What is a vigilante? Is that a good or a bad thing?

What is a vigilante? Is that a good or a bad thing?

This is a discussion on What is a vigilante? Is that a good or a bad thing? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I decided to start a new thread based on my comments in this thread about the Guardian Angels: http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ed-subway.html I guess it's only OK to ...

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    What is a vigilante? Is that a good or a bad thing?

    I decided to start a new thread based on my comments in this thread about the Guardian Angels:

    bad - 4 Guardian Angels stabbed in subway

    I guess it's only OK to be a "vigilante" if you're paid and armed by the government to go out and look for trouble. It's called the POLICE. But the police aren't vigilantes because they are sanctioned by the government.

    Mere citizens may not stop crime (other than in self defense) while in possession of a firearm for fear of prosecution or media crucifixion as a vigilante.

    Let's remember that the police exist because society deemed such a job necessary to augment, and eventually replace, the citizens' duty and grant more authority to the traditional "night watchmen."

    Does a citizen today have a right or responsibility to stop crime? Is there a place in law abiding society today for an armed man to patrol his neighborhood "looking for trouble" without being labeled a vigilante? A vigilante is defined as one who "takes the law into their own hands" but also as one who "administers his own form of justice." Hmmm, perhaps "vigilante" shouldn't be such a bad word, since most acts of modern vigilantism do not entail the administration of personal justice, which I assume would be considered summary execution, excessive force, or torture. A citizen, perhaps on patrol, who stops a crime and hands the criminal over to the police is not a vigilante, is he? He is actually a good citizen in the traditional sense of the word.
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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    the problem with vigilantes are not that they don't serve a purpose but because they are not regulated and start to get a god complex. There is no system to keep them in check
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    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    I've found (and this is just IMHO) that most actions taken by "vigilantes" are what most people around here would call "doing the right thing".

    I realize that there are extremes, but this is more often the case than not.
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    Distinguished Member Array DontTreadOnI's Avatar
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    Look at it this way. If superheros were real, they would be considered vigilantes. Anyone that is not sanctioned by law, trying to serve justice is considered a vigilante.
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    Member Array normAK's Avatar
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    I don't know much about vigilantes, but I do know that if someone harms or threatens the safety of myself or the ones I love I don't expect someone else to take care of the matter. I wasn't brought up to avoid personal responsibility.

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    A vigilante is anyone that the news media deems dangerous. Anyone that does not think the party line, or takes responsibility for their own actions, or if they display an above average tendency to "think" about something and they have the gumption to do something about it, can be labeled a vigilante.

    Someone draws blood on a family member and a day later you go draw blood on them? God forbid. You're a vigilante and society will come apart at the seams.

    Anyone that even remotely acts like a vigilante will be crucified by the press and the government, no matter the case, once one is branded a vigilante then there is nothing right that can ever done again by that person.

    I can tell you this...
    as far as the King of England was concerned, this country was founded by "vigilantes".

    Vigilante is a word feared by those that rule governments. It makes their knees knock together and it keeps them awake at night. Its always in the back of their mind. The more of a tyrant you are, the more you fear the vigilante.
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    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    I think its a duty for citizens to report crime, call the police, intervene if necessary to save lives or serious harm. That includes deadly force. I don't like the Idea of people not in LE out there looking for trouble.
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    Two words: Boondock Saints!
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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    I can tell you this...
    as far as the King of England was concerned, this country was founded by "vigilantes".
    This is not true by some standards; vigilantes are generally a small group of people fighting crime with no real command structure as to the people that fought for our freedom was a military group with structure; they had a command or pyramid system to delegate orders

    Vigilante is a word feared by those that rule governments. It makes their knees knock together and it keeps them awake at night. Its always in the back of their mind. The more of a tyrant you are, the more you fear the vigilante.
    Vigilantes are feared by governments because they have no command; they are no better the guerilla fighters that kill and destroy without the purpose of a common goal. They are not accountable for what they do and have no higher authority to answer to when they get out of line

    EDIT: lets not loose sight of what a viilante is;
    A vigilante is a private individual (or (pl.) group of individuals) who presumes to carry out extralegal punishment in defiance of existing law.

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    Ex Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    The root word of vigilante is vigilant;

    vigilant defined: keenly alert to or heedful of trouble or danger, as while others are sleeping or unsuspicious

    being vigilant is a good thing, but being a vigilante is considered a bad thing and the role of someone assuming authority on their own (to paraphrase).

    If you act at the time of the incident you are being vigilant, but if you come back and act after the fact you are a vigilante. Or you could be considered a vigilante if you are acting beyond your authority at the time. Many people have been labeled a vigilante by the media; rightly or wrongly.
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    Two words: Boondock Saints!
    One Word:Zimmerman

    Just had to get that in
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    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    EDIT: lets not loose sight of what a viilante is;
    A vigilante is a private individual (or (pl.) group of individuals) who presumes to carry out extralegal punishment in defiance of existing law.
    We should establish which "vigilante" we're discussing here.

    I was referring to the label applied by over-zealous media types.

    Also trying to implicate that a person often labeled as such is often just involved in a one-time incident as opposed to "looking for trouble"

    If I'm correct, barstoolguru is referring to a Webster defined vigilante.

    Two totally different things...
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    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    It depends on who is using the word and the context. In the media, it is usually just someone doing what needed to be done.

    But I believe the term usually (when used properly) refers to someone taking actions that would not be condoned by the law. It is not someone defending themselves or others, but acting in retribution or response to an act that the perpetrator has already performed. Taking it upon themselves to issue justice.

    When I hear the term used on the news I listen up and expect to hear about someone protecting themselves or others. I would say more accurately it would be people who don't trust the justice system to function or deliver adequate punishment, so they dole it out on their own without trial or reprieve.
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    A vigilante is one who DOES NOT look for rewards of his deeds; they stay out of the lime-light, don't look for any popularity contest - only doing the job the "justice" system fails to accomplish for the citizens.

    IF I were to become one, no one would know me and my deeds. Remember "Paul Keersey"!

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    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    I think that Kant (the philosopher) had a good solution for this "if everyone behaved this way, would the world be a better place?" If you "do the right thing" AND you have sufficient information with which to act, then chances are you'll help. If you don't have enough information (and you're unlucky) then the world might become worse if more people acted like you
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