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  • Writer's pictureBrad Parker

Self-Defense in a Collapsing Society

Updated: May 9

We are on our own for self-defense and personal protection.

criminal with a knife causes us to think about self-defense in a collapsing society.
How can we defend ourselves if the police will not do it?

For most of us, we have grown up to rely on our local and state/provincial police agencies to protect us. We've been taught:

  • Call the police and let them take care of it.

  • Be a good witness so police can catch the criminals.

  • No one should take the law into their own hands.

We agree with all three of those statements. Until we can't.

If the criminals are actually pursued and caught:

  • There is less of a chance they will be charged.

  • If they are charged, there is less of a chance they will be prosecuted.

  • If they are prosecuted, there is less of a chance they will be prosecuted for the full crime instead of settling for a plea deal to a lesser charge.

  • If prosecuted, there is less of a chance they will receive a meaningful sentence.

  • If receiving a meaningful sentence, there is less of a chance they will have to serve the sentence.

The result is there is less of an incentive for criminals to not be criminals. The Police are Not Responsible for Our Safety The kicker that negates all of the urging for us to call and wait for the police is the legal principle that law enforcement (and the system) is not responsible for our safety. Yes, let's call 911 or 999 for emergency response, but don't count on any helpful response in time to truly make a difference. This is a hot topic at the time of this writing with the discussion surrounding the actions/non-actions of the local police to the mass murder at a school in Uvalde, Texas. Law enforcement set up a perimeter to contain the shooter, but did not actively move to stop the ongoing murder of children in the school. For an hour. Yet, police officers actively stopped parents from acting to save their children. Of all places, this happened in Texas? (The one bright spot is the tactical dad who grabbed a shotgun from his barber and rushed in to save his daughter and wife.) There was political blowback on the local police chief who was fired, and the entire Uvalde police force was suspended four months after the attack, but otherwise nothing has been done legally regarding the non-actions of the officers.

As an addition kick in the gut for parents of the school children, it looks as if the disgraced police chief could get rehired. That's because the U.S. Courts have repeatedly -- repeatedly -- found that police have no duty to any one of us:

  1. Warren v. District of Columbia. A case of three women and a child who endured 14 hours of torture at the hands of two intruders. They called police repeatedly. Judge Hannon based his decision in No. 79-6 on "the fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists. Holding that no special relationship existed between the police and appellants in No. 79-6, Judge Hannon concluded that no specific legal duty existed.

  2. Castle Rock v. Gonzales. A woman called the police numerous times about her ex-husband taking her three children in violation of an existing restraining order. The father subsequently murdered the children. The court found Colorado law has not created a personal entitlement to enforcement of restraining orders. It does not appear that state law truly made such enforcement mandatory.

  3. DeShaney v. Winnebago County. DeShaney was a child who was being beaten by his father. The county department of social services, and several of its social workers, received complaints about the abuse and beatings. They did not remove the child from his father's custody. The father finally beat the child so severely that he suffered permanent brain damage. The court found the 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 court's bottom line: Don't blame us. We're not responsible for the safety of you or your children. Related: Florida School Had No Duty to Warn Parents of Deadly Student We must act as it no one is coming to help us. We are on your own. What Can We Do Now for Our Self-Defense? 1. Accept that we are in a new and dire social and cultural situation. It's going to get worse before it gets better. 2. Stop and become more aware of your surrounding environment and the environments in which you live, work, and transition through. Take a deep breath and look up. Take out your earbuds. Get a baseline of what normal looks like. Then look for the abnormal behaviors of others. 3. Get First Aid training. At the minimum, seek out the Red Cross training for First Aid and CPR. 4. Get in shape. Strong people are a visual deterrent to criminals. Strong people perform better under stress. Strong people have the physical abilities to fight better. 5. Get training in hand-to-hand defense. Practice. Practice. Learn to fight. Seriously. This will also help you in #4 above. 6. Get training in armed self-defense. At the minimal level, get your concealed carry permit or license as dictated by your state. Plan on facing multiple attackers. At close range. And they have weapons. 7. Take responsibility for the protection of yourself and your family.​

8. Start by defining your self-defense mission.

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