Dial 911 and Die
by Richard W. Stevens
With an Introduction by James Bovard
Author of Lost Rights and Freedom in Chains
Click for a large image of The Cover.
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK: Do the police owe a duty to protect you from criminal attack? In most of the United States, the answer is "no." In fact, in most cases the police do not even have to respond to your emergency 911 call.
Don't believe it? Read the true stories from all across America about citizens who depended solely upon their telephone and police response for emergency help against a violent criminal. Not only did those crime victims not get help, the local government and police escaped legal responsibility for failing to help those victims.
This compact paperback reviews the law in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia and Canada, showing how statutes and court decisions consistently hold that the police generally have "no duty" to protect individual citizens. When it comes to personal self-defense, citizens are on their own.
Highlighting the importance of preparing to protect oneself and family, the book also retells 45 stories about people who successfully defended themselves long before any police could help.
Check the law of your state, and of the states where your loved ones live. If you are interested in public policy questions about government liability, gun control or victims' rights, or if protecting yourself and your family is your worry, this book tells you what you need to know about whether you have any "right" to police protection.
Certainly you will never look at your telephone the same way again.
SPECIAL NOTE TO LAWYERS AND RESEARCHERS: Dial 911 and Die provides full citations to all statutes and cases for all 54 jurisdictions referenced in the book. There is also a citation list of relevant secondary authorities. All of these legal materials are available on-line and in full-service law libraries everywhere.
PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It was the most shocking thing I learned in law school. We had been studying how, under current law, you can sue for almost anything. You can sue a ladder manufacturer for failing to warn you that you might fall off. You can sue the phone company when a drunk driver crashes into a phone booth that you are using. You can sue your landlord for failing to take enough precautions to deter criminals from harming you on the property. A burglar can sue the homeowner when the crook trips and falls while burgling. In all these cases, the law courts said the product manufacturer, the phone company and the property owner "owed a legal duty" to prevent the accidents or protect the citizen.
Turn the page, and prepare for a jolt: you cannot sue the government or the police for failing to protect you from crime. Whether liberal or conservative, almost everybody agrees that if there is one thing the government should do for the people, it should protect people from violent crime. Yet the law in most localities says that the government and police owe no legal duty to protect individual citizens from criminal attack.
You don't hear this fact from the media and political figures. So, I wanted to inform every American and Canadian about it. People are worried about violent crime, but the authorities just hand them a telephone number to call. After reading this book I hope people will understand that they have a right and duty to protect themselves from criminal attack, and that nobody else can really do it for them.
Some people won't believe this message unless they see the law and the cases in black and white with footnotes. Dial 911 and Die tells the true stories, gives the law, and provides the legal references. Get one copy for yourself, and one extra copy to lend to skeptical friends and family members. It might just save a life.
-- Richard W. Stevens, email@example.com
EXCERPT FROM A REVIEW: Dial 911 and Die is a book that will open your eyes and possibly even save your life, or the life of someone you love. It should be required reading for anyone who doesn't realize that he has primary, if not sole, responsibility for protecting and defending himself. And it's a wonderful resource for those of us who have accepted that responsibility in the face of overwhelming hostility from the uninformed and politically correct. ...
Do the police have the obligation to arrest someone who repeatedly violates a domestic violence protective order? No. Can the police ignore an emergency call for assistance in order to do paperwork? Yes. Do the police have the obligation to respond to a 911 call for help? No. What if they promise that "help is on the way"? Do they then have an obligation to respond? Still no. If the police witness a crime in progress, must they intervene to protect the innocent? No again. ...
(Sarah Thompson, M.D., from The Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 3, No 42, October 25, 1999.)
Endorsements for Dial 911 and Die
Dial 911 and Die is a book that should have been written a long time ago. The enormity of the facts its author, attorney Richard Stevens, reveals is almost too much to take in. The notion that the police have no legal obligation in most instances to protect the life, property, and rights of any given individual -- while at the same time spending unthinkable amounts of time and energy attempting to deprive that individual of the means and legal right to self-defense -- puts the lie to every claim for government that statists have ever made.
The remedy -- a general reassertion of that right -- is the only rational response to the facts that Stevens presents state by state. His book may even set the stage for something truly revolutionary, perhaps even repeal of the pernicious and un-American Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity on which these more specific official evasions of responsibility rely.
There are only four or five Completely Indispensable books in the world. Richard Stevens has managed to add another one to their number.
L. Neil Smith,
author The Probability Broach, Pallas, and The Mitzvah (with Aaron Zelman)
How I wish that the information in this book were not true. Nevertheless, this book speaks to the irrefutable truth: police do very little to prevent violent crime. We investigate crime after the fact. I applaud Richard Stevens for his tremendous research and his courage to tell this truth.
Former Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona
For those good-hearted citizens who believe the police should and will protect them and their families, Dial 911 and Die is a sobering heads-up. Nowhere in our nation do the police have the duty or the capability to protect most of Americans. Dial 911 and Die documents the case law and statutes that drive home that we are responsible for protecting ourselves and our loved ones.
Edgar A. Suter, MD
National Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research Inc.
Dial 911 and Die is a book that will open your eyes -- and possibly even save your life, or the life of someone you love. It should be required reading for anyone who doesn't realize that he has primary, if not sole, responsibility for protecting and defending himself.
Dial 911 and Die presents a compelling argument for restoring the individual right of self-defense. But it's also a compelling argument for reforming, if not revoking, the legal doctrines of "sovereign immunity" and "public duty", or for privatizing emergency services.
While government has no duty to protect people, or even to prevent crime and apprehend criminals, it has arrogated to itself the power to disarm them.
Isn't it interesting that a person is a "responsible citizen" if he keeps a cell phone, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit handy, but is presumed to be a criminal if he keeps a loaded firearm available for self-defense?
Buy this book for friends and relatives who still believe the police will protect them. If it saves just one life, it's worth it!
Sarah Thompson, MD
author and liberty activist
If you thought the police were required to protect you from violent crime, then think again. Stevens' book dramatically explains the legal reality behind the slogan.
Executive Director, Gun Owners of America
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