It was not very many years ago that the common refrain echoed by the media after any self defense shooting was that the police advise against “taking the law into your own hands” along with the obligatory “leave it to the professionals.” It’s hard to know how much of this reflected actual police attitudes, and how much was what the media wished to portray as police attitudes, but that was conventional wisdom. Over the last two decades, however, that stance has changed. Now, much more often, we hear comments like, “homeowners have a right to defend themselves”; “you will have to protect yourself and your family”; and “get training so that you can do the right thing” . . .
There was a shooting incident this week during a home invasion in little Centuria, Wisconsin, not far from the Minnesota border. An article on the defensive gun use was titled, “Law enforcement pushes self-defense education for gun owners”.
Eau Claire police officer Kyle Roder says law enforcement is working to make sure people are educated when it comes to self-defense.
“We think people understand the law and know their rights, however, we are very diligent in making sure that they use the proper precautions so as long as we have a public who understands that and is safe, we don’t have this issue,” says Roder.
In the incident, an intruder kicked in a home owner’s door. The resident was on the way to the door, armed with a handgun when the intruder gained entrance. The attacker, Derek Amoroso, was shot in the groin after attacking the resident.
While the benefits of an armed population have long been understood in most rural American communities, urban centers are starting to get the message, too from big city police chiefs like Detroit’s Chief James Craig and urban county Sheriff’s such as Milwaukee County’s Sheriff David Clarke.
The Chippewa County District Attorney said:
“An individual has the right, under the Castle Doctrine to defend their home. You are presumed to act in defense under the new Castle Doctrine law if someone is breaking into your home, so whatever weapon you use to protect yourself with, you’re presumed to be acting in self-defense,” says Gibbs.
“Always call the authorities and cooperate with the authorities and use deadly force as a last resort,” says Gibbs.
What we are seeing is the climate about an armed population changing. Specifically and most importantly, police attitudes are changing, or perhaps being allowed to be expressed, in support of an armed population. Rural areas have commonly had this synergy, and have had far lower crime rates than urban centers.
Armed Americans and police are natural allies and complement each other. Law abiding people support law and order and peaceful resolution of disputes. It is those who wish radical “change” at any price, who support the overthrow of Constitutional law and lawless rioting in response to legal outcomes that they disapprove of. Police benefit greatly from an armed population that backs them up, and acts as their eyes and ears.
The true “first responders” are armed Americans, and their job should be to hold out until the police arrive. That is one reason criminals tend to flee. They know that armed backup, in the form of police, is usually on the way. Police are part of the criminal justice system that arrests and processes the criminals after the fact. They may not be good at preventing crimes at the scene, but you have to have a way to process criminals after they are apprehended.
In rural America, this complementary nature of police and armed Americans has a long tradition, and is growing stronger. I predict that more and more urban areas will come to see these benefits and will encourage this development. An early indicator to watch would be the police encouraging and/or offering classes in the use of deadly force to civilians.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.