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Grassroots Commentary

Safer Streets 2011: California Capitol Police No Substitute for Armed Assembly Members

John Longenecker · Apr. 12, 2011

The wish of the California Assembly to be armed reminds me of college students who respectfully ask to be armed on campus. The students forgot how they do not need to ask permission, but – as constituents – instruct trustees.

This is the United States of America, not England. It is not the Philippines, or India or Australia. Here, we are the sovereign, and we do not need permission to exercise a civil right which, among a few others, is absolute. If I were a college student, I would file a civil rights action and document the pleading with examples of denial of rights and other exhibits. Some reports show that 77 college campuses affirm armed students and have not been made to regret that. The same for forty-eight states of the union.

The significance is that some California State lawmakers are coming into touch with reality and are beginning to relate to the college students and forty-eight other states who long ago discovered what gun owners know: that you are your best first line of defense, and the police are no substitute for that. Now, when they ask for permits to be armed and are denied them, they hear the old saw reason that doesn’t hold water: let us handle it.

Now, the California State Assembly Members have come to appreciate that when seconds count, police are only moments way. That the target of violence is the best first line of defense. And that an individual citizen has all legal authority to stop a crime in progress as a matter of law, public policy and public interest. In California, these lawmakers probably already know that self-defense is an affirmative defense, and that Californians have no duty to retreat. Couple these with training, and the armed citizen is a formidable force against crime in general.

There’s your security.

Generally, the assumption is that police are to protect individuals; it is an assumption – an erroneous one – on the part of the public. More and more layman are coming to appreciate this.

When courts have said that police have no affirmative duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others, they meant assembly members, too. The comparison of the state assembly dilemma to adult college students’ guns on campus effort is this: whenever trustees or police try and convince the students or the electorate or even assembly members that police are the only ones to be armed, it is merely a further centralization of what is wrong with this country. It freezes the citizens out of the equation in how the problem is met best: at the moment it occurs. Before it can become a completed act of violence.

Whether it is disaster management or violent crime, bureaucracies elect to exclude the best asset and resource: you.

California lawmakers may not be willing to admit this, but the citizens are the first lawmakers under our system because we are the Sovereign in this country. All public servants are only second in charge, not first in charge. This situation is a prime example of how a citizen understands what is best and the bureaucracy disagrees in its own self-interest. Now, what the lawmakers are feeling is how incompatible this is with public safety.

California Governor Jerry Brown mentioned the week of April 2nd, 2011 that he owns three guns and a dog. He said why and it sounds good enough for me. I don’t know what he said before that or after that, but I’d like to shake his hand and thank him for his honesty. Thank you, Governor.

More and more citizens are beginning to think in terms of the absence of first responders. This was at the fore in the seventies when Citizen CPR was brought to the attention of the public. Now concealed and open carry of a loaded sidearm is thought of in terms of the absence of police. Citizen CPR and the armed citizen are identical in the public interest.

I appreciate the dilemma facing the Assembly Members, but I want to remind you that you have allies in the electorate who understand. I’ve said my piece about the irony of this development, but I want to emphasize that you will find friends in the concept of the armed citizen and perhaps even a majority. I urge you to contact gun owners in California and ask them anything you like.

Responsible Citizens of California might be a great place where you would be welcome. Why not give them a call?

John Longenecker is author of Even Safer Streets 2011 - The Second Amendment as a Mainstream Value available now at Amazon.

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