When People Within The Crowd Become A Mob

When people are part of a large group of ‘protestors’ or a very large crowd where emotions are highly charged, these people as individuals will become vulnerable of losing their individuality. While a given person is physically him or herself, their thoughts, emotions, and actions can become highly influenced by the charge of the crowd or mob itself.

And as the emotion level of the crowd grows…

…there is a certain amount of individual self-awareness that is lost. People become less likely to follow normal restraints and inhibitions while they emotionally merge with the crowd.

When some within the crowd begin to turn violent (agitators, aggressors), many of the individuals within the crowd may feel or believe that they will not be held accountable or responsible for their (bad) behavior because they perceive the actions as that of the crowd as a whole. It becomes ‘right and just’ in their minds. So they may join in…

Because ‘everyone is doing it’, it becomes more ‘okay’ to do it yourself. To join in. Being just one small part of the whole crowd, thoughts of accountability are minimized.

It becomes easier to get caught up in the emotion of the highly charged group when others around are cheering or jeering (or even fighting, looting, and pillaging). Something guttural happens to those who get caught up in it.

When people within an unruly mob believe that their bad behavior cannot be traced back to them, they are more likely to break social norms and engage in violence themselves.

So, what’s the point of this?

To understand that bad stuff can happen within a very highly charged protest or mob-type environment when a ‘spark’ sets it off. The violence can become contagious and get ugly real quick. Mob mentality can be a dangerous and infectious thing. It can even spark across geographical barriers to other locations where like-minded agitators are ‘ready to rumble’.

I bring this up because we’re less than a day away from the Inauguration. Will Friday be one of those days? We shall soon see.

Related: How To Survive A Stampede


  1. Usually the distinct sound of gunfire will cause the rats scurry back to their hole.

    1. Turning on the light scatters the cockroaches.

      Simple solution here, stay away from crowds.

  2. The wall of meat might deter some rioters. I think the country has had enough of the bad actors, looters, arsonists, …..

    1. You are correct we have had enough of black men on top of cars rolling burn this b**** down in Ferguson Missouri. a thousand other examples could be listed but why bother

      1. Fill em full o .45 or .30 cal holes, they usually dont cause problems again.

  3. The best mob control proven in history is a line of soldiers facing the mob with loud orders for all to hear,” FIX BAYONETS”. Immediately takes the wind out of the mob.

    1. I have always found the Flame Thrower to be the MOST effective crowd control device.

    2. @Wolfgar
      We saw that go really bad at Kent State in Ohio. Can’t call a bullet or a bayonet back. When the government fixes bayonets liberty is lost. You are talking American on American. Differences of opinion can be dealt with in a better way. Which is a good reason to avoid large crowds on a mission.


      1. Confused,

        I think you probably live a fairly sheltered life, no?

        Your post is timely. 30 minutes ago I was attempting to get lunch at a place near my work. Moments before I walked in, a carload of black, feral females had just utterly and completely trashed the place, then they assaulted a worker who tried to intervene.

        Since I know most of the workers there, I asked what happened. Nothing apparently. They weren’t tossing the place for lack of hot sauce or getting an order wrong… They just went in there to conduct a mob rampage, for fun, it seems.

        For “people” of that ilk, bayonets and bullets are entirely appropriate in my experience and opinion… call me whatever you want. Now multiply that by 250,000. And your preference would be.. what? That the authorities stand down? Hand out some coloring books and play-dough and in the infamous words of Baltimore’s mayor: give them ‘room to destroy’??

        Turn on a light, come out of the dark; the confusion will clear.

        1. @McGyver

          In fact I live on a wilderness island in Alaska with a few other families. It is called Shelter Island so I guess you are right I am sheltered. I moved to a small community in Alaska in 1975 to get away from the craziness. This talk about bayonets and riots boggles my mind.

          I remember a country where four brave black teenagers politely walked into an ice cream parlor in Durham, North Carolina and so ignited the Civil Rights Movement. Now you talk of feral black females trashing a restaurant as part of a day’s work. It is hard for me to understand the apparent depravity in the USA. It seems in my lifetime America has deteriorated to a third world country. Sorry to hear that. Multiplied by 250,000, (on topic “a crowd becomes a mob”), my preference is to get the heck out of dodge. I won’t even go to Costco on weekends because the crowd becomes a mob. I wonder sometimes what keeps people in these places but I guess it is the bayonets. I have to contend with nasty weather, violent sea conditions and grizzly bears but at least it is straightforward and honest. Human behavior in a declining civilization is madness.

          There are no authorities to control the mobs on my island. I have a warm fire for the weather and a good boat for the violent seas. I’d rather not grin down a grizzly with a bayonet so I’ll just buy more bullets.

          Good luck.

        2. Confused,

          Wow! Alaska! I’ve now shifted my mind from puzzled to envious. Yes, it seems you have found a place of peace and tranquility on Earth.

          I’ve discovered other areas of common ground with you too. Yes, I believe we have arrived and 3rd world status in most of the country, and descending rapidly.

          And Costco…. I haven’t the time before work to fully state my thoughts on that place. Suffice to say, down here, the mobs are not limited to weekends. Do they do the ‘free’ food samples at Costco in Alaska? I would pay extra to be able to shop free of that circus. If you want to see a real MOB just put out a tray of “Free Stuff” in front of a crowd. I’ve waited minutes at a time pleading with FSA land whales to PLEASE step to the side so I can pass by with my shopping cart.

          We’ve had a long downhill slide since 1975 my friend. I was around then too.

          As to the ferals who destroyed the lunch spot yesterday. Management tells me it happens fairly often. Just not typically at lunchtime, in the middle of a WORK day. They typically pull these stunts later in the day. My daughter, who works the counter at a different “fast/casual” restaurant corroborates this phenomenon. She literally cannot deal with the feral “gibsmedat” crowd that comes to her place waving their EBT card and demanding all manner of special treatment along with their ridiculously complex special orders. She just backs away from them, never turning her back, and summons the manager. The manager in turn gives the ferals anything they demand, on the hope that they will spare his restaurant.

          You made the right decision in 1975, I think.

      2. I’m all for protest and the right to protest. When mobs shut down interstates, set fires, destroy private property and drag innocent people out of vehicles to beat them severely because of a political difference is not protest but terror tactics. I’m all for fixed bayonets and the proper use in such cases. Big difference between protest and Nazi brown shirt tactics to intimidate ones will over another.

        1. Wolfgar

          Many of my weapons have bayonet lugs with attaching bayonets.

      3. Big difference,,, those people had a legitimate gripe and the soldiers were in the wrong,,,
        The new wave needs a bit of ventilation with extreme malice to change their disposition from problematiccto compost

      4. Confused,
        We all make choices every day to do the things that are right or wrong. Each of us makes the decision to promote peace and safety Or to promote riot and mahem. When Americans make the choice to act as an uncontrollable unit. They made their choice for what ever consequences comes with that action.
        My position and thought is: Want to go RIOT? Go ahead, but be ready for the consequences you will have no control over.
        I will keep on with my routine and not have any excuse to go near disruptions.I opt for Peace, but if riot comes to my door, I know what I must do to protect my family.

        1. @Just Sayin, for me that was well said.

          I don’t care what people do in their personal lives. If it enters my sphere of operations in a negative way then Newton’ third law of motion and classical mechanics kicks in-“To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction”. A slight modification-the opposed reaction will be at least double the negative action. A response should leave no doubt or question in the mind of the action doer. I suppose it’s a consequence to a negative action, no pass on claiming victimization.

  4. A lot to consider here, but my thought would be what to do if you’re caught in it? You weren’t part of any protest and violence erupts around you.

    I know people are going to say that if you’re paying attention that won’t happen, but what if?

    1. I can’t speak from personal experience, and even if I could, my way of doing things would be significantly different than a lady.

      If my wife were caught up in a mob situation I’d hope she’d look around for someone else who’s looking uncomfortable, and suggest they get out of there together, man or woman. She should edge away towards the rear or side, and endeavor to put some distance between her and the crowd, but not in the direction of the police, who would probably push her back towards the crowd.

      After that, beat feet until well clear of the confrontation.

    2. @Lauren,
      Stay away from crowds. As for commuting to work or someplace important, know alternate routes should you encounter an unruly crowd.

    3. A few thoughts…

      Keep your head down but maintain situational awareness of what’s going on around you. Do not be singled out – just keep moving without engaging.

      Keep walking. Do not stop. Do not run. Look for the edges of the riot and head there.

      Do not walk ‘against the crowd’. Stay with the general flow as you head to the sidelines and look for an ‘out’.

      If there is a store or other building to use as shelter, you might consider going there for awhile and waiting (though beware of potential looting).

      1. you are correct Ken, except goet out the back, carefully if possible and put ground behind you.

        1. ps Been in many gang fights in the late 60″s hand to hand , hundreds of
          people at a time. Too many to know. Can’t remember them all soches VS greasers’
          and there where hispanic soches and caucasian greasers, one time me and my own brother stood toe to toe ready to get after it. I thank GOD it did’t happen.

        2. I’ve been there. Have you really ever hurt somebody seriouslly? Bayonets. The first time you use it on somebody, be resdy to live with it. Sounds easy, but it”s not. Not disagreeing , but be ready for that. Not easy.
          Been there, I’ve seen things. I could….well thats all. Don’t be so anxious and fired up about it. It’s not fun and it hurts you, and lives with you forever.

        3. If you have ever been on the receiving end or known victims of violence and crime it tends to change ones opinion about being compassionate towards criminals . I have zero sympathy for violent criminals or thugs.

        4. I understand what you are saying Randy. I have said many time it is easy to talk about shooting,stabbing ect people but that is usually done by folks that have never had to pull that trigger. It WILL change your life forever.

        5. So will having a good friend who with his wife were tied to kitchen chairs in their own rural home and being shot in the head and his wife having her throat cut with a knife by a scum bag piece of sh@t drifter. Believe me I would have slept good that night if I could have prevented their murders. Regret works both ways.

        6. I agree with you Wolfgar. The thought of that moment has been on my mind
          for a long time. To save the innocent,yes, but i wouldn’t rejoice in it.
          I’ve long thought about it. Hope it never happens, you will live with it.

      2. Ken J

        all good/good to remind us..

        I have always been afraid of this …always try to avoid any potential..

        I used to agree with you re the taking shelter in buildings, but..not now.

        In past couple (or so) yrs, have watched a number of riots on t.v., and it seems invariably, there are many buildings/shops (even expensive ones) set on fire/rioters break in to do mayhem/thefts/fire, etc….

        I think going into a building could be a lethal trap.

        Hopefully one could work their way to the edges / and get gone …

        1. @Anon, Temporary shelter in a building is only one option. Ultimately, the decision is made at the moment, and no two moments are alike..

        2. Ken

          all true….

          so often needs dictate actions not preferred…

          too often “these days” folks are like wild rabid weasels…vicious/unpredictable/able to attack way above their size …

          lots to “worry” about these days…

        3. @Anon; I believe I addressed the “building as a refuge” in Kens article last year. It can provide a refuge, but also an avenue of escape. I believe most fire codes require multiple exits. Most all stores have alternate doors as very few bring merchandise in thru the front door. I would preface the “escape” with making sure that the riot/mob had not preceded you to the next street or alley behind the business being used as an exit strategy. Loclyokel

      3. Last July, Ken posted an article entitled “What to do in a Riot, and When to Get Out.” I try to never be near something like this, but it’s worth a read for the just in case.

  5. I should also say that Eric Hoffer was not part of the university intellengsia. He was partially blind during his early years, poor, and worked at the shipyards at a very early age. The book is outstanding, easy to read and flows well. The man had a good understanding of the nature of man.

  6. That’s exactly why we are not a democracy and why we are a republic. If we were a democracy, Hillary would rule as dictator instead. Democracy is the mob.

  7. This is a subject everyone had better spend time contemplating and developing a plan of action.

    Ozarks Tom, while admitting he had never faced this scenario, put forward the hope that if his wife was facing this possibility, he hoped she would partner up with someone else and help each other to safety. He hit upon exactly the right course of action.

    Predators run in packs. They prey on the weak and those separated from the herd. The intended prey becomes less attractive when their strength rivals that of the predators.

    I would add to Tom’s advice by telling your wife to go to side of the biggest, roughest looking country boy, who looks like he works hard for a paycheck. Experience tells me you can usually trust such a man to do the right thing.

  8. Kent State– That may have been a bad decision– but, it stopped all that crap!
    Sometimes, a message must be sent.

  9. I read the news with real time info with a view of looking what to avoid. I avoid places such as Ferguson, MO, due to the riots. Ditto Baltimore. Due to the fact that I am old enough to be the mother of the rioting punks, I rarely go to crowded malls. Maybe in the future malls will need to have designated shopping hours for seniors, families where you must be accompanied by your young child to prevent the mall being taken over by idle young punks. Maybe ID scan at the entrance. I evaluate a destination based on – Is it safe for women unescorted, is it safe for seniors, tourists, etc, or has it been taken over by punks preying on tourists. Also, is there a racial problem. I do advise young people of good will to get and keep a driver’s license throughout their career and not rely on public transit especially at rush hour. Be self sufficient even if you have to car pool. The public sphere will decrease in time due to mob rule. If you are in a mob situation, gage the expression of mothers with children and if they leave the venue, get out. Don’t antagonize the police. Also be discreet as in don’t wear that tshirt saying ‘anarchy’ or some other assinine saying. Those tshirts can be used when you paint the house, clean out the garage, etc.

  10. Unless I’m mistaken someone who posts here was accidentally caught in the middle of a protest which turned into a riot. I want to say Pioneer Woman but I could be wrong. I apologize if I’m wrong.

    They posted their story before and had some good advice of getting out of the situation.

    Adapt and Overcome.

  11. Do you remember in the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” when a mass of people arrive at the courthouse to take out the prisoner and hang him? The young daughter ,Scout, starts calling them out by name and asks each one what they are doing there in a very innocent manner. Suddenly, all those people in the crowd and had been acting as one crowd were identified as individuals, people who normally didn’t act like that. The people dispersed.

    1. Pieface: That novel may be good fiction, but it is fiction. It is corrupt, Hollywood leftist wishful thinking at its worst. If the mob had been “people of color” and the perpetrator white, Scout, along with anyone with her would have been put to the sword and the “white devil” hanged.
      Sorry to burst your bubble. I was a Peace Officer in SoCal for over thirty years. I have seen the Elephant, when it comes to dealing with the denizens of the Barrios and “THE HOOD”. Flash for ya’, they hate us. They have imbibed their hatred at their mothers’ breast. If you want a real dose of reality, go on You Tube and view: THE MADNESS OF A LOST SOCIETY and FIVE REASONS WHY AMERICAN RIOTS WILL BE THE WORST IN THE WORLD.
      And, when the meltdown does happen, the same Cosmic White Leftist media propagandists will be hauling a** out of town on their private jets to their secure hideouts in Jackson Hole, Wy; Hailey, ID; Sandpoint, ID; and various overseas protected enclaves. Good luck to you and the rest in the Blue Hives. I hope you have a plan. You will need one.

      1. Dweezil the weasel.

        No bubble here. Just a comment on the psychology of the mass.

        Try this instead. Consider a mother who sees her son in a protest and marches in, grabs him by the shirt collar, and drags him home. He is no longer part of a mass and is once again an individual.

        I am very aware that hate filled people exist. I know there are people who turn into animals easily. But teaching the younger generation about the nature of the mass may stop them from succumbing to it.

        And, yes, I have watched those videos. Perhaps we should look at ourselves and figure out why we are not like them.

        Notice that in my comment I do not draw a conclusion or give an explanation. That is for the reader to work out.

        Stay frosty, please.

  12. During the Rodney King trial in LA, a truck driver was pulled from his truck and savagely beaten by numerous protesters the incident was filmed by news helicopter’s. There was no warning for the truck driver, he was the wrong race in the wrong place. Stay out of the big city’s if you can.

  13. Truck driver was named Reginald Denny. He did suffer from brain damage after the attack. Unknown if he continued to drive truck after that. The footage was recorded by an African-American Pilot that made his living via Aerial Photography. He was a proud Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. The first 24 hrs of the Rodney King Riots, the National Guard was posted on street corners with helmets, face shields and bayonets mounted because they did not have a single round of ammunition for their rifles or side arms. That ammo arrived a day later by helicopter from Camp San Luis Obispo several hours north of LA. Many mid-level managers within LAPD, National Guard in Cali and LA City Council were burned for poor planning in the aftermath/after action reports.

    The guardsmen begged for ammo from us as we drove around in squad cars. There was the issue of ammo incompatability because: Many police agencies were switching to 40 S&W hollow point ammo while the National Guard folks were carrying 9mm pistols. Military units best not be caught with anything but FMJ in their weapons.

    I will be staying away from Portland though I will be going into town in order to work. I live in a small town away from large cities so I do not anticipate trouble. Still, I have my EDC pistol in my truck with money in small bills and I will throw in an extra box of 50 rounds of ammo in anticipation of things going south and the long trek out by foot. (I already have the outerwear, socks and sturdy boots in my truck. )

    If you hafta carry a long gun in your juristiction during a riot, (and you had a choice, I would choose the pump shotgun for yahoo repellant. Yes I know, shells are heavy. Carrying shotshells is the only time I wear and carry a purse. (makes my wife angry when I do.) Remember: Birdshot still stings when hit in the legs beyond 60 yards.

    Only thing better for clearing a street fast of yahoos is a grenade launcher and a satchel full of CS or CN gas grenades.

    1. USA never signed the Hague convention. I read that USA is going to start using HP ammo in war.

  14. “Know your exits”

    Don’t be where the crowds are for sure.
    If you should happen to be in such a chaotic mess, I agree w/Ken, find a building… then, find the exits opposite of the danger.
    If its a business, ask to be escorted to the back door, because your car or something of the like… is parked in that general direction, and give them a few bucks for their assistance….
    Ca$h is always appreciated to one who lends a hand.

  15. If you are knocked down and can’t get up, curl up and lace your fingers behind your head and neck area. This leaves only your kidneys exposed to organ damage. Not a great option, but better than being kicked or trampled on your front side.

  16. Let us all pray for sanity to prevail. Wishful thinking? Oh well, somehow I think Kailua will be on island time and nothing bad will happen over here.

    1. Down town honolulu near the state building,,,,
      Supposedly here on maui theres a womens march on saturday,,,, think ill put my 4’x8′ bright red and white “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” sign in my truck and give them a bit of encouragement,,

  17. Big pot of beef stew,
    Now you got my juices flowing thinking about making stew tomorrow, going to be hard to concentrate on work,,,,

  18. The looters in Charlotte thought they could get away with it too. Within 2 days everyone who was captured on film looting was either identified, arrested, or turned in by their families.

  19. Today is the day. I will be going into town to work then I will be driving home. The hospital I work in is at the edge of town so most of the rioting snowflakes are at the heart of town or up in Portland.

    I’ve got plenty of beer, meat and charcoal to watch the festivities. After all, one does not live by chocolate alone.

  20. No incidents at inauguration, no protests, no riots anywhere in sight of it. They handled it very well. I didn’t believe there would be, and if there were any, they would be far away, outta sight, outta mind, the way it should be.

    I heard a hundred black hoods ran in empty streets 4 or 5 blocks away and some arrests were made. Nothing to protest at, no one to see them. Giving them attention on TV feeds them, but ignoring them kills their purpose.

  21. (CNN)
    I just saw a gang of about 50-100 dressed in black smash a Bank Of America window and a Starbucks. Also police were using pepper spray and teargas.

  22. I read all these inputs and it really makes me think about the perils we face daily. Also, for a tongue in cheek – how about 100 slick looking cars, with their keys left in them…………..they are jumped in and when they turn the key – another problem eliminated.

  23. Great articles this week Ken!! Hope folks take heed to what is just the beginning of increasing violence and unrest in America. They are not going to stop.We are in a war for the soul of America. They are outspoken and well organized.You better find your voice and express your beliefs while you still can. The MFN will be relentless as well as these radical movie/music stars. They don’t want to give up the power they have had over the clueless and the gullible. Put your Reps on speed dial so you can praise or hammer your politicians as required.

    I personally have purged all friends, family and acquaintances with this type of negativity and mind set.Lifes to short to put up with useful idiots who I deem a potential threat to my life and Liberty.

    I posted here last year before the election that the SHTF. I stand by that statement. We are in a slow slide down. World economies are bad. Ours is not far behind. Undeclared wars (many started in the last 8 years btw) ready to spill over everywhere.
    I immersed myself in my local area this past year. It has paid huge dividends in the friendships and connections I have Made.

    Mcgyver talked about doing that in his area last weekend’s free for all. A very smart move.I encourage you to do it. Be that neighbor/friend that folks can count on to help in a pinch. You will find out very quickly those in your area who are like minded and you will be either warned or meet the scoundrels to avoid.

    I barter now on a weekly basis and I know the inner workings of my local area. It took almost a year to do it and some great things have happened because of it.

    I will try to post this weekend. Until then, hope all have a great Friday and weekend. Keep your powder dry and prep on!!

  24. If you find a crowd turning to mob behavior leave the area immediately. There is no safe place within a mob. Go in the direction of least populated area with an exit. Get far away and stay away. Make your way home if can do so without passing through crowd again. Otherwise find a safe location and stay there until it all over.

Comments are closed.