The Police are Under No Legal Obligation to Protect You

By Robert Greenslade, © Nitwit Press

Opponents of the private ownership of firearms always claim there is no need for individuals to own a firearm for self-protection because the police are entrusted with that duty. Nothing could be further from the truth. Courts throughout these United States have consistently held that police have no legal duty to provide police protection to any individual citizen.

In 1981, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued a decision in a civil suit against the Metropolitan Police Department. In the syllabus, the Court wrote:

“[The] fact that police answered [the phone call for help] and arrived outside premises which were scene of burglary and assault did not give rise to special duty on part of police toward victims therein, and police officers were not answerable in damages for failing to ascertain that assaults were continuing upon victims therein, or for leaving premises without so ascertaining.”

The Court ruled that:

“[G]overnment and its agents are under no legal obligation to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular citizen.  The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific duty exists.”  [Cite for case: D.C. App., 444 A. 2nd 1, 1981]

On April 19, 1990, an Associated Press article entitled: “Woman can’t sue cops for failing to help,” stated:

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Postal Service Running on Fumes

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing this week on the U.S. Postal Service’s dire financial situation. The USPS is facing a $10 billion loss this year, is about to max out its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury, and doesn’t have the money to make a required $5.5 billion payment for retiree health care benefits due at the end of the month. The USPS is projecting insolvency in 2012 if Congress doesn’t step in to provide relief.

Congress hasn’t been able to bring itself to allow the USPS to close 3,000 of its 30,000+ retail locations, so it’s hard to imagine that it will allow operations to come to a halt. Therefore, the important question is what sort of relief will Congress ultimately provide?

Let’s start with what it won’t do: consider privatization. “Consider privatization” means authorizing studies or a commission to examine what it would take to prepare the USPS for sale to the private sector. In its current form, it’s unlikely that anyone would touch the USPS with a 10-foot pole. The reluctance to even consider privatization is unfortunate, especially since European nations have been liberalizing their postal markets for two decades. Getting the privatization ball rolling would probably require leadership from the White House, and that won’t happen with this administration. (See this Cato essay on privatizing the USPS for more information.)

Interestingly, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is asking Congress to let the USPS operate more like a private business by allowing it to reopen collective bargaining agreements, eliminate Saturday mail delivery, manage its own employee benefit programs, and have more freedom to close down excess postal facilities. Donahoe understands what Congress either doesn’t or is unwilling to recognize: if the USPS is to operate solely on the revenues that it generates, then it needs the flexibility that comes with private ownership.

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Want to push back against federal overreach?

Arm yourself with constitutional information Sept. 30 in Colorado! Dave Kopel and I will be offering a one-time public class on the Constitution in Colorado Springs. The program, co-sponsored by the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Independence Institute, is called “A Constitutional Guide to Fighting Federal Overreach; A program for the Grassroots.” The class will run from 2…

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Tenther Radio Episode 13: Downsize DC!

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In this episode of TRX: Tenther Radio, Michael Boldin is joined in studio by new co-host Nick Hankoff. Nick is an activist-extraordinaire around the Southern California grassroots groups, and does some part-time work with the TAC’s outreach team. Michael and Nick are joined by special guest Jim Babka, president of DownsizeDC. Jim says that “In both the Liberty U. and State of Virginia rulings, they’re saying that the courts are the wrong strategy for overturning Obamacare.”

Michael and Nick also talk about a recent poll that shows our message of decentralization and federalism is actually winning, even though the establishment would have you think otherwise. They cover the recent GOP debate, and talk about the fact that the republican candidates, as a general rule, seem to be opposed to eliminating anything, they just claim they want to “fix” it all, but we know that never works.

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The Supreme Court’s processed mind

That most Supreme Court members went to one of the same northeast Ivy League law schools makes a mockery of Jefferson’s America; we have become a nation of world tribes really rather than regions. From the Jeffersonian perspective schools like U. Minnesota, Vanderbilt, U. Texas at Austin, U. Virginia, U. Michigan, all in the top 20 should be included. And Brigham Young, Wake Forest and UNC not far behind. The current composition of the Court illustrates an America afraid of itself and constantly defaulting to the absurd illusion of 19th century New England royal families. This is not authentic self government. It is imitation of perceived gentry.

Are Yale and Harvard better law schools? How then could a Yale Law School grad like Hillary Clinton not have passed the DC law boards directly after graduation? Surely plenty of Howard School of Law grads passed. And why can’t we see the board scores and grades of these public servants? We have reached the edge of the spectrum when a sitting president can nominate his receptionist to be a Supreme Court Justice as George W. Bush did. And to be frank, at least one of these justices seems as dumb as a post. Possibly he speaks for the silent majority as he never opens his mouth.

As my favorite former Black Panther, the most eloquent H. Rap Brown, once said about something else, there are too many people today with natural hair and processed minds. And possible nowhere else in government apparatus are the minds so collectively narrowly and provincially processed as in the Supreme Court.

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