The myth of 911 as a tool for "protection" has been perpetrated and perpetuated by too many for too long. It is time that people who know the facts and/or have been affected by this myth speak out to the public in an attempt to open the eyes of potential victims of one of the biggest scams in public safety history. The need to debunk the myth that 911 is an effective tool in protecting the public from violent criminals has become apparent.
The basic myth propagated by government, anti-self-defense groups and the various media, is that the police have a legal obligation to protect the individual citizen. The vast majority of people honestly believe this is true. NOT true! Unfortunately too many people believe that the police will stand in harm's way if they're called and therefore, they don't need to protect themselves. The standard mantra is: "Just call 911."
According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 1997, the police (and government) failed to prevent 18,209 murders, 497,950 robberies and 96,122 rapes. These statistics do not even get into burglaries, car theft, illegal drug use or literally thousands of other crimes that the authorities are powerless to prevent or the additional millions which are never even reported! Startling statistics that show the lack of the ability of the police to play a significant role in protecting people against criminals.
The highest district court in DC spelled it out plainly: "... 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."
(Warren v. DC 444 A 2d 1,4 (DC 1984).)
Side note: In other threads I've alluded to this heinous case before. The women after calling 911 went on to endure hours of rape, torture and for at least one of them, death… If you get a chance and have a strong stomach, I recommend finding and reading the gruesome details of this incident. Then you will have an even more profound understanding of what the court's ruling means.
The District of Columbia is not alone by any means.
A Kansas law prohibits people from suing the authorities (government) for negligently failing to enforce the law or for failing to provide police and fire protection.
In California, the law says that "neither a public entity or a public employee is liable for failing to provide for a police department or otherwise provide police protection services."
(California Government Code s/s 845)
In fact, the California appellate court ruled "police officers have no affirmative statutory duty to do anything."
(Sousa v. City of Antioch 62 California Reporter 2d 909, 916 Cal App 1997)
There are many more examples from across the U.S. Since I'm writing this in and generally for a Massachusetts audience, it seems only appropriate to include a case from that State. In Massachusetts, a woman had been continually reporting spousal abuse and requesting police protection. The advice she received from a responding officer was...."Get a gun!" Later after her husband nearly killed her and completely paralyzed her, she sued the Town of Grafton. The Massachusetts Court in the case of Ford v. Town of Grafton held that the city was not liable because when the officer told her to 'Get a gun!' they were telling her that they had no obligation to protect her. In other words, she should have gotten the gun!
Another part of the 911 myth is that it is an effective tool used to protect people.
Gun control advocates (both in and out of government) have attempted to convince the public that citizens don't need guns because the police will protect them from becoming victims of crime. They contend that 911 is a valid substitute for a well-armed and properly trained citizenry. Unfortunately there is an increasing belief on the part of Americans that all they need for protection is a telephone. Or worse, a cell phone. (Ever been "out of range"?)
These anti-self-defense, gun control advocates do everything to perpetuate this myth. In fact, there is so much faith in 911, that the police are called through that system over 250,000 times a day! Research published in the June 17,1996 issue of U.S. News & World Report (by Witkin, Guttman and Lenzy) found that of all the calls to 911 only 5% were made or responded to quickly enough for officers to stop a crime or arrest a suspect! The result is that, contrary to the myth, 911 very seldom makes a difference in the outcome of criminal endeavors.
What happens when you dial 911 and the dispatcher assigns an incorrect response priority?
What happens when you call 911 and there are no units available?
What happens when you're not near a phone? Or your cell phone is "out of range"?
What "happens" is that you become a "victim", yet another statistic that may or may not show up in the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, that may or may not be discussed by those on both sides of the self-defense debate while sitting in the local coffee shop, slowly shaking their heads as they take another sip of the latte' du jour.
Please don't misunderstand my purpose in writing this. These situations are not the fault of the police or the dispatchers. Resources and day-to-day demands made upon the system are volatile to say the least. In fact, currently, there are about 150,000 hard-working police officers on duty at any one time to protect a population of some ~270 million Americans - or a ratio of 1,800 citizens per officer. Those hard-working men and women do their best under the circumstances, but think of it from the other viewpoint, the view you have after having had to make that all important call. That help you thought was on the way, may very well not be. Now what are you supposed to do in the meantime? Wait patiently? Panic? Scream? Die?
The sad truth is that by the time the officers arrive it's all over. There capability at that point, as far as your dead corpse is concerned, is no more than being able to document the aftermath. At that point, the government, the anti-self-defense activists (anti-gun advocates), the media have all denied you the ability to protect yourself simply because they think you're too stupid, to dangerous, to incompetent, to untrustworthy to do so.
The popular consensus that perpetuates the 911 myth, misleads the citizenry into believing they have all the necessary resources to defend themselves, when in fact, they do not. People hide under the bed, in the closet, behind the sofa in fear and panic, all the while feeling confident that someone will arrive to save the day. But this isn't a Hollywood movie where the hero arrives in the nick of time; this is the real world where they seldom arrive in time… if at all. If you rely on 911, if you rely on what the government, the anti-self-defense activist (anti-gun advocates), the biased statist media have told you... you're committing a serious and possibly a fatal mistake.
The only way for the police to be there to protect every citizen is to have as many police as there are citizens. By definition, that is called a "police state". In the 20th century, more than 120,000,000 people (yes 120 million) lost their lives to their own governments! Given that fact, there is no reason to celebrate the thought of a police state.
In reality "gun control" isn't about guns, it's about control. There are those naïve people for which it's simply an attempt to end firearms violence. The facts remain that with or without the 2nd amendment, human beings will not and should not give up their ability to protect themselves from people who would do them harm.
Our Founding Fathers were not naive. Having experienced the frustration of tyrannical government they simply confirmed in writing that a free people must have the 'Right' to protect themselves and their families. The 2nd amendment puts the people on the same level playing field as their oppressors. If you read the 2nd amendment you'll see that it does not mention firearms. It simply states 'arms', and that in itself is inclusive of all arms, knives, swords, guns, sticks and stones, you name it. Some will claim that the Founding Fathers never envisioned the modern arms that are available today. I counter that the Founding Fathers never envisioned radio, television, VCRs, DVDs, or the internet, yet the Right of Freedom of Speech and of the Press has been not only upheld, but inclusive of these modern tools. The term 'well armed' means that the citizens are not relegated to sticks while the government is equipped with machine-guns, grenade launchers, and F-16s. It means that the citizens have the Right to acquire the same modern technology necessary for self protection from both a common criminal or a government oppressor.
Actually, the Constitution is predicated on the idea that the real threats come from government, not other citizens, and if government fails to act, or acts in a tyrannical manner, the citizens have recourse to protect themselves.
Some anti-gun advocates have called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. Make no mistake about it, these are inalienable Rights, not granted by the government, but only recognized as pre-existing. Thus, if the 2nd amendment were to be repealed the people would not lose any "Right" to keep and bear arms. Only "Privileges" can be granted and, not "Rights". No license is required to exercise a "Right". The 2nd amendment is simply an acknowledgment by the Founding Fathers and the original Federal government that the people have the right to protect themselves. Subsequent Court decisions have reinforced that thinking when they very explicitly acknowledge the fact that "government is not responsible for the protection of the individual citizen". Does that mean the citizen must rely upon the mercy of the assailant? Of course not!
What it means is that it's up to each citizen to protect them self and their loved ones (in other words, it's up to you to protect yourself), and not to rely on some bureaucracy to come to the rescue in the nick of time. Think about it, it's time that is the critical element. If you don't have access or can't operate your means of personal protection in time, it's useless and it's no protection at all!
Forget all that crap you've heard about "sporting purposes". This wording was introduced in the U.S. as the Gun Control Act of 1968 by Senator Thomas Dodd (deceased D-CT). Senator Dodd obtained the Nazi gun control laws, while a senior member of the prosecution team from the U.S. during the Nuremberg trials! A side-by-side comparison of the U.S. Gun Control Law of 1968 and the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938 has been done. The astonishing results show that the U.S. Gun Control Law was taken extensively from the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938! Forget about the bogus rationale of the use of firearms for target shooters, collectors, and hunters. The Founding Fathers weren't thinking about those folks when they wrote the 2nd amendment!
The need for protective weaponry is in direct proportion to the inability or unwillingness of government to protect its citizens, regardless of the source of the threat. The Founding Fathers knew all too well that the threat could come from government itself! Regardless of what the statist activist's propaganda attempts to distort the truth as, this idea is not far fetched. Merely 75 years ago, any other interpretation would have been considered not only ludicrous, but treasonous!
If the American people were told the truth about and realized the ramifications of the limitations of the police and other government agencies, the anti-self-defense activists (gun control advocates) would be out of business! There would be, and should be, a rush for weaponry.
Any observant adult should remember the L.A. riots of just a few years ago. Let's not forget how when it push came to shove, retail store owners (mostly Koreans) armed with rifles, shotguns and pistols stood their ground to protect themselves against looters and arsonists while their police agencies were having all they could do to keep their own ranks functioning much less preventing crime. In LA, the police considered it a success if they could just contain the rioting, forget about ending it.
Is it not time to tell the American people that they have a choice? They can be unwilling victims or armed survivors, but freedom, liberty, personal responsibility and personal choice are theirs. For me, as the saying goes, "it's a no brainer."
The statistics are overwhelming proof that even under the best of circumstances, protecting people from becoming victims of violent crimes, the police are dismal failures. The Department of Justice found that, in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence, which were not responded to by police within 1 hour.
Here's a game for any doubters to try. Have a friend sit in their car with a cell phone a few miles away. (much closer than the local police officer will statistically be) Go to your bedroom and sit beside your telephone. (To prevent damage to your property, leave the back door unlocked.) Have another friend armed with a squirt-gun or sprayer bottle of water, enter the backdoor at some later, random time… yelling violently (a criminal will probably be much more stealthy, but this is just a "game"), with the purpose of getting to you and wetting you down profusely. All you have to do is call your friend on the cell phone and have them arrive, in person, at your backdoor to stop the "attack"… Good luck on "winning". Remember, "It's just a game".
Many will accuse me of having a decidedly pro-gun bias. To them I reply, "DUH!"
To those who care to find out, I will briefly say that a few years ago, my wife, the love of my life, my everything almost became one of those FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. In the midst of an assault, she dialed 911. After initially being hung-up on, she called again, only to be engaged in a match of "phone-tag" and ultimately put on hold! YES, I get emotional about it even years later! Damn RIGHT! If I had not shown up, she would have been gone forever! (As it was, she had been on hold for the better part of 20, yes, twenty minutes!) And the response that I got when testifying about the incident to our State legislature… those advocates of victim disarmament listening to my testimony did not even have the guts to look me in the eyes. Instead, they passed their onerous gun control restrictions at the 11th hour without even giving the members of the legislature the opportunity to read the enormous document. In my opinion, they're despicable.