Now that we have a definition of vigilantism, it seems apparent that an individual or group’s actions as a vigilante must take into account the context in which the individual acts. Any look at the efficacy of a vigilante’s actions must first consider who should defend the values being violated as well as the quality with which they accomplish that task. First, society has appointed a group of men and women for the purpose of creating just and fair laws as well as a trained and controlled force for the purpose of enforcing those laws, the government and the police.
It is not the vocation of the individual citizen to create laws or enforce them. Whenever possible, enforcement of values and laws should be left to those who society appoints to enforce them. For example, if I learn two criminals are on their way to beat up my neighbor, the proper course of action is not to wait on my neighbor’s doorstep with a shotgun. Instead, I should contact the police in order that they might stop the attack.