Unexpected Help from the Supreme Court

Unexpected Help from the Supreme Court

This is a discussion on Unexpected Help from the Supreme Court within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Unexpected Help from the Supreme Court By James Dark, TSRA Executive Director The recent Supreme Court decisions that were announced on June 27th provided much ...

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    Unexpected Help from the Supreme Court

    Unexpected Help from the Supreme Court
    By James Dark, TSRA Executive Director

    The recent Supreme Court decisions that were announced on June 27th provided much fodder for national news sources, and some of these decision effected Texas directly. For example, the controversial decision about eminent domain seizures prompted Governor Rick Perry to uncharacteristically broaden the agenda of the ongoing Special Session of the Legislature so that Texas lawmakers could attempt to dull the effect of this decision. However, there is one case that may have eluded the radars of most gunowners, the Colorado case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales. While the case was not directly about gun laws, it created a chilling effect on the concept of American citizens being defended from harm by criminals.

    In 1999, Jessica Gonzales obtained a restraining order against her estranged husband Simon. Shortly thereafter, Simon abducted their three daughters. After repeated pleas for assistance, police visited the home and decided that Simon was nonviolent, and the questions surrounding his access to his daughters by court order needed to be decided by the courts, not the police.

    The next morning, Simon Gonzales appeared in front of the Castle Rock Police Department and began firing a gun indiscriminately into the building. Not surprisingly, he was immediately killed by return fire. In his truck, his three daughters were found shot to death.

    Jessica Gonzales sued the Town of Castle Rock, claiming that her and her daughters had been denied due process under the 14th Amendment.

    In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled citizens of the United States do not have a constitutional right to police protection, even when a restraining order has been issued. The language of one of the cited court cases is telling indeed. In the 1982 case of Bowers v. DeVito, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal stated that “there is no Constitutional Right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.”

    Justices on both sides of the opinion, even those dissenting, were united in the belief that police protection is not a constitutionally protected entitlement.

    Justice Scalia, in the court's opinion, stated, "our cases recognize that a benefit is not a protected entitlement if government officials may grant or deny it at their discretion." This clearly recognizes that law enforcement by its very nature is a profession that relies on discretion by enforcing officers.

    In a nutshell, the Supreme Court has effectively said that self-defense is the job of each and every citizen.

    I have had conversations with many law enforcement officers on the subject of protecting citizens. I have heard a virtually universal opinion that their main focus is to bring perpetrators to justice, to investigate, etc. Most police officers will freely admit that they often arrive on the scene after the damage has been done. Most criminal offenses occur quickly, and are over even before 911 is called.

    The fact that the highest court in the land has ruled that we should not rely on the police for protection makes a number of things very important. We should redouble our efforts to ensure a reasonable and universal “shall issue” Concealed Handgun Licensing system throughout the United States. No citizen should be deprived of this right.

    We should redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to prepare to defend themselves. Laws or policies impeding gun ownership are no longer acceptable, if they ever were. Groups that oppose gun ownership, citing the protection offered by law enforcement, should be referred to this decision.

    But very importantly, we should realize that the Supreme Court has, at least indirectly, done us a huge favor. Freedom-loving, gun-owning Americans will seldom see a decision by this court that so effectively takes the legs out from underneath our opposition.

    The argument that we don’t need to protect ourselves, that the police will be there for us, has been jettisoned unceremoniously out the window.

    And I’m OK with that, because I never bought it anyway.

    As the ramifications of Castle Rock v. Gonzales gradually sink in, I expect we will see a renewed interest in firearms ownership. Much like Americans felt threatened, and headed to gun stores in record numbers in the days following the 9-11 attacks, I expect we will see a renewed interest in self-defense.

    We have long argued that every American has an inherent right to self defense as one of our basic human rights. The Supremes have, with this opinion, have made it abundantly clear that every American is in the driver's seat regarding their own safety.

    The Police Chief of Castle Rock opined that the Gonzales case “points out the much larger problem in this country…with restraining orders. They do not protect society from the Simon Gonzales’ of the world.”

    In this the chief is absolutely right. The Supreme Court has made it clear that it is a fool’s errand to rely on the police as your sole source of protection. Jessica Gonzales’ experience shows us that relying on court restraining orders is equally futile. In fact, in most cases, they are likely not worth the paper they are written on.

    I will hold with the opinion that two other pieces of paper will be far more valuable in defending me and my loved ones.

    Those are my concealed handgun license, and the target from my latest trip to the range.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum


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    In a nutshell, the Supreme Court has effectively said that self-defense is the job of each and every citizen.
    I hope that sticks and is seen by all for what it is - the stark truth!

    We know it but heck - so many still have the quaint notion that they are somehow protected at all times, by forces of LE and maybe a few imagined deities also!.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    so many still have the quaint notion that they are somehow protected at all times, by forces of LE and maybe a few imagined deities also!.
    Well, being a Christian I do pray for protection. But I have to do my part. It goes along with what Jesus said about “not putting God to the test” when Satan told him to throw himself off the cliff, and trust God to send angels to catch him. I have to do my part by not putting myself in stupid situations, and taking reasonable precautions to provide for my safety, and that of my family. Bring armed and trained are reasonable measures that I need to take.

    Another Christian told me I wasn’t trusting God for protection because I was armed. I told him that if that was the case then he wasn’t trusting God either. He has a job and earns the money to buy food. He should just trust God that the groceries will magically appear on his doorstep.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    I don't want to insult anybody's religion, but I have to share this pic.

    Last edited by Miggy; January 21st, 2006 at 09:06 PM.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    Honestly, I have to agree with the Supreme Court on this as sad as it is for that family.

    You see, it is unreasonable to expect any government to see to your personal security. It's simply not feasible. There has never been a society which has accomplished this feat and there never will be.

    We cannot hold officer of the law accountable for such things or else no one will be an officer of the law for very long. What are you going to do, fire the entire PD because some drug dealer kills one of his repeat customers in an alley with a piece of pipe?

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    I also see it from another point of view. If the PD would be made responsible, then it would need more budget and more power to meet the expectation. Rights would have to go out the window in order to accomodate police protection.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

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    PD protection

    In many cities the ration of PD to Citizens is about 1 cop for every 5000 citizens. PD cannot be everywhere at once, add to that the restrictions placed by the Supreme Court, and throw in a few lazy LEO's. We can choose to be a statistic.
    I prefer to be a living statistic.
    I much prefer to be armed than to give up my right to privacy.
    What ever you have to do to go home.

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    [QUOTE=RazorWire]In many cities the ration of PD to Citizens is about 1 cop for every 5000 citizens. \

    I guess we're pretty lucky here where I live, a small town of 22k, we have 54 LEO's on duty !! We also just suspended 9 of them for 'allegedly' having sex with an informant who turned the tables when she was arrested by one of the nine for posession. I guess our city fathers must have had something like that in mind 'just in case'.??. Har-de har
    diplomacy ... the art of saying "nice doggie"..while looking for a big rock !!

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