Your Family's Security: Who's Responsibility Is It?
By Jennifer Caudell
Situation: You are at home. It’s about 10 o’clock at night and you are getting ready to go to bed. It’s been a long day and you have to get up early to give a presentation at work in the morning. Your kids have been asleep for a couple of hours and everything seems peaceful and routine.
As you walk to your bedroom, you hear a noise coming from the back door. You stop to listen, always wary. Just when you have decided that it was the dog, the noise comes again, louder this time, and then you hear the tinkle of breaking glass. With a sudden cold fear, you realize that someone is breaking into your house.
You run to your kids rooms, grab them out of their beds and yell to your spouse to call the police. They do so and are told to wait, the police are on their way.
The intruders, now inside your home, they begin to assault your family and ransack the house looking for valuables, but you're confident that the police will arrive at any moment and end this nightmare. But the police never arrive. The intruders leave, out the front door this time, leaving you and your family bleeding, scared and violated. And the police never came.
This situation is not as hypothetical as you might think, a situation similar to this did occur in Chicago to Sylvia Galuszynski and her mother. They called the police before the intruders had gained access to the house, but the police arrived almost a half an hour later, after Sylvia and her mother had been beaten and their money and jewelry had been stolen.
When they tried to sue the police for failure to protect, the court sited the statutory law that says that no public entity or employee is liable for failure to provide adequate protection or service or to prevent crimes or to apprehend a criminal. The court said that it is the duty of the police to protect society at large, not to help individual citizens.1
Let’s think about this. Someone is breaking into your house and you call the police, just like we've been told to do, in hopes of someone better equipped than you coming to your defense. And the police arrive thirty minutes later, after everything is over. Or worse yet, they never arrive at all. What do you do?
Given that the police can't or won't protect individual citizens, how do you defend yourself, family and property? Knife? Baseball bat? I have always had issues with the first two. I don’t know how to knife fight and I am a fairly weak person, so the chances of someone grabbing the bat or knife out of my hands and hurting me with it is high. Personally, I would rather have a gun. It’s a long distance weapon and if I’m good with that gun, I can kill the intruder, hopefully, before he ever reaches me or mine.
So if the police acknowledge that they can't protect us, we have to prepare ourselves to defend our families and our property. Can anyone explain why is it so hard for honest citizens to get a gun in Illinois? It takes anywhere from two to six months to get a FOID card. And gun control laws are so strict that you had better be able to prove that you own that gun that you just used to defend yourself and that you have the right to have that gun, never mind that that right is guaranteed by our country's highest law.
Since the police are not legally bound to help someone calling for help, I'll be damned if I'll wait helplessly while someone is attacking my five year old daughter. I personally will not hesitate to defend her with a gun. The only dilemma I'll have is neither moral or ethical, it'll be "Where do I hide the body?"
1From “Dial 911 and Die” by Richard Stevens