For “fun,” groups of amoral young thugs-in-training are roaming the streets of Philadelphia, intimidating passers-by and sometimes attacking them.
The police are trying to crack down on so-called flash mobs, marauding bands of teenage pinheads with little or non-existent parental supervision, by threatening to hold parents responsible. From the New York Times:
In the past year, at least four of the flash mobs have broken out in the city, including one on Saturday in which roving teenagers broke into fights, several onlookers were injured and at least three people were arrested.
“It was like a tsunami of kids,” said Seth Kaufman, 20, a pizza deliveryman at Olympia II Pizza & Restaurant on South Street. He lifted his shirt to show gashes along his back and arm. He also had bruises on his forehead he said were from kicks and punches he suffered while trying to keep a rowdy crowd from entering the shop, where a fight was already under way.
“By the time you could hear them yelling, they were flooding the streets and the stores and the sidewalks,” Mr. Kaufman said.
The ad hoc gangs have scared many pedestrians off the streets.
City residents are also starting to complain about the number of unsupervised children, and child advocates are asking if there are enough activities to keep young people busy after school.
Enough activities to keep young people busy after school. Give me a break.
According to media reports, the mobs began as some sort of performance art, where participants organize themselves via social networking sites. These “bored, sophisticated” fools meet up at places like malls and try to enter a store en masse for shock value.
This silliness reminds me of 1960s-era sexual liberation. Fueled by white, educated, upper- and middle-class women, the so-called sexual revolution trickled down to the lower classes, who couldn’t bounce back from sexual irresponsibility the way the higher classes could. In the same vein, when the “bored, sophisticated” flash mob idea trickled down to the lower classes, it turned violent and definitely unsophisticated.
While the police are doing their part, I recommend law-abiding residents of Philly do theirs by exercising their constitutional right to bear arms. For the record, Pennsylvania is a “shall issue” concealed carry state.
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