Here is an interesting case that has me all worked up. This case was brought to my attention by foxnews.com:
“By a vote of 7-to-2, the Supreme Court ruled that Gonzales has no right to sue her local police department for failing to protect her and her children from her estranged husband.”
Those are the words of foxnews.com, and put simply what is said by the Supreme Court:
“The issue presented to us is much narrower than is suggested by the far-ranging arguments of the parties and their amici. Neither the tragic facts of the case, nor the importance of according proper deference to law enforcement professionals, should divert our attention from that issue. That issue is whether the restraining order entered by the Colorado trial court on June 4, 1999, created a "property" interest that is protected from arbitrary deprivation by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
It is perfectly clear, on the one hand, that neither the Federal Constitution itself, nor any federal statute, granted respondent or her children any individual entitlement to police protection. See DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dept. of Social Servs., 489 U. S. 189 (1989). Nor, I assume, does any Colorado statute create any such entitlement for the ordinary citizen.”
Supreme Court of the United States No. 04-278
TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK, COLORADO, PETITIONER v. JESSICA GONZALES, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT BEST FRIEND OF HER DECEASED MINOR CHILDREN, REBECCA GONZALES, KATHERYN GONZALES, AND LESLIE GONZALES
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT
As we can see here, the Supreme Court of the United States has just upheld that the Government has no legal responsibility to protect you from others. What? So who is supposed to protect me from other people? If it’s not the governments responsibility, surely that would indicate that only I am responsible for my safety. Yet, in this country, self defense has become more volatile than ever.
Still, I dove further into this strange decision to look deeper at the precedence that has led up to this, in my opinion, amazing ruling. I looked at the above referenced DeShaney v. Winnebage, Et. Al. to learn more.
“A State's failure to protect an individual against private violence generally does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause, because the Clause imposes no duty on the State to provide members of the general public with adequate protective services. The Clause is phrased as a limitation on the State's power to act, not as a guarantee of certain minimal levels of safety and security; while it forbids the State itself to deprive individuals of life, liberty, and property without due process of law, its language cannot fairly be read to impose an affirmative obligation on the State to ensure that those interests do not come to harm through other means.”
Deshaney v. Winnebago Cty. Soc. Servs. Dept., 489 U.S. 189 (1989)
DESHANEY, A MINOR, BY HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, ET AL. v. WINNEBAGO COUNTY
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT
It is written clearly here what I think is a major concern for all Americans. Due Process is a very important right that we have to protect us from oppression or segregation. But realize what this decision is saying. The Clause is written ONLY to prevent the GOVERNMENT from infringing upon your rights. This is a most important distinction between the Government protecting your rights on your behalf, and the Government insuring that you have the legal right to not have the Government oppress your rights. But it does not mean the government has to protect that right FOR you. The difference is monumental. At the same time, even if they know thee is a risk for you, they are under no obligation to act by the law.
One good thing is that many people in government and agencies with the government believe they have a moral obligation to protect the citizens. While this means that you may not suffer the fate of the woman in the first court case I mentioned, it doesn’t mean that it will never happen. That and in a country that prides itself on being able to live your own life as you see fit, it seem like a poor choice to let your safety fall on a few “moral” individuals. Of course the flip side is that such ‘moral’ persons may also be specifically prohibited from helping you, even if they want to.
I believe that these cases above are very interesting and I will be doing more research to better understand this development. I will also be ruminating on my opinions of self defense and the interventions against it.