Real Life Masked Vigilantes: Heroes or Idiots?

In Seattle, there's a group of costumed vigilantes making national headlines. These guys patrol at night, and try to keep the streets safe from crime. The men feel that citizens should be more accountable, and that if police aren't near by, criminals shouldn't be able to get away if someone can stop them.

Phoenix Jones, Red Dragon, and Buster Doe are three of the vigilantes featured on Good Morning America. They're equipped with their costumes, tasers, bulletproof vests, pepper spray, and a lot of guts. They keep their identities secret, and even find time to bring food to the homeless.

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Seattle's self proclaimed crime fighter "Phoenix Jones"

As much as I'm a fan of superheroes, I understand the real dangers of the reality that we live in. Criminals have no honor, and it doesn't take much for someone to put a bullet into another human being these days (it's a sick reality we live in). This all reminds me of the film Kick-Ass.

Kick-Ass was just a normal teen, who was tired of watching people getting pushed around while others just stood around and watched. He wanted to stop it. And yeah, he beat up a few people, but he also got himself mix up with some pretty dangerous criminals (he got his ass kicked), and people died.

As much as I admire the efforts of these Seattle vigilantes, I'm worried they could be making themselves a target for criminals. Just over the weekend Phoenix Jones (who seems to be the leader of the vigilante group) was held at gun point, and suffered a broken nose after trying to break up a fight on his patrol. Jones has a wife and kids, and although his cause is noble, it's a very dangerous life.

I suppose police officers put their life on the line on a daily basis as well, but it's their job. Should these vigilantes hang up their capes and become real cops? Or should they just get off the streets before they get themselves hurt?

I for one would like super powers before I take my costumed show on the road. What do you guys think of these vigilantes?

Good Morning America: Masked Vigilantes: Heroes or Hoaxsters?

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  • I'm torn with this situation.

    On the one hand, yes, he's putting his life in danger, as well as potentially affecting the lives of his loved ones. It's glamorous in a comic book / in TV & movies, even when it's bleak, because writers & producers make sure that the hero wins in the end. Real life does NOT have that guarantee!

    On the other hand, if these guys could inspire one regular person to live by a better moral code, despite the odds, then the world becomes a better place. The vigilantees bet alot in order to invest in the pay-it-forward principle.

  • In reply to silkysoul:

    I completely get what you're saying. I don't know if it's worth LOOKING for trouble though. Show's like ABC's What Would You Do? is a good example of people who do the right thing. Every week they show people standing up for other people, and it's inspiring.

    I can see how these vigilantes may be setting some sort of example. But there has to be a safer alternative to "doing the right thing" right?

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    Well it depends, it's not for everyone. You cant just put on a costume and go on the streets with no training what so ever, but this is not Phoenix. He is trained, and he makes time for training. Many in the community are the same, trained with backup.

    Long ago in china, where the early form of "police" was created, they faced the same kind of opposition that The RLSH community is facing right now. But look how it has changed. What makes Phoenix so different from a police officer? His uniform? Both Phoenix and the police are trained to protect themselves.

    Also, there are manyy ways to keep people safe. Thats what PJ is doing. He is trying to stop the bystander effect. Instead of just calling the policwe and waiting, Phoenix does what he can to help NOW.

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