Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quote of the day - On your own

"There is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen."

- Bowers v. Devito (1982) - 7th circuit court of appeals

And of course who can forget Castle Rock v. Gonzalez in 2005, where the Court ruled that Jessica Gonzalez was not entitled to police protection nor was it mandatory for the police to enforce the restraining order she had against her husband.

Two ladies on my blogroll really drove this point home in recent posts. First Jennifer, who said,

"No one heard her scream. No one was there to help her other than herself."

In the case Jennifer links to, the woman who was raped was not alone in some seedy area of town at 2AM nor was she was not out in the woods by herself. She was in a public ladies room. People are conditioned to believe that you're safe in public because someone will come save you. Unfortunately reality is quite different, as the Kitty Genovese tragedy illustrates.

Laura also offers her thoughts on women and self-defense in a post you really should read, saying,

"danger doesn’t just stick to the bad parts of town – it will show up where you least expect it, and usually when no one else can or will help you."

While I'm at it why not recycle another QOTD from Breda way back in July, and I quote,

"Never depend on another person to protect you. You are all you've got."

In the article Breda discussed a woman and her sons were stabbed to death while the police waited outside her door. Men with guns came and still three innocent people ended up dead.

The key point in all these quotes is simple. You are on your own. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety. That's a truism I wish more people, particularly young people, were willing to accept. You have to come to terms with that before you can take proactive steps towards your own personal safety.

Update - Kevin has more on the Bowers v. DeVito case, including a more complete quote. Go read!


Anonymous said...

A-yep, and then there's the granddaddy of 'em all, Warren v. District of Columbia.

Linoge said...

That said, if a person is comfortable with the notion of a disinterested police force not being required to protect them, then I wish them the best of luck, and sincerely wish for them what I do for everyone - that they are never a victim of a crime.

However, I do not ask, I demand that they do not force me to play by their "I want to be a victim" rules - that is a choice all people should be free to make for themselves, whether some folks want us to be able to or not.

Mike W. said...

Linoge - Oh, absolutely agreed. It's regrettable that they'd want to live in a dream world, but as long as they don't restrict my choices that's their choice to make.

Of course that's part of my being a Libertarian. Too many folks just can't abide by "live and let live."

- Erik - Dunno why I didnt think to mention Warren. Ever read the case? The details are gorey.

Anonymous said...

"For the next fourteen hours the women were held captive, raped, robbed, beaten, forced to commit sexual acts upon each other, and made to submit to the sexual demands of Kent and Morse."

I used that very snippet in a column I wrote, as a journalist in another life.

Firehand said...

That's the problem: it's not good enough for them to make THEMSELVES an unarmed possible victim: they demand that EVERYONE ELSE be forced to be one as well.

As to feeling safe in public, I keep remembering "Murphy is a bastard, wherever you are."