To Preserve and Protect
on 24 March 2001
Go to the new information
Your rest in the peaceful darkness of the bedroom is shattered by the sound of breaking glass! At such a moment, would you wish to reach for a copy of the Brady Bill or a loaded handgun from the nightstand next to you?
In their quiet moments away from the politically correct media I wonder if the victims from the recent shooting in Atlanta, Georgia wistfully think things could have been different if someone had a legally concealed handgun. We will never know what the dead were thinking before they perished. By all accounts the police were on both scenes in record time. Not in time to prevent the slaughter caused by a person bent on mayhem. Only those present in those fleeting moments of noise and chaos had any chance of protecting themselves.
We are told that if only we leave the protection of our wellbeing in the hands of the state will we be safe from such violent acts. Can it be possible for each and every one of us to have an armed officer shielding us everywhere? In our homes, in our cars, in our place of worship? Even if such a fantastic possibility were reality would we want it to be so?
We are told the police are there to "preserve and protect" and it must be true for we see it emblazoned upon the cruiser cars. Unfortunately it is all a myth. The rude, harsh fact is that the police; local, state, or federal are no more obligated to protect you than the man in the moon. The U.S. Supreme Court has held on many instances that the police are in no way obligated to protect either individuals or groups of individuals.
In a recent case the court ruled it is a, "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)] In point of fact, it is not the innocent that will receive any protection but, rather, those criminals already convicted of crimes and held in captivity!
"The affirmative duty to protect arises not from the State's knowledge of the individual's predicament or from its expressions of intent to help him, but from the limitation which it has imposed on his freedom to act on his own behalf." [DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 109 S.Ct. 998 (1989) at 1006.] And just what limitations are referred to in the court's declaration? Why the limitations imposed by law to certain individuals, such as incarcerated prisoners, involuntarily committed mental patients and others restrained against their will and therefore unable to protect themselves.
Self-protection is and always has been the responsibility of the individual, both legally and morally. Not only the law of the land in modern times, it was recognized at the time of Christ:
If we are to believe that our elected officials are both learned and moral, what possible motive could there be behind their charged rhetoric and draconian legislation regarding your constitutional right to bear arms? What possible reason could there be for the government to pass ever more restrictive regulations regarding firearms and yet elect not to prosecute those guilty of violating those very laws? As an example, the federal government released statistics that show there were 6,000 cases where students were expelled from schools for bringing firearms to class. Yet there were only 13 instances where charges were actually filed against the individuals.
Knowing as they do that the responsibility for self-protection is literally in the hands of the individual, the powers that be consistently make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to obtain the means to do so. Yet the massive number of "gun control" laws already in place are rarely enforced. One of the loudest voices calling out for further regulations is President Clinton who on Wednesday, August 11, 1999, recommended the pardon of eleven convicted terrorists. Among the many crimes they were convicted of violating were firearms regulations. There are skeptics among us that say the very reason these laws are not enforced is that ever increasing gun related crimes provides a rationale for ever increasing restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms with the eventual goal of banning them from lawful ownership. If these rules were to be enforced and criminals prosecuted and jailed there would be no reason for further anti-gun legislation.
I'll leave it to the reader to make up his own mind about whether such skepticism is justified. However, I want everyone from the store clerk to the soccer-mom to come to the realization that the responsibility for their own preservation and protection is theirs alone. And, as literally thousands of Americans learn every year, a handgun is the most effective means of providing that protection. Every single instance of gun violence has been brought to an end by the presence of another gun ... in the hand of a law abiding citizen. The time to give this serious thought is now. Not the at the moment you hear the sound of breaking glass in the middle of the night.
15 Aug 1999
Follow-up 24 Mar 2001
Any and all doubters, having read the above, may want to explore the actual text of the case law cited. A simple Internet search will accomplish that. I encourage you to do so.
More to the point, however, is the fact that any reliance on the police for your protection from harm or death by necessity puts the situation squarely under the dictates of local and state law. All crime in the end is local. Not only are there no provisions stating that the police or other authorities have an obligation to protect individuals from criminal harm, in most every state, what provisions there are relating to such failure to protect are such as to prevent the heirs of crime victims from suing the state! In other words, the legislatures have gone to the trouble of protecting their (the state's) interest while specifically excluding any responsibility for protecting the interests, namely the life and limb, of the citizenry. All the while bending to the anti-self protection crowd and passing more and more draconian "gun control" regulations.
Obviously this one document cannot attempt to explore and explain the various individual laws in each of the fifty states and the territories. Fortunately someone else has already gone to that effort.
In 1999, attorney Richard W. Stevens released, Dial 911 and Die. This inexpensive paperback book (my copy is marked $8.95) covers the general laws pertaining to the obligation of the "state" to protect its citizens and then chapter-by-chapter explains the law for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. He includes other related information as well.
I have no relationship with the author or the publisher and offer this information strictly because I care about this issue. Dial 911 and Die should be available at any large book store and if not, they can certainly order it for you the ISBN number is 0-9642304-4-5. Any online book site can get it for you and there is a web site which includes jacket notes, an overview of the book, and other information about the book. Even if you just want to learn a little more, I would suggest you click here and check it out. You can also order from that site. Their price is $11.95 including S&H.