Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Defunding The Police Will Increase Armed Citizens

Many of you have written to ask what I think of the recent plans put forward by Democrats wanting to defund and even dismantle police departments. Since my blog has really shifted more to American History with a focus on the Old West versus straight politics, let's look at this issue in a historical context.

We know that the framers of our Constitution saw our personal right to bear arms as a potential check against government tyranny. They also saw our being armed and ready as a matter of practicality and essential to keeping the peace. Practicality in the sense that citizens are the militia in times of civil strife when the government cannot or will not respond, even today. And essential to the peace, because the citizenry pre-dates the establishment of law enforcement by more than a century.

Briefly, prior to government agencies such as city police departments being established, the citizens were responsible for law and order. Utilizing the hue and cry, as well as depending on a system of volunteers, citizens maintained order. They did this by forming Citizens Watch groups, also known as Citizen Committees.

Soon merchants started paying those groups to provide extra security for their businesses. Later, towns and cities charged merchants a tax to provide their security. That's when cities took over the responsibility of paying for security services from city coffers. City police departments formed as a direct result of those early "door shakers." They became the officers which citizens depended on to enforce the law. That all took place over a two hundred year period.

Americans moving West established towns and settlements, and citizens provided security for those living there. Besides being the militia guarding against attacks, the fire brigade, and probably members of the church choir, everyone, from merchants to blacksmiths to laborers were all part of the citizenry that maintained the law. In most places in the West, the citizenry created Citizens Watch Groups, Citizens Committees, also known by the Spanish word for "watchmen" -- Vigilantes.

When outlaws attempted to rob a bank, the Citizens Committees formed posses, they tracked down the culprits, and in most cases brought them back for trial. Vigilantes were unlike the impromptu mob violence that accompanied some events. Vigilantes were the law before there were lawmen. Once organized law came about, Vigilante Groups made themselves available to the law as a source of supplemental manpower when needed. Yes, they were who joined in on the posses to chase outlaws.

There are four basic reasons that Citizens Committee stepped forward to assert themselves back in the day. First, in the cases where the law was inept, corrupt, or so crooked that they were actually part of the outlaws, then Citizens Committees often asserted themselves to right such problems.

Second, if a criminal element were so out of control that they overwhelmed the municipal authorities. In those cases, Vigilante Groups were known to work parallel with the law to bring order to a town --or to a large city as is the case of San Francisco in 1851 and again in 1856. In fact, the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851 had over 700 men mostly drawn from the many militia groups in that city. After righting things, they disappeared. The San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851 resurfaced in 1856. At that time, they had over 6000 members. Again, drawn from the militia groups there.

Third, vigilantes responded when known killers like Killer Jim Miller used technicalities or intimidation of witnesses to evade being held accountable. In the case of Miller, the local Citizens Committee had enough of him and lynched that murderer.

Fourth, Citizens Groups were known to step forward when the courts were either intimidated or rendered too lenient a sentence. Over the years, a number of Citizens Committees stepped forward to hang a killer when the courts only gave him a few years in prison. In fact, most Vigilante Groups were known to go after convicted killers of lawmen -- after their trial when it became apparent that the courts were going to let a cop killer go free or get away with a short sentence.

Time and time again throughout the West, citizens stepped forward to right things. People during that time understood the stigma associated with shirking one's duty. This included being part of the citizenry that provided law and order when there wasn't any such thing as establish law enforcement agencies. We must remember that City Marshals and Police Departments came about later.

Even back East, police departments were simply unheard of. For example, the New York City Police Department as the primary law enforcement agency within the City of New York was not established until May 23, 1845. Prior to that, Citizens Committee Watch Groups maintained order. Those groups took a backseat to things once police departments were created.

Of course, that's not to say that City Marshals or Police Departments stopped citizen involvement in maintaining order or responding to criminal activities or outlaw situations where the police were outnumbered. For example, in Northfield, Minnesota, on September 7, 1876, the law was outnumbered when the James-Younger Gang arrived in town to rob that bank. They were shot to pieces by the citizenry there. It's said Jessie James was such a cold-blooded killer that he murdered an unarmed man out of pure frustration that day.

Citizens also stepped forward in Coffeyville, Kansas, on October 5, 1892. That was the day the Dalton Gang was wiped out during an attempted bank robbery there. It was armed citizens that took them to task.

As for today, though we are supposed to be living in a much more civilized society than back in the day when the law wasn't present, we can form Citizens Committees to supplement our own security needs if we had to do so. Returning to the days of armed Citizens Watch Groups would be akin to having Neighborhood Watch groups on steroids. This would mean a return of the responsibility of one's neighborhood security to a community, and away from the larger scope of an entire city. This would also mean such groups would be independent and responsible to the citizens who actually live there.

As for defunding the police? While this would not result in the total collapse of our society, make no mistake about it, cutting funding means cutting back on police services. It means folks in the city will not have the response time they have now, or at all in many cases depending on the offense. It's just that simple.

There are towns where police departments are non-existent. For example, Castro Valley, California, with a population of over 60,000 residents does not have its own police department. The town has fire protection provided to them by the Alameda County Fire Department, and its policing is provided to their residents by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol.

That's what will happen if Democratic Party politicians go through with their defunding agenda to please their constituents in the Black Lives Matter organization. It's also what will happen if police departments are dismantled as some cities are talking about doing.

County Sheriff's Offices will have no other option but to increase their manpower and/or shift their coverage to fill the loss of a police department. That means resources will be stretched and security coverage will suffer, or be completely non-existent.

Let's understand something that very basic to us all, whether defunding takes place or not, we should all understand that we are responsible for our own safety. The police can't be everywhere. And more importantly, the Supreme Court has ruled in a number of cases that the police do not have a responsibility or duty to protect anyone. Frankly, many Americans have had a false sense of security thinking the police can respond to everything in seconds when they can't. 

Americans living in cities who reach for their phone and dial 911 for everything, expect the police to be there for them. They will find out that defunding departments means the police won't be there. People there may feel unprotected. In that case, it's still not the end of the world. All it means is that people in the cities will have to figure out a way to provide for their own security. It means city people will have to be more self-reliant. Yes, including arming themselves.

Rural Americans are less effect by defunding police departments. Fact is it doesn't effect those of us who live in rural America. Most of us living in out of the way areas are already used to having to provide for our own security. Most know that extended response times mean we have had to be more self-reliant. This is the case where I live. And as with many of us here, I provide my own security. 

That's not to say that we don't call 911 to report a crime. It's just that we have a good understanding about where we live, the remote areas where deputies travel, the time it takes to get from one place to another. Subsequently, we are a lot more realistic in our expectations of an officer arriving in time to handle a given situation. 

Of course while some say there is no need to carry a gun to protect ourselves and our families because we have police departments, residents in most rural counties carry guns. While many of us have legal Concealed Carry permits, some simply carry a rifle or shotgun or a pistol in their trucks and cars. In most cases, County Sheriffs support Americans exercising our being armed. Some County Sheriffs actually see an armed citizenry as supplemental manpower to backup their deputies.  

If defunding the police takes place, I believe more people in the cities will arm themselves. That means people who are unarmed right now, people who may not know much about guns, may find they need to get training before carrying a gun. That's a must.

So there you have it, I believe defunding and/or dismantling police departments will increase the number of citizens who are armed in our society. As far as doing so legally, I don't see that happening in places like Alameda County, California, which is controlled by anti-gun Democrats.

When Tombstone, Arizona, banned the carrying of guns in their town in 1881, residents there still carried guns for their protection. They simply opted to break the law by carrying concealed weapons of all types. I don't see people today as being that much different when confronted with the real aspect of not having police available to protect them.

So now, let's talk about the flip side of defunding the police. Democrats, especially the militant arm of their party, ANTIFA and BLM, may inadvertently get something that they weren't expecting by defunding the police. It is believed they assume the police aren't needed and that some sort of an unarmed Community Services agency can do a better job. Some say those groups believe they will be able to run rampant without the police to stop them. In reality, I really think they haven't thought this out.

To me, the flip side of what Democrats want is something that they haven't considered. They are so emotional and really haven't figured out what also happens if the police are defunded and/or dismantled.

Fact is, they do not realize that they want to defund and dismantle the very police departments which are right now stopping others from shooting rioters. Right now, ANTIFA and BLM have police protection. Without that protection, they become fair game for people who have been gearing up for such a Civil War.

Please don't fool yourselves, there are people who see ANTIFA and BLM as an armed enemy and want to eliminate that threat to America. Police departments are the only thing stopping some people from setting limits on how many Communists can be shot in one afternoon. There are some folks out there who are so fed up with the burning and beatings, the killings of innocent people, that they don't care if ANTIFA and BLM ends up with graveyards full of martyrs.

But let's be honest here, the riots and defunding the police has everything to do with the Democrats wanting to defeat President Trump in November. ANTIFA and BLM are simply surrogates. Democrat politicians see ANTIFA and BLM as pawns, stooges, just expendable idiots. They believe these riots and chaos in the Democrat controlled cities will guarantee President Trump's defeat.

Frankly, Democrats today are really no different than the Copperhead Democrats in the North during the Civil War who incited draft riots in 1864 in an effort to oust President Lincoln. Democrats at the time felt those riots would turn the tide against President Lincoln and put a Democrat in the White House.

Like the Democrats today, the Democrat Party at the time didn't care who was hurt or killed. They wanted to oust President Lincoln by whatever means it took to keep blacks on their knees and in chains. It was all about power, wealth, and control. Well it didn't work back then. President Lincoln was re-elected. Of course, after his defeat didn't happen, an actor, a pro-slavery Democrat anarchist, assassinated President Lincoln.

This is the sort of lesson from history that we need to learn from, and stop before it happens. And frankly, looking at the crazies in places like Seattle, looking at the insanity coming from Democrats and their minion who want to destroy our history, tear down statues, and attack others with vile intent, I wouldn't put anything pass one of them. They are that crazed.

These times remind me of what President Theodore Roosevelt said in a speech in San Francisco on May 13, 1903, "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."

For my readers who are writing asking for advice, my advice is do as President Theodore Roosevelt recommended, let's speak courteously, respect others, deal fairly with one another, live by the Golden Rule of treating others as we ourselves want to be treated, and keep ourselves armed and ready -- especially if there are no police in your cities.

Tom Correa

1 comment:

  1. Tom,
    I always appreciate and respect your opinions. Very well written and represents the history that the mob is trying to destroy.

    Thank you for he courage to stand up and speak the truth.


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