The FEE is the Foundation for Economic Education, a neo-liberalist outfit which seeks to indoctrinate children into capitalist ideology. The reason why I introduce this article in this way is to point out that I, in no way, endorse this organization, even if I am linking to it.
However I did think this article on gun control and police protection makes some good points. I have expressed my position on gun control in the past, and I ultimately disagree with FEE’s stance, but I like this article.
Americans increasingly believe, however, that all they need for protection is a telephone. Dial 911 and the police, fire, and ambulance will come straight to the rescue. It’s faster than the pizza man. Faith in a telephone number and the local cops is so strong that Americans dial 911 over 250,000 times per day.
Yet does dialing 911 actually protect crime victims? Researchers found that less than 5 percent of all calls dispatched to police are made quickly enough for officers to stop a crime or arrest a suspect. The 911 bottom line: “cases in which 911 technology makes a substantial difference in the outcome of criminal events are extraordinarily rare.”
It’s not just that the police cannot protect you. They don’t even have to come when you call. In most states the government and police owe no legal duty to protect individual citizens from criminal attack. The District of Columbia’s highest court spelled out plainly the “fundamental principle that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.”
I always say that you should never call the police unless your life is in immediate danger, but even in those cases it is unlikely to help.