5/08 Bureaucrats Consulting Bureaucrats
Bureaucrats Consulting Bureaucrats
John Longenecker and Howard Nemerov
As published in NewsWithViews.com
Some of our public officials need a civics lesson, and then to re-apply for the job all over again. The first thing is to understand where they have standing and where they do not have standing.
The Castle Doctrine is making its way through due process now in Ohio, perhaps to be the twenty-first state to adopt it. (For definition, see Internet Search Term Castle Doctrine)
If one believes Law Enforcement’s job is to fight crime by arrest, deterrence, interdiction, administration of justice and by public cooperation, then Command Rank cannot oppose the people. Opposing laws which officially recognize Citizen Authority is to oppose the people they serve; where service has been forgotten and become self-serving into many cities. The idea that police would oppose the Castle Doctrine in protecting their own prestige over safe streets is a nationwide scandal. Their job is to enforce the law, not make it or even pressure it.
Enter the Castle Doctrine in Ohio, a possible turning point in both safe streets and government — governed rapport. It’s an opportunity for officials to restore faith in government, unless it doesn’t give a hoot about faith in government anymore, and how important our faith in government is to them is a prime indicator as to whose words prevail.
The possibilities of a desirable positive rapport are being undermined by some officials (not all) who want more to protect their prestige and turf and to preside over crisis than to preside over safe streets (and the prosperity that comes with safer streets). This is in the insistence of being consulted on the Castle Doctrine and then opposing it. Officials in Ohio play the same trick as the Virginia Tech Review Panel and the Virginia Governor played: consulting other bureaucrats and ignoring constituents (and lawful, effective, proven self-defense). Educators play the same game: consulting “eckthpertz” when they should be obeying parents. Understand that insisting on a say at all is to oppose due process itself, for it seeks to prevail over the desires of the people, the only ones to speak. [For instance, an officer cannot refuse to execute a court ordered eviction order just because of his/her political feelings.]
Where’s your proof, Longenecker?
Well, friends, as constituents, we don’t need to prove anything to anybody. All we need do is notice how some officials have lost our trust and respect. From philandering to outright lawbreaking to special dispensation (officials who carry guns in airports), officials have hardly set the example, yet they demand our trust when they themselves cannot be trusted. It’s an age-old observation from the nation’s inception. Too many officials have forgotten that they serve at the pleasure of the constituents, and that their integrity is not a matter of proof, but a matter of trust.
When it comes to violent crime, citizens play an important role. Citizens are an untapped resource in police-citizen cooperation in time of everyday incidents or in widespread disaster. Why utterly ruin this rapport? Why challenge the authority of the citizenry? Understand that citizens who assert their authority are not challenging police — police are challenging citizen authority, and it’s increasing. It leads to further and further mistrust of law enforcement. Another point in a nation of self-rule is that officials are not hired to do their job their way — they are hired to do their job our way.
Legislators may choose to hear testimony from law enforcement for their expertise, but in so doing are bureaucrats consulting other bureaucrats, who, technically, have no say in the issue, not really. They are not what you would call an interested party: They are not constituents, they are servants for the hours they serve and cannot be both citizen and servant at once. Otherwise, there would be no such thing as Duty or Oath of Office, and there is.
Put another way, the Cook and The Gardner don’t get a say in how much authority the Ranchowner has. Our country is our home, and servants are servants. Any such argument — any quarrel at all — reflects a poor understanding of the nature of the relationship between constituents and servants. Any officials quarreling with the Castle Doctrine sought by the people is interfering for political purposes, and this self-dealing puts citizens at risk. How, exactly?
Beat officers and Command differ in their view of the armed citizen, we know this, and the beat officers know this reality very well: the armed citizen is the first line of defense in time of violent crime. All Police know that citizens have all legal authority to act in time of facing grave danger, and that police in fact derive their authority from the People. Citizens do not give up any authority when authorizing law enforcement, or any other official for that matter. This is part of the reason for the success of the Castle Doctrine in twenty states so far: Recognition and the affirmation of pre-existing Citizen Authority. Put another way: removing all doubt and debate, and this is where it is opposed.
It is in the public interest to forge in law and to affirm a presumption of intent to do great bodily harm in breaking into a home, car or business as the Castle Doctrine affirms. It is in the public interest to remove a duty to retreat in how one will meet crime at all, or be a victim for lack of lawful resistance to violence. Not only do you never turn your back on your attackers, but America must not surrender to the idea that one does not fight back. And, of course, it is right to deny survivors of a would-be robber, abductor or murderer the prosecution of civil action against a defender. No one should profit from crime, not even the survivors of another’s intentional criminal acts when met with lethal force.
Dependency on officials to the exclusion of the citizen is becoming a very big problem in this country. You can’t really expect to succeed in fighting crime in America if you take the citizen out of the equation except as victim. The Castle Doctrine does more than fight crime, it affirms citizen authority in law and grows the spirit of Independence in citizen authority.
The Castle Doctrine is one of the strongest public policy, community friendly laws to appear on the safe streets scene in a very long time. Police have no right — and no real explanation — to interfere with citizen authority’s being re-affirmed in law. Other states don’t seem to have this problem. Under our system, self-rule means self-rule, and it is not only good for the country, self-rule is best for the country.