Surely you have all heard that after Bloomberg’s failure to affect policy with his formation of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Bloomberg abandoned the project and took his anti-gun agenda to the masses when he formed Everytown. MAIG had two main problems. First, too many mayors finally woke up and realized the group had nothing to do with illegal guns. Instead, it was all about restricting legal guns.
As a result, the group collapsed when members started denouncing it as a front for gun control. Second, multiple high-profile members were arrested for drug and alcohol crimes, theft, domestic abuse, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, sexual assault upon children, child porn, accepting bribes, extortion, interfering with a murder investigation, corruption tax evasion—and let’s not forget gun crimes of course. As it turns out, if you want a group of spokespeople, starting your pool with politicians may not be your wisest choice. After his years in office, you would think Bloomberg would have realized that.
On a cautionary note: videos on YouTube can yield significant monetary returns through ads. I would caution Cheaper Than Dirt!’s readers about clicking on ads and unintentionally funding Bloomberg’s anti-gun agenda.
Well, $50 million and a new group of activists hasn’t fared much better. Although Bloomberg funded Everytown with an initial pledge of $50 million; its latest campaign has done more to show why women should own and know how to use a gun to prevent being a victim and becoming injured or killed. The fear-mongering ad begins with a mother and child home alone. The ex-husband is heard beating on the door and the defenseless woman dutifully dials 9-1-1… and waits. The woman pleads with the operator while explaining she has a restraining order against her ex.
Sadly, and suddenly, she comes to the realization that a “piece of paper” was insufficient to prevent the man from busting through the door and grabbing the child. The mother engages in a futile struggle with the man who produces a handgun. As the screen fades to black, a single gunshot can be heard.
Inside the Message
Everytown’s agenda is a bit hard to decipher. Should women allow their children to be abducted by deranged lunatics? Perhaps women should understand their feebleness and dutifully await a response from 911 like a good victim. After all, she could always call back and perhaps she would at least be safe—or not. Even if the gun were eliminated from the scenario, someone breaking through a locked door, thus proving an unwillingness to comply with a lawful restraining order is more than enough to suggest a clear and present danger to the mother and child. How could any parent standby and not become involved in such a situation?
Mottos such “protect and serve” are slogans, not legal mandates.
In actuality, the ad had a dual purpose. Its release was designed to coincide with a congressional hearing aimed at expanding federal firearm prohibitions pertaining to misdemeanor convictions and restraining orders. While Everytown hoped to spotlight the issue and incite public outrage to influence policy, de facto the ad demonstrated the need for women to know how to defend herself and her family. It also begs the question, what if the wolf at the door had not been an ex-husband, but instead a drug-fueled child molester? Legally, the ad fails as well. If the man was in fact the ex-husband (he does yell while pounding on the door, “This is my house!”) and already has a restraining order against him as she indicates to the 911 operator, the protection order would likely prohibit him from possessing a firearm in the first place. Once he made the effort to abandon the law, break the order and illegally enter the home to kidnap a child (even a parental abduction), he has proven that no law would have deterred him. The bang! at the end alludes to the fact that the man is willing to commit the highest crimes in our nation—murder and kidnapping—and a 911 response will likely not come fast enough to prevent a crime.
A Duty to Protect?
It is hard to imagine any of the viewers (thinking viewers) could come away with any message beyond an understanding that the vast majority of police are well intended and willing to put their personal safety at risk. However, sadly they cannot respond in time to prevent all such events, perhaps not even a majority. Regardless of response time, it is important to understand the courts have ruled the police do not have a duty to protect you (mottos such “protect and serve” are slogans, not legal mandates). There are several lower court cases with minor conflicts within the decisions, but the Supreme Court has not minced words while definitively deciding the matter. In 1989, the high court ruled that law enforcement has no duty to act or protect against third-party violence, (violence not perpetrated by officials themselves which is a whole other discussion) in DeShaney v. Winnebago County. In the 2005 case of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the Supreme Court ruled law enforcement has no duty to act or protect, even if the victim has a restraining order, and even if state law mandates police make an arrest for restraining order violations.
What is the take away from the high court’s message? Personal safety is the responsibility of the individual, not the police.
Should you ever find yourself or loved one in such an unprepared predicament, first, shame on you. Second, unexpected events occur to otherwise prepared people, and there are legal remedies which can be exercised before a tragedy. For instance, Ohio allows (after a showing of imminent danger) a person to apply for a 90-day emergency Right-to-Carry permit. The law was designed to bypass the lengthier issuance process. Wisconsin and other states have similar laws. Even ungunfriendly states such as California have laws on the books. California had (and probably still does but I am not a lawyer or legal expert. I leave that to the folks at Texas Law Shield.) an exception for carrying concealed without a license if you have a restraining order against someone. The law is a wobbler and highly subject to interpretation, so do not think it is a get out of jail free card. However, in an emergency I’d rather take my chances being placed before a judge over a mortician.