Equality under the law, but pragmatically....?


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JBusch8899
August 11, 2006, 07:10 PM
After yet another discussion with thy gun control neighbor, he reminded me that his tax dollars guaranteed police protection of his rights.

(Yeah I know, but) I had to inform him of all the court decisions that decided that the police don't have an obligation to protect the individual, only the public.

He then attempted the argument of "Equal protection under the law". Not as if criminals believe in the law, not to mention the concept of "equal protection"....That is, unless they get caught themselves.

The law might guarantee equal protection under the law, but the only rights one may have, are the ones that one can enforce. To that end, does anyone remember hearing one (or more) of the following phrases?

“Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.”

“God created men. Samuel Colt made them equal.”

“God didn’t make all men equal, Sam Colt did.”

“God made man equal. Colonel Colt made some more equal than others.”

“God made every man different; Sam Colt made them equal.”

***Does anyone else recall Dr. Condoleeza Rice's interview in 2001?

........With the bombings came marauding groups of armed white vigilantes called “nightriders” who drove through black neighbourhoods shooting and starting fires. John Rice and his neighbours guarded the streets at night with shotguns.

The memory of her father out on patrol lies behind Rice’s opposition to gun control today. Had those guns been registered, she argues, Bull Connor would have had a legal right to take them away, thereby removing one of the black community’s only means of defense. “I have a sort of pure second amendment view of the right to bear arms,” she said in 2001.........

I haven't convinced my neighbor yet, but he's fast running out of arguments.

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Technosavant
August 11, 2006, 07:23 PM
There ISN'T equal protection under the law. With certain crimes having stiffer penalties, depending on who the victim happened to be, equal protection has gone the way of the dodo.

Besides, that argument feeds the "shall not be infringed" side- if the Constitution says it's so, then it SHOULD be so. At no point, however, does the government's responsibility to secure order mean that citizens need not ensure their own order. The existence of police doesn't mean locking your doors is unnecessary.

entropy
August 11, 2006, 09:17 PM
A sheep is a sheepdog who hasn't been assaulted yet....:rolleyes:

roscoe
August 11, 2006, 11:30 PM
I don't think he really knows what 'equal protection under the law' means.

Logan5
August 12, 2006, 01:38 AM
The applicability of the Equal Protection clause is a question of law which a judge will decide in court, after the part where you were or were not killed. It's got relatively little to do with anything in your argument with your friend.

the pistolero
August 12, 2006, 07:23 AM
"Equal protection under the law"

Ask your neighbor how this theoretical "equal protection under the law" is going to keep him alive as some mutant breaks into his house at 2:30 in the morning, and just for grins, assume this mutant is armed with nothing more than a crowbar. I realize there are many people like your neighbor who have these misconceptions about police being responsible for their individual safety and who take false comfort in theories like "equal protection," but I will never understand why some of them are so dead-set against the rest of us taking a more proactive approach, with the technology available to us as (relatively) free men and women, to ensure our safety and that of our loved ones. :cuss:

Jim Watson
August 12, 2006, 07:52 AM
These days "equal protection under the law" means that if you are arrested or sued, you have the right to pay a lawyer to present your side in court.

The Supreme Court has ruled that you do not have a right to police protection of your safety. They said that the police owe a general duty to the community, not to individuals no matter how threatened.

antsi
August 12, 2006, 08:21 AM
----quote-----------
The Supreme Court has ruled that you do not have a right to police protection of your safety. They said that the police owe a general duty to the community, not to individuals no matter how threatened.
--------------------

Even if this were not so, there is a practical matter to consider.

Let's say you live in a community with the fastest 911 response time in America - the police will get to your house in five minutes. That's enough time for a criminal to kill you at least five or ten times.

Even if the Supreme Court ruled the other way, that the police do have an obligation to protect you, it isn't wise to expect the police to do things that are physically impossible, such as being omnipresent.

another okie
August 12, 2006, 11:23 AM
I think the word "duty" misleads people sometimes.

What the Supreme Court meant was that if the police don't protect you, you can't sue them and recover damages in court. A "duty" in law is something you can be sued for not doing. Police do not have a common-law duty to protect, but the failure to protect for racial or religious reasons may result in liablity under the 14th Amendment. And a state can have a contrary law if they want, that is, a law providing that you can sue if you lose property or are injured due to failure to protect.

Police departments can have a code of conduct for their officers that requires a higher standard - usually something like discipline for cowardice.

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