no third solution

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Cowardice Does Not Sink to Such a Depth

March 31st, 2009

An appalling story from the U.K. is making its way around the blogosphere this morning. In a nutshell: a housefire in South Yorkshire (h/t: samizdata) claimed the lives of a young (and expecting) couple, and their three year old son. Their 5 year old daughter is in critical condition at a local hospital and may not survive.

While awaiting the arrival of the fire department, the South Yorkshire police actively thwarted every effort by concerned neighbors to rescue the family trapped inside their burning home. A police spokeswoman indicated that the officers “handled this incident as professionally as possible.”

You be the judge.

Davey Davis, 38, a friend of the family, said: “It was the most harrowing thing I have ever witnessed. Michelle was at the bedroom window yelling, ‘Please save my kids’ and we wanted to help but the police were pushing us back and not allowing us near. We were willing to risk our lives to save those kiddies but the police wouldn’t let us.

I am utterly at a loss for words—not for want of emotion, the feeling I have is very real. It’s just that there are no words low enough or vile enough to accurately describe the actions of these first responders. None.

The presumption that the State owns you, and can therefore decide for you, whether you can aid your friends and neighbors even as they are dying, is absolutely inexcusable. May they be tormented by unabsolvable guilt, for the rest of their days.

Cowardice is understandable, even excusable, in the face of a very real and very serious threat. I’d like to think that I would, but I can’t promise that I’d charge headfirst into the flames to save complete strangers. I will not fault the officers for their unwillingness to risk their own lives in order to try and save that family, even as their house was burning down.

But when several “lads” are willing to put it all on the line, when they has the stones that you do not, and they are willing to risk death in order to save those in immediate danger, it is criminal to impede them.

Do you hear me? It is absolutely criminal to do anything but get the fuck out of their way.



  • Zach S. says on: March 31, 2009 at 7:19 pm


    I concur with your feelings about this; however, I know for every one of us who feel this way, if something would have happened to the people who attempted to rescue the family, there would be another person criminalizing the police for "not" doing there job.

    • nothirdsolution says on: March 31, 2009 at 7:40 pm


      I didn't think of that angle… But I would punch that person in the throat for making such a ridiculous argument.


  • Don says on: April 1, 2009 at 2:25 am


    Criminalizing them for what, Zach?

    Its already well known that the jack boots are under no compunction to protect anyone.

    The article I read stated there were 4 or 5 jack boots on the scene so my question is, How were they able to fortress the entire building so that no one could enter and attempt a rescue?

    I've been in several emergency situations where lives were on the line and I'll tell you right now that if I hear a woman screaming in terror 5 thugs will not stop me from doing what needs to be done, I will find a way, and quick.

  • nothirdsolution says on: April 1, 2009 at 2:28 am


    I think the word "villanize" might've been better suited. Zach is speaking to the utter lack of responsibility – that if someone had died trying to save the family, then it's quite likely that the would-be-hero's family would be suing the city for negligence.

    • Zach S. says on: April 1, 2009 at 4:04 am


      Exactly. And there would be plenty of people who would look down on the officer.

      And I find it odd Don that you said you HAVE been in several emergency situations and 5 thugs WOULD not stop you. Most people really do not have the balls to save those people when there is real life danger to your own person but can certainly talk a lot of smack out of the situation. I don't blame them. What's 2 dead bodies over 1?

      Additionally, I feel you should not pool all emergency personnel under the same umbrella. There are enough of these people who actually care about what they do and care about the people they protect/serve that they deserve some respect for what they are doing, i.e. 9/11 and the NYC Fire department, etc.

      Now, I do not have huge respect for these particular police as first responders and knowing the situation was that dire, they should have been trying to do something themselves. All emergency personnel have some sort of training in all aspects of emergency response.

  • Don says on: April 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm


    I was a medic in the army, in germany back in the mid 70's, and most of the calls I attended were on civilians, so I have first hand knowledge of what it takes to deal with extreme situations.

    I'm not sure why you capitalized the word WOULD.

    Each of us gets to make our own decisions regarding all aspects of our lives, by law or otherwise no one else gets to do that for us, unless each of us directly commissions someone to do so.

    In the given scenario the jack boots ASSumed they had some sort of power over others and their penalty for NOT bossing people around was to be ostracized in the media. A very small price to pay in my opinion for the exchange of a few saved lives.

    None of us were there so we have to rely on 3rd party info but most of us are well aware of the mindset of the gov't drones.

    BTW Zach, I wasn't attacking you personally but simply questioning your choice of words and the thought process behind them and explaining my point.

    BTW Administrator, David I think, I've been lurking for awhile because of a tip from my friend Bill Beck over at http://www.two–


    • nothirdsolution says on: April 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm


      thanks for "lurking", Don – Beck sent a fair amount of traffic my way when he mentioned me on his blog a few months back, it's nice to know that there are some repeat visitors!

      (And yes, it's David.)

    • Zach S. says on: April 2, 2009 at 3:08 am


      I understand. Being a military person myself and my girlfriend's father being a Deputy, I took it to heart.

      Additionally, I've been working 60-80 hours a week for 3 months straight so I suppose I'm a bit sensitve at the moment.

      I apologize for my coarse reaction and thank you for your service.

  • Eric Ogunbase says on: April 2, 2009 at 9:38 am


    Didn't the cops on the scene for the Virginia Tech shooting hide out? Not immediately engage? Are we really surprised when one of the boys in Blue bitches up? Didn't the US Supreme Court rule that the police have no obligation to protect you? Yes…they did.

  • nothirdsolution says on: April 3, 2009 at 3:16 am


    I'm not sure about VT, but I know that they didn't engage @ Columbine.

    And yeah, they are under no obligation to protect you.

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