To The Daily Sun,
This is offered as a postscript to the well-written letter by Don Ewing that was published in The Daily Sun on Saturday, Nov. 21. Our responsibility, as freedom loving Americans, is to expose the biggest lies of the irresponsible gun-ban crowd, which includes the fantasy that individuals don't need guns to protect themselves because that's the job of the police.
The following is taken from recent NRA file documents:
— "... a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen."
— "The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists."
Those words are the exact wording and the opinions of the District of Columbia Superior Court and the D.C. Court of Appeals, issued in 1978 and 1981, respectively, blocking a suit by three young women who had been raped and beaten for 14 hours during a nightmarish home invasion in 1975. Two of the three women had repeatedly called the D.C. police for help. Time and again they watched a police car slowly drive by their townhouse after their first call for help, then were told help was on its way in subsequent calls, when in fact it was not.
The decisions in that case, Warren v. District of Columbia, came at a time when incredibly, D.C. was still enforcing its ban on any firearms in the home for self-defense.
The decision by those lower courts in "Warren" mirrored decades of U.S. Supreme Court precedents. And since then, the latest high-court opinion, declaring "police have no duty to protect" ordinary citizens, was handed down in June 2005. All this gives the lie to the gun-ban crowd's mantra: "let law enforcement protect you."
The simple truth is, these cases were correctly decided because, were individual citizens owed an absolute duty to individual protection by police, no law enforcement agency in the nation could exist for long, because of the glut of litigation claiming violation of individuals' rights to police protection.
Admittedly, the circumstances that have led to some lawsuits against police departments involve horrendous indifference by police. But if "a duty" is owed in one awful situation marked by incompetence, it is owed in all cases by all law enforcement officers. And that, according to the court decisions, is simply not possible.
"Duty to protect?" We even see that slogan painted on the side of some municipality's squad cars. But the fact is police officers simply cannot be everywhere a crime of violence is occurring. These court rulings simply confirm that the job of police is to investigate, pursue criminals and make arrests after a crime has been committed.
I don't know who originated the notion that "when seconds count, the police are minutes away," but it defines why the individual right to keep and bear arms is such a core "right" in a free country. In some rural areas, those minutes might even be more like hours.
The question our friends and neighbors and fellow gun owners should ask is: "Who, then, protects you if the police have no duty to do so?" The answer is obvious. You do! Responsible members of your family do! Your neighbors do!
Had the young women in the Warren case been armed, they could have defended themselves. But at the time in 1975, such armed self-defense was a crime! in Washington, D.C. And nothing changed for the next 33 years.
That was the issue finally decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in its landmark June, 2008 Heller decision, striking down the D.C. handgun ban and the city's "prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home inoperable for the purpose of immediate self-defense."
In his ringing majority defense of the Second Amendment, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "The handgun ban amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of 'arms' that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose. The prohibition extends, moreover, to the home, where the need for defense of self, family and property is most acute."
That remarkable decision was followed by the high court's June 2010 majority opinion in McDonald v. Chicago, which extended the protection of the Second Amendment in "Heller" to every corner of the nation.
People need to understand that the Second Amendment doesn't require you to do anything! All it does is preserves their right and their choice to defend themselves with arms against criminal violence.
The gun-ban crowd always tries to present the idea that supporters of the Second Amendment are "cowboys," or backward, or stupid. However, if given the truth — the facts, most Americans will begin to understand the personal meaning of the Second Amendment. The gun-control fanatics also love to compare America to so many other countries that do not allow its citizens to protect themselves. But consider this — when the citizens of oppressive regimes protest against injustices, the government always has guns, but they are forced to use bottles and rocks.
If there is any "duty to protect," it is our "duty," as members of a free society, and as members of the NRA, legally qualified to "keep and bear arms," and to legally carry concealed, to protect the Second Amendment, and the lives of innocent people who are threatened by violence.
We can do that with our votes, by exercising the First Amendment and one-on-one convincing our friends, co-workers and neighbors of the truth of the cause of freedom.
As Mr. Ewing pointed out in his great letter, many of those innocent victims in Paris had been shot, one by one, by those monsters. If just a couple of people had been legally permitted to carry concealed in those venues in Paris, just think how much quicker those terrorists might have been stopped from killing so many people.
Wake up, America, before it's too late.
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