Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bleating for security

John and Jennifer Shourds of Lovettsville, Va. demanded the immediate firings of University President Charles Steger and Virginia Tech Campus Police Chief W.R. Flinchum who he said "screwed up" the handling of separate shooting incidents that left 33 students dead, including the shooter.

“My God, if someone shoots somebody there should be an immediate lockdown of the campus,” said John Shourds. “They totally blew it. The president blew it, campus police blew it.”
This is the angry demand of a sheep bleating for security. (Thankfully, the Shourds' daughter, Alexandra, wasn't harmed in Monday's murderous shooting rampage at Virginia Tech.)

For over a hundred years, U.S. courts have ruled that individuals have no right to police protection. But given the numerous — almost routine — warnings from police spokesmen not to "take the law into your own hands" by resisting criminal violence with reasonable force, you really can't blame people like the Shourds for thinking they have a right to the protection of the State.

In his seminal 1993 essay "A Nation of Cowards," New York attorney Jeffrey Snyder says it best:
Is your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? If you believe that it is the police's, not only are you wrong — since the courts universally rule that they have no legal obligation to do so — but you face some difficult moral quandaries. How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself? Because that is his job and we pay him to do it? Because your life is of incalculable value, but his is only worth the $30,000 salary we pay him? If you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?

Do you believe that you are forbidden to protect yourself because the police are better qualified to protect you, because they know what they are doing but you're a rank amateur? Put aside that this is equivalent to believing that only concert pianists may play the piano and only professional athletes may play sports. What exactly are these special qualities possessed only by the police and beyond the rest of us mere mortals?

One who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety, or to think he has done all that is possible by being aware of his surroundings and taking measures of avoidance.

Let's not mince words: He will be armed, will be trained in the use of his weapon, and will defend himself when faced with lethal violence.
The Shourds are simply displaying the mindset of a nation that has been brainwashed by Statists into believing that only highly-trained agents of the State may protect them — even though they're not legally obligated to do so, after all.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Good point. People do expect the police to protect them, which is not unreasonable. It is, after all, their job. But we of course have no right to protection, and certainly we cannot expect intimidate protection against everything.
This is why more honest, law abiding citizens should carry guns and not get sued or criminally prosecuted for taking self-defensive action.