Pretty Good Reason

With the pro-gun-control people still screaming for more gun laws, take a look at what the government really thinks about protecting people. just published an article by P. Gardner Goldsmith that gives more than enough reason to support the Second Amendment and no more (or even less) gun laws.

The deputy in Broward County, Scot Peterson, is best remembered for refusing to confront a shooter in the Parkland, Florida Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.  The shooter killed 17 people and wounded 17 others.  His actions (or lack of them) has tagged him as the “Coward of Broward.”

He’s currently in court defending himself against a civil suit brought against him by one of the parents of a deceased student.

But Peterson has an old defense:  He claims he was not “duty-bound” to protect anyone, indeed, he claims he is not legally bound to do so.

Kind of defeats the purpose of being a cop, doesn’t it?

The real kicker is there is court precedent that says exactly that!  Judges have given a big thumbs-up to the idea that the government actually has no duty or responsibility to protect anything other than itself.

(However, Broward County Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning was one of the few in robes to not only appear shocked by this defense brought by Peterson and his attorney, but for turning away from precedent and dismissing the defense, allowing the suit to proceed.)

A 1981 ruling in Warren vs. District of Columbia 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981) said the ‘fundamental principle of American law is that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.’  (emphasis added)  This case was built on another case in the 1930’s which established the federal government’s duty to protect citizens; in short, there is none.

Oh, it gets better:

“In the case of DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services (109 S.Ct. 998, 1989; 489 U.S. 189 (1989)), the court in DeShaney held that no duty arose as a result of a ‘special relationship,’ concluding that Constitutional duties of care and protection only exist as to certain individuals, such as incarcerated prisoners, involuntarily committed mental patients and others restrained against their will and therefore unable to protect themselves.” (emphasis added)

So you see, cops are legally bound to protect prisoners in their custody, but the every day joe walking down the sidewalk who is mugged is out of luck.

We can take away two things:

First, the good cops ARE heroes when they DO confront the bad guys.  They are really in the job to serve and protect.  We always hear about the “bad cops” but thankfully they are a minuscule number in the ranks.  The way things are today, they put their life on the line just by putting on the uniform and stepping out the door.

Second, if someone wants to argue about needing more gun laws, remind them that cops, for all the good they do, cannot protect you.  They may want to, but basically they’ve been trained to protect themselves, and the reality is by the time they show up it’s usually all over.

The Department of Justice determined that the average police response time to a 911 call is 4 minutes.  (Larger cities have response times of 8 to 13 minutes.)

The average interaction time between a criminal and his victim is 90 seconds.

The greatest deterrent to crime is an armed citizenry.  Armed, law-abiding citizens are dangerous ONLY to the bad guys.


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