Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53207
Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746
Disarmed – Defenseless – Dead: It's the Law
By Richard W. Stevens
Editor, The Bill of Rights Sentinel
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
You be the judge. Does it make any sense for the government to:
(1) issue a court order forbidding a woman's ex husband from having or being near firearms,
(2) take no significant action concerning the ex-husband's frequent death threats against the woman,
(3) require the woman to appear in court in an alimony/child support case against her ex-husband,
(4) forbid the woman from possessing defensive sidearms inside the courthouse building,
(5) fail to erect metal detectors or to check the ex-husband for firearms at the courthouse,
(6) post no warnings about the lack of security in the courthouse,
(7) fail to offer any added protection for the woman at the courthouse, and then
(8) disclaim any responsibility for setting up the conditions that enabled the ex-husband to shoot the defenseless woman in cold blood, right in front of their young daughter, inside the courthouse?
Isn't it immoral or crazy to position an unarmed woman in a confined space with a man who has repeatedly and credibly threatened to kill her, and then fail to either check the man for weapons or to offer her added protection? The California Supreme Court's recent unanimous decision in Zelig v.County of Los Angeles says it's legally just fine. The Zelig Court proclaimed loudly and clearly:
- "It is well established that public entities generally are not liable for failing to protect individuals against crime."
- "The public entities and their policymaking officers and employees are immune from liability for any failure on their part to provide sufficient police services."
No Duty, No Protection
Lawyers for the dead woman's estate argued strongly that the government owed legal duties and should be liable. The defendant county government had created a dangerous situation by compelling the woman to attend the courthouse, by forbidding the woman from carrying a defensive sidearm, and by failing to warn her that she was practically undefended there. The police had tape recordings and documents proving the ex-husband had issued the death threats, but they failed to offer extra protection for her. The superior court itself knew the ex-husband posed such danger that it formally ordered him to disarm himself, but the courthouse had no metal detectors and did not check the ex-husband for weapons.
The California Supreme Court addressed each of these arguments and rejected them all. The Second Amendment apparently wasn't asserted. Showing no sorrow or regret, the Zelig Court noted how "gun control" laws had disarmed the victim: "the state, by enacting a general statute prohibiting possession of a firearm in any courthouse, curtailed her ability to arm herself in self-defense." The woman had no civil right to self-defense, however.
Bottom line: the government can disarm you, knowingly put you in danger without even a warning, refuse and fail to protect you from the known danger ... and get off scot-free when the danger harms or kills you.
Readers of Dial 911 and Die: The Shocking Truth About the Police Protection Myth would have fully expected the Zelig ruling to come down as it did. Citing laws and cases from every state, the book shows that the government generally owes no legal duty to protect citizens, and the courts routinely insulate the government from liability.
The Zelig case illustrates how "gun control" ideas endanger lives:
- Fifteen day waiting period on sidearm purchases -- worthless.
- Law forbidding civilians to possess firearms in courthouse -- only stopped the victim, not the perpetrator.
- Court order that forbade ex-husband from possessing firearms -- didn't stop him when he wanted to kill.
- Sign proclaiming law against civilian possession of firearms in courthouses -- advertised where defenseless victims could be found.
- Law that immunizes government entities and officials if they fail to protect threatened citizens – means government agents have less incentive to protect victims.
- Concealed carry permit system that registers gun owners with the government -- worthless in courthouses that forbid all civilian firearms possession.
Zelig is only the latest court case proving that governments don't accept the responsibility for the harm caused by "gun control" laws that disarm the victims and empower the killers. Laws and court decisions in almost all states take the same route.
You can seize the opportunity to prove the dangerous evil of "gun control" ideas in all states by getting copies of Dial 911 and Die. For nearly every state and territory, there is a chapter in Dial 911 and Die that shows how the government makes no promise to protect individual citizens from criminal attack, even when the attacker is known and the threats are imminent. The anti-gunners cannot answer this argument ... it's the law... and it makes civilian disarmament policies look both foolish and deadly.
Call JPFO at (800) 869-1884 or click on http://www.jpfo.org/dial911anddie.htm. Order Dial 911 and Die – only $11.95 postage paid (U.S. only).
Thank these sponsors for this column:
- Fred's -- Military M-14 Stocks & Accessories
- Fulton Armory -- Precision M1 Garand, M14, M1 Carbine & AR15 Weapon Systems
- Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc.
- S.W.A.T. Magazine -- To subscribe, call: (800) 673-4595
- Paladin Press – For a catalog, call: (800) 392-2400
- JPFO members & supporters
Copyright © 2002, by Aaron Zelman. Permission is granted to reproduce this article in full, provided that JPFO contact information, website and phone number are included.
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