State Sen. Greg Evers, Crestview, champion of Senate Bill 234, is the latest Florida legislator to have mortgaged his thought processes to the National Rifle Association. His bill would allow for "open carry" of guns in Florida, even on college campuses. The esteemed senator is callous in his disregard for the potential damage to the state, on five counts:
Open carry would undermine the quality of education at colleges and universities. The first order of business, particularly for out-of-state students and professors, would be courses on how to handle students brandishing guns. I could see Nobel laureates lining up to teach in Florida's "have gun, will pretend to learn" universities in short order.
Open-carry courses soon would replace courses in science, engineering, medicine and the humanities. And while countries such as China and India forge ahead, catch up to us, and indeed surpass us in fields such as engineering, the sciences and mathematics, we will counter them by brandishing our firearms at them from our seats of higher learning.
Good luck attracting businesses. Most enterprises at the cutting edge of technology tend to eschew the potential for gun violence. This does not include the higher insurance, recruiting and retaining costs that would arise.
As of 2008, there were about 700,000 police officers across the United States in the field (1). There are approximately 310,000,000 residents of the US (2). If you assume three shifts, and 10% are out sick, on vacation, in court, in training, or desk duty for one reason or another, that means that there is one officer for every 1476 people.
Assuming that "your" officer isn't busy with one of the other 1475 people, average response time from 911 to flashing lights is about nine minutes nationwide, but if you live in a city like Detroit, the average is 24 minutes (3); Chicago often has times as high as 26 minutes (4); in New York, ten minutes in 1999 (5). According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, most violent crime is perpetrated in under eight minutes. (6)
With a ratio like that, and response times like those, it's a practical necessity that the person most responsible for your safety is you.
But what the heck, let's assume we had one patrol officer per person, shadowing you at all times. He or she would be obligated to protect you from harm, right? After all, the slogan on the side of the car says "to protect and serve". Right?? RIGHT??? No, not really.
In multiple states, at the local, state, and federal level, police have not been held accountable for failing to protect individuals. Let's examine some of the cases.
Plaintiff was harassed by a rejected suitor, who claimed he would kill or seriously injure her if she dated someone else. Plaintiff repeatedly asked for police protection and was ignored. After the news of her engagement, the plaintiff was again threatened and called the police to no avail. The next day, a thug, sent by the rejected suitor, partially blinded the plaintiff and disfigured her face.
Rule of Law and Holding
The municipality does not have a duty to provide police protection to an individual. It has a duty to the public as a whole, but no one in particular.
Keane v. Chicago, 98 Ill. App.2d 460, 240 N.E.2d 321 (1st Dist. 1968)
Silver v. Minneapolis, 170 N.W.2d 206 (Minn. 1969)
Hartzler v. City of San Jose, 46 Cal. App.3d 6 (1st Dist. 1975).
The Court, however, does not agree that defendants owed a specific legal duty to plaintiffs with respect to the allegations made in the amended complaint for the reason that the District of Columbia appears to follow the well established rule that official police personnel and the government employing them are not generally liable to victims of criminal acts for failure to provide adequate police protection. This uniformly accepted rule rests upon the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.
During divorce proceedings, Jessica Gonzales, a resident of Castle Rock, Colorado, obtained a restraining order against her husband on June 4, 1999, requiring him to remain at least 100 yards from her and their three daughters except during specified visitation time. On June 22, at approximately 5:15 pm, her husband took possession of the three children in violation of the order. Gonzales called the police at approximately 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 10:10 pm, and 12:15 am on June 23, and visited the police station in person at 12:40 am on June 23, 1999. However, the police took no action, despite the husband's having called Gonzales prior to her second call to the police and informing her that he had the children with him at an amusement park in Denver, Colorado. At approximately 3:20 am on June 23, 1999, the husband appeared at the Castle Rock police station and instigated a fatal shoot-out with the police. A search of his vehicle revealed the corpses of the three daughters, whom the husband had killed prior to his arrival. ... The Court's majority opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia held that enforcement of the restraining order was not mandatory under Colorado law; were a mandate for enforcement to exist, it would not create an individual right to enforcement that could be considered a protected entitlement under the precedent of Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth; and even if there were a protected individual entitlement to enforcement of a restraining order, such entitlement would have no monetary value and hence would not count as property for the Due Process Clause.
Justice David Souter wrote a concurring opinion, using the reasoning that enforcement of a restraining order is a process, not the interest protected by the process, and that there is not due process protection for processes.
3. If that letter writer is a professor, I'd think he'd be able to count to 5
And I'm not sure why he thinks that universities would start teaching courses on open-carry, that assertion is just bizarre.
Those flaws aside, it does seem that his complaints could be addressed by shall-issue concealed carry, without financial barriers or other impediments. People would not be frightened by exposed firearms, the intimidation factor would go away (and if it did arise, the charge of brandishing/threatening would be easy to make), and everyone could be assured that everyone legally carrying in public had successfully completed training...
26. There are posters in all the forums here whose purpose is only to spam and troll
However, the discussion, and dismantling, of that spam and troll-dribble can be interesting and informative - remember, every thread gets more readers than posters and thoughtful comments have more impact than the empty yammering (which is easy to glide right past without using the ignore feature, IME)...
35. You're absolutely right - RKBA issues are important, and it's a shame that DUers might
avoid this forum. But for those that do come in, it's informative to see fact-free, groundless anti-gun spam dismantled so regularly - discussion and education (even if one-sided) is valuable, so I for one appreciate your contributions...
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"Open-carry courses soon would replace courses in science, engineering, medicine and the humanities."
They forgot to add the part where 5 month old babies will open carry to daycare. Dogs will wear cute little holsters for their guns and that drunks rapists and murderers will go get CCWs and all the drug dealers will get CCWs. In fact 200 million CCW holders murdered their whole families last year and CCW will make hair grow on your palms.
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