Remember that emotional petition by the District of Columbia? The one that said:
“Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees, it does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die.”
Well this comes from the Heller brief — the response to that in the Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court.
Petitioners correctly note that the Second Amendment “does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die.” Pet. at 30 (emphasis added). Yet the city consistently fights to secure its right to stand by while its citizens are victimized by crime.
For example, the city has successfully defended its right to “stand by while its citizens” are raped, kidnapped from their homes, and further abused. Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. 1981) (en banc). The city has likewise successfully defended its right to “stand by” in the face of the worst urban rioting in our nation’s history. Westminster Investing Co. v. G.C. Murphy Co., 434 F.2d 521 (D.C. Cir. 1970).The city has even defended its right to “stand by while its citizens die” when the perpetrator is a police officer. Morgan v. District of Columbia, 468 A.2d 1306 (D.C. 1983) (en banc).
Indeed, the city has asserted its right to “stand by while its citizens die” in the course of volunteering their assistance to the police. Butera v. District of Columbia, 235 F.3d 637 (D.C. Cir. 2001).
Petitioners cannot be begrudged their arguments that they are under no general obligation to protect citizens from violent crime. As a matter of tort law, Petitioners’ position is consistent with accepted notions of sovereign immunity and the public duty doctrine. And as a matter of constitutional law, citizens do not enjoy any positive right to police protection. DeShaney v. Winnebago County Dep’t of Social Servs., 489 U.S. 189 (1989); Castle Rock, 545 U.S. 748.
More details at dcguncase.com.