Super vigilantes

Look! Up the street! It’s a crazy person, it’s a cop—it’s…a superhero?

Look! Up the street! It’s a crazy person, it’s a cop—it’s…a superhero?

People in Seattle may feel as if their lives are now part of a comic book these days as caped crusaders run around the city taking down criminals. And not only are they fighting crime, they are feeding the homeless.

Ten self-designated superheroes are wearing costumes and fighting crime in the Seattle area. They are the Rain City Superheroes. Their leader, Phoenix Jones, has most recently stopped a carjacking while, of course, wearing his costume that consists of a cape, a fedora and a suit made out of black and gold tight rubber. Jones is armed with a taser, a nightstick and mace. In addition to their superhero costumes, they also wear bulletproof vests.

They wear the costumes to help protect their identities, much like the famed superheroes we all know and love, such as Batman and Superman, but also to help identify themselves as the good guys to bystanders or to police. Although they may have the elaborate outfits—just as our beloved fictional superheroes do—they do not have the powers that come from the comic books.

This causes many to wonder whether or not it is good to have ordinary citizens involved in criminal activity to this degree. It is dangerous for these people to try to confront criminals. So the ultimate questions are; Is this vigilantism good, or is it just creating more danger and more work for the police department? Is this stupidity, courage or just general badass-ness?

This debate was perpetuated even further when Phoenix Jones had his nose broken and was threatened at gunpoint as he was trying to break up a fight.

The Rain City Superheroes are just ordinary, everyday citizens who one day decided that enough is enough, and that they were going to try to help improve their home. They have normal 9-to-5 jobs, families and friends—a real life. If they want to include vigilantism, then good for them. They are all very brave individuals who are just trying to help, and they are doing so in a creative way.

Phoenix Jones, along with other Seattle superheroes such as Red Dragon and Buster Doe, seem to understand what they have gotten themselves into, as well as the risk and the danger that comes along with this line of work. They are proud of what they do, and they have every right to be. The Rain City Superheroes put themselves in danger every time they put on that mask, those tights and pick up that taser. What keeps them going is the conviction that they are doing good in the world, they are making a difference and they are making the world a better place for everyone else.

Realistically, the police cannot be everywhere that a crime is committed and with the Rain City Superheroes running around, it adds to the amount of people out there helping to protect the community. It is also not illegal to dress up as a superhero.

Phoenix Jones has stopped an intoxicated person from getting into their vehicle and driving drunk. That is something for which the community should be infinitely grateful. Drunk driving is a serious threat.

Though the Rain City Superheroes may not run into drunk drivers every night, their presence has been known to both members of the community and police officers. They make a difference; they are important.

Often, people witness crime and do nothing about it. The “bystander effect” is a common misconception that someone else will do something about the situation so you do not have to. It is about time someone takes some social responsibility. Someone finally decided to stand up, to change things and declare that they have the power to make the world a better place. ?