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?"
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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