To Protect and Serve
~by Ward Smith
In the light of the Aurora shootings and the many like them before a little known theme has emerged. The police are under no obligation whatsoever to protect citizens.
The 911 tapes indicate that the police were already at the Cinemark Theater in Aurora within 90 seconds after the call.
Then they did what they always do in circumstances like this. They waited around outside for the perpetrator or perpetrators to exit the theater where they could take them into custody from positions of concealment and cover. This is what they do. They do not go into blazing buildings to save innocent victims (that’s what firefighters do.)
They call for backup, establish a cordon with overwhelming force and prepare to shoot it out with the bad guy (or guys) or arrest them if they’re willing to surrender.
If there are hostages they’ll throw in a cell phone and have a negotiator speak and if it is a murderous rampage, they’ll simply wait for the perp to run out of ammo. This is precisely what they did at Columbine too; the video footage was at once compelling and damning. They were making no effort whatsoever to enter the school and confront the shooters, they were establishing a perimeter and pulling students and teachers away from the school (while confirming that they weren’t themselves the perpetrators.)
This whole conversation may still be too soon for the likes of Will and others. Perhaps there will never be a time to address evil in our society beyond the palliatives that our elected officials and pundits wish to offer up. Obviously to any thinking person, when guns are criminalized only criminals will have guns.
And while we may imagine that our police are here to protect us from harm, nothing could be further from the truth. We are always and everywhere responsible for our own safety, and that includes our safety from elected officials, unelected officials and the police. We are far more likely to be shot as a law abiding citizen by law enforcement than we are to be shot by a crazed psychopath. Of course getting stats on civilians shot by law enforcement accidentally on purpose is problematic. No one in government wants to track this statistic because of the obvious embarrassment factor. Therefore we get stalwart citizens like Jim Fisher cobbling the numbers together the best he can.
But this OP is not meant to be a polemic against police officers regardless of how I feel about them both individually and in the aggregate. The reason is obviously in response to Bloomberg’s recent rants and missteps including recommending that all police officers should go “on strike” because of handguns in the hands of citizens – whoops not even close to true since the police are in favor of civilians owning guns. Not that all officers want to carry them themselves, the IACP was on record opposing the federal CCW for off –duty officers. The legislature was undoubtedly ignorant of the fact established by the Supreme Court that officers are under no obligation to defend citizens in the /specific/ but merely in the general. In other words you as an individual should have NO expectation of protection from a gun wielding maniac from any police officer, but “you” as a society reading this do. Confused?
According to Warren vs District of Columbia, you (*the individual you) have no rights to police protection unless and until “a special relationship exists.”
Got that? You’re in a theater minding your own business and a crazed psycho starts shooting at you. The police can be outside ordering Milk Duds at the concession stand. They don’t know you; they don’t have a “special relationship” with you. You’re pretty much on your own. Now admittedly there are possibly going to be some fine officers out there with a hero complex and an adrenaline addiction who will be more than happy to come in guns a blazin’. They might even hit the bad guy, but in direct contradiction to the commenters in this thread and elsewhere on the net, they are more likely to miss and hit innocent bystanders as a private citizen with a concealed weapon permit.
Certainly James Holmes could have staged his attack at the school where he was no longer matriculated. But then he’d have likely faced armed resistance. He may have been a schizophrenic maniac, but he wasn’t stupid.
We live in dark and dangerous times. We have less beds in mental hospitals in this country than we did in 1850 (and there weren’t enough then.) For budgetary and other reasons, the mentally ill are free on the streets and because of HIPPAA regulations we don’t get to know who they are or what’s wrong with them, unless and until they go uncorked. We also have a cacophony of new and dangerous drugs that could turn relatively normal people into raging maniacs. The zombie apocalypse could be upon us at any time.
My ideal scenario is that more states have more and better CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) laws. As Lott proves, an armed society is indeed a polite society. In states that have more citizens carrying guns, especially CCW, the statistics are that crime has gone down. Illinois gets to be the holdout we can all point to for statistical purposes as we examine the null hypothesis. Many states already require certificates of training and proficiency just to get a CCW and all states require criminal background checks. This should be improved; we could have even MORE proficiency requirements and deeper background checks (although the same bias that wants guns made illegal wants HIPPA rigidly enforced so there will be a catch-22.) A person who goes to the trouble of receiving a CCW has been vetted by local, state and federal authorities. That’s a lot more than can be said about a multitude of other professions in whom we daily place our safety and welfare.
And of course there is always open carry. I’ve been to a few places where this was going on and had not the slightest concern for my safety from the various CPA’s, contractors and retired military present. I’m also more than convinced that would be assailants like other cowardly predators will look for easier sheep to attack. Your mileage may vary.