Prominent Myths Related to Self-Defense and Concealed Carry Reform

Myth #1 - "You don't need a gun - the police will protect you"

Police can only act once a crime is occurring or has already been committed. They cannot be held liable for failure to arrive in time to save any particular individual from harm, so long as they aren't someone who has a special relationship with the police, like a protected witness. Indeed, it's extremely unlikely that police officers will be able to arrive and save you from harm faster than an attacker can harm you. There aren't, and there ought not to be, sufficient police to act as personal bodyguards for every citizen, 24 hours a day, and any guarantee to that effect would be extremely expensive in terms of both money and liberty.

Recommended reading:

In The Gravest Extreme, by Massad Ayoob
[available from Police Bookshelf, P.O. Box 122, Concord, NH 03301], ISBN 0-936297-00-1, (1980)

The Truth About Self Protection, by Massad Ayoob
Police Bookshelf, ISBN 0553-23664-6, (1983)

Armed and Female: Twelve Million American Women Own Guns, Should You?, by Paxton Quigley
St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-95150-7, (1993)

Not An Easy Target, by Paxton Quigley
Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0-671-89081-6, (1995)

Strong On Defense: Survival Rules to Protect You and Your Family from Crime, by Sanford Strong
Pocket Books, ISBN 0-671-52293-0, (1996)

Firing Back, by Clayton E. Cramer
Krause Publications, ISBN 0-87341-344-X, (1994)

Stopping Power: Why Seventy Million Americans Own Guns, by J. Neil Schulman
Synapse-Centurion Books, ISBN 1-882639-03-0, (1994)

Gun Laws and the Need for Self-Defense (Parts 1 and 2), hearings before The Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, 104th Congress, 1st session, March 31, 1996
SuDoc# Y 4.J89/1:104/43/Pt.1, and 2nd session, April 5, 1995, SuDoc# Y 4.J89/1:104/43/Pt.2
[These hearings, called in response to the fledgling Republican Congress' efforts to repeal the 1994 Clinton/Feinstein gun ban (see 3.3 and Appendix I), featured testimony from a number of scholars cited elsewhere in this FAQ, including James Wright, Joyce Malcolm, David Bordua, Robert Cottrol, and Daniel Polsby, as well as law enforcement officers and crime victims.]

A selection of relevant court cases [most of which are listed and discussed in 'Dial 911 and Die!' by JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership) 2872 S. Wentworth Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207, Ph: (414) 769-0760, FAX: (414) 483-8435 JPFO also has a website:"]:

[Note: For convenience of the reader, legal citations in this FAQ have been rendered in a more familiar "bibliography" style form, rather than standard legal citation form. Real lawyers would cite the first case below as 59 U.S. (18 How.) 396, 15 L.Ed. 433]

- South v. Maryland, U.S. Reports (18 Howard) v.59 p.396, Lawyer's Edition v.15 p.433 (1856)

- Riss v. City of New York, N.Y. Supplement 2nd series v.293 p.897, N.Y. Reports 2nd series v.22 p.579 (1968)

- Keane v. City of Chicago, Illinois Appellate Court Reports 2nd series v.98 p.460 (1968)

- Hartzler v. City of San Jose, California Appellate Reports 3rd series v.46 p.6, California Reporter v.120 p.5 (1975)

- Reiff v. City of Philadelphia, Federal Supplement v.471 p.1262 Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1979)

- Warren v. District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit 2nd series v.444 p.1 (1981)

- Bowers v. DeVito, Federal Reporter 2nd series v.686 p.616 U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Cir. (1982)

- Morgan v. District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit 2nd series v.468 p.1306 (1983)

- Cuffy v. City of New York, N.Y. Reports 2nd series v.69 p.255 (1987)

- Lynch v. N.C. Dept. of Justice, Southeastern Reporter 2nd series v.376 p.247 North Carolina Court of Appeals (1989)

- Kircher v. City of Jamestown, New York Reports 2nd series v.74 p.251, Northeastern Reporter 2nd series v.543 p.443 (1989)

- Marshall v. Winston, Southeastern Reporter 2nd series v.389 p.902 Virginia (1990)

- Berliner v. Thompson, et al., Appellate Division (NY) 2nd series v.174 p.220, New York State 2nd series v.578 p.687 (1992)

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