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Time to douse the 'flash mobs'

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

They're called "flash mobs" or "unruly crowds." Let's just call them what they are - thugs! Roving gangs of young thugs have made headlines lately with random attacks and general chaos as the summer season gets under way.

Fights in fast food restaurants are a daily staple of YouTube videos as these summer slugs take their special brand of "fun" to the streets.

Memorial Day weekend was especially fun as these thugs closed down beaches, brought an early end to holiday fun and assaulted random victims with savage, animal-like attacks.

In Chicago over the weekend, two innocent bike riders were assaulted by a gang of two dozen "teenagers" who thought it fun to slug, kick and steal their afternoon hours away. Just summer time in the city, right?

Don't confuse these "flash mobs" with random groups of individuals who break out in song and dance at public venues. No, these "flash mobs" are packs of young animals who work in unison to steal or assault innocent victims.

There's a new urban summer game where large gangs of misguided youth decide it's better to rush a convenience store and steal items rather than walk in and make a purchase. The overwhelmed store clerks are left to stare in amazement as they watch their hard work walk right out the front door.

But hey, it's all in the name of clean, wholesome fun, right?

Most sane people see these random acts of violence and declare that if it happened to them, they would provide their own brand of justice to these thugs. But rarely does that happen when you are literally overrun by dozens of teens intent on theft and violence. But still we can dream, can't we?

On Memorial Day alone, there was no less than a dozen headlines reporting the "flash mob" actions in urban settings. In virtually all of these incidents, the thugs and the victims looked all-too familiar.

Crime generally rises during the summer months. School is not in session, the days are long and hot and parental guidance is woefully lacking.

So what's a kid to do? How about gathering your posse and head to the mall, or the convenience store or just a city sidewalk with ample potential victims.

Why work for something when you can just steal it? Why talk to a stranger when you can simply assault them? Why say "thank you" to the fast food employee when you can simply trash the business and walk away?

At some point, innocent victims will tire of being the victim and retaliate. And then - when that day comes - our current society will bemoan the plight of these poor youths and provide more tax money to provide wholesome activities for their summer recess.

If we continue making excuses for this barbaric behavior and ignore the real problem, we'll see more headlines and more violence. But few are willing to touch the subject because the conclusions would run counter to the prevailing victim mentality that pervades this sick administration.

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen