City Attorney Tells San Bernardino Residents To ‘Lock Their Doors, ’ ‘Load Their Guns ’ Because Of Police Downsizing

evought's picture

Susan Drollinger (a NCO in the LCS Auxiliary) sent me this link to an article about the San Bernadino, CA City Attorney telling residents to "lock their doors" and "load their guns" at a city council meeting in response to dramatic shortages of police officers. In character, the economic crisis in San Bernadino leading to the staff shortages are no different than what is going on in Springfield or for that matter, the budgetary stresses in all cities and counties across the US at this moment. The problem this official addresses is real.
We offer a better solution. The opportunity created by Sheriff Brad Delay when he reinstated the Lawrence County Sheriff's Auxiliary after its decade-long hiatus is a better solution. The work being done by Lawrence County's active Neighborhood Watches is a better solution. Encouraging people to obtain self/civil-defense training and learn to help take care of themselves is a better solution.
The solutions where people are brought together to cooperate as a community and take responsibility for their own safety are the right ones. The solutions where people are organized to cooperate and coordinate with uniformed law enforcement are the right solutions. A public statement encouraging people to cower in the dark behind closed doors and gun slits--- however accurate his appraisal of the fiscal circumstances--- is the wrong solution.
Desperate Times Call For Better Organization and More Training
We are living in difficult times. Community governments simply do not have the resources they had at the height of the dot-com and housing bubbles to cover all of their emergency needs. Well-trained emergency professionals, whether deputies or paramedics, cost money and are worth every penny. At some point, financial pressures will result in armed citizens behind locked doors who will not receive a law enforcement response as quickly as they did in previous years. But that citizen should not stand alone and be left to their own devices. They should be part of an organized response including our paid Peace Officers, mutual aid agreements with nearby localities, the Sheriff's Auxiliary, volunteer Fire/Rescue, Neighborhood Watches, CERT, ARES, our community firearms and self-defense instructors, citizens' marksmanship programs like Appleseed, and so forth. With a coordinated response and defense-in-depth approach, we maximize the value of our full-time and reserve Peace Officers to do what they are uniquely qualified to do, we maximize the chances that someone bent on violence will be caught before that late-night shootout, and, in the last instance, when all other measures fail, that at least the armed citizen has the best training and preparation our community can offer both to defend themselves and to assist in the aftermath.
San Bernadino has suffered dramatic increases in violent crime in the last few years. Many citizens expressed their frustrations at the council meeting mentioned in the linked article. If these problems are not solved as a community, people will provide their own solutions. That should never devolve to hiding in moated manors and frontier justice, and it shall not do so here. We can do better than that, and, because of the efforts of good people, paid and volunteer, we are.


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