By Tom Rhodes, 10/24/2013
Some Libertarians were in uproar over recent news about a school that had the police come into the house and search every student's locker, screaming about abridging the student's civil liberties. There are several, clearly libertarian, reasons that this uproar is unjustified. One, the lockers are not the students property, they belong to the school, and as the owner of the lockers, the school has the right to set the rules to their use, including reserving the right to search/inspect them for prohibited items as the school sees fit. Second, based on legal liability and legal obligations the schools have concerning their charges, look up the term in loco parentis, just as a parent has the right to look in their kids dresser drawers and discipline them accordingly.
More importantly, students do not have all the legal rights and civil liberties of adults. Contrary to what some libertarians think, this is a good thing. We don't let 6 yr olds kids drive, we let 10 yr olds vote, and don't allow 12 yr olds to buy guns. Why? Because they don't have physical abilities, emotional abilities, mental abilities, or experience, to do everything an adult does. Not to say that they are incapable of many adult tasks, experience has shown that many a 6 year old can operate heavy equipment, just look at small family farms.
In times past we allowed any kid who wanted to go to the local hardware store and buy guns and ammo without restrictions. Today you must be an adult to exercise that right, the wisdom of this is clear, today with enough guns in private hands to arm every man, woman, and child, we have a fewer accidental gun deaths than in the past, and accidental gun deaths continues to drop. Restricting the decision and right to purchase arms to adults, who have all their civil rights and have reached an age where they can be held legally responsible for their actions, has proven to be a wise decision, and reasonable. Not the NRA, GOA, nor any reasonable adult thinks that 12 yr old boys shouldn't be allowed to buy guns and ammo. Those in the LP who think children should have all the rights of adults are idiots, ignore human history, and give the LP a bad name. Yes some 10 yr olds are mature enough to own guns, vote, etc. and some 40 yr olds are not mature enough to vote, or drive, and certainly shouldn't own a gun; but individual extremes don't justify either granting kids adult rights nor taking away rights from all adults.
On whole the maturity to assume the responsibility of many adult decisions does not exist in children. That is why parents have both legal and moral authority over their children. Parents as adults are responsible for both the provision and protection of children. But who's responsible for adults?
The anti-gun crowd today bases almost every argument they have against guns on the idea that the state is in loco parentis of every person regardless of age. Their arguments assume that nobody is an adult and that the state is responsible for everybody. Just as a parent can decide which of their kids is allowed to play what video games, or even if their child can own a video game, the anti-gun crowd wants the state to determine which of its children is allowed to own a gun and what types of guns that child can own. Liberal anti-gunners believe the state is every citizen's parent.
Working on the assumption of the state being in loco parentis to every person, they assume the state has (or should have) the legal authority to control what people do, just as parents have the legal authority to control their children. They disregard the fact that with in loco parentis comes not only the legal authority to control the actions and possessions of those you are charged but the legal obligation to protect those you are charged. This is a big problem. The courts have consistently and repeatedly ruled that "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."
Those were the decisions of our courts in specific response to a suit against Washington DC police by three young women who had been raped and beaten during a home invasion. During their 14 hour nightmare of repeated rape and assault, two of the women had repeatedly called the D.C. police. They even saw a police car drive by their townhouse after their first call for help. They were told help was on its way in subsequent calls, but the police never showed up. In Warren v. District of Columbia, it was decided that the police have no legal obligation to protect individuals, emphatically saying that individuals not the government are responsible for their own individual safety.
This decision was made at the same time there was ban on firearms in the home for self-defense in Washington DC. Part of the reasoning of both the Heller and McDonald decisions is that individuals not the government are responsible for their own self defense. Thus the law of the land is that all adults have the legal right to arms to defend themselves. This is based on the fact that the only person responsible for any individuals self defense is that individual.
Any liberal anti-gun hoplophobic statist that infers that you have no need of a gun and that the police are there to protect you is either totally ignorant and uninformed or purposefully lying to you. If you depend upon law enforcement to protect you, then you are a self deluded fool. No you don't "have" to own a gun, you can choose not to go where there are high levels of violent crime, choose to live in a safe neighborhood, and choose to take other security precautions. In fact those simple precautions will probably mean that in your entire life you'll never actually need a weapon to protect yourself.
If even one of the women in the Warren v. District of Columbia had been armed, they might not have had to endure 14 hours of rape and assault, and we may not have had the courts remind us that the government is not responsible for our safety. Take the liberal hoplophobe advice and pee your pants when confronted by a rapist; but according to the results of an Obama directed research by the CDC, "Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was 'used' by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies."
What does this mean and how does it answer the question, "Who's Responsible?" Simple, the government is not in loco parentis of every person, thus you and nobody else has the Duty to Protect you and your family; the government has no legal or moral Duty to Protect, and in assuming the responsibility of being an adult, responsible for your own security and safety, it is important that you know that nothing is more effective for you and your families protection than being armed.
Obama's CDC research confirms the wisdom of our fore fathers, NOTHING, has been found to consistently lower injury rates among crime victims than the victim being armed and using such arms in self defense. The Second Amendment is Pro-Choice, your choice to be armed or not, the government shall not infringe upon your choice. If you remember the old 70's TV Series Kung Fu, then you'll take Po's advice "choose wisely grasshopper."