Self defense and the police

I finally figured out the Second Amendment when Hurricane Katrina struck.  I mean, I’d always known before that the police can’t be everywhere and that they often show up to mop up after a crime, because the criminal and done and gone so quickly.  The knowledge that they’re out there is certainly a deterrent to crime generally, but it cannot stop all crimes specifically.  Knowing that intellectually was not the same as understanding that viscerally.  Hurricane Katrina brought the whole thing home:  with the best will in the world, it was impossible for New Orlean’s police to protect citizens literally left adrift by the Gulf’s raging waters.  Those with guns protected themselves.  Those without were vulnerable.

Mike McDaniel gets this.  A former police officer and current Second Amendment stalwart, he understands the limits of what the police can do, and the point at which the citizenry is responsible for its own care.  It’s a post that’s worth reading.  I don’t have a gun in my house for various reasons, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think you shouldn’t have one either.

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  • leftcoastconservative


    Hurricanes in the south, earthquakes and riots in California: perhaps you should reconsider your no firearms in the house policy.

    In the Rodney King riots gun and ammo sales were suspended, and besides, California has a 10 day wait requirement between purchase and delivery of the firearm.  Also, if you are a new firearm owner you will want to get training to practice to become effective.

    It is too late to get any and all of the above once the disaster happens.  One must be prepared before the event. 

  • Jose

    McDaniel has a good article.  For more along these lines read Dial 911 and Die.
    Don’t be misled by the sensationalized title and cover art. The book gives a sober and detailed examination of the limited responsibility of police to protect an individual, and then provides a state-by-state look at legal recourse by the victims.  Generally speaking that legal recourse is, at best, difficult, and in most states, non-existent.

  • Jose

    Just found this on David Codrea’s blog (
    MOBILE, Alabama — Mobile Mayor Sam Jones held an intruder at gunpoint Tuesday night until police arrived, after the Mississippi man broke into his garage, officials said.”
    Mayor Jones exercised the privilege of self defense he would deny to the rest of us:
    BW, this is an odd post for Christmas day (said the pot to the kettle).  You haven’t been spending the holiday with your gun-clinging in-laws have you?

  • leftcoastconservative


    <deep sarcasm>

    Of course Mayor Jones is not a hypocrite.  He is **special**, deserving of the “privilege” of self defense. We can trust him to not abuse the privilege, and to provide police to protect the rest of us from people like the ones he had to detain for the police.

    Simple people like us don’t need to defend ourselves.  We would just get our guns taken away from us by the misunderstood guys.

    </deep sarcasm> 

  • jj

    And let’s just be honest enough to admit the New Orleans cops tend to operate a continent or so away from “the best will in the world,” too…

  • Bookworm

    jj:  I was trying to be nice.


  • Jose

    Regarding New Orleans cops and Katrina, google “Danzinger Bridge”.

  • Indigo Red

    My uncle, a retired Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Captain, once told me, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

  • Ymarsakar

    That is the organization Mayor Joses is part of. I don’t see anything wrong with it. People shouldn’t jump to conclusions without independent evidence and verification. My preferred methods for the Left are so final in nature. that mistakes cannot really be taken back.

  • Ymarsakar

    Book: being nice is not having half the New Orleans police department strung up and executed for dereliction of duty, cowardice in the face, and rampant corruption and political favoritism. That is being nice.

  • jj

    It always seems to come as a surprise to people that they – we – do not have a right to police protection.  Once you’re dead, nobody can sue the cops for failing to protect you, no matter how demonstrably incompetent they may have been.  The idea that police have no responsibility to crime victims is, though perhaps a surprise, well entrenched in our legal system.  The cops are not there to protect anybody, they are there to keep their version of “order” – and that’s all they care about.  And bringing in revenue via traffic tickets.
    The precedent comes from 1975, in – where else? – Washington DC.  In March of that year two Washington women were awakened by their back door being broken down.  A minute later they heard their roommate screaming downstairs as she was being raped by two thugs.  They called 911, who advised them to remain quiet until the cops showed up.  The dispatcher called the cops – but didn’t bother to mention that the call was important.  It rated a “code 2” – a lesser priority than a crime in progress.  Four cars responded to the call, three of them actually managed to find the house.  The two who’d called them had managed to sneak out onto the roof, where they watched one uniformed brainiac drive slowly past the house.  Another ossifer actually hoisted his fat ass out of his car, waddled up the front path to the door and knocked – but, regrettably, he’d left his brains back in the car.  When the rapists didn’t answer the door, the fuzz left.  They spent about five minutes on the scene, all told.  The two women crawled back into the house.  With their friend still screaming downstairs, they called 911 again, and were told that help was on the way.  This time the dispatcher recorded the call as “investigate the trouble:” – and nobody ever did.  Believing that the cops were moments away, the two called out to their friend – which turned out to be an error.  The thugs came upstairs, got them, dragged them downstairs, and spent the next fourteen hours brutalizing all three.  (Given that the rapists were armed only with a knife, a nice .38 or a nine would have been helpful but – couldn’t have that in DC in 1975.)  So the women sued the police department.  They lost.  As bad as all this was, the police owed these victims nothing under the law.  Owed them nothing.
    And that’s what they owe you, me – all of us, no matter where we live: nothing.  I don’t know your variety of reasons for not having a gun in the house, but you should think seriously about overriding them.  If the kids are more than eight years old, they can be trained to respect and stay away from the guns – or better yet, use them properly.  One of the reasons I don’t like California is because I think it’s already about 20% beyond anyone’s control, and headed in the wrong direction.  As it goes truly broke and they let more and more people out of jail whom they can’t afford to feed, and have fewer cops because they can’t afford to pay them, it’s not going to improve.  (And I hate to be a prick, but most of your state cops already speak Spanish better than they do English – whose side are they going to be on when the excrement really hits the cooling device?)  You’re already mostly on your own – we all are.  As noted: when seconds count the cops are minutes away.  Even if they were inclined to help, they aren’t going to be around to do it in any useful sense.  I’ve always been in favor of people being armed, but I am one giant hell of a lot more in favor of it now than I was, say, ten years ago.  I imagine in six months I’ll be even more militant on the subject – I haven’t spotted any societal improvements headed our way.  Have you?

  • Ymarsakar

    My idea of societal improvement is to line the roads with the crucified forms of people who can’t obey simple societal standards. That’s probably why my ideas are not very popular with criminals or civilians.

  • LSBeene

    I copied this from Wiki to save time – but no one has yet mentioned the wholesale gun seizures by the city (ILLEGALLY) during Katrina:

    Confiscation of firearms
    Controversy arose over a September 8 city-wide order by New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass to local police, National Guard troops, and US Marshals to confiscate all civilian-held firearms. “No one will be able to be armed,” Compass said. “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.” Seizures were carried out without warrant, and in some cases with excessive force; one instance captured on film involved 58 year old New Orleans resident Patricia Konie. Konie stayed behind, in her well provisioned home, and had an old revolver for protection. A group of police entered the house, and when she refused to surrender her revolver, she was tackled and it was removed by force. Konie’s shoulder was fractured, and she was taken into police custody for failing to surrender her firearm.[73][74] Even National Guard troops, armed with assault rifles, were used for house to house searches, seizing firearms and attempting to get those remaining in the city to leave.[75]
    Angered citizens, backed by the National Rifle Association and other organizations, filed protests over the constitutionality of such an order and the difficulty in tracking seizures, as paperwork was rarely filed during the searches. Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, defended the right of affected citizens to retain firearms, saying that, “What we’ve seen in Louisiana – the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster – is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves.” The searches received little news coverage, though reaction from groups such as the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Gun Owners of America was immediate and heated, and a lawsuit was filed September 22 by the NRA and SAF on behalf of two firearm owners whose firearms were seized. On September 23, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a restraining order to bar further firearms confiscations.[73]
    After refusing to admit that it had any seized firearms, the city revealed in mid-March that it did have a cache of some 1000 firearms seized after the hurricane; this disclosure came after the NRA filed a motion in court to hold the city in contempt for failure to comply with the U.S. District Court’s earlier order to return all seized firearms. On April 14, 2006, it was announced that the city will begin to return seized firearms, however as of early 2008, many firearms were still in police possession, and the matter was still in court.[73] The matter was finally settled in favor of the NRA in October 2008. Per the agreement, the city was required to relax the strict proof of ownership requirements previously used, and was to release firearms to their owners with an affidavit claiming ownership and a background check to verify that the owner is legally able to possess a firearm.[76]
    Louisiana legislator Steve Scalise introduced Louisiana House Bill 760, which would prohibit confiscation of firearms in a state of emergency, unless the seizure is pursuant to the investigation of a crime, or if the seizure is necessary to prevent immediate harm to the officer or another individual. On June 8, 2006, HB 760 was signed into law.[77] 21 other states joined Louisiana in enacting similar laws. A federal law prohibiting seizure of lawfully held firearms during an emergency, the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006, passed in the House with a vote of 322 to 99, and in the Senate by 84-16. The bill was signed into law by President Bush on October 9, 2006.[78]  

  • Ymarsakar

    These laws are useless. When people can simply ignore the US Constitution and get away with it without being branded traitors and executed on the high roads of all the combined United States, who is to say that the next time they will obey some “law” written after the fact?

    The Left specializes in violating and ignoring Constitutional law. They, like Obama, even studied Constitutional law expressly to get the credentials to later destroy the US Constitution. Don’t think some weak law made by Louisiana senators and congresscritters is going to do much. But I’m sure they think it’ll do good, making the law more complex and increasing the demand for lawyers, but that’s just giving up basic civilian power to the courts, which will end in defeat for the civilians decades later as lawyers and judges gain the power and the government need no longer obey anything in the Constitution.

     This could also have been used as counter-propaganda when the Left tried to blame Katrina on Bush. Most conservatives, however, were incompetent at counter-propaganda so tried to downplay the role of Bush or Bush’s fault or the severity of Katrina. I would have hyped, over hyped, Katrina’s insanity, and make it worse than it could ever have been in truth, and then laid the fault plainly at the feet of Democrats and their illegal confiscations. Then I’ll hit the audience with a finishing blow, by showing them that the same police who confiscated the guns, then went AWOL. They must have thought being thugs and criticizing Bush about non existent AWOL status, meant they could go free, free of guilt for the disaster they helped cause.

    But I wasn’t in charge of Republican propaganda and counter propaganda operations in 2004 or 2006. So don’t blame me.