Discuss Blue Bloods

There was a family discussion around the dinner table about Frank's position on an issue. Three prominent Jewish people had been murdered outside synagogues. The Jewish community decided to hire 500 security guards and run an ad in the Times publicizing that fact to dissuade further attacks. Frank didn't like the idea because it made the NYPD look like it wasn't working on the problem and that the Jewish community had to pick up the slack. Grandad said, if they're paying for them, what's the problem?

Danny: "People got a right to protect themselves however they see fit; so long as it's within the law, whatever helps them sleep at night, right?"

Jamie: "I think people got a right".

Nikki: "I mean isn't it like the right to bear arms?"

Frank; "No"

Erin: "Uh, yeah. Kind of."

Grandad told his tale of flying El Al twenty years previously and how everyone thought the security was way over the top. And that today everyone wishes all airlines had security like that.

Frank repeated that he thinks the ad is an insult to the NYPD.

Erin said "I hate to say it and I can't believe I am, but you're thinking like a politician here.....You're looking at it one way only, namely how it reflects on you."

I liked this scene. This is one of the few times I think Frank Reagan was wrong about something. It shows he is human and that his job is very political. He has to look out for the reputation of the NYPD as part of his job of course. And in this instance that motive blinded him to the needs of the Jewish community he truly wanted to protect. From their perspective, Jews were being murdered and needed protection. They were aware that Frank's best detectives were working to solve the murders and catch the perpetrator(s). But until that happened they were still vulnerable. Frank didn't have the resources to provide protection for the synagogues. In fact, it isn't the job of the police to provide personal protection for citizens. There just are not enough of them to do that anyway.

The fact is that if violent criminals are to be dissuaded it must be their intended victims who do it. They don't fear the law, they must be made to fear their victims. When their intended victims are defenseless the criminals are bold and feel free to act. When their intended victims are armed, the criminals think twice about going after them. They generally choose the easier targets.

And legally it is the right of citizens to bear arms for their own protection and safety from those who would abuse them. Frank was wrong to oppose them doing so. Of course it was the ad he mostly objected to, but that ad was a deterrent. It alerted the murderer(s) that he or they would meet armed resistance in the future.

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@write2topcat said:

And legally it is the right of citizens to bear arms for their own protection and safety from those who would abuse them.

It's in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Could there also be another reason, except for politics and wounded pride, why Frank was against the hiring of security personnel?
Perhaps he was thinking ahead: possibilities of rising tensions with so many armed people running around thinking that the guilty are people or groups opposed to the Jewish population.

For example, any protest near a synagogue could escalate and security guards would fire on the crowd if they think there's any threat. The NYPD would then have to come and clean up the mess.

Another possibility is that if one more person is killed, the Jewish community might decide that the police really can't do their job, and they'll take matters in their own hands. As they've already made the first step with hiring protection, the next step would be to hire private detectives to find and hunt down any one or any group they might think responsible for the deaths. And there's a thin line between just a citizen's arrest and vigilantism.

This all sounds far-fetched, but these and other possible consequences have to be taken into consideration. I don't know if Frank is thinking that far ahead.
He might truly believe that the police is there to protect and to serve, but in real life this is just an unattainable goal. Time and time again he is faced with the fact that the law can and is interpreted in different ways, and that the police are not independent, but subject to the whims of politicians, special interest groups, the rich, and ultimately the powerful businesses that control everything.

Frank is just a cop, growing up in a police family, and his beliefs are largely influenced by just that. He might think differently and try to go against the others sometimes, but ultimately he can't escape the fact that he is a "Blue Blood", and he'll always have to think and act like a cop.

On a side note: Blue Bloods is set in New York City which has laws banning private citizens owning and carrying handguns unless the State grants them a specific privilege to do so, which is a rare occurrence. For the most part private citizens are not allowed to own or carry handguns in NYC. So the show Blue Bloods must reflect this reality. When Frank Reagan objected to the ad announcing the Jewish Community's hiring of 500 armed security guards he was reflecting the attitude of the NYC political climate, at least in this sense; politicians like to tell the citizenry that the police will protect them (in a broad sense of the word protect) from criminals, and to rely on police to catch murderers, rapists, muggers, etc. after the fact. They are opposed to allowing citizens effective means of self defense. Frank Reagan's opposition to the Jewish community's private security force was congruent with that political climate.

But the Jewish community's position in this episode was rational, and justifiable based on natural law, constitutional law, and human rights. People should not be expected to remain defenseless in the face of mortal danger. It is an insult to people to tell them not to defend themselves, but to simply wait for police to catch those who murder them after the fact.

This is not a criticism of the police. They work diligently to enforce the law, and to apprehend and bring to justice those who violate the law. That is a big part of their job. Providing personal protection is not a law enforcement duty (except in specific cases, such as in witness protection cases) and you cannot sue the police for failing to protect you if you are mugged, raped, or suffer some other felony assault.

If a police officer witnesses such a crime in progress, he or she will certainly do their best to stop it from proceeding and to apprehend the perpetrator, but it isn't their duty to prevent crimes from ever occurring. It wouldn't be possible to perform such a duty anyway. There are not enough police officers to come close to being able to provide such protection to the citizenry, and it would bankrupt any society which attempted to field a large enough police force to make it possible. In short, the police are not body guards.

This reality is reflected in the United States legal foundations and legal history. It is a basic human right to be allowed to defend yourself from those who would abuse you. The US Constitution sought to prevent government from ever preventing citizens exercising this right by legally prohibiting any such prevention or infringement of that right. Yet politicians have made laws which infringe upon that right nonetheless. New York City is a prime example of a political establishment banning this basic human right to own effective means of self defense. The rallying cry for gun control is raised whenever a criminal slaughters defenseless victims. But what has gun control done? Has it stopped criminals? Of course not. Nobody believes that it ever will. Criminals don't obey the law.

Gun control laws create defenseless victim killing zones.

Politicians scare the public by suggesting that ordinary citizens cannot be trusted to own or carry handguns. But what are the facts? Many States have had laws allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns for decades now, and history shows us that those citizens are responsible. They get into less trouble with their handguns than police officers do. They obey the law. The average, law abiding citizen is very responsible with respect to the ownership and use of concealed handguns. The last thing they want to do is to use their guns to defend themselves. But in the gravest extreme, they want to have effective means of defense for themselves, and their families. At least a million times a year, privately owned handguns are used to prevent crimes. Most of the time citizens don't even have to fire the weapon. As soon as the criminal sees his intended victim is armed, he usually stops his advance and retreats away quickly. No crime has happened, police don't need to be called.

Gun control advocates imply that guns are the problem, that without guns in society, violent crimes like murder would decrease. But that isn't what happens. London has had strict gun control for many years now. The murder rate in London is higher than in NYC now. Criminals tend to stab their victims there. The biggest man with a knife usually wins the fight. If guns were the problem the USA should have the highest murder rate in the world, since there are more guns, and guns per capita in the US than any other country in the world, by far. But the US doesn't even make the top 100 countries in murders per capita. The countries of the world with the highest murder rates also have strict gun control laws, countries like Honduras, and Venezuela for example. Nearly all the countries with higher murder rates are socialist utopias with stringent gun control laws. In fact, the US would have one of the lowest murder rates in the world except for the data from cities with strict gun control, like Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans, Newark, Oakland, Stockton, and others.

If violent crime is to be stopped, it must be the intended victim who stops it. The criminal isn't afraid of the law, he must be made to fear the victim.

@wonder2wonder said:

@write2topcat said:

And legally it is the right of citizens to bear arms for their own protection and safety from those who would abuse them.

It's in the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Could there also be another reason, except for politics and wounded pride, why Frank was against the hiring of security personnel?
Perhaps he was thinking ahead: possibilities of rising tensions with so many armed people running around thinking that the guilty are people or groups opposed to the Jewish population.

For example, any protest near a synagogue could escalate and security guards would fire on the crowd if they think there's any threat. The NYPD would then have to come and clean up the mess.

Another possibility is that if one more person is killed, the Jewish community might decide that the police really can't do their job, and they'll take matters in their own hands. As they've already made the first step with hiring protection, the next step would be to hire private detectives to find and hunt down any one or any group they might think responsible for the deaths. And there's a thin line between just a citizen's arrest and vigilantism.

This all sounds far-fetched, but these and other possible consequences have to be taken into consideration. I don't know if Frank is thinking that far ahead.
He might truly believe that the police is there to protect and to serve, but in real life this is just an unattainable goal. Time and time again he is faced with the fact that the law can and is interpreted in different ways, and that the police are not independent, but subject to the whims of politicians, special interest groups, the rich, and ultimately the powerful businesses that control everything.

Frank is just a cop, growing up in a police family, and his beliefs are largely influenced by just that. He might think differently and try to go against the others sometimes, but ultimately he can't escape the fact that he is a "Blue Blood", and he'll always have to think and act like a cop.

I like Frank Reagan, and he may be worried in the show about other things than he talked about. I didn't mean to sound critical of Frank generally speaking. I just think in this episode Erin and the rest of the family was right. Frank has to be concerned with the public image of the NYPD. I can't really blame him for that. But I think Erin was right that he sounded like he was only viewing it from one perspective.

@write2topcat said:

If violent crime is to be stopped, it must be the intended victim who stops it. The criminal isn't afraid of the law, he must be made to fear the victim.

In the second plot, Linda was robbed and decided to buy a gun. She didn't tell her husband Danny, probably because he'd already mentioned that he would prefer her not to work in dangerous neighborhoods. In the end she told Danny any way and said that she didn't want the gun anymore.

It's strange that in a police family not every member is taught how to handle guns. In a country where guns seem to be part of life, as much as driving a car, one would at least expect the police to teach their own all about firearms. Maybe even go to a shooting range for practice.

Why didn't Danny suggest giving her lessons? She could get assaulted again and even be killed. The other nurse saved herself by firing her gun , and although she missed, she did scare away her attacker.

@wonder2wonder said:

@write2topcat said:

If violent crime is to be stopped, it must be the intended victim who stops it. The criminal isn't afraid of the law, he must be made to fear the victim.

In the second plot, Linda was robbed and decided to buy a gun. She didn't tell her husband Danny, probably because he'd already mentioned that he would prefer her not to work in dangerous neighborhoods. In the end she told Danny any way and said that she didn't want the gun anymore.

It's strange that in a police family not every member is taught how to handle guns. In a country where guns seem to be part of life, as much as driving a car, one would at least expect the police to teach their own all about firearms. Maybe even go to a shooting range for practice.

Why didn't Danny suggest giving her lessons? She could get assaulted again and even be killed. The other nurse saved herself by firing her gun , and although she missed, she did scare away her attacker.

Right, I agree. I wasn't even raised in a cop family and I was taught at an early age how to handle firearms safely, and how to shoot accurately. I have never pointed a gun at someone else. And I am sure that this is because I was taught from an early age never to do that (unless in an extreme situation I had to do it to save a life).

I would guess the reason for all the family members in the Reagan family not being gun literate might be:

1- they do live in NYC where average citizens cannot have guns by local law. The Reagans believe in enforcing the law, even when they may not agree with it. They are cops and must enforce the laws on the books. So perhaps they don't think they should expose their kids to firearms until they are able to legally have one, or something like that. Still, I think they would teach gun safety and familiarity to their children. I know they've been taught they must not handle Danny's guns. I assume there was some gun safety taught to them, but can't recall it in the show.

2- television shows generally take a liberal viewpoint about firearms. I don't know how much that influences the Blue Bloods scripts. Perhaps they didn't want to give some example of the Reagans teaching gun safety to children for legal reasons. They might be worried about frivolous lawsuits. Someone might claim that their child saw "the Reagan family teaching their kids about guns" and claim this motivated their child to pick up a gun. I'm not a lawyer but I can imagine there might be concerns about something like that.

But that still doesn't explain why Erin isn't licensed to carry a firearm (I don't recall seeing her with one, maybe I am wrong about that though). She puts violent criminals behind bars and is at greater risk than many other people.

And I would have thought Danny would have taught Linda how to shoot a long time ago. In real life I believe he would have done so. It would only make sense. He sees the worst elements in society everyday, and also sees their innocent victims. I think Danny would have insisted that Linda learn how to shoot, and how to safely handle and store a firearm.

I am guessing it is the Hollywood influence on the show. Linda said she didn't want the gun anymore, expressing some kind of fear of it. That is the attitude I think Hollywood wants to promote.

Of course as you pointed out, that nurse did shoot at the motorcycle riding shooter, missing him with her first shot. The rider turned and pointed his gun at her again and she got him with her second shot, wounding him.
Danny acted surprised when he learned she was a nurse, asking why would a nurse want a gun? Again, I tend to think this is just the Hollywood influence. But I liked her response, that she sees the results of felony assaults everyday in her work and wanted protection for herself.

Overall this episode was a pretty good one for showing that the average citizen does have need for personal protection, even though they may never need to exercise it. When you need it, you REALLY need it. It is a life saver.

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