The following Op-Ed was submitted by Christy Zito. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch. Additionally, Zito currently works for the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, for which Greg Pruett, Idaho Dispatch’s Editor, is the President.
After the horrific event at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, there has been a lot of discussion about how law enforcement responded.
We must be sensitive and face these situations with a realistic view. Touting political theater and using these events as a bully pulpit to advance an unconstitutional and dangerous stance is an insult to every citizen of this country.
Looking beyond the reports that local law enforcement stood down when they arrived on the scene, the reality is that the average response time after 911 calls is longer than many think; response times in major US cities range from 5.4 minutes to 14.5 minutes. If you live in a rural area, the response time may be even longer, hours longer in some cases. There are an estimated 240 million 911 calls each year; officers physically and realistically can’t be everywhere.
It is essential to understand the proper role of law enforcement in protecting the citizen. Bottom line: law enforcement has no constitutional legal duty to protect you. Their job is to investigate a crime and deter by their presence. Your first and often only defense is YOU.
I have heard many comments that officers who did not “protect” the children violated their oath of office. In Idaho, the Oath of Office says nothing about protecting or defending anyone, and the oath only cites upholding the State and Federal Constitution.
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of (insert office) according to the best of my ability.”
Note, “So help me God” was taken out of Idaho Code in 1983.
In the case of Castle Rock V. Gonzales, (2005), the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that police agencies have no duty to keep you safe. There is no physical way that you can be protected by law enforcement continually; no matter an officer’s code of ethics, it cannot happen.
Once law enforcement arrives on the scene, the question now becomes a moral one. On that fateful Texas day, the decision was to stand down and listen to the gun, knowing that children were being killed, or take whatever action necessary to save lives. Each man had to live up to his code of ethics.
The situation in Texas has shown that a lock on the door, fences, or physical deterrents may stop some; however, those hell-bent on taking lives don’t care about laws or locks. Those under attack have the right to defend themselves and those in their care.
A TEACHER’S RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS MUST NEVER BE INFRINGED!
When the call for bans on “assault-type guns,” stricter background checks, limiting magazine capacity, or any of the many violations of our freedom begins; we must stand firm; we can’t compromise. A car, baseball bat, knife, pen, or can of Drano in the hands of someone who has decided to end human life is a deadly weapon. The effort to do away with the Second Amendment will not help; gun control laws have never made a difference.
There are stories of heroism that came from the Texas tragedy; law enforcement officers stand in harm’s way every day, and I am grateful to them. Many officers I speak with when working on protecting our 2A agree that an armed citizenry is the best first line of defense.
We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to speak freely, and we have a right to bear arms.
Tags: 2nd Amendment, Christy Zito, Gun Control, Protection, Teacher, United States Constitution