MD Man charged with 2nd degree murder asked "Why didn't you call police?"

From day 1 of school we are taught don't fight, get a teacher. And day 1 of real life we are taught, don't fight, call 911. How is that working out for us? Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2013 — On September 15, 2013 a man by the name of Kendall Green forced his way into the home of Matthew Pinkerton. Mr. Pinkerton shot and killed Mr. Green. Mr. Pinkerton is now being charged with 2nd degree murder in the state of Maryland. The resounding question that the authorities asked when they arrived and interrogated Mr. Pinkerton?

“Why didn’t you call the police?”

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“Why didn’t you call the police?” while a simple question, carries with it deep and overreaching implications of the role of government in our lives, and the role government seeks to play in our lives. Aside from the asinine suggestion that Mr. Pinkerton had time to call the police in the first place, there is the suggestion of a tone that the authorities are somehow appalled that a citizen would seek to take it upon himself to use deadly force in a situation where deadly force should be reserved for the police.

It almost sounds as though the police are saying “How dare you take matters into your own hands to ensure the protection of your family, that’s our job…”

Well, it isn’t actually.

According to several Supreme Court Cases such as Warren v. District of Columbia (1981), and Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005), the state and local authorities are not Constitutionally bound to provide you with protection or prevent bodily harm from befalling you. According to the Supreme Court, you are responsible for your own personal defense, yet according to many state and local government, and in particular Glen Burnie, MD where Mr. Pinkerton lives, if you do not call the police and you take responsibility for your own defense you will be charged with murder.

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So where does this attitude come from? Where does the sentiment that we have to tell the authorities originate? Where are we constantly told from when were are younger; you should have told someone instead of taking care of it yourself?

It starts in our school system. In up until the early 1990’s, kids were not encouraged or even compelled to tell the school authorities about fights or bullying. Our grandparents generation, and our parents’ generation grew up learning how to resolve their own problems on the playground and in the halls. If you had a problem with a bully, you dealt with it on your own. If someone picked a fight with you, you dealt with it on your own. Bullies act with force, and respond best with force.

But our kids are told now, and my generation was told then, to go to the teacher if someone was bullying you. Now if someone gets bullied, either on the internet or in the schoolyard, or on the practice field, they are told to go to a teacher or to the principle. They are being urged to tell the authority figure that they are in trouble so that the authority figure can make everything better for them. They are ceding their problems to central authority figures to the detriment of the development of their problem solving skills. These kids and future adults, future voters, are being trained from day one that if you have a problem you need to go to the central authority figure to have it solved.

And how does that help us, or our kids? How does constantly ingratiating generations of children to the authority of a central institution helping our kids become better problem solvers, or free thinkers? The answer is it does not, it helps entities such as state and federal government. It helps them because when they graduate and they go out into the real World they will be confronted with issues, and they will have to choose who to vote for, and they will have to choose a political ideology to align themselves with. And if you are told all your life that the only way to solve your problems is through the intervention of a central authority figure, it is no surprise that when you grow up you will most likely be drawn to the political party that most closely fills that role.

Just take a look at the stories coming out of our nation’s schools. Last year in Texas, thirteen year old Max Duke was suspended for standing up to a bully. What did the bully do? He stomped on a paper airplane that Max had made for a special needs kid, when Max confronted the bully, the bully shoved Max, who defended himself with physical force. A teacher broke up the fight, and because of “zero tolerance” policies both children were suspended. Not only was Max suspended, but he was sent to an “institution” for troubled teens that required students to go through metal detectors and receive pat down searched for entry. What was the lesson for Max? Resolving your problems on your own without the approval of the authorities is punishable by be sent to a correctional facility.

April of last year, 9 year old Nathan Pemberton had been complaining to his parents about bullies for months. Finally, his parents told him “…if you have to, if there’s nobody else around, you do what you have to do…” And when a bully kicked him and attacked him, Nathan fought back. The schools response? “”District 11 schools employ many anti-bullying teaching techniques … and none of these methods include violence or retaliation.” According to his mother, the advice from the school had always been “…just walk away. Walk away and find a teacher.” Well as it turned out according to Nathans parents, they made repeated attempts to tell the teachers and the school that the bullying was going on, but nothing happened. So Nathan took matters into his own hands, and he was punished for it.

Just this October in South Carolina, the 12 year old son of Chris Hite was reportedly constantly going to the nurse over injuries sustained during bullying incidents. “The nurses office called and said he’s been beat up and hit again,” claimed the father. But one day his son was approached by another student, who called him names and then hit him so hard he got knocked to the ground.

Hite’s son apparently repeatedly attempted to stand up and defend himself, despite the other student pinning him to the ground and hitting his face. Hite’s response… “If somebody does assault you or do something to you, you better stand up and take care of yourself because you need to let not only that child but any other kids in that area sitting around watching, the little circle that gets around them- know that you mean business. And that could help stop any future bullying,” The schools response? Zero tolerance.

What does all of this tell us? We have parents who are sticking up for their children, and telling them that if they have a problem that they need to deal with it, and we have the school districts who institute a “zero tolerance” policy because they somehow believe that is a deterrent against school violence. Of course there are those who will claim that promoting children to defend themselves is tantamount to promoting violence within the school system, but that is not true. Defending themselves does not necessarily relate to deterrence through the means of physical violence. Instead of groups, organizations, and school systems teaching “how to avoid bullies” or “how to cope with bullying” they should be teaching “how to solve problems.”

By making the school system the first true experience a child has with a large, bureaucratic, centralized authority, and to make that centralized authority the only means by which potential conflicts can be addressed, and to make non-adherence to that authority a punishable offense, children of today are learning very early on that large centralized organizations are the only acceptable methods of resolving their conflicts. Zero tolerance policies are designed for a black and white world, and we are not a black and white world.

Often force is needed to counter force, and often, the authority figure designated to assist you and to protect you is too far away or will not listen. In Warren v. DC , repeated cry for assistance from police were ignored, and three women were repeatedly raped and beaten over fourteen hours. The result of the case? The police are not required to assist you, and cannot be held liable for lack of action. In Castle Rock v. Gonzales, after repeated attempts to warn authorities that a woman’s husband was coming to take her children, the estranged husband of Jessica Gonzales arrived at her house to abduct and eventually murder his own children. The result? The authorities cannot be held liable for failing to enforce a restraining order.

Now here we are in 2013, and a man from Maryland is being charged with 2nd degree murder. The basis for the police charging him? “Failed to call 911.”

The moral of this story?

Having been raised your entire lives to respect the laws and authority of the central authority figure, i.e. the government or the school district or the teachers, you now live in a world where the court system within that government has on several occasions ruled that the government is not responsible for your safety. However, when you take matters into your own hands, and exercise your 2nd amendment rights under the Constitution, and you are in your home protecting your family from an intruder, you are charged with murder based on the fact that the authorities believe they have a monopoly on conflict resolution in their jurisdiction, despite the fact that the courts have ruled they have no Constitutional obligation to protect you from bodily harm.

Basically it is the government saying, we don’t have to protect you but if you protect yourself you are going to jail.

How is that right?

Our school systems have become factories to churn out standardized students and authority respecting individuals who have been told from the first day that failure to adhere to the system means failure to advance in grade, or poor marks, or disciplinary action. Standardized tests do nothing but tell children what the right answers are, but children won’t understand why the answer is right, or why other answers are wrong. They are simply doing what they are told to do by those who they see as the central authority figure outside of their home.

And what message does the Pinkerton case send?

“You should have called the police…”

That is very convenient for them considering that if he had called the police, and he had not fired his weapon, and Mr. or Mrs. Pinkerton were killed or both, none of his or her relatives could sue the police department for not showing up on time to prevent the crime in the first place.

It all goes back to a monopoly authority, and by extension a monopoly on force. The same people who espouse the zero tolerance policies, and “peaceful” means of standing up to bullies, are the same people who wish to disarm Americans and tip the balance of force in the direction of the police. When Americans are not armed, and they no longer possess the ability to adequately defend themselves they will become increasingly reliant upon a law enforcement system which according to the Supreme Court of the United States does not have a Constitutional obligation to protect them from harm. What they do have is a desire to see that the ability for Americans to protect themselves, and to solve problems on their own as individuals, is steadily eroded down to nothing, and replaced by a willing and overbearing state that is more than happy to tell you they can’t defend you, and punish you for doing that which they have stated is not their responsibility to do.

The American people should have zero tolerance for school systems and administrators who punish children for prevent themselves from coming to bodily harm. They should have zero tolerance for bullies, they should have zero tolerance for blanket and extreme application of rules which suggest that when you are grown up, and you have to solve problems on your own, that the government or the authorities will be there to help you.

Because the truth is they will not be there, and just like in schoolyard fights they will not be there to stop it from happening, but they will be there in time to tell you that you should not have fought back, and to clean up, and to notify the families. They will be there to remind you that violation of their rules will result in punishment. They will be there to say it is our job to protect you, when they are truly saying; it is our job to keep you in line.

Think for yourself, and make sure your children think for themselves. Or our school systems will continue to churn out students with little capacity for independent thought, no problem solving skills, and an over dependence upon the government to solve all of their worldly problems.


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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a B.A. from Catholic University in DC in American History, with a concentration on guerrilla warfare on American soil. He has an M.A. in US History from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with a concentration on Cold War insurgency. He believes that all news and all information should be taken with a grain of salt, and implores people everywhere to seek news stories everywhere. 

Higgins is also a fervent believer in the traditional role of media, in terms of acting as a balanced check on government policies and individuals regardless of party affiliation. But in the end, he believes that no matter how heated an issue is, there is nothing that can't be discussed over a smoke and some whiskey. 

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