I am going to say something you won’t believe, yet is 100% factual. I am also almost sure it will piss you off.
Concerning the shooting at the Parkland School shooting on February 14th, the Broward County Deputies did everything they were legally required to do.
I can see your brow furrow and the confusion run rampant across your face. “How can you say that? They stood outside while people were being killed!!!”
Before I address that, I need to ask you, what is the root term to describe police officers, sheriff’s deputies and so on? Law Enforcement Officers. What do LEO’s do by their very job description? (Hint: it’s in the term we just used) They enforce the law. Upon the complaint of a citizen or their own observation that a crime has been committed, they investigate the event, gather evidence, arrest those they believe committed the act and present the suspect and the evidence to the prosecutors. That is the legal limits of their job.
So when someone called in, “There’s a man with a gun at Parkland High School, he’s shooting everybody! HELP!!” The police/deputies arrive at the scene and found that a person who was not authorized to have a weapon on the school campus had gotten onto the campus with a firearm. That person then repeatedly discharged said weapon which resulted in the death of 27 people and the wounding of 15 more. The LEO’s then conducted an investigation, gathered evidence, then conducted a search which resulted in the capture of the suspect. That person is now in confinement awaiting the conclusion of the investigation and the preferment of criminal charges.
In other words, when they were told someone broke the law, determined that the law had indeed been broken, gathered evidence to determine who that person is and what exactly they had done, and lastly they found the person and brought him to justice.
“But they stood outside while people were being killed!!!” And.......? As I have repeatedly stated, the job of the police is not to protect individual people, it is to enforce the law. You and you alone are responsible for your personal safety. I fully expect for you not to believe me, so here is the SCOTUS ruling: South V. Maryland (1856). The sad news will come hard to any family who attempts to sue the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for failure to engage the shooter. Every lawyer will sadly inform them they don’t have a legal leg to stand on.
Now that I have described the legal extent of their duties, what is the extent of their moral, ethical and human duties to those in the school? Undoubtedly to rush in, singly or as a team, find, engage and stop the shooter, even at the expense of their own lives. Those duties apply to LEO and legally armed citizen alike.
As I write this, the fact has been released that over 60 tips were given to the FBI and local law enforcement agencies that, “This guy is going to shoot up a school, and soon.” Frankly, it doesn’t matter if the police had received 600 or even 6,000 tips, they all would have ended the same: The police will say, “He didn’t break a law, there is nothing we can do until he does.”
Bob can tell Joe, “I’m going to be the next school shooter.” Joe tells the police what Bob said. This is called hearsay and is not admissible in court. Joe can’t go into court, and testify that’s what Bob said. If the police go to Bob and say, “I heard Joe said you told him you are going to be the next school shooter” and Bob agrees to that statement, then the police can arrest him for something like “making terrorist threats.” If Bob posted a video of him saying that or wrote about it online, the police can see it and use that to arrest Bob. If Bob says, “I have no idea what you’re talking about” or doesn’t answer at all, the police can do nothing.
You really, really, really want this system in place. Because if the police can take away Bob’s firearms, put him in jail or a mental institution indefinitely “for evaluation” just because Joe told the police Bob said that without other evidence, guess what you have? That’s right! A POLICE STATE. In the former Soviet Union, dissidents (anyone who spoke out against Communism or the government) were declared to be mentally ill (by the law and doctors employed by the government) and ended up in mental hospitals or “reeducation camps” for however long as the government wanted to hold them. After all, the Soviet Union was paradise on Earth! You must be crazy to not want to live there, right?
This is why you don’t want any agency of the government to summarily confiscate you or your possessions without first going through an extended and well-documented process involving neutral third parties (i.e., Judges). If you allow the police on scene to immediately take your guns (or anything else) because of whatever conditions or reasons, no matter how strict that list is, it won’t be long before those conditions will be relaxed and/or expanded until they can do it anytime, anywhere.
You do not want that, trust me.