I'm sure that by now, most of my readers have seen news reports about a gang of 40-60 'youths' who took over a commuter train in Oakland, California last weekend, and robbed dozens of passengers. If you haven't, please follow that link to learn more, then come back here.
As I pointed out on two occasions in 2014, even if you successfully defend yourself against such criminal 'flash mob' attacks, you still can't win. You'll be pilloried by the press, excoriated by politically correct commentators, and in certain parts of the country (e.g. Baltimore, etc.) have to deal with politicians and prosecutors who are first and foremost political creatures, pandering to those who elected them. Here's a hint: that wasn't you. It was the people who form those 'flash mobs' in the first place.
In a situation where you're armed with a typical concealed handgun, usually small and with limited ammunition capacity, you may not be able to prevail against so many attackers anyway - particularly if some of them are armed as well. Even if you succeed, you run the risk that some of your bullets may miss their intended target, or over-penetrate it, and strike innocent bystanders. Finally, there's the aftermath to consider. It may be better, no matter how unpalatable, to hide your handgun and submit to robbery, rather than fight back - even if that grates with the macho element among us.
In March 2014, referring to criminal attacks in Louisville, KY, I pointed out:
What's worse is, even if you're aware of the potential danger and have armed yourself as a precaution against it, this is a fight you simply can't win. If you survive and prevail on the street, you'll be crucified in the court of public opinion - and you can bet that race-baiting agitators would make sure you'll be prosecuted for defending yourself, too. Just imagine the sensation-seeking newspaper headlines by liberal or progressive reporters and editors, who will try to obscure the truth of what happened:
"Panicked bystander turns gun on teenage boys"
"Children massacred in tourist mecca"
"Man guns down youths in crowded plaza"
Like I said . . . you can't win, even if you survive. Note what happened to the old man who defended himself with a knife when attacked in Louisville (described in the linked article above - the incident which appears to have sparked last weekend's violence). The police immediately arrested and jailed him. The grand jury no-billed him when they saw the security video, and he's since been released . . . but until that happened, he was locked up among all sorts of criminals and gang-bangers. Now imagine yourself in his shoes. You've successfully defended yourself against a criminal flash mob. Now you're locked up among thugs and criminals who probably knew some of those you've just shot, and who are likely to be looking to avenge them. Are you sure you'll survive long enough to be exonerated? I'm not! The cops are highly unlikely to give you a secure cell to yourself. You'll be on your own, surrounded by those who, at best, have no reason to love you. Good luck, friend . . . you're going to need it!
There's more at the link.
Public transport is likely to become more and more infested by such vermin, particularly because the authorities are all too often reluctant to offend potential voters on whose support they rely for their well-paid positions. In some cities, notably Chicago but including others too, gangs openly barter their support and ability to get out the vote in exchange for political favors.
We have to ask ourselves; is it worthwhile becoming the next Bernhard Goetz? Is it worthwhile becoming the next George Zimmerman? If we defend ourselves using lethal force against an attack such as that on the train in Oakland . . . we're probably going to find out the hard way.
My take on the problem: don't use public transport unless you have no other choice - and if that's the case, be hyper-alert for trouble, and ready to remove yourself from the scene of conflict if at all possible. Don't let the scum of society suck you into the morass of politically correct retaliation.