Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Massacre at V-Tech: Death by Government

This time the State didn't commit the slaughter directly, as it did fourteen years ago in Waco, Texas. Instead, it created a veritable hunting preserve for the armed psychopath who carried out the massacre. Since the victims had been disarmed by the State, the murderer was able to carry out his crime methodically, even going back to his dorm room to re-load – and he ended the attack on his own terms by killing himself.

As is almost always the case when atrocities of this sort occur, the government's role was limited to disarming the victims, penning them for slaughter, and then sending in heavily armed police to draw the chalk outlines and string up the crime scene tape. And since government is the only entity that grows and prospers through failure, we can anticipate that this State-facilitated mass murder will result in new initiatives to disarm potential victims, embolden private sector criminals, and empower the criminals who rule us and the rented thugs who do their bidding.

“The shootings spread panic and confusion on campus," recounted an AP report. "Witnesses [reported] students jumping out the windows of a classroom building to escape the gunfire. SWAT team members with helmets, flak jackets and assault rifles swarmed over the campus. Students and faculty members carried out some of the wounded themselves, without waiting for ambulances to arrive.”

The SWAT team was useless here, of course, because the mission didn't involve kicking in doors in early-morning no-knock raids. Although advertised as hostage rescue specialists, SWAT operators are generally trained to think in terms of “officer safety” first. After all, the important thing is to protect those who bear the State's insignia.

Commenting on the Columbine mass killings in April 1999 (what the hell is it about April, anyway?), James Bovard recalled:

Many local SWAT teams descended on the high school parking lot and vicinity after the shooting started. But none of the SWAT teams confronted the killers. Police spokesmen said the SWATs were not sent in `for fear that they might set off another gunfight'.... At least there was no danger of a `gunfight' when Eric Harris and Dyland Klebold were executing unarmed students.... The police response also seemed paralyzed by concerns for `officer safety.' Steve Davis, spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, said, `We had no idea who was a victim and who was a suspect. And a dead police officer would not be able to help anyone.'”

Well, at Columbine, as at Virginia Tech, the live police officers weren't any help, either. But then again, they're not expected to protect and serve law-abiding citizens under assault by armed criminals, nor are they legally required to.

Notes Bovard: “A federal appeals court declared in 1982, `There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen.'”

This principle doesn't apply only to situations involving a maniac armed with guns. During the 2001 Mardi Gras riot in Seattle, 20-year-old Kristopher Kime was beaten to death by a mob of young predators armed with skateboards and brass knuckles as the local paladins of public order stood placidly at the periphery. Although Kime was the only one killed, many others were attacked at random and severely injured.

In fact, Kime was killed after he went to aid a woman who had been assaulted by the marauders: He was murdered, in other words, because he was doing the job the police supposedly were there to do.

Police, vastly outnumbered, stood along the perimeter of the crowd and watched as the wounded pleaded for help,” recalls the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Police commanders ordered officers to stand by, fearing any move would incite the crowd further and....”

OK, stop right there. What do you think comes next? “... risk injury to innocent bystanders”?

Or perhaps, “... result in open gunplay, leading to the deaths of unarmed civilians”?

No, indeed. Here's how that sentence ends:

... fearing any move would incite the crowd further and endanger the officers.” (Emphasis added.)

Once again, the operational principle was not to “protect and serve” the innocent, but officer safety uber alles.

This is not always the case, of course. There are, I happily and gratefully acknowledge, many genuinely heroic men in law enforcement and rescue units who defy the officer safety dogma to and on behalf of the innocent, despite the fact that the State does not require them to.

He died trying to save a stranger: The heroic Kris Kime (l.) and the memorial plaque in Seattle's Pioneer Square district, where he was murdered (r.).

In fact, that's what happened in the case of Kris Kime, as described in this excerpt from an account compiled by a Seattle law firm:

Kris Kime was with his friends in the midst of Pioneer Square.... The group of friends became separated. Some of the young women were assaulted. They were in the process of desperately trying to leave when Kris bent over to help a victimized woman who had been knocked to the ground. As he reached out to her, Kris had no idea that [Jerell] Thomas [who murdered Kime] was approaching him from the rear. Massive blows were delivered to the back of Kris’ head and he fell to the ground....

The group of friends and onlookers created a circle around Kris as the mob surged around. A few people tried to kick him.

As he lay dying in the street, the City [police] stood by and did nothing. Friend Louis Dickinson called 911 to get help. The dispatcher explained that the police would not go in to the melee. `He’s hurt bad' Dickinson pleaded. Not giving up, he ran to the perimeter and begged the police directly. In wooden tones they told him that they had heard the dispatch but would not go in. Meanwhile two off duty paramedics came to help and along with a few of the friends were able to drag Kris out of the square. No ambulances or aid vehicles were present, so Kris was placed into the rear of a patrol car and taken to Harborview.”

While the entire police force – commanders, dispatchers, and officers on the street – allowed this murder to unfold before their eyes, it was a couple of off-duty paramedics who risked their lives in a doomed but noble attempt to save the life of the stricken Samaritan.

Perhaps these heroic paramedics were able to see their moral duty clearly because they were off the clock, and thus not working for the State.

The only excuse for putting up with government at all is the assumption that it will protect us from the violence of the lawless: That's the actual import of the much-misused passages in Romans 13 urging Christians to be subject to governments: God has placed the sword into the hands of rulers to defend the innocent against evil-doers.

Where governments do not carry out that function, they have no moral or practical reason to exist.

As we mourn for the innocent dead and wounded, and pray for the consolation of their families, let us also reflect on the unambiguous truth that the State that rules us cannot protect us -- and that only idolatrous fools would permit that State to disarm us.

Please be sure to visit The Right Source for news and commentary from a freedom-centered perspective.


Captain Kirk said...

I seem to recall phrases in this country's founding documents about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I seem to recall that it was stated that the purpose of government was to ensure that the rights of the citizenry were to be protected by the government and that protection was the government's primary purpose. It seems to me that the majority of the populace (present company at this blog excepted), including the elected "representatives" are either too stupid, complacent or evil to ponder the simple meanings found in the founding documents that were laid in place as the foundation of this once great Republic.

As a result, I fully expect the Statists in D.C. and here in my home of California will do thier best to try and take away my firearms, because "everyone" knows that a whole passle more gun laws will solve the problem (sarcasm intended). Virtually no one will be interested in the fact that states that have "shall issue" CW permits have experienced a statistically significant reduction in violent crime.

I just get so tired of this battle to conserve my 2nd Ammendment Rights.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Regarding "what the hell is it about April, anyway?", not all the events are independent. Hitler's birthday was April 20th, and I think the Columbine attack was planned to occur on his birthday. The Waco murders were on April 19th (no connection to Hitler that I know of), but of course the OK City bombing was [supposedly] designed to occur on the anniversary of Waco.

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising began on April 19th: the SS figured that it could complete the task in a day, and wanted to present a gift to Hitler for his birthday.

dixiedog said...

It should be noted that, as concerns government restrictions (legality) of firearms on campuses in Virginia as it currently stands, it's not illegal for those with CCPs to carry firearms (handguns) on campuses. The problem is that the universities themselves have in place draconian regulations forbidding the possession of firearms on their campuses. If students or faculty ignore those regulations they face expulsion or termination respectively. Ergo, most do not risk it. So, in this particular case, it's not so much the LAW standing in the way, but people's ignorance and wayward belief that the police will protect and safeguard them.

Why do the commoners continue to believe that the police will protect them, despite the mountain of demonstrable evidence, not to mention court rulings, to the contrary? I mean they can now overtly and above board convey as much via booby productions like COPS and yet people remain blind to the truth.

Anyway, if I was a wagerer I'd wager high dollar, with the highest confidence, that this atrocity will fuel the gun-control fanatics with newfound energy to legislate even more restrictions. As Grigg alluded to, when bad things happen, whether due directly or indirectly to government policies, the commoners can always be counted upon to cry out for MORE of those policies from that same government.

Sigh, it's as if the commoners want to throw water on a grease fire in the vain hope that it will put it out.

Fred said...

The Columbine tragedy changed the so-called rules for responding to such incidents. At that time the mind set and training of SWAT teams was geared toward showing up on a scene where some crazed gunman was holding hostages for whatever reason, or a wanted and armed man barricaded himself in a building. These scenarios would be stabilized ones, i.e. "Alright, Rocky. We know you're in there" types of deals.

During that time the thought of a slaughter of this magnitude-in a school of all places, in an environment where hundreds of kids are either running for their lives through the halls, many others hiding beneath desks or anywhere they can, pipe bombs in back packs remaining God knows where, while the sprinkler system and fire alarm in the school are activated, well......it's a terrible dream. One that no SWAT team or cop ever even thought of having to deal with.

I do agree that a natural, human, and manly response would be to "ride to the sound of the guns." SWAT teams arrive later, though. It's not like they are all dressed up waiting for something happen.

But eventually the guns ceased to fire because- unbeknownst to those outside- the monsters self inflicted. Some probably believed the possibility existed that this horror transformed itself into one of those "All right, Rocky. We know you're in there" types of deals.

There is much emphasis on "officer safety" during routine operations. During hostage rescue situations "officer safety" is not a concern. Now how many MEN step forward and perform is another issue.

I think the court opinion mentioned in the post refers to the police being obligated to protect someone in a situation like this: Officer. "My husband, who I have a restraining order against, said he's going to come over here and finish me off." I'm not saying this is what was argued, but under these circumstances are the police obligated to set up guards and surveillance for this person for however long? According to this case, no. This serves as a reminder to those who put faith in others for their own safety.

Unfortunately many of the same judges do more harm by eliminating or curtailing a citizens God given right to defend themselves. Although I do not like to rely on a court ruling to make a point (common sense is simpler), the case proclaiming the police are not obligated to protect anyone is a great one to cite for those who promote self preservation.

Anonymous said...

The imagery I have of this tragedy is a bunch of overweight law enforcement officers from the campus, city, and state police hiding behind trees and cars trying not to get shot.

Mister Spock said...

Will -

If fire departments reacted to fires the way SWAT teams react to school hostage/killing situations, they would prevent people from leaving the building, stand back to make sure they weren't injured, wait until the fire went out, hose down the embers, escort any survivors out of the building (with their hands on their heads), remove the bodies, write nice reports, and take "twenty seven 8 x 10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one."