Any Dirty Job That Comes Along
“Now you know why they call me ‘Dirty Harry.’ Every dirty job that comes along.” The iconic words of Inspector Harry Callahan are so appropriate right now. We are again embroiled in a discussion about crime, violent video games, mental health and gun control. Once again people with little or no knowledge of any of these topics will engage in efforts more focused on attention and votes than real efforts to prevent crime or increase the safety of LEOs and their families.
While politicians and pundits ramble on twenty-four hours each day about theoretical crime, poverty and violence, LEOs will be out on the street handling domestic disputes involving out of control children in households with no parental control, reasoning with unstable people with violent histories who are not properly managed on medication and pursuing recidivist violent criminals let out of prisons early. LEOs will do all of this and respond to your calls about things that go bump in the night because the same people who think the world would be safer without firearms will call someone who is armed at the slightest cause for concern and when fear overrides the false comfort of their pontification.
There is no end to the dedication of LEOs. They will sacrifice their sleep, their family time, and their safety for strangers. However, while their dedication seems to know no bounds, their resources are extremely limited. With every violent criminal released from prison, every mental health facility closed, and every citizen disarmed by gun laws aimed at making headlines, the thin blue line will be stretched thinner and thinner.
In theory, it’s OK though. While the United States Supreme Court in 2008 found that the right to keep and bear arms is a personal right afforded by the Second Amendment, the same Court has also held that LEOs are not obligated to protect the public in general or any one individual. So, there you have it. Private citizens have the right to protect themselves and LEOs cannot be held liable if citizens call for help and there are not enough LEOs to respond. I just hope that the general public understands this before they allow Congress and state legislatures to remove their ability to defend themselves from the criminals the same governmental bodies refuse to keep incarcerated.
Harry Callahan was right, but I think I speak for all LEOs when I say that they would be just fine with a quiet and uneventful shift. Even the adrenaline jockeys would tolerate a night away from chases with armed felons because for all the preparation for the worst, LEOs want people to be safe. They want people to be able to go to work and school without becoming victims of crime. They also want to come home to their families at the end of every shift unharmed. So before we disarm private citizens and create more victims, we should first remove and keep criminals from our society. Until then, just keep calling 911 and LEOs will keep coming to handle “every dirty job that comes along’-as long as they are not tied up helping someone else. Stay safe.