The NRA has come out with a commercial regarding the Sutherland Springs shooting. It features Stephen Willeford an old, fat guy, an everyman who saw a problem and stepped up. He didn’t have a duty to act, but he did. It is pretty powerful: Excellent-NRA-ad-based-on-Sutherland-Springs.
Unfortunately, it won’t do anything to change minds. Liberals will dismiss Willeford’s actions by pointing that the shooter fled. He had abandoned his shooting rampage. The rampage ended with the subsequent accident and suicide of the shooter. Civilians, they will say, have no business in taking the law into their own hands.
Let’s see how the agencies with a duty to act did:
Law enforcement, the courts and administrative actions all had their chance to prevent the Sutherland Springs shooting and failed. The Comal County Sheriff’s Office (New Braunfels) had numerous domestic violence and two rape complaints but investigators failed to follow up because the victim didn’t return a telephone call.
The Air Force had the opportunity to prevent the Sutherland Springs shooting. The shooters propensity for domestic violence carried over to his time in the Air Force. They turned an aggravated assault (family member) into a one-year jail sentence and general discharge. The Air Force then failed to notify the FBI of the shooter’s status as a convicted felon with a family violence conviction. Either charge qualified the shooter to be placed on the list of person prohibited from owning firearms.
Finally, the FBI acknowledges that the Instacheck database was not up to date. The shooter was cleared to purchase firearms because of this oversight. Another opportunity to prevent the Sutherland Springs shooting lost.
Regarding the “duty to act”. The police may have a generalized duty towards the public, but failure to protect an individual is not a Constitutional violation; Castle Rock v. Gonzales, No. 04-278, (2004) and DeShaney v. Winnebago County (1989).
Based on the law and this track record, you can perpetuate the fiction that the government will be there to protect you when you most need it. As for myself, I’m gonna hang with the old fat guys.
What do old fat guys and beautiful girls have in common?
Neither are perceived as threats.