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Police Are Not Bodyguards

I recently added a post about my effort to obtain a concealed carry permit and received some negative emails. This post is not an attempt to sway you one way or the other about gun ownership. It is a dose of realism about crime and personal safety.

Every woman should be familiar with Warren v. District of Columbia, a lawsuit against the D.C police department and individual officers by several female residents of the District. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the District of Columbia on the grounds that the police have no duty to protect individuals; i.e., police are not bodyguards.

The details of this case are horrific and you can Google all the gory details if you want. To summarize what happened, two men broke into a home where the three women lived and raped one of the women. The other two were in a different area of the home and called police when they heard their roommate screaming. Police did come to the house – twice – knocked on the door and left when no one answered even though one of the woman was on the phone with the dispatcher! The two men subjected all three women to violent attacks for 14-hours.

Not surprisingly, the women sued the police department for negligence. It’s also understandable why the courts ruled in favor the police department. No police department is so large or so wise as to be able to protect every individual in its jurisdiction. The incompetence and just plain laziness of the D. C. police adheres to the motto of too many government workers at all levels: We don’t care, we don’t have to.

This rule of law is especially sad for women who obtain protective orders against husbands and boy friends and are then killed by those men. In one New York city case, the estate of the murdered woman, on behalf of her minor children, sued the police but lost.  It was ironic since New York City at that point forbid anyone from owning a gun, even having it in their home. At the same time, police weren’t able to protect a law abiding citizen from a criminal with a gun. Go figure.

The point for us is you need to get over any silly romantic notions you have that you merely call 911 in an emergency and police arrive to save the day. Even if the police department in your town is top quality, there’s an old saying: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Every individual is responsible for his or her own safety.

Daily Buddy

If you talk to family members or neighbors everyday, you don’t need to read any further (but you’re always welcome to!).

On the other hand, if you live alone and don’t always see or talk to someone each day, you should look into having a daily buddy.

This is someone you call, text or email each day by a certain time. If you miss the time, your buddy has an emergency contact for you and
will alert this contract or call the police and ask for a welfare check.

Some women have a buddy group. The first person up in the morning sends an email or text to the group. From then on, each member replies so everyone knows everyone else is fine.

This is worth doing especially if you have a pet.

It’s also a good idea to carry a next-of-kin or notify-if-emergency card in your purse. Let the authorities know whom to contact if you are injured or killed. Make sure that person knows you have a pet (if that’s the case) and is able to get them from your home.

No one likes to think about this but you owe it to your family, even if that’s just a four-legged one, to do so.

Concealed Carry Permit

I just got my Florida Concealed Weapon License. I took a class, passed a written test, got an acceptable score shooting targets and submitted my application package to the state. Now I can legally carry a concealed weapon – if I want.

I’m not planning on doing anything dangerous and I fully intend to avoid all high-crime areas. Unfortunately, the latter is becoming all of the United States. Who could forget the 2007 horrible home invasion and murder of a Connecticut doctor’s wife and two daughters by two parolees? The doctor’s family lived in a beautiful home in one of the wealthiest counties on the East Coast. Crime can happen anywhere.

I want to be able to protect myself (and my dog) in case someone tries to break in my house. I want to carry a gun in my car if I make a long trip or if I go out at night. Granted, most states let you do both without needing a permit. I felt, however, that getting the permit would ensure I both knew the laws of my state and could actually handle the gun. Now it’s up to me to practice periodically.

Like it or not, as we age we become more attractive as targets to muggers and carjackers. A gray-haired woman in some malls might as well be wearing a sign – Rob Me. I don’t want to be a victim.

As far anyone who believes the old bar stories about having a gun being more dangerous than not having one , you should read the 2014 report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which was commissioned by President Obama.

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of  attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” the CDC study, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” states.

If you haven’t heard about this report until now, don’t be surprised. The results weren’t what the Obama administration wanted and the national news media does not report positive stories about gun ownership. Whether you like the report’s conclusion or not, you should be pleased the CDC, unlike the IRS, has not been corrupted by politics and will report facts as they are.

You can decide how you want to protect yourself and your choice may be to avoid weapons. For me, I’m looking for a holster for my Glock.