Flash Mobs. I know that since the news decided to do a report on this juvenile and ridiculous teenage mentality, everyone somehow thinks its a “new thing.” Well guess what folks…its not a new thing! This is just another way of saying “gang violence.” There is little difference overall…However, the difference between the traditional gang violence and the new “flash mobs” violence is the use of social media to dictate time and place and then execute the crime. If you study the behavior of people or the behavior of cultures or society as a whole, there isn’t much to be surprised about any more. Taking social media to the depths of gutter-thinking humans was only a matter of time. Whether its Facebook or Twitter, the exposure to thousands or millions of people in an instant can be a blessing or a curse.
Why Some Flash Mobs Aren’t Other Flash Mobs…
Most of us have seen that stupid commercial about the guy in the public area (it looks like a bus or train station lobby) who is wearing the overcoat and, looking at the clock, when the minute hand hits the designated time, he throws down his stuff, rips off his overcoat and starts the most ridiculous dance you have ever seen. When nobody else follows suit, he checks his phone and discovers that the “flash mob” time has changed and he didn’t get the memo because his cell phone provider is “slower” than the rest of the groups; who are also walking around with a bunch of overcoats and giving him the “you are so stupid” look. I never liked that commercial and I usually turn the channel to something else. (thank goodness for the “jump” button on the remote)
From everything I have seen or read, the whole flash mob concept started as an innocent one. A way to demonstrate a purpose or cause in a non-violent manner. The “flash” in flash mobs is due to the fact that everyone involved is considered “incognito” until the proper time arrives to execute the so called “peace rally” thus the public as a whole is caught off guard, in a flash, as it were. I can imagine that being involved in, or being present during a flash mob, could be quite fun, or even funny. But of course, some group(s) of worthless teenagers has taken it to a whole new level and ruined the intention…big surprise! (did you detect the sarcasm there?)
Flash Mobs, or Flash Criminals?
Violent flash mobs are not really flash mobs, but simply a more organized gang raid technique. By sitting around acting like nothing is going to happen before a gang decides to act, does not classify it as a flash mob. Their true nature is that of a street gang who have decided to “act” in the manner of another group, thus they are really copycats in all reality. I have little to no toleration for criminals and this type of “wanna-be” flash mobs tactic is no different. Using Twitter as a method of communication is the only “high tech” method used by these gang-bangers. The false notion that they are “intelligent” is giving them way too much credit. They are abusive, amateur thugs, just like they were before they decided to use Twitter for mass notifications.
I applaud the mayor of Philly and other cities who are trying to crack down on these “bored youth” by working on curfews and other methods. Mayor Nutter, stated the true problem by holding the parents accountable for the actions of these “troubled-teens.” I agree that parenting is primary method of creating a free and moral society. So far, everything I have read about the violent, so called “flash mobs” have been from teenage youth of the African American designation. I also agree with the statements that such behavior does and will continue to “paint” a negative picture of certain ethnic groups. How can it be a positive thing? It can’t! Racism has always been around and such acts like violent “flash mobs” will only fuel the fire of hate groups in society. Seriously, that is a truly horrible consequence for everyone, everywhere!
What To Look For Before A “Flash Mob” Occurs
So now that I have ranted a bit, let’s take a look at how you could possibly detect a flash mob before it happens. Keep in mind that the violent mind set is nothing new and that the characteristics are similar in most respects, thus the tactical measures to avoid them are also quite the same in most respects. Also, read the post on this site about the 5 year study done by the FBI about offenders and their characteristics, there is much to learn and Steve Beckstead and I have been doing a chapter-by-chapter summary for educational purposes.
So here are some things to think about:
- Be aware that they exist and could hit just about any public accessed area.
- They are in public places, whether its a retail store or open public court yard or street, its still public.
- Observe the number of people in the area and see if that number increase rapidly.
- Notice if there are any patterns around you. Same clothes, same styles, same age groups, same race, etc.
- Notice if there are multiple “glances” at hand helds, watches, or any “social media” devices.
- Note your location and see if there are any places worth robbing from, like retail stores, electronics, etc.
- If you are in certain “information streams” then note any alerts on Twitter and other social media sites about group get-togethers or parties etc.
- Don’t Panic, but if you suspect or are in the middle of an occurrence, call the cops and give as much detailed information as you can.
- Be cautious about using your concealed firearm in moments like these. NOT using it is probably a better choice, due to the fact that these acts are meant to be chaotic, confusing and quickly executed. Presenting your emergency tool and firing on the innocent by-standard, “who is just trying to get the #*@#* out of there,” will only put you in jail and could ruin your life.
- Remember Jeff Cooper’s “Four Colors/Levels of Awareness” because his methods of awareness will save your life.
So, as you can see, the only characteristic differences of gang activity and violent flash mob execution is a little more discreetness in their behavior and the number of people involved has increase as well. Other than that, if you want to continue being safe and detecting possible criminal activity in public, the rules of awareness are the same.
Don’t give any credit to these punks, they’ll just continue to act the way they are. Let’s treat them how they should be treated, as the criminals they are.
Be smart, stay safe and check your six often!