Flash mobs: they started out as nifty choreographed bits of performance art for the people's entertainment and artistic expression. Then they turned into thieving mobs that accreted in stores to shoplift and vandalize. I spout off on some things that you'd like to do, but of course you can't.
Now it's gotten ugly. Packs of human hyenas are now swamping areas that people always considered safe and strong-arm robbing and beating the snot out of innocent people.
In response, the good citizens of the Philadelphia area are starting to apply for their concealed weapons permits, and the media is having kittens about that.
Here's the video
In contrast, Bruce Eimer has an article in Human Events that takes a rational and measured approach to self defense in a flash mob scenario.
Here's the article:
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Episode 29: On Flash Mobs