by L. Reichard White
L. Reichard White <[email protected]>
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Do United States cops have a duty to protect you?
On June 27th, 2005, in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court found the police have no Constitutional obligation to protect individuals from private individuals. In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court found in South v. Marylandthat law enforcement officers had no affirmative duty to provide such protection. In 1982 (Bowers v. DeVito), the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit held, …there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. …The Constitution…does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order.”
The best you can hope for is that the cops eventually identify and capture the “perp(s).” The cops aren’t very good at that — police solve just 2% of all major crimes. And, when they do, it rarely helps the victims and in fact may cost them more time and/or money if they have to testify etc.
So the best you can hope for is that the so-called “justice system” scares criminals into not being criminal — and the crime statistics prove they’re not good at that either.
So, if the cops aren’t there to protect you, what ARE they for?
The first police force was created in England because the then recent French Revolution with its guillotine beheadings of the “nobility,” etc., scared the British royalty. They figured cops on the street would constantly remind “the deplorables” — as Hillary Clinton likes to call us — who was in charge.
Worse, the evolution of policing in America now includes the well over two-thirds of what’s called “crime” which results from the cockamame, completely ineffective, and obviously counterproductive anti-drug and anti-vice laws which are stupidly included as if they were real crimes.
As D. McKenzie Smith puts it – – –
So, if the police are not ‘tasked’ with protecting you, and they cannot be held liable if they fail to protect you, then where should your protection come from? The only reasonable answer to that question is… from you!
Why then, are various government ‘law makers’ trying to disarm people, preventing them from protecting themselves and each other, in visible violation of the federal and all state constitutions?
And further, why have some government agencies recently begun releasing known violent criminals before trial or even releasing them from serving their full sentences after trial? Far worse than merely not protecting us, the government is making our lives much more dangerous, and then disarming us!
So, is there an alternative to the metastacising police state?
Just recently, instead of waiting for the police to arrive, a woman with a concealed carry license in West Virginia acted fast to stop a crazed man with an AR-15-style rifle who was about to kill dozens of people at a graduation party. –Law-Abiding West Virginian Woman With Concealed Firearm Stops A Mass Shooting, Saturday, May 28, 2022
But most people aren’t prepared like that woman.
With that stat in mind, it’s not surprising that citizens are better at stopping crime than cops – – – on average, citizens shoot and kill about 1,500 criminals every year while cops kill approximately 600.
AND in the rare instances these so-called “vigilantes” actually draw their weapon and shoot, they have a better record at getting the right perp and not killing innocent bystanders than the cops do. Civilian shootings involved an innocent preson only 2 percent of the time while with cops, it’s 11 percent.
So, not without merit, folks like to point out “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.“
And then there are the thousands killed and injured by cop high-speed chases.
When I was a kid — I’m over 70 — I owned a .22 and when I was just 13 my friends and I went “plinking” at cans and bottles regularly. Gun-involved killings, especially among teens, were unheard of and there were absolutely no mass school shootings.
What accounts for this change today?
Here’s a suggestion: Families have been broken up and there is, more often than not, no permanent male role-model in the household to teach manners and firearms etiquette.
According to The Family Research Council, even 30 years ago in a two-parent family, one parent worked to support the family, the other for taxes to support government.
Even 27 years ago, part of the result of supporting government was that there was no stay-at-home mother and the average teen hadn’t had an uninterrupted ten minute conversation with either parent in the last month. Half had used tobacco, two thirds had used alcohol, and one third “illegal” drugs. -CNN & COMPANY, 19 Oct 1995
Are things better now?
It’s not just the cops and “justice” system that don’t work. Despite notions to the contrary, hierarchies in general — including especially governments — are inescapably clunky and have serious problems because of their essential nature. Like this for example – – –
The Uvalde school shooting once again exposed the inadaquacy of police — and why the right to keep and bear arms, recognized but not granted by The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — despite the disinformation ex-U.S.-president William Jefferson Clinton liked to telecast — had nothing to do with the “right to hunt.” It’s like this – – –
The existence of an armed populace, superior in its forces even to a standing army, and not a paper bill of rights, would check despotism. Noah Webster promised that even without a bill of rights, the American people would remain armed to such an extent as to be superior to any standing army raised by the federal government. –The Adoption of the Second Amendment, 1787-1791
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. –Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950
And THIS is likely where the U.S. founders got the idea for the Second Amendment – – –
From the time that the yeoman class of England became proficient with the longbow, [because it could drive arrows through the armor only the rich could afford] the nobility in England had to be careful not to push them into open rebellion. This was a check on the power of the nobility of England which did not exist on the European continent. –English longbow: Social importance
The idea is that, confronted by an armed populace, a “government” will be a lot more “polite” — and a lot less likely to massacre “its” civilians en masse. And if it tries anyway, it will be a loud and expensive operation. This also works well in discouraging foreign invasions.
So, do we need the Second Amendment?
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L. Reichard White [send him mail] taught physics and the philosophy of science, designed and built a house, ran for Nevada State Senate, served two terms on the Libertarian National Committee, managed a theater company, etc. For the next few decades, he supported his writing habit by beating casinos at their own games. His hobby, though, is explaining things he wishes someone had explained to him. You can find a few of his other explanations listed here.
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