Monday, September 8, 2014

Why you should avoid urban shopping malls

A few years ago I wrote about the changing urban self-defense environment.  Earlier this year I warned about the growing danger from criminal 'flash mobs'.  If you needed evidence that I was right, and that it's not worth the risk to life and limb to shop in big-city malls any more, this video provides it.  It was taken by a bystander at the Poplar Plaza shopping mall in Memphis, TN.

Yes, that's feral youth on the prowl, looking for victims - a criminal 'flash mob' at work.  WREG reports:

Three people, two of them teens, are recovering at home after being brutally attacked by a mob of teenagers in a busy shopping plaza at Poplar and Highland.

The vicious parking lot brawl was caught on cell phone video.

The disturbing video shows a high school kid lying still on the ground while others repeatedly kicked and stomped on his head. The teen attacked is an employee of Kroger.

“They followed hitting him with a pumpkin. He was already unconscious, so all you could see was blood and pumpkins,” said a witness who did not want to be identified. He is a friend of the victims.

The witness says the mob of young teens viciously ran through the Poplar Plaza parking lot assaulting complete strangers.

It was maybe about 100 to 125 kids. It was a lot of kids,” said the witness.

. . .

There were so many kids, the security guards couldn't control the violent crowd.

“They were playing a game called ‘point them out, knock them out.’ Where they would point someone out and attempt to knock them out or fight them. There was no real reason behind it.”

. . .

The teen watched the angry mob beat his friends until they couldn’t move. But he says what’s even more terrifying, more traumatizing is that this is second the weekend he's witnessed a mob of violent kids attack random people in the shopping plaza parking lot.

He's not sure it won`t happen again.

There's more at the link.  It's been confirmed that this wasn't the first such incident at that mall.

Another report indicates that four teenagers have been arrested for involvement in this crime.  One of them in particular caught my eye.

A 15-year-old is charged with aggravated riot, and acting in concert: to wit aggravated assault.

According to Mayor Wharton, the teen was out on gun related charges at the time of the attack.

Wharton said the teen was not enrolled in school and his mother was previously charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Again, more at the link.

Now, imagine you're going about your lawful business, shopping for (perhaps with) your family at a neighborhood supermarket . . . and this goes down in front of you.  What are you going to do to protect your loved ones?

  • If you don't have any way to defend yourself, you're going to find yourselves at the mercy of a bunch of hopped-up, excited, out-of-control teenage thugs.  Good luck with that.
  • If you're armed, and you draw your gun to deter the attackers, they may not be scared.  They're acting like a gang of thugs, with all the 'mob mentality' consequences that entails.  They may dare you to shoot them, and rush you when you don't.
  • If you shoot one or two, you'd better hope that the others are deterred before they reach you.  If one of them knocks the gun out of your hand or holds on to it until others arrive, they'll stomp you into the ground - not to mention what they may do to your family.
  • Even if you succeed in stopping the attack, if you're white and the flash mob is predominantly black, you're going to be pilloried in the press and by the 'politically correct' establishment.  They aren't interested in the fact that you legitimately exercised your right to self-defense.  The racial tensions in this country are at such a pitch that your rights will - again I say, will - be ignored by those sections of the community.

You literally can't win in such a situation.  Even if your actions are justified by events and circumstances, and the cops say there's no grounds to arrest you, and a grand jury no-true-bills you, you'll still have to deal with a large section of society who will be convinced that you acted out of racial animus.  That's the way it is in these United States at present.  You'll live the rest of your life hoping that you don't run into someone or some group who, based on that belief, will try to 'avenge' those you shot, or who might target your home, and pets, and even your family, for revenge attacks.  You'll be demonized, just as George Zimmerman was and still is, even after he was acquitted.  You want justice?  Dream on.

I can already mentally envision some readers shaking their heads and saying, "But it's not like that in my town!  Things are peaceful here!"  Think about this:

  • Thousands of illegal immigrant kids have just flooded over the border - many of them active members of criminal gangs.  Have any of them arrived in or near your town?  The Obama administration has refused to say where they were sent.  Does it give you a warm fuzzy feeling to realize that hard-core members of gangs like MS-13 may now be living within striking distance of you, sent there by your own government?
  • What's to stop feral youth traveling to where you are?  They have cars too.
  • Remember the situation after Hurricane Katrina, when crime spiked in many cities that took in refugees (here, for example, is Houston's experience).  Want to bet that can't or won't happen again - perhaps near you?  If so, you have greater faith in humanity and Mother Nature than I do.

I strongly recommend and endorse the advice given by John Farnam in March 2003:

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

I submit that advice holds good whether you're armed or not.  "Don't go to stupid places".  In today's racially charged climate, with criminal flash mobs an ever-increasing problem in many cities, the average urban shopping mall now qualifies as a "stupid place" to be.



E M Johnson said...

Born and raised in Houston. I was gone for 34 years with the USN and a corrections job in California's rural central valley. Since retiring from the service I have practiced EDC whenever I can legally. After returning home a little over a year ago I was shocked at how bad my hometown has deteriorated. Houston has always had its rough neighborhoods. Now days though there aren't any areas in the whole county that don't have violent confrontations regularly. It's not just the "high risk" locations (malls, bars etc...) That you have to watch your back. That's why I'm leaving for another county.

tweell said...

Urban malls are also overwhelmingly criminal protection zones (gun-free zones). There's a mall just a couple miles from my house, but since it's a gun-free zone, I have stayed away.

CenTexTim said...

That's why I do the bulk of my shopping online. You can even get staples and dry goods from Amazon at surprisingly affordable prices - plus no sales tax.

trailbee said...

How sad. I remember when going to mall was a fun time. Eventually, they, too will look like China's ghost cities.

Matt said...

I used to hang out occassionally in that area where that intersection is during my university days. It used to be a safe part of Memphis. ......sad.

Bob said...

To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher's famous statement on socialism "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

The problem with white flight is that eventually you run out of places to flee to.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Mr. Farnum's recommendation; it matches what I tell my gun class students: "You will win 100% of the gun fights you are not in."

One carries a gun because sometimes all of one's earnest attempts to avoid trouble fail.

I predict that we will have a race war in the US, and it will start when a non-black individual is forced to defend him- or herself against multiple black attackers and does so effectively. The media, uniformly liberal (which is the current polite term for communist, marxist and socialist) will pillory the defender (remember, Zimmerman was labeled a "white Hispanic" rather than "Hispanic" and NBC edited the 911 tape to cast Zimmerman in a negative light) and be willing accomplices to Al, Jesse and various hangers-on in drumming up racial hysteria.

Blacks, who have an increasingly large chip on their shoulder, an attitude supposedly "justified because of slavery," will turn multiple cities into Fergusons. Should that spill over into non-black areas, the non-black residents will have little choice but to defend themselves and their property from the mob(s).

It will then be Game On, and it will not end for weeks.

I'd also suggest, Peter, that it's not just shopping malls et al that are now hazardous zones but also increasingly large sections of most urban areas.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter,

Back in the early 80's I was a teenager, My dad who is a cop gave me some advice. " If you are in an area and a bunch of blacks show up....leave there will be trouble and you don't need to be there." I was thinking that I would never give that kind of speech to my kids when I ever have them. Well I found myself giving my son "The Talk", He is 11. I had hoped that race relations would have improved, but thanks to the liberals, our golfing president and other leftist, the race situation has gotten worse.

Paul said...

#1 rule for survival is don't be there.

Watch for crowds and stay away. I would carry in a mall regardless of the gun rules, but I don't go to malls as a matter of course.

I wonder how some of these guys fomenting this shit are even able to shave in the morning.

Larry said...

Uggh. I lived within a 10 or 15-minute walk from there not quite 30 years ago. Looks like it's gone rather downhill since then.

And, yeah, that's a lose-lose situation, there. Keep your head down, don't make eye contact, and try to evade. And pray that you don't look like prey to a pack of predators. That's just scary, but what would absolutely terrify me is if my wife were with me. Though in an attack like this one, she'd probably be ignored and be a lot safer than I would be. Though maybe more likely to bring unwanted attention on to us. Beating the crap out of (or killing) somebody in front of their womenfolk seems to add a bit of spice to the old ultra-violence, don'cher know?

Stuart Garfath. Sydney Australia. said...

Larry, NO, do not keep your head down!.
When I step out my front door, until I step back in, I walk upright, I watch, I have NO idiotic earphones stuck in my ears, head and eyes in 'swivel gear', I look, listen, and think, at every step.
I look ahead, to the side, shop windows are a good side/rear vision mirror, as are parked car mirrors, always checking out for 'bolt holes', avenues of safe escape, if any person, or vehicle, threatens my safety.
I carry no weapons, we're not allowed to here in Australia, that's if you are a law abiding citizen, BUT, I look to see if there is anything I can use, metal bollard, trash can, dog shit, anything, nothing is out of bounds.
All the time, think about and practice your 'SITUATION AWARENESS'.
Here's an exercise for you next time you are out in public, either walking, or on public transport, anywhere.
Note the idiots wearing headphones, or focussing on their cell phone as they go about their business, and one thing will you very quickly notice, not one of them are aware of their surroundings, or what's going on, were something to happen, either to themselves, or others, they would be completely taken by surprise, totally useless, a danger to themselves and those around them.
Do this for a few days, a week, and note how many people have the invisible neon sign, 'victim' above their heads, you'll be unpleasantly surprised.

Larry said...

I think there's a language disconnect here, Stuart. "Keep your head down" just means "try to be inconspicuous" here.

Anonymous said...

I have gotten a lot of teasing over the years from my friends for having a "thousand yard stare" but believe me, it has served me (and them) well. I avoid places and situations which present trouble and risk. It is not always possible to avoid risk and to that end I am prepared mentally and physically and armed to the greatest extent I can be. These flash mobs are a true threat to society and I avoid places where they can form. After walking to a grocery store to buy some food for our hotel, on a recent trip to the southeast,I informed my bros that we would cross the street for the walk back to avoid the drug dealer. "What drug dealer? They asked. We didn't see any drug dealer." "Exactly."