[Rushtalk] Why Keep a Govt That's Failing Us?

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Tue Aug 2 07:45:46 MDT 2022

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

The failure of law enforcement at all levels — local, state and federal
— to protect 19 children who were slaughtered by a madman in Uvalde,
Texas, in May has raised serious questions about the role of police in
our once-free society.

Admittedly, the Uvalde case was extreme, as 376 armed police officers
did little or nothing to stop the slaughter perpetrated by one madman.
There was no command and control; the decisions made on the scene were
chaotic and farcical; and the essence of what law enforcement did was to
shield itself from harm, rather than stop the harm.

The killer in Uvalde began his rampage by shooting randomly at the
school building from a parking lot across the street as he walked toward
the school. He apparently entered through a door that officials presumed
was locked. It wasn't.

The police themselves waited 44 minutes to obtain a key to this unlocked
door, which none of them even tried to open. The commanding officer at
the scene was not in electronic communication with his team, his
dispatcher or the 24 other police agencies present.

The Texas Legislature condemned the police response; and now heartbroken
parents are left without a remedy. This is so because the U.S. Supreme
Court has consistently ruled that the government and its agents have no
duty to interfere with crimes that are in progress and no general duty
to protect innocents.

Under this line of cases, collectively called the DeShaney doctrine, the
police can physically observe a bank robbery, a rape or a murder, and
lawfully do nothing.

Joshua DeShaney was a 4-year-old boy who had been repeatedly abused and
irreparably brain damaged by his own father whose behavior was
well-known to the local government. When the mother sued the government
for failure to protect Joshua, the Supreme Court ruled that the
government enjoys the common law privilege of allocating its resources
with impunity.

Stated differently, the government decides whom it will protect and whom
it will let be. Not surprisingly, the DeShaney doctrine compels the
government only to protect itself and those it has confined.

There is nothing in the Constitution that compels the DeShaney doctrine.
It is just big government protecting itself. There are many selfless
police throughout the country who would courageously interfere to stop
violent crime because they have the ability to stop it and because it is
always right to save innocent human life.

In Texas, where it is lawful for anyone over 18 to purchase and openly
carry a handgun, it is unlawful to carry one in a school. Local school
officials can request exemptions from this law from state officials, and
those exemptions have been given to all 137 Texas school districts that
requested them.

Of course, in none of the districts where teachers and staff are armed
have there been any killings.

Just this week, in Greenwood, Indiana, before the police arrived, a
22-year-old civilian shot and killed a shooter who had begun a killing
rampage in a shopping mall. Had Indiana not recognized the right to
carry a firearm, we might have had another Uvalde or Buffalo, New York,
slaughter on our hands.

The problem here is too much government, a Progressive goal going back
to the beginnings of the Nanny State 125 years ago, when cities and
towns started government monopolies on law enforcement and schools, and
taxed everyone in their jurisdictions for the so-called services these
entities provided, whether the taxpayer received the services or not.

Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy like Uvalde before folks recognize
that America is no longer a free country.

In a free country, the government needs permission to do everything. In
America today, we all need the government's permission to do anything,
even to defend ourselves. Ayn Rand called this an inversion.

Ludwig von Mises famously described government as the negation of
liberty, and Murray Rothbard called it the monopoly of force in a given
geographic area with no presumption of moral propriety. Government has
no competition; it has guaranteed customers who must pay its bills; and
it has made itself immune from the consequences of its own failures.

Why do we give cops a badge and a gun and unchecked authority to
restrain our free movements and then immunize them from their own
failure to do what is expected?

The police are at the fulcrum of the clash between order and liberty.
Liberty is natural to humanity. Order is imposed by the tyranny of the

Imagine that Uvalde had no police force and a group of parents hired
private police to protect their kids at school. Would we even be having
this conversation? Of course not.

Yet, if the private police failed to protect the children, wouldn't they
be fired and sued?

The same government mentality — pay whatever we demand and accept
whatever we give — wants to strip us of our right to self-defense and
leave us defenseless. That is the Progressive dream — an egalitarian
society where the government takes from each person according to our
abilities and gives to others whatever it decides they need, and we are
all dependent upon it.

Because most folks prefer the illusion of safety to the sweet fruits of
liberty, the government has successfully stolen freedom and given the
impression that only it knows how to use force for beneficial purposes.
Uvalde shattered that illusion.

What do we do about this?

Thomas Jefferson argued that no government is moral without the consent
of the governed, and all government needs the actual personal consent of
the governed once in every generation.

Without consent, the government has no right to negate freedom. Even
with consent, if the government fails to do what we have hired it to do,
if it impairs liberty and permits others to take life, liberty or
property, it should be altered or abolished.

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, a graduate of Princeton University and the
University of Notre Dame Law School, was the youngest life-tenured
Superior Court judge in the history of New Jersey. He is the author of
five books on the U.S. Constitution. Read Judge Andrew P. Napolitano's
Reports — More Here.

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