The recent film, "Kick-Ass" asks the question of us all, why aren’t you out there actually kicking ass? How many of you can say you’ve thrown an honest-to-goodness punch or been in a bar fight? Who’s been hit by a car or blown up by a bomb? Anybody? Probably not many of you are able to answer in the affirmative to any of these, but that can all change starting now. There are certainly places you can go, situations you can put yourself in, people you can track down, or organizations you can join that will very readily allow you to kick ass. These are a few of them.
Mexico, of late, has had a breakdown in security that has resulted in a dramatic rise in murders, kidnappings, burglaries, and other violent crime. Well, retired Mexican general Alejandro Flores is not your typical senior citizen, ready to take that lying down. When he heard a 30-year-old would-be burglar attempting to force his way into his home, General Flores took immediate, decisive, kick-ass action. Via Time.com.
Graphic photos of the alleged thief’s corpse were splashed over the front pages of Mexican tabloids beneath headlines such as "Dead Rat" and "Military Justice." The confessed shooter, retired general Alejandro Flores, was widely hailed as a hero for firing at the 30-year-old man who had tried to force his way into the military man’s Mexico City home. "Of course he did the right thing," wrote Felipe Alcocer in one on-line forum on the incident. "I wish everyone would act in the same way and get rid of this anti-social scum."
Similar shootings are spreading throughout the embattled nation. Their most dangerous town, Ciudad Juarex, had a staggering 1,600 murders in 3008. In early 2009, a shadowy group called Juarez Citizen’s Command vowed to kill one criminal a day until the government intervened.
If you’re a hacker
At first, an anonymous hacker thought (s)he might be in some hot water with the law, but it turns out the U.S. Federal Government is pretty okay with vigilantism.
The hacker in question uploaded the SubSeven virus to a known child pornography hub making it possible for them to track the locations of people’s computers that downloaded illegal files from the site. Then, through anonymous tips, he began alerting local officials to the location of the users downloading the child porn. Lawyers for the pervs argued that the hacker had infringed on their rights by acting as the government and searching their private computers without a warrant. Seems pretty reasonable (if regrettable).
Nope. Although the case was initially ruled in favor of the defendants, a federal appeals panel ruled in 2003 that the evidence used against them that was gathered (prettttty illegally) by the hacker was admissible, and all of the defendants were tried for the material they’d downloaded.
If you’re talking about whales and pirates
Theh Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a rogue group of (if you ask them) good-hearted vigilante pirates that are based out of Friday Harber, in the state of Washington right here in the good, ol’ U.S. of A. They have two vessels – the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker – both named after C-level celebrities with a penchant for animal rights. The Sea Shepherds have caught some flak for their decidedly and openly violent techniques, but remain, by and large, unprosecuted. In fact, U.S. senators and the Dalai Lama himself have expressed open support for the organization and their actions. Just what are their actions? Wiki says:
Operations have included scuttling and disabling whaling vessels at harbor, intervening in Canadian seal hunts, ramming other vessels, trying to temporarily blind or disorient whalers with a laser device,throwing bottles of foul-smelling butyric acid onto vessels at sea, boarding of whaling vessels while at sea, and seizure and destruction of drift nets at sea. Sea Shepherd claims that their aggressive actions are necessary as the international community has shown itself unwilling or unable to stop species-endangering whaling and fishing practices. Some governments and organizations have referred to them as terrorists.
The longer they’ve been in business, the more organizations have come forth with increasingly strong statements decrying their methods and goals. But, the fact remains they still openly patrol the seas without (much) fear of official intervention.
If you’re talking about Nigerians
Most of us have at least received an email from a wealthy Nigerian prince asking for our help with some kind of funds transfer to help him out of boondoggle of a financial situation. Hopefully most of us marked it as spam or deleted it, but in an ideal world, most of us would have given the good prince a taste of his own medicine like the good people cited in this Huffington Post article.
You can find stories of fraudsters who were persuaded to tattoo themselves, copy an entireHarry Potter book by hand, even produce some adult material. There are several websites that house the work of scam baiters, the most prominent being 419 Eater. They have tips on how you too can become a vigilante scam baiter.
Basically, would-be victims realize what’s going on early, and turn the tables on their would-be scammers. They concede that they are, of course, willing to provide their financial information…but they need something from the Nigerian prince first. One person was so successful, that they ended up getting the “prince” to actually send them money for a net loss to the scammer of $129 (full text here).