Super Heroes in Seattle

Republished with permission; Firearms Lawyer, Federal Way Mirror

I practically learned to read from the pages of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the Flash! I have been a life long avid reader. After having studied all kinds of history, great literature and other weighty subjects, I am still fascinated by the idea of Batman stopping criminals by sheer wits, athleticism and clever technology.

Imagine standing outside a Federal Way nightclub when a big guy runs out the door, rips off his shirt in the middle of the street and gives every indication that he is about to violently assault a bystander.

Would you try to be a hero and help the innocent bystander?

A new breed of real life superheroes is rapidly becoming mainstream. The Seattle area’s own masked hero, Phoenix Jones (aka Benjamin Fodor), recently came to the aid of patrons outside a Seattle nightclub. He was just kind of hovering nearby, then landed in the middle of a confrontation very similar to the scenario described above.

The superhero, wearing a brightly shining muscle suit, shot pepper spray at the aggressor — then flew off to stop a fight that was allegedly in progress. Seattle police arrested the real life superhero, which resulted in Fodor removing his mask and thus disclosing his secret identity. At the time of writing this report, he had not been charged.

Some of these superheroes wear capes and even bulletproof vests. It seems to just be a matter of time before the avengers will arm themselves with weapons more deadly than pepper spray. After all, the last Batman movie that I saw showed Batman surrendering to modern times with firepower that equaled that of a special forces unit.

The problem is that mixing guns with masks really gets some law enforcement officers upset. Right now, the only law enforcement officers that get to wear the fabulous black Baklava headgear in public are SWAT team members.

This could change if other officers start moonlighting as superheroes. But the volunteer Batman-types will need a governing body — a Justice League of America, perhaps — to ensure that high superhero standards are maintained.

Edward Stinson, a writer from Boca Raton, Fla., who advises real-life superheroes, tells aspiring superheroes: “You’re no longer in the shadows. You’re in a new era. … Build trust. Set standards. Make the real-life superheroes work to earn that title and take some kind of oath.”

The website www.reallifesuperheroes.org lists 660 members around the world. The site even lists superheroes in England, and many do other charity work.

Come on, Federal Way service clubs. Every club should be sponsoring at least one superhero.

A whole network of masked vigilantes has appeared in Seattle over the past year. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, some heroes advocate for a non-profit association of heroes to conduct fundraising and outreach — and tactical superhero training.

Masked volunteers first appeared in the 1970s in places like San Diego and now include folks from all walks of life. In Federal Way, there’s a superhero dubbed SkyMan who focuses his efforts on aiding the homeless.

Any young entrepreneur you meet, however, may someday become a real life Batman. It doesn’t take billions of dollars to patrol the night in the name of truth and justice, unless you want to have a fully equipped secret cave under your mansion — or you are the Department of Homeland Security.

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