WEST PALM BEACH:. In the wake of the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, fourteen survivors filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The suit charging Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, the superintendent of Broward schools, and the officer who refused to intervene, with violating their 14th Amendment right to due process.
Essentially, they were suing the police and school system for failing to protect them from potential violence. As well as for failing to end the shooting when the first opportunity arose.
Yesterday, a judge threw out their lawsuit, ruling that the police have no obligation to protect the people from harm. Furthermore they cannot be held liable for failing to do so.
All over the country, outrage, anger, frustration are erupting
How could it be that the government can simply say that they do not have the duty to protect you? We pay taxes for this very reason, do we not? We put our faith in the police and schools for this very reason, do we not?
But this rage and frustration are misplaced. The anger is misdirected. However, it does not have to be wasted.
The rest of the country, in particular, South Florida, is learning an important lesson that liberty advocates and 2A supporters figured out a long time ago:
Ultimately, you are responsible for your own defense.
It is not a new concept. The lawsuit that the survivors brought before the court was doomed to fail from the very beginning. The issue of the concept of duty to protect, or public duty doctrine, was essentially settled by the DC Court of Appeals in 1981 by Warren v. DC, as well as the 2005 Supreme Court case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales.
In both cases, the court ruled that the police cannot be held liable for failing to do their jobs under the public duty doctrine.
The recent ruling is adding fuel to the gun debate in a way that many did not think would happen.
Nationwide there is a push for gun control, including the president’s recent bump stock ban. The argument is that guns are the issue and that you cannot be trusted with guns. That only the police and military should have guns. Yet that same government that seeks to curtail your ability to defend yourself also rules that it has no obligation to come to your aid when you are in trouble. This reasoning puts your defense, and the defense of your loved ones, squarely at your feet.
The ruling only piles onto the heap of the outrageous hypocrisy that has become American politics; we have investigated ourselves and found we are not responsible, but we believe you should pay the price for our failure.
Anyone who is surprised by this recent ruling, and begins to backtrack the reasoning and the legal precedents that led the judge to make their decision, will find themselves descending down a rabbit hole. There they will find increasingly frustrating court cases that tell a story of a government that has done their best to simultaneously shed themselves of their duties to defend the public. Even as they lobby to restricts the publics ability to defend themselves.
The constant blame shedding by responsible parties is like a snake ridding itself of old skin to emerge untarnished and new. However, it is only going to serve to provide liberty advocates and 2A supporters with the case law and rhetoric necessary to defend pro-gun positions as they climb their way through the legal system to the Supreme Court.
In their effort to seem blameless, and to chalk each and every incident of government failure to prevent what are clearly troubled individuals from taking life, government agencies around the country are expanding their list of detractors. Now that list goes beyond the usual suspects of libertarians, minarchists, far lefters and righters, and into the realm of the everyday voter.
Voters who now sit there glued to their TV, confused, as the government they have relied on their entire lives seeks to explain why they have no duty to defend them when the wolves come howling, but will still tax you for the trouble.