six shots would not go very far against 400 people

A fascinating account, in one of my favorite blogs, Look Me In The Eye, where he describes an unexpected event he observed in Brooklyn in which a "crowd of unarmed men faced down two guys with guns, and won"


  1. This has really made me think today. What I see here is, on the one hand, a community of people a family of sorts, looking out for each other and standing up for certain principles and able to call on each other for help when it is needed; I applaud that, I really do and I can see how powerful it is, but I flip it around and it is also mind bogglingly scary, the power and the menace of a 'mob', any mob. Is there another way? I really don't know how this makes me feel.

  2. Erica, I share your ambivalence. That kind of crowd power could go either way - and throughout history we have seen it do so. I live in a town where at least two public lynchings were documented - one in living memory.

  3. I have a lot of time for John Elder Robison. He reminds me of my late father. Both deep thinkers, as well as decent people.

  4. The truth has always been that the mob has more power than the guards, but it's a matter of coordination.

    Imagine if the slaves in the southern US had risen up simultaneously in the 1800s.

    But this story was awesome. They didn't lynch the guys, they surrounded them, showed a quiet force of strength and the bad guys wen to jail unharmed.

    Well done.


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