Why We Need to Protect Our ‘Right To Own And Bear Arms’

The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

For years I misunderstood this amendment. My thinking was that since we had a military force, there was no need for “the people” to be armed. After all, we had the Military to protect the country and the Police to protect the citizens. Right? Apparently not quite.

It’s only as I got older, and wiser (as the saying goes), that I’ve come to understand what our founding fathers were saying. Not only is it our sole responsibility to protect ourselves (personal responsibility at it’s finest if you ask me); but the second amendment also allows us to protect ourselves from any invading force, be it external or internal. Yes, internal as in perhaps the government running amok and stealing our freedom and liberty.

A good piece in this morning’s News With Views had me googling a few more things too. Very interesting reads.

GUNS ON CAMPUS AND AT WORK

By John Longenecker
March 16, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

Many Trustees are now beginning to realize that no one can take your place as the first line of defense – one of the best kept secrets of the anti-gun movement.

When any organization or agency weighs private or corporate property rights against armed self-defense, as many in this examination are, the guns have to win because the Second Amendment is absolute and property rights are not.

The Second Amendment is absolute because it backs citizen authority in this country as it must. Any regulation of weapons seeks to challenge the lethal force which backs citizen supreme authority in this country.

Read FULL STORY HERE.

The author of the above piece, John Longenecker, suggests you do a couple of specific google searches:

This legal authority is already well established in law, and the increasing acceptance of the Castle Doctrine clarifies and cements it [Internet Search term Castle Doctrine]. Yes, more are getting it: armed citizens are more in the public interest than silly, anti-violence policies.

Concealed carry does address all of these, by official recognition of citizen as supreme authority and being armed to back that authority. [Internet Search Term: police have no duty to protect individuals.]

So I did search. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about “Castle Doctrine“:

A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal concept derived from English Common Law, which designates one’s place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one’s car or place of work) as a place in which one enjoys protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack. It then goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place (his/her “castle”), and/or any other innocent persons legally inside it, from violent attack or an intrusion which may lead to violent attack. In a legal context, therefore, use of deadly force which actually results in death may be defended as justifiable homicide under the Castle Doctrine.

Castle Doctrines are legislated by state, and not all states in the US have a Castle Doctrine.

State-by-state positions on Castle Doctrine

For the states with a Castle Doctrine, an external link is provided to the text of the specific statute, if available. If a direct link is unavailable, for example if the destination website uses Java, the statute name and/or number is listed.

This list was last verified to be current on August 18, 2007.

[edit] States with a Castle Law w/ Stand-your-ground

States with no known Castle Law
Ohio. (However, the 127th Gen Assembly is considering “Castle” legislation under S.B. 184 and H.B. 264. The Senate Judiciary-Criminal Justice Commitee held hearings in January and February 2008).

There doesn’t seem to be any update in a search for Ohio and Castle Doctrine laws. But you have to wonder why each state seems to have differing laws on “protecting yourself”; especially given that we have a Constitutional right to do so AND given that apparently the police have NO obligation to protect us individually. It seems that “to serve and protect” refers to society in general and not to individuals:

Police Have No Duty To Protect Individuals

by Peter Kasler

Self-Reliance For Self-Defense — Police Protection Isn’t Enough!

All our lives, especially during our younger years, we hear that the police are there to protect us. From the very first kindergarten- class visit of “Officer Friendly” to the very last time we saw a police car – most of which have “To Protect and Serve” emblazoned on their doors – we’re encouraged to give ourselves over to police protection. But it hasn’t always been that way.

Before the mid-1800s, American and British citizens – even in large cities – were expected to protect themselves and each other. Indeed, they were legally required to pursue and attempt to apprehend criminals. The notion of a police force in those days was abhorrent in England and America, where liberals viewed it as a form of the dreaded “standing army.”

What’s contradictory are the courts who basically blame the victims for their injuries because they were NOT armed and defending themselves. Such a case happened back in the 1950’s apparently:

One of the leading cases on this point dates way back into the 1950s. [11] A certain Ms. Riss was being harassed by a former boyfriend, in a familiar pattern of increasingly violent threats. She went to the police for help many times, but was always rebuffed. Desperate because she could not get police protection, she applied for a gun permit, but was refused that as well. On the eve of her engagement party she and her mother went to the police one last time pleading for protection against what they were certain was a serious and dangerous threat. And one last time the police refused. As she was leaving the party, her former boyfriend threw acid in her face, blinding and permanently disfiguring her.

Her case against the City of New York for failing to protect her was, not surprisingly, unsuccessful. The lone dissenting justice of New York’s high court wrote in his opinion: “What makes the City’s position [denying any obligation to protect the woman] particularly difficult to understand is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law [she] did not carry any weapon for self-defense. Thus, by a rather bitter irony she was required to rely for protection on the City of New York which now denies all responsibility to her.” [12]

Here’s another link that lists quite a few such cases:

In 1856, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that local law enforcement
had no duty to protect a particular person, but only a general duty to
enforce the laws. [South v. Maryland, 59 U.S. (HOW) 396,15 L.Ed., 433
(1856)].
=================================================
There are numerous court cases which hold that the police have no
legal obligation to protect individuals.  Here are some relevantcases, some with background:
The Superior Court of the District of Columbia held that:

        "...the fundamental principle [is] that 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 relation-
        ship between the police and an individual, no special legal
        duty exists."
================================================
 "...there is no constitutional right to be protected by the State
against being murdered by criminals or madmen."  [Bowers v. DeVito,
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 686F.2d 616 (1882) See also
Reiff v. City of Philadelphia, 477F.Supp.1262 (E.D.Pa. 1979)]
================================================
The Court of Appeals of New York ruled that Linda Riss has no right to
protection.  The Court refused to create such a right because that
would impose a crushing economic burden on the government.  Only the
legislature could create a right to protection:

        "The amount of protection that may be provided is limited
        by the resources of the community and by a considered leg-
        islative-executive decision as to how these resources may
        be deployed.  For the courts to proclaim a new and general
        duty of protection ...even to those who may be the partic-
        ular seekers of protection based on specific hazards, could
        and would inevitably determine how the limited police resources
        of the community should be allocated and without predictable
        limits."

Judge Keating dissented, bitterly noting that Linda Riss was victim-
ized not only because she had relied on the police to protect her, but
because she obeyed New York laws that forbade her to own a weapon.
Judge Keating wrote:

"What makes the city's position particularly difficult to understand
is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law, Linda did not carry
any weapon for self-defense.  Thus, by a rather bitter irony she was
required to rely for protection on the City of New York, which now
denies all responsibility to her."  [Riss v. City of New York, 293
N.Y. 2d 897 (1968)].  

==================================================

 Even a person whose life is imminently in peril is not entitled to
help.  On 4 September 1972 Ruth Bunnell called the San Jose
(California) police department to report that her estranged husband,
Mack Bunnell, had telephoned her to tell her that he was coming over
to her house to kill her.

In the previous year, the San Jose police, "had made at least 20 calls
and responses to Mrs. Bunnell's home...allegedly related to complaints
of violent acts committed by Mack Bunnell on Mrs. Bunnell and her two
daughters."

Even so, Ruth Bunnell was told to call back only when Mack Bunnell
arrived.

Some 45 minutes later, Mack Bunnell arrived and stabbed Ruth Bunnell
to death.  A neighbor called the police, who then came to the murder scene.

The California Court of Appeals held that any claim against the police
department:

        "...is barred by the provisions of the California Tort Claims
        Act, particularly Section 845, which states: `Neither a public
        entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish
        a police department or otherwise provide police protection or,
        if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide
        sufficient police protection."  [Hartzler v. City of San Jose,
        App., 120 Cal.Rptr 5 (1975)].   

============================================================== 

  The lone exception [to police not having to provide protection]
appears to be informants, persons under arrest, and people who are
assisting the police:

"In a civilized society, every citizen at least tacitly relies upon
the constable for protection from crime.  Hence, more than general
reliance is needed to require the police to act on behalf of a
particular individual. ...Liability is established, therefore, if the
police have specifically undertaken to protect a particular individual
and the individual has specifically relied upon the undertaking.
...Absent a special relationship, therefore, the police may not be
held liable for failure to protect a particular individual from harm
caused by criminal conduct.  A special relationship exists if the
police employ an individual in aid of law enforcement, but does not
exist merely because an individual requests, or a police officer
promises to provide protection." [Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468
A2d 1306 (D.C. App. 1983)].

===============

I recommend reading "WHY GUN WAITING PERIODS THREATEN PUBLIC SAFETY",
by David B. Kopel, which also touches on the question of police
obligation.

What’s more amazing is that since the courts seem to rule that it is the individuals responsibility to protect themselves and prevent such crimes upon themselves, that so many of our politicians want to strip us of the right to do just what the courts claim we are supposed to do.

If ever there was an argument to uphold AND live up to the Second Amendment, the courts have given the people all the ammunition they need to fight any and all gun control restrictions.

It’s obvious that we are the ones ultimately responsible for what happens to us, including our being victims of crime apparently. While I don’t advocate violence, I certainly no longer have any qualms about doing what I must to protect myself.

The old adage of thinking of number one first, certainly holds true in our “criminal” justice system today.

“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” — (Thomas Jefferson)

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~ by swfreedomlover on March 16, 2008.

One Response to “Why We Need to Protect Our ‘Right To Own And Bear Arms’”

  1. […] what part of “the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”why we need to protect our ‘right to own and bear arms‘ ) that is part of the second amendment, don’t lawmakers get. Especially given the fact […]

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