The government can't protect, part 1,295
From Oregon comes this remarkable story.
Man chase a woman down in his vehicle, she heads her car toward the police headquarters. She makes it, he rams her car, gets out with a rifle, shoots her and himself before police can respond. (It's a small department, and from the story it sounds as if everyone was out on patrol with only the police chief in the HQ, and he's up on the second floor. When I've gone down to the sheriff's substation for my area, there are plenty of parked squadcars, but if you need to talk to a deputy they have to call one back from patrol. They're stretched thin, so the substation is probably the least-policed location around here).
It’s not just the small departments. I live in Tacoma Washington and listen to the police on the scanner when I get home from work in the evening. When the dispatcher announces a “call pending” that means there is a call that hasn’t been assigned to an officer, either because there are no officers available or because there are not enough officers to handle the call. (For example, a physical domestic call requires at least two officers, so if there were only one available; they would have to hold the call until another became available.) Now, when it gets scary is when they have important calls pending, like a strong-arm or armed robbery of a citizen. The bad guy got away, so now the victim, already hurt and humiliated, has to stand around and wait for the police to come and take a report. This happens more often than I’m comfortable with. I worry about what will happen if there is a catastrophe of some sort, say a natural disaster or terrorist attack. The whiners who say we should rely on the government have very short memories and are unaware of the fragility of ‘order’ that we enjoy every day.
Posted by: Mainsail (Chris) at April 30, 2008 11:35 AM
What's wrong with this picture?
"After the incident unfolded, police said they received calls from witnesses saying they saw a gray pickup truck ramming a black SUV near Highway 43 about 30 minutes before the shooting."
West Linn Police spokesperson Neil Hennelly said that information was reported after seeing news reports of the shooting."
So these folks see the truck ramming the SUV on the highway and NObody bothers to call the police about it? Can't get involved, nope, not me. Geez.
Which then leads to this gem:
"Hennelly reminded that 'it is imperative that people call 9-1-1 immediately if they witness suspicious or violent behavior.'"
Well, yeah, I guess in this case perhaps it might have helped. But in all likelihood, it would have just gotten the responding cop shot before the shooter killed his ex-wife. That guy was on a mission to kill, apparently.
Posted by: Bill at April 30, 2008 12:48 PM
Self defense is a personal responsibility, but it is not guaranteed. Even if Lisa McMurtry had been armed, her husband had a rifle and was a dedicated opponent. There is no sanctuary in that situation. I afraid that even if she would have stumbled across a cop, her husband would have killed her anyway, and there's a good chance he would have killed the cop, too.
There are bad people out there. If they want to kill you, you are in trouble from the moment they decide to do so. Disarming law abiding citizens empowers the bad guys; arming us EQUALS the field, but does not necessarily give us the advantage. It's a tragic story that may not have been preventable.
Posted by: Jim D. at April 30, 2008 12:50 PM
Carrying a firearm isn't about having the advantage. It is about having capability. The capability of fighting back. No gun, you basically cower until you're shot. Have gun, you can disrupt the attacker and raise the cost to him for continuing. Some will continue anyway until you render them inert, i.e. wound or kill. However, most attackers are not brave and will readily retreat or surrender if confronted. This includes crazy spouses. If heighten their sense of mortality, they will usually back off their immediate attack and wait for a less hazardous time. A person with a gun can only stop or alter the immediate threat to life. The law requires that everything else be left to the legal system and law enforcement even if they prove inadequate.
Posted by: JKB at April 30, 2008 01:29 PM