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Vigilante in modern society

Updated on February 19, 2014

Is it ever a good idea to be a vigilante?
What about when you see a crime being committed? What if you see a person beating another or attempting to kidnap or rape another?
Should one just sit by and call the police or should they step in and do whatever is necessary to stop the crime from taking place?
I have great respect for the police…the ones who obey the law and are ethical, and moral. However, we all know that the police generally get to a crime seen after the crime has been committed.
So, should you or I take the law into our own hands, step in and stop the crime from occurring? Most people would yell a resounding, “Yes!” without hesitation.
A Vigilante, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is : a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly : a self-appointed doer of justice (noun)

The only problem with vigilante justice is when one works with suspicion rather than proof that someone is guilty, but then the police and courts do the same and have done the same. They have found innocent people guilty of crimes they actually never committed.

If vigilantes were to work only with concrete evidence that one is guilty or see a crime being committed themselves, then what is wrong with it?
There have been many instances when a civilian became a temporary vigilante. The individual caught a criminal, restrained him and waited for the police. The idiot criminal tried to press charges on the vigilante, but in most cases if not all, the court threw it out.
Vigilantes have been given a bad name, usually because some of them were punks trying to bring their own version of ‘old west’ justice or because they got the wrong person. But in the majority of the cases throughout history, the vigilante as a good upstanding and law abiding citizen who did what the police could not do.
I am not talking about lynching or beating a criminal, I am talking about catching them and bringing them to the police. Whats wrong with that?
Let me know what you think. I am asking this because many people are beginning to think that vigilantes are becoming more important in this day and age.

I am looking at both sides as I am not sure as of yet.


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      There is a point that must be reckoned with and that point is not hard to discern. Vigilante goes after criminals and can and should "citizen arrest" them.

      In this notion which is time honored and appropriate, we have two caveats on lethal force against the bad guy // Self defense and Justified. That is it. From fighter pilots to capturing Bid Laden to home invasions to posse justice those precepts rule everyday.