: The contents of this article are purely hypothetical and meant for informational purposes only! Any indication to the contrary, either expressed or implied, is void. You mustn't commit crime! Vigilantism is against the law! Don't do it! This website (totse.info) and it's affiliates (including me) are not to be held responsible for misuse of this information!
n. (from the Latin vigilant, vigilans) - One who takes or advocates the taking of law enforcement into one's own hands by carrying out extrajudicial or extralegal punishment against criminals or perceived criminals (as when the processes of the law are deemed inadequate).
What is the difference between justice and vengeance? A hero and a criminal? Good and evil?
No one can say for sure. But the vigilante may know better than most, as he is constantly skirting the fine line between them.
And what is a vigilante? In this thread, I will cover the basic points of vigilantism and what it takes to become one.
---1. Be prepared to die at any time.
The vigilante is always at a disadvantage. With rampant crime rates and an apathetic society, his allies are few and his enemies are many. Every mission may be a suicide mission.
Now, does this mean to abandon your family, your life, and become a hermit? Not necessarily (though this may be preferable). It does mean that you must leave behind no regrets, no unfinished business; settle all your scores. Then ask yourself, "If I die tomorrow, who will support my family? Who will raise my children? Who will take my place?"
Questions like these.
If you are not happy with the answers, vigilantism is not for you.
---2. Hone your body and mind.
Professional training or experience is ideal. If you have received military or paramilitary instruction, you are more prepared than the average man.
But if this is impossible for whatever reason, you must at least self-train. Maintain a strict exercise regimen, constantly practice with your firearm or other weapon, and learn as much as possible about survival and combat techniques, as well as other useful knowledge. Learn a martial art, visit your local shooting range, hit the library.
Your physical fitness must always be at peak condition. Stamina is key.
Your weapon must become an extension of your body. If you use a firearm, you must become confident that you can hit a moving target at close to moderate range, and a stationary target at long range, even under stressful conditions. If you use a melee weapon, you should be able to effectively engage multiple targets in close combat.
You must study criminology, psychology, forensic science, first-aid - anything that may be of use to you.
Practice makes perfect.
---3. Always go it alone.
You might be thinking "I'm already against impossible odds, so why should I not enlist a comrade or two?"
There's a couple reasons. Firstly, no one can ever be trusted unconditionally. Even if you can forget the possibility of your partner deliberately betraying you to the police, the mafia, or whoever, even if he is your brother, your father, your best friend, you must consider that he may become a liability. If you are put into a situation where he gets captured by the enemy, can you really be sure that he will not give you up, under any amount of torture? Or even that he won't be used as bait to entrap you?
And secondly, will you be able to remain resolute even knowing that he may die at any time because you decided to bring him into your confidence? What if you slip up and get him killed (or vice versa)? His blood will be on your hands.
If you do decide to recruit a confidant despite my warning, do so with extreme reserve and caution. If you make a pact, know that it must last the rest of your lives.
Either way, trust must become your most valuable commodity. Give it out only sparingly, if at all. Most of all, avoid the police. You may think you're on the same side, but they will not think as much of you.
---4. Strike quickly, and retreat quickly.
When a force is outmanned, outgunned, and outclassed, guerrilla tactics are the most viable course of action. It is no different for the vigilante. Hit the streets, do reconnaissance, find out as much as you can about the local gangs, drug trade, and hierarchical structure. Find out who's a small fry, and who's a big fish. Start small, then work your way up. Information will be your second most valuable commodity. Once you have information on your main target(s), you must plan extensively. Find out when your target is where, and who they are with. Plan the entry, the perpetration, and the escape.
Then lay low. Assess the damage. Reconnoiter. And when they bounce back, hit them again. But don't just strike at individuals, strike the supply lines. Stop the blood flow for a while. Deterrence is paramount. It'll stir them up, slow them down, and when they've become weak, you eradicate them.
---5. Leave no trace.
You should have studied forensic science by now. Wear gloves, cut your hair short and cover it, never use the same shoes with the same sole pattern twice, and wear tight fitting, freshly cleaned clothes so as not to drop flakes of skin or any other trace evidence. Burn or otherwise destroy all the clothing you wore after a mission. If you leave blood behind, spray it with ammonia (yes, this actually does work, so long as you are thorough). Other DNA evidence can be destroyed with bleach or sodium hydroxide.
Never use a Taser gun. Obliterate the serial numbers on all of your firearms. Remember to wash gunshot residue off of your body and any articles you may have been carrying as soon as you can. If possible, always remove any cartridge cases from the scene. Also, every gun barrel has a unique pattern that can match a relatively intact bullet to you, so after each use, you must alter the pattern, such as by means of scratching with a jeweler's file or other similar implement (then destroy that implement). Ideally, dispose of the barrel, or better yet the gun itself entirely, but this may become quite costly and thus, impractical. Cheaper weapon such as knives, blunt weapons and the like should always be destroyed and replaced after use.
It's best not to scavenge weapons from fallen enemies. Only use generic ammunition; preferably, hand-load your own bullets. Employ the use of silencers for firearms so as to delay alert as much as possible, but you must construct them yourself. Only use explosives if you are skilled enough to make them at home yourself, and if you do, only use untraceable components, and be sure not to leave fingerprints or other evidence on any of the mechanisms.
If you must use a vehicle, do not bring it any closer than one mile to your target, and always have an escape route, a secondary escape route, and a tertiary escape route handy in case of traffic or road blocks. Be ready to abandon your vehicle at any time, so this means that you must prepare a vehicle that cannot be traced to you. This may be difficult for motor vehicles.
In this modern age, it's almost impossible not to be caught on someone's closed circuit television system, either before, after, or during your mission, but you must be sure at least that no distinguishing features are captured. Hide your face, your weapons, don't even let your skin color be revealed.
Soil or other residue on your feet may be left behind and used to track where you were and how you may have moved before you arrived at the scene, which can be used to trace your whereabouts, so be sure not to get anything on your feet beforehand. Either way, dispose of shoes after each mission, as stated earlier.
Don't let your voice be heard, or at the very least, certainly don't let it be recorded. Also, don't smoke. The smell may draw attention when you are trying to remain hidden, and saliva on the cigarette butt may reveal your blood type. Teeth marks may also be used to further identify you.
Any tools you may have used, such as lockpicking tools, crowbars, or screwdrivers must be disposed of.
Other than these key points, use common sense wherever applicable and further study forensic science as much as you can with your available resources.
---6. Send a message.
Without an ideal, vigilantism is nothing more than a personal vendetta. Criminals must fear you, or at least what you represent. You're the black sheep, the thorn in their side, the fly in the ointment. Send a message that drug dealing, burglary, armed robbery, human trafficking - crime - will not be tolerated. Send a message that there is more than just evil in this world, and that someone will stand and fight; someone who cannot be bribed or coerced or blackmailed. Show them that they are not untouchable, and that they cannot always do as they please. Show them that they are not the only ones that can command fear through force and intimidation.