“Superheroes”, “Guardian Angels”, And You

“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing”

–––Albert Einstein

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for all good men to do nothing”

–––Edmund Burke

UNTIL very recently we were unaware of the urban phenomenon of so-called Real-Life Superheroes. These are individuals, mostly young men, but with a percentage of young women, too, who don what are often fairly outrageous outfits including masks, and go about ––– normally after dark ––– attempting to do whatever they can to fight street crime and to provide assistance here and there to needy people. Local police where these people ply their avocation seem more to “tolerate” than to support these very well-intended, civic-minded, enormously generous and surprisingly decent community members. (A somewhat similar relationship has always existed between the now famous “Guardian Angels” Organization, which is headed up by its Founder, Curtis Sliwa, and the NYPD).

What of these people? What of their groups or members of their groups? Are they making a difference? Is the difference a good one? Should citizens support them?

We’ll start off with the well-known Guardian Angels. Our personal opinion of these people is that they are nothing short of wonderful. They are paid nothing. They patrol danger spots and curtail a great deal of trouble ––– often by their mere presence; sometimes at the cost of their own blood. These people we would prefer to refer to as super citizens than “super heroes”, since the latter term smacks of ostentation and bravado (neither of which have ever characterized either Curtis Sliwa or his people). Curtis Sliwa has risked, and recently came very close to losing, his life. The reaction of the NYPD officers who showed up at the scene of Sliwa’s near-assassination was, in our view, unbecoming. Sliwa and his people have always cooperated with the NYPD, have often been responsible for the apprehension of street scum, and have never derided or in any way entered into conflicts of any kind at any level with the law enforcers of New York City. We like to think that the majority of New York’s Finest appreciate and respect Sliwa and the Guardian Angels.

As for the Real-Life Superheroes (a designation that these individuals use, themselves) who exist in much smaller groups than the today well-established and international Guardian Angels, or in some instances as solitary persons who simply feel that it is their mission to work against crime and injustice in their cities, we came away from our orientation in their activities and motives feeling  a) That they are essentially decent, highly motivated, courageous and determined individuals,  b) That they certainly deserve citizen respect and support,  c) That they do not hinder or conflict with duly constituted law enforcement in any way, and  d)  That they would do well to drastically simplify, tone down, and minimize whatever costumes or “uniforms” they choose to wear. Our personal opinion is that they would be taken more seriously by more people, and that ––– if their appearance was less flamboyant ––– their effect would actually be more powerful. We do not say this disrespectfully, but more as a sincere observation intended to help these individuals ––– since we’re all for what they do. (Note the much more simple uniform that the Guardian Angels wear. It gets the message across instantly who they are . . . and there is no way to mistake the members for fanticizers or possibly flakes.

Whenever we think about the Guardian Angels (and now, the Real-Life Superheroes, as well) our thoughts invariably turn to the need for every single citizen who is able to do so to become a prepared enemy of criminal violence and intimidating predation. No, we do not mean that every able-bodied man and woman should join or form any group at all, necessarily. However, we do believe that every man and woman should become as adept and able as humanly possible to defend himself and those he loves. We make no apologies for the fact that we advocate responsible private citizen ownership, carry, and lawful USE of firearms, and edged and bludgeoning weapons as well as the use of the customary security procedures (i.e. alarms, locks, guard dogs, neighborhood watch groups, etc,). You know we believe in martial skills training! Not competition stuff, but the real deal. COMBAT skills; war-proven skills. Armed and unarmed. We believe that combat arts training should be a part of every decent citizen’s education. Yes, the police must be trained and prepared, but first and foremost it is the American way for all citizens to be ready to defend themselves and their families in any emergency. It is exclusive, elitist, and frankly statist to declare, as some have, that the citizenry constitute a body of  “sheep”, and that they are in need of so-called “sheepdogs” (i.e. state-employed armed protectors) for their security. Yes, we need the police and the military, and absolutely we should support them and respect them, and cooperate with them whenever we can do so;  but we should insist upon and demand laws that freely allow all of us to defend ourselves with and without all modern, individual weapons. 

We applaud the Real-Life Superheroes for their spirit, and for the fact that their hearts are in the right place. Just like the Guardian Angels –––  may they continue to flourish. But in applauding them and our law enforcement professionals as well, we nonetheless understand that we, the people have not merely a perfect RIGHT but also a responsibility, to safeguard and protect ourselves and our own. The powerful, united front presented by well-organized, lawful citizen groups, the police, and well-prepared individual citizens who are able to meet the predatory elements when necessary and beat them at their own game of violence, would soon see the despicable acts of antisocial predation dwindle tremendously from their present disgracefully frequent rate of occurrence.