RantFever 4

I pontificate but not in the pejorative sense of the word.

Archive of Rant Fever 3, 2, 1, & Beta

Gun Rights in Times of Emergency

by: Justin Mills | on: 2005-09-10 00:00:00
I've avoided the topic of New Orleans residents having their guns taken away because it has been covered by many other bloggers rather effectively.

Today, Glenn Reynolds posted this comment:

It's especially striking to see this at a time when New Orleans-area police have been abandoning their posts, engaging in looting, and trapping refugees in a flooding city at gunpoint. "Rely on the police to protect you" has never seemed like worse advice.

It was never good advice. The concept that many people, even conservatives, fail to grasp is that government employees, including law-enforcement officers, are humans just like us and are subject to the same forces of temptation that the non-government employee is. Employment by a government entity is not a conversion experience, it does not take a sinner and make him a saint. If anything, the presence of authority and power inherent in a government position takes a sinner and makes him a devil.

The founding fathers knew this, and felt passionately about it, which is why our republic was created the way it was. That's especially why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment was created for times just like these when citizens are in trouble and can't rely on their neighbors and their local authorities to behave in a humane manner. In other words, at this moment the 2nd Amendment is more important to those people stranded in New Orleans, than it is to us who remain unaffected by the disaster.

The very people that need the 2nd Amendment the most right now have been betrayed. This is one of the worst travesties in American history, and the press is ignoring it.

Does anybody want to guess what would happen to the people who showed up at my door, demanding to take my firearms?


30dozen 2005-09-12 00:00:00

I wish you had ranted about this sooner. I had no idea this was even an issue, now I have a ton a questions about it. The 1st being How common is it happening that police are attacking civilians? 2nd are there instances where the civilians fight back? 3rd Do we really know the full story or are civilians antagonizing the police, like are the police really in danger, I mean maybe these stories are just one sided. 4th talking about stories what are some stories about this, cause so far I've heard nada. 5th has anyone died from any encounters?
O.k so I could keep going on about it all, but I will let you go. Needless to say, though, I think this should be talked about a little more if it is an issue.

Dubya 2005-09-12 00:00:00

Well, apparently it's not the actual New Orleans police department that trapped refugees inside New Orleans. It was Gretna police that closed a bridge and told refugees to stay in New Orleans at gunpoint. Gretna is a small satellite town of New Orleans.


It'd be like people fleeing Dallas (which is a common occurrence, I understand) being told they can't leave the city by police from Hutchins (of course they're going south on 45, they're trying to get Houston).

Seriously, though, as far as physical attacks on citizens, I haven't heard any reports of that. There have been videos that show New Orleans police officers looting a local Wal-Mart, though.

MSNBC video clip:

And here's an NYTimes article on NO police leaving their posts:


It wasn't my intention to suggest that NOPD officers were physically attacking citizens; my apologies. But their behavior is still disgusting and inhumane.

Other people in the blogosphere are trying to give the NOPD a free pass saying they are stressed out, or whatever. Sorry, but it doesn't work. Wrong is wrong at all times. Indeed, ill behavior should be judged more harshly in times like these because it is more important to our society to keep itself from falling apart at the seams.

The fact of the matter is this: NO mayor Ray Nagin hasn't done anything but fire off strings of expletives on national TV, and the NO police chief can't control his own department. To add insult to injury, people are being stripped of their constitutional rights, which, as I said above, are more important in times of emergency than they are in times of peace.

I honestly don't understand how people can condone a breakdown of human character and human rights in times like these when they are the most important.

30dozen 2005-09-12 00:00:00

I see where your coming from and I agree 100% that it's in times of crises when human character and human rights are most important, but I also believe that people should be given more allowances in crises as well.
People, but not leaders. We elect leaders so when hard times come they can take care of things and if they can't handle the job then I agree we should give them the boot.
But again when it come to normal people or police officers I think the benifit of the doubt is best.

Dubya 2005-09-12 00:00:00

I don't know. I don't think people should get allowances just because life is rough. Stealing TVs from Wal-Mart isn't okay just because you got hit by a hurricane. Neither is rape or murder.

And as far as I'm concerned, the police are supposed to leaders. Their job is to serve and protect, and many communities put severe restrictions on who can and cannot become a police officers precisely because a police officer is an authority figure and thus a de facto leader of the community.

el Seco 2005-09-12 00:00:00

I don't think it's a question of "allowing" people to have guns. Rather, possessing firearms is a right. Indeed, it is a fundamental, constitutionally protected RIGHT. It is a right that is lost only when a person desides to infringe on others' rights. However, inasmuch as average citizens possess and use weapons responsibly and in their own defense, they have a right to it.

30dozne 2005-09-12 00:00:00

O.k. Dubya, I'm a little confused. You seem to be having two different points you are trying to make and I just want to see if I've got you right.
You say quote, "people are being stripped of their constitutional rights," and then you say, "I don't think people should get allowances just because life is rough. Stealing TVs from Wal-Mart isn't okay just because you got hit by a hurricane. Neither is rape or murder."

Are you saying that even though people are breaking the law that they still should be able to keep their constitutional rights? I'm just wondering, in your opinion are the majority of the people breaking the law looting, raping, and killing, and if so why do you think we should let them keep fire arms?
Are you saying that it is the NOPD that are looting and raping, and that in the midst of this they are debating on taking away the people's fire arms?

B/C It seems to me that there are more civilians that are looting and such than police officers. Not that, that is an excuse for the NOPD not to punish the police who are breaking the law, but seriously it might be for the best that the civilians fire arms are taken away if they are causing most of the looting and trouble. If they are not then, by all means, let them keep their guns.

Dubya 2005-09-12 00:00:00

Okay, sorry for the confusion. What I was saying in the original post was that the NOPD was looting and pillaging (to exaggerate a bit) and at the same time people's rights are being trampled on. Yes, you are correct in that more citizens are engaging in unlawful behavior than police officers. But my point was that, at a time when even the local police can't be fully trusted, the rights of Americans are being infringed. So I was offering the example of bad cops as an example of just how bad it's gotten in NO.

Now, you ask: "Are you saying that even though people are breaking the law that they still should be able to keep their constitutional rights?"

My answer is this: a minority of people engaging in unlawful behavior, no matter how extreme, does not condone the infringement of the rights of presumably innocent people. For the government to step in and confiscate all firearms is to engage in nanny-statism that presumes all to be guilty and irresponsible. A constitutional right cannot be stripped away until one has been proven guilty in a court of law.

And the reality of the situation is that the police are not going to be able to disarm the roving gangs of people that are causing the trouble. They're only going to be able to disarm those that are law-abiding citizens. Thus, the only thing the police are going to be able to accomplish is the removal of self-defense measures of innocent civilians that can't rely on the government to defend them (either because they're too busy doing good works or too busy doing bad works). What the NOPD has accomplished here is the creation of a buffet line of victims for the criminals in NO.

30dozen 2005-09-12 00:00:00

That makes sense, thank you Dubya : ) I just really wanted to know what you were meaning.