Whose Duty?

Who has a duty to protect the people we love? The police? The military? The CIA? The FBI? They are part of the answer, but they don’t play well together. Each commander jealously guards his own fiefdom, and, it seems, they don’t share information.

We must rely on our military to protect us from threats from foreign countries. If North Korea attacked across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the U.S. would be involved in a very nasty war. If North Korea launched one or two of its ICBMs at Los Angeles, we would respond not with our Smith & Wessons but with the full might of the military.

The U.S. spends about $600 billion to fund the military. One and a half million men and women carry weapons on active duty, and 800,000 are in the reserves and National Guard. In contrast, state, local and federal law enforcement employs more than 1.1 million full-time people. About 800,000 of them are sworn officers, which means they can arrest you. Agencies also employ about 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers. These folks work in 18,000 U.S. police agencies, including everything from college campus patrols to sheriffs’ departments, local police and federal agents. We spend $100 billion a year on policing plus $80 billion on jails and prisons.

Let’s say these figures are accurate and that $700 billion and 3.4 million people are out there to protect us. That’s fine and necessary, and we respect them and thank them for their service. But which one of those 3.4 million is racing to help you if a local thug confronts you when you’re in the garage working on your antique Ford Mustang? Which part of that $700 billion is going to help you, or even make your life right again, after high school punks stalk and assault your daughter?

Who is responsible for your safety and welfare? Our massive military machine is not designed to come to your aid when thugs smash your car window and reach inside. Imagine an M1A2 SEP tank rolling up beside your Hyundai. It’s silly, right? Local police are, as the saying goes, seven minutes away when a two-minute assault sends you to the hospital with broken bones. And our elected leaders at practically every level are more concerned about their own re-elections than our safety. They may themselves turn out to be the most feared predators.

Not a single dollar, government employee or elected politician is going to help you and your family after some frightening encounter with a criminal. In fact, if you successfully defend yourself from an attack, it’s likely that a significant part of that establishment could be used against you.

So, who is responsible? I am. You are. You alone are able to give yourself some margin of safety when a cyclone of violence suddenly smashes your peaceful life. Your best protection is to arm yourself, be vigilant and teach your family to use and respect rather than fear the power that you have at your disposal. It doesn’t matter whether that protection is a Kimber handgun or an AR from Daniel Defense. Always remember that the best defense involves a solid lawyer whom you have contacted in advance.

When the chips are down, you quickly have to make decisions, decisions that will be minutely examined after the fact, and then it helps to have a solid team covering your six.