Emails: Debating Limited versus No Government

Limited Gov Guy: I was arguing with [my girlfriend] last night about the Affordable Care Act and how it is not the government’s place to take care of sick people. I argued instead that the government is mainly there, to plagiarize Milton Friedman’s words, for the role of enforcing contracts between individuals and punishing individuals who violate others’ rights.

If you accept that (I know you might not), then consider this:
In the following scenarios, a citizen’s right to life is threatened by three different assailants.
– If an individual were to assault someone on the street for no reason, I would want the government to imprison that individual.
– If a wild animal were to attack someone unprovoked, I would want the government to contain or destroy that animal.
– If a bacteria infects someone and starts to kill them, then why should not the government take actions against that bacteria to protect the citizen’s right to life?
That’s what [my girlfriend] said to me, and I had no response.
I know it’s wrong, but I don’t know why.

Free Association Man: If an individual were to assault….. but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you to enter into a contract with a body guard.

If a wild animal were to attack… but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you to enter into a contract with an animal trainer.

If a bacteria infects… but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you into a contract with a health insurance company….

BTW: We have the CDC, NIH, and the FDA already charged with viral and bacterial defenses for the population.

The pain for the ACA is all back-loaded to 2017. Mr. Obama says the ACA is “working” because more people have health insurance. But that’s because the gov is subsidizing enrollments. This is why a SCOTUS decision against subsidies would have killed the ACA. The subsidies expire, penalties begin, and all the new taxes (not fees…thank-you Chief Justice Roberts), start Jan 1 2017.

Example: The tuition at my school is 10K. Now lets mandate that every kid on the Cape has to enroll in my school. Lets further mandate that my school has to cover all sorts of new services (health clinics, free breakfast, psych counseling…) But not-to-worry.. the tuition is subsidized so that 10K tuition will only cost you 2K and you get all these great new services. What do you know?? Enrollment is booming at my school! What will the tuition bill be in 2017 when the subsidies expire? Parents are going to be wishing for the good-old-days when they weren’t mandated to enroll and the tuition was only 10K. This is why most analyst say that the ACA is not sustainable after the subsidies expire. (google: ACA-subsidies-expiration). Johnathan Gruber – the main architect of the ACA – said that the ACA is not sustainable and called the American people “stupid” for not seeing this (  And where will Mr. Obama be in 2017? Playing golf.

Economics Guy: In all those cases I want to be my own first line of defense.  If an attacker or an animal survives my defense (which can include nearby citizens), then the government (or a private entity that provides a similar service) can take appropriate action.
If I decide that I need help with an illness, I have the option to contract for that help with whomever I think can help me.  In my lifetime this is how it was.  You got sick, if you needed to see a doctor you paid him.  You only paid for what you needed.  Medical care was less costly before the government got involved.  (Everything was.  More on that to follow.)
It might seem like a good idea to have government agencies trying to identify and contain disease in general, and maybe it is.  The problem is that nobody ever asks “What will this cost?”  The other problem is that every government program expands and becomes a horribly inefficient bureaucracy.  The cost thing might sound callous, but it is an unfortunate reality.  Products and services are not free.  Somebody must produce products and services and that somebody wants something in return.
Economics 101:
Wealth is created, it is not distributed from some pre-existing stash.
Wealth is the availability of a standard of living higher than naked, alone and afraid, struggling to survive 24/7.
You want to eat?  Go find some berries, pick them, chew them and digest them.  You just produced one meal.
You want to get out of the rain?  Find a cave and defend it against the bear that comes looking for a den and a non-berry meal.  You just produced shelter.
You want a companion?  You have to offer her a better deal than the one she has.  Better companionship or more food or more comfortable shelter.
You see where this is going.  People enter into agreements to produce for each other.  The standard of living increases.  Infrastructure gets created.  It is all supported entirely by people who produce more than they consume.
Fast forward to 1776.  The colonists decide they are not happy with the British government.  They decide to create their own.  There are big government guys and small government guys.  We end up with a republic with a constitution that limits the federal government to very specific roles.  The government needs some amount of revenue.  It comes from taxes.  Taxes are the taking of some of the produce of the producers.  Almost everybody is on board with some amount of government and therefore taxes.  Government produced a producer-friendly environment the cost of which is taxes.
But the government starts to grow.  There are government people who keep thinking of new things the government can do.  It can do them because it can take from the current producers and borrow against what it will take from future producers.  Few in government ever ask if the government should do these things.  It is easy to spend other peoples money.  Some people like some of the things government does, other people like other things the government does, almost nobody likes all the things government does.  If you are a net producer you pay for it anyway.
How can we tell if we are producers?  Don’t government employees produce something?  Often government employees produce things.  Teachers teach, firefighters fight fires, researchers conduct research etc.  The litmus test is this:  Would a free market pay them to do what they do and how much?  Some people have always been willing to trade what they produce for what a teacher produces, or what a blacksmith produces or what a composer produces.  Can an artist produce enough art in a free market to live comfortably?  Good for him!  The list is endless.
But who will trade their produce for an IRS audit or for the NSA to spy on them?  Or for a bureaucrat to give some of their produce to a non-producer who could produce?
Today’s government is so bloated with bureaucracy that most of what producers produce goes to supporting the non-producing bureaucrats.  It is not that they don’t do what they are hired to do, it is that they shouldn’t have been hired to do it in the first place.  To make matters worse much of what bureaucrats do, make it harder for producers to produce.
Economics 102:
Economics is the study of incentives.
Costs rise or fall to match the supply with the demand.
When something costs less the market wants more of it.  When something costs more the market wants less of it.
Cost in this case is not just part of your produce.  It can be your freedom or your state of well being or pretty much anything you care about.
If you attend an event with an open bar you might drink more because you don’t have to trade your produce for it, your host has decided to trade his produce for your drink.  Or you might drink less because you don’t want to take advantage of your host.  In this case your cost is the idea that you are taking advantage of your host and that is a higher cost to you than your produce.
Our government routinely hides the true cost of things from us.  Piles and piles of red tape and taxes drive costs up while subsidies, tax breaks and special treatment drive costs down, sometimes on the same product.
Insurance was invented as a way to share economic risk.  A group of people who all face a more or less similar level of economic risk agree to create a pool of money to be paid out to those members who have an actual loss.  This works if the level of risk is relatively low over the life of the agreement.  Homeowners insurance is a good example.  You can’t afford to lose your $250K house and neither can most people so you all pay $500 a year to the insurance company who provides (produces) the organization to collect the pool and investigate and pay claims.  They probably get about 8% of the pool each year for this service, and everybody is happy.  It works because everybody faces about the same risk which is low, the incentives to try and cheat are small and the pool can pay the actual costs with enough left over for the insurance company to get its cut.
Health insurance is different.  Risk is affected by your lifestyle, your age and your genes.  Young, clean-living, hardy specimens don’t want to share the risk with broken-down old drug addicts.  Paying an insurance company $54 so they will pay for your $50 doctor visit doesn’t make a lot of sense.  A 60 year old man paying an insurance company for pre-natal care makes no sense at all.
Government medical care makes medical care look free or low cost.  When things cost less, people want more.  When demand goes up, actual costs (which are hidden from the consumer) go up.  This is why I said earlier that everything costs more when the government gets involved.  They can re-distribute the costs but they can’t make them go away.
The lowest possible costs and the most efficient solutions occur in a well informed, truly free market.  A true free market has never existed in America, but we were a lot closer in the past.
Obamacare (and every other government program) will benefit some people at the expense of many others.  This is socialism.  There is a limit to how much socialism we can afford.  There is no limit to how much wealth we can create.  Poor people in America today live better than kings and queens of yesterday.
Freedom creates wealth.  Socialism destroys wealth.
The bottom line: There are few if any things the government does that can’t be done better at lower cost by the free market.  (The real free market, not the government manipulated “free” market.)

Scary Anarchist:Allow me to pontificate.

1. I’d much rather mitigate risk from criminals, animals, nature by voluntarily entering into contracts with privatized for profit agencies than to be forced into conditions imposed by government.

2. “Where do you find these angels to run government.” Milton Friedman.

Limited Gov Guy:These are all excellent points, but I think I should have specified.

I am attempting to figure things out theoretically, in a vacuum of sorts, where the only considerations are individual freedoms versus collective security.
Many of your arguments are based on the impracticality and budgetary butchery of government work. I agree with all of these ideas, and perhaps they are your sole reasons for opposing the ACA.
But imagine a world in which the government could provide such services (police, corrections facilities, healthcare — all to protect the citizen’s right to life) just as efficiently as the private sector.
In this scenario, with numbers aside and the only factors being individual freedoms versus collective security, where do you draw the line?
I would be willing to pay taxes for the government to protect the public from criminals and wild animals, but not for them to protect us from disease.
The more I think about it, the more inconsistent it seems. Why do I pick and choose?
It seems the only reasonable progression is that government provides ALL services or NONE of them…

Economics Guy: Correct!  But does everybody need or want all the same services?  The only way government can provide anything at all is to first take it from somebody else.  If everybody wanted the exact same thing from government, and if government were efficient and had no agenda of its own, then it may indeed be the best way to provide those things.

But none of those things are true.

[My town] provides water and sewer service, collects the trash, has a school system, plows the roads, collects leaves in the fall, has curbside recycling, maintains parks and athletic fields and some other stuff.  Hopedale residents pay for this in the form of property taxes, which are high.  If you have a small lot, lots of kids, plenty of money and aren’t very handy then this is a good deal.  If you have a big lot that would support a septic system and a well, don’t generate a lot of trash, have no kids, don’t use the park and dump your leaves in the corner of your own property then you are getting screwed.  Your only option is to move.  If you stay in [my town] you are paying for stuff you don’t need or want.
On the federal level it is even worse, there are zillions of government programs that almost nobody would voluntarily support, and the option to move is more or less unrealistic.  So I come down on the side of very limited / no government.  This will preserve my freedom and a market WILL develop to serve people who want a higher level of service.

Joe Jarvis: I agree, it is much easier to consistently argue from the no government perspective. Then, it is a simple matter of not being robbed (in the form of taxes). Healthcare would be wrong, not necessarily because of what was provided, but because it was done by force. This is akin to how charity is no longer charity when you steal someone else’s money to donate.

Now our idea of limited government would be protection from foreign invaders essentially, and protection from being victimized by fellow citizens. In that sense the argument would be, if the USA is going to declare 3 million square miles “theirs,” then at least they have the responsibility to repel hordes and make sure they foster a safe environment within. But even this stands on shaky ground, because A) how do you pay for it without theft which is wrong, and B) how is it legitimate to claim land people already own, live on, work etc.?

If the answer to A is competing government agencies which you can defund by patronizing another one, that would seem to no longer fall under the definition of government; it would be more like a business. Yet that is exactly what would deliver the best results, as every other sector of the free market.

The competing agencies could team up in the event of a larger outside threat. Think of if every state’s police and national guard were privatized, had to find investors to buy back their equipment, and rebate the money to the taxpayers. Then they could start their own agencies, and the ones who provide a good enough service in the free market would still exist. The Colorado State Police, from what I hear, would do quite fine as a private company, due to the high quality service they provide to the public. People would still voluntarily pay for their policing activities, be it business owners, individuals, or road owners, because there is value in the product.
But I guess I am getting a bit off topic.

Scary Anarchist:Here’s a good barometer if you choose to put all other aspects aside.

Is it voluntary?

If taxes were voluntary would anybody pay them? If social security were voluntary only those who wanted it could CHOOSE to partake and pay into the system. What’s wrong with that? If police “protection” were optional, could I opt out of the system and provide my own protection? In fact isn’t this what we call privatization? Much of what we are subject to by govt. is deemed a “collective right” thus justifying it as a NON-voluntary system. If the system were option many who make their living off of thieving and controlling you and I would be out of a job. But what is a collective but a collection of individuals. I am an individual not a collective, who has different dreams, fears, hopes, wants, needs, then the next. The litmus test of all political theory for the libertarian minded is the championing of voluntary transactions and maximum individual liberty while upholding the non-aggression principal (NAP). Case and point: isn’t it good if we’re all forced to get immunization to keep deadly disease at bay (which beckons the question how are they going to force this)? This may be true but I would say NEGATIVE. Cannot subject individual liberty to this supposed “need” of the collective. If it’s truly a good idea than the market will uphold it. What is “the market” you say…. much to learn you have young Padoine!

Limited Gov Guy: I’m beginning to think that government should exert no control outside of a few necessary evils:
1) The Feds should defend our borders from other nations, and have almost no influence on American citizens themselves. This would require a federal tax, unfortunately. However, in order to preserve the freedoms inside our borders, I think I could bear a defense tax.
2) The States/counties/towns should deal with violations of rights among their residents. If one violates another’s rights to life or property (which I think are the two basic rights from which all others stem), then the government has a court system and a police force to deal with him. I also think that, at this lower level, government could own land for the sole purpose of selling it to any citizen who wanted it.
3) All else would be left to the free market.
I can’t say I completely buy into the anarchist mindset, even though I really enjoyed the ideas in Joey’s Anarchy in New England.
1) I’m not sure the private arbitration agencies could be trusted to agree upon verdicts impartially. I understand the idea that business ethics reviews would destroy such agencies if they made unjust rulings, but they might not all adhere to the same standards. What if there was a Muslim-run arbitration agency ruled that a thief ought to be beheaded?
2) And lastly, I think the lower-level government would have to own land and sell it to citizens. Otherwise, there would be no legitimacy to land ownership. Anybody could claim as much as they wanted, as long as they had more guns than the next guy.
Could the free market take care of such things?

Joe Jarvis: Yes, I believe the free market would take care of these things better than the government can. Competition and the profit motive are what will allow for this, while monopolies, including one on defense and conflict resolution, means no alternatives.

1) Currently Muslim run Governments dictate that thieves be beheaded (or witches, or woman drivers). An arbitration agency however would be competing with other ones. If I was a thief, and have representation, then it is likely that a Muslim agency would adjust their sentences to themselves avoid action against them. However if an entire region (customers) agreed thieves should be beheaded, the punishment would persist.
But the profit motive and competition means a draconian agency would have to justify their existence to customers, versus forcing customers to fund their “service” (the government). The fact is our current system is not impartial, and states/ towns do not have the same standards. An ounce of weed has landed people with life sentences in some states, while in MA it is a $100 fine. Any agency that tried to jail a man for life for possession of a plant would be opening a can of worms that would threaten their profits, and open up competition for rival, less crazy agencies.
And everyone would save money because a crime would require a victim. Currently the government steals our money, and labels things crimes, even if there is no victim. We are forced to pay to lock up non-violent drug offenders. But without government monopolizing security, consumers would balance service with cost. The best service (as decided by the consumers, who in a truly free market would also necessarily be producers) for the lowest cost would win out. War has high costs, and so does dishing out draconian sentences that people (your customers, or customers of rival agencies) will protest.
Is it possible for injustices to happen? Of course. But based on what we know about market forces, we have to assume the injustices would be fewer, farther between, and more easily righted outside of monopoly control.
And finally, we cannot take the best example of government, and act like all governments will be that way. Cliche, but look what Stalin, Hitler, and Mao’s governments did. Absolutely no private agency could afford to do that, get nearly as far, or survive the public backlash.
2) Land ownership is indeed important, and I think the structure would be slightly different without government, but no less just. First off, there is no private ownership of land currently. We rent it from local governments; the rent is called Property Tax. If you don’t pay your rent (property tax), they will eventually confiscate the land from you. The Feds can also confiscate your land according to the Constitution, and give you what they decide is the market price. How absurd: the market price is whatever I want to sell the land for. If I don’t want to sell, the price might go through the roof. If you want occupied/ owned land, pay for it what the owner asks, or move on.
So that is the price we pay for allowing government to control land ownership. Currently, the guys with the most guns indeed claim the most land. America claims 3 million square miles officially, and another 54 million square miles unofficially. I think I will trust the market to ensure that at least more than a few hundred governments own all the land on Earth.
It is not legitimate to claim land you do not use. I cannot say for sure how this would go down, as it would be different in different regions, however the consumers would still decide on what constitutes land ownership, just as they would dictate the laws through patronizing a security company that shares their values. This would give us true votes (with dollars) on what laws exist, as opposed to mob rule law as it currently stands.
If I owned a security company, I would agree to protect land that people use and/or improve. If you have a house, and a fence around your property that no neighbors dispute, then it is easy: register with your security company the land you want them to protect. If anyone else claims it, they will legitimize the fact that it is yours. Same if you build a factory: it does not magically belong to the workers. Absentee land ownership would be legitimate as long as his capital paid for the improvements on the land.
Does a random tree in the forest belong to you? No. But when you cut down the tree, mill the wood, and make a bar out of the tree, the bar belongs to you. Even if you cut down the tree and split it into logs, they belong to you. The berries on the bush belong to you once you pick them. And an unoccupied piece of land belongs to you if you add value by manipulating the natural resources.
Something not legitimate would be claiming Isolation Mountain as your own. No security company would agree to protect that land as yours, because it would threaten their public perception, and profits. In fact multiple New England agencies might even get together, and decide on large swaths of land they will never register to a single owner (in order to avoid later conflict, and thus save money). You could still go out and build a hut in the forest, grow a garden and in my opinion that would make the land your own.
Land ownership, in that sense, predates humans. Wolves understand the invading party to be in the wrong, and that invasion will most likely lead to mutual destruction, with a slightly higher possibility of the owner coming out on top, due to incentives to protect ones own property. It is possible, though less probable, the invading wolves win the land. But as I’ve already noted, the American wolf pack has already stolen your land. So it is a matter of collective ownership of all 3 million square miles (if you agree not to threaten the alfa male, you might be allowed to live on THEIR land for a relatively low cost, with some benefits, including other wolf packs not invading your land, but with the very distinct possibility of your own wolf pack cannibalizing you).
But you couldn’t simply claim an area you do not use as your own because: A) it would require the personel to protect it, in which case, you are adding value in a sense (providing jobs, and therefore using/ occupying the land). or B) if there are already people on the land, this is aggression on their property which the owner’s security should protect, and if you impose your will or take a tax from the people within the land your claim, you have just created a government.
The subject of land ownership really requires a book, but perhaps I will try to tackle it in a post. One thing I am sure of however, is that the free market will make for better rules of private ownership of land than the current monopoly provides.

Private Police Outperform Public Police in One Texas Town

One town in Texas decided not to renew it’s contract with the local constables. Instead they hired a private policing company to patrol their streets. The result: it cost less and crime dropped.

And it was not just some statistically insignificant drop in crime: there has been an overall 61% drop in crime since the private police took over 20 months ago. The town of Sharpstown is not tiny either; it is home to 66,000 residents, located just outside of Houston. The new police force puts more officers out on patrol, and costs the city $200,000 fewer each year than the constables cost.

This just shows what a simple profit incentive can accomplish. Instead of doing the same old thing, SEAL, the private police force, uses targeted patrols for high crime area, and keeps the same officer in a particular neighborhood, instead of randomly sending patrols zig-zagging all over the place.

“Law enforcement officers are trained to be reactive. They’re out there to run calls, they’re running one call to another, so they’re reacting to something that’s already happened. Private security, the way that we train our guys, is more proactive, meaning that we’re in the community proactively patrolling to prevent those crimes.”

Said James Alexander, the director of SEAL operations.

One town isn’t hard proof of anything, but it is certainly an indication that private police can do just as good, if not better than, a public police force. And this example is not purely private either: the police were still hired with public funds. I would like to see what happens when people are left to their own devices to shop around for protection, as long as they are rebated the money previously taken by force to pay for public police.

Sociopaths Among Us

anmemedictatorNot all sociopaths become the violent murderers of horror movies, or sadistic creatures trolling the night for victims. Most sociopaths convince everyone around them that they are not a sociopath. You know and interact with sociopaths, probably every day. According to some estimates, about 4% of the population could be considered sociopathic, meaning they feel no guilt or remorse, and do not care about others’ suffering. You could say what makes a sociopath is lack of conscience.

And worse, sociopaths are generally charismatic, and naturally seek positions of power. While reading up on the sociopaths, I came across what looks like an interesting book on the subject by Martha Stout called The Sociopath Next Door. It is not that these people wouldn’t murder, or don’t want to rape, they simply do not see that as an expedient way to get what they want. But, if you are in the proper position of power, you can get away with murder, rape, and any other number of things which might appeal to a sociopath.

So 1 in 25, at least 12 million Americans, are sociopaths, just waiting to gain the advantage over you or me, so that they can do whatever they want, no matter how much it hurts others, as long as it serves their interests or desires.

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know—someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for—is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

More easily said than done. How can I not join the game of the IRS agent auditing me, or the cop who has pulled me over, or the bureaucrat who has denied my permits and licenses? In a world of free association, we could simply avoid sociopathic people, or protect ourselves when we come into contact with them. But when sociopaths attain extra rights and privileges, and not only protection for, but endorsement of their crimes, what are we to do?

Elect the right people? Chances are, many of these races for office are one sociopath running against another. And then these people appoint the bureaucrats, and hire the police. They approve and promote people that are like them, that will similarly serve their interests, and that will turn a blind eye to sociopathic behavior.

Question authority, or better yet, reject authority when possible. If everyone were actually considered equal, instead of some with government backing having more right and protections, then we would be able to simply react to a sociopath properly when they initiate force against us. So if authority in general is rejected, if we refuse to submit to force, that would make it easy to react to sociopaths. No you may not take my money because you claim you will do better things with it than I could. Oh but the poor, elderly, sick….

Beware the pity play. Do you honestly think they care? Does anyone honestly believe the politicians when they say they want to or have helped the poor? Is that what Obamacare is about, helping sick people? Or is it about controlling people, casting minions down into their rightful place beneath the boot of sociopathic rulers? If politicians cared about solving poverty, it would be solved. I know this because the tax dollars spent on welfare per household in poverty dwarf the median income of Americans.

You could say it is simple inefficiency, but I say it is deliberate theft. But what do we expect from a system that allows sociopaths the benefit of the doubt, while us peasants must explain why we want privacy, we must seek permits to build, protect ourselves, open a business, and seek permission to move about, drive, travel, and we must pay our rulers for them graciously allowing us to work. How bout we all keep what is ours, and anyone that tries to take it can be assumed to be a sociopath, instead of assumed to be a philanthropist?

I just so happen to be reading A Clockwork Orange at the moment. The sociopathic narrator Alex gets out of jail after multiple rapes and murders to find his sociopathic former friends and cohorts have become police officers. These friends in fact engaged in the same rape and murder for which Alex was punished, but they were not caught. Now they have been given the badge and the gun, and set loose upon society to keep order. Alex runs into them, and even though he was being beaten up (albeit by a man he had once attacked) the police find it more enjoyable to teach Alex a lesson. They drive him out to the country side where they beat him, possibly worse, and leave him in the cold to his own devices.

Yes, it is only a book. But the point is that sociopaths are naturally drawn to positions of power. If a sociopath has no conscience, and wants to kill someone, he may not do it simply for fear of his own harm or death, or confinement if he is caught. But the disturbing trend of late is that police do not receive the same punishment for their crimes that the general public receives. The case that comes to mind is a former prison guard who received only probation and no jail time after being found guilty of 25 counts of sexual assault against female inmates, and trafficking drugs into the prison. He did not care about the injuries he caused to others. He found the proper channel to express his sociopathic desires. This channel served him well, as he will not have to answer for his crimes.

So if we stop giving some people power over others, we don’t have to worry about being at the mercy of a sociopath. What a novel concept, self ownership, and freedom of association. But as it stands now, any sociopath can well position himself with power, and be free to carry out his sadistic desires with impunity, all in the name of authority, or charity.

A Free People Cannot Be Conquered

Without the central machinery of government already in place, what exactly can an outside enemy conquer and control? While there is still the potential for plunder, in an anarchic set up of society, there would be no way for a gang to assert their authority over a free people.

This is a main criticism when people hear that you want no government: “but what if a cartel comes in and sets up a government?” So worst case scenario for eliminating government is that we end up with a government again? Interesting.

But while we would still need a market for repelling invasions of theoretical armies set on rape and looting, there would be no such risk of a central takeover. Because there would be no central thing to take over. Currently, couldn’t you imagine ISIS marching into Washington with some heads on stakes and telling the government they are in control now? Is your congressman going to tell him no? Nah, mine niether. Mine would probably beg to be the new head of the IRS (Islamic Revenue Service) for the USI (United States of Islam).

Then the attackers could just issue their orders, and the hierarchy we have created through the America government would creak back to life under new management. Except now cops would be telling you to praise allah instead of praise the state. But basically it would be the same thing. More beheadings, fewer shootings I would think.

So the scary possibility that our thieving murdering gang of masters would be replaced with a different murderous gang is in fact more likely now than it would be in a decentralized free land, where no one is forcibly beholden to another.

What would ISIS do without a government to take over? Walk into every single house, and say, we are in charge now? Because a third of those houses are going to shoot back. ISIS may be able to currently subject unarmed people used to being oppressed, but it would not go so well if the people were armed or free: if they were armed and free, forget about it. 100 million of those people that currently submit to the authority of the USA are armed, most with more than one gun. The only reason that is possible, observes Larken Rose, is:

Right now, millions of people are PROUD to be forcibly subjugated and robbed. They call it being a “law-abiding taxpayer.” That is the ONLY reason that a group of about 100,000 bureaucrats (the IRS), only about 2,000 of whom are even armed, can continually rob a couple HUNDRED MILLION Americans every year (tens of millions of THEM armed), to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars every year. Any gang which tried to pull that off with those resources, but WITHOUT their victims imagining them to be “authority,” would be fish food within the week.

Right now, ISIS has at most 50,000 fighters. That’s one ISIS fighter for every 2,000 armed men and women in the USA. Does ISIS have ironman suits? If not, how is one fighter going to keep 2,000 armed resisters in line after the “take over”? The only possible way for a foreign enemy of that size to threaten America is if we already have a centralized group of controllers in power who can simply hand off their reigns to the new oppressors.

The USA has the most powerful military, probably in history, yet they cannot even beat some militants in the mountains of Afghanistan. Russia has got over 3 million soldiers and a crap-load of rusty tanks. Still, they are outnumbered 1 to 10 by armed Americans. The militia style protection of one’s homeland is an effective structure of tyrannical resistance that requires no central organizing authority.

It is another market response. If Russia invaded the east coast, people from California might not come with their guns to fight, but people from Kentucky probably would. And if Russia reached Colorado, people from California would indeed see the writing on the wall, and wish to repel an invasion before it reached their territory. But no invading enemy would even get that far invading a free people. If they decided to go house to house and assert their power, there would be a handful of dead soldiers at every one of the homes. By the time they reached 1 million armed resisters, just 1% of the armed population of the USA, there would be millions of dead invaders and zero moral.

An outside power cannot sustain the personnel and equipment to subject 100,000,000 armed people to their rule, even when those resistors are spread across the vast acreage of the current United States. And even though there would still technically be the opportunity to plunder, a looting force would have to be much smaller than an invading force in order for the spoils to be worth it. This is because invading armies generally use more supplies than they conquer.

So essentially the same outcome would come from an attempted marauding of a coastal city. The first attack might be relatively successful before an entire city of armed free men and women ventilate the attackers. The next attackers will not choose that city, and the first attackers won’t be attacking anyone else.

In short, it would be easier for a foreign enemy to conquer the United States now, with all its central authority in place, than to conquer a free people living in the same geographical area of the current USA. And since the worst case scenario for having no government is that a government is set up in the vacuum (unlikely since they wouldn’t have time to condition us to accept their authority), it would seem there is not much to lose. The only thing that currently keeps us beholden to a small group of conquerers is our submission to our masters, based on their perceived “authority”.

My “Utopian” Vision: One of Many, and That’s the Point

Part of the point of freedom is that there are no rules, as long as no one has been victimized. When someone becomes a victim can be a point of contention, but I trust the parties involved to solve these issues better than an entity whose only tool is force. In anarchy, things would not be centralized unless the market demanded it, and as such it is impossible to imagine the many countless ways that anarchy could manifest itself. But it is natural to desire an example of how things would play out without the state. So let me give you my vision, which is certainly not the only vision, but one that I would create with the likeminded, to realize in a society without government.

But part of the point is that there is not one way for things to happen. You can choose from hundreds of restaurants with dozens of types of food, and various methods of service, wait times, and quality of food, all within a half hour of where you live right now. We don’t have to understand how each restaurant came to be, who their main cliental is, and where their supplies come from to understand that the market has shown a demand for these restaurants. And magically the market has supplied that demand.

My Anarchist “Utopia”

Personally, my idea of an anarchist utopia would include enough people to have safety in numbers. It would start as a group of very like minded friends and family, so that there would be agreement on how to run things, and there would not be a struggle for power from the beginning. Some people would want to establish a governing structure immediately, but that would not be necessary for the market solution types I associate with.

We would want either one large tract of land to all buy into, or many individual pieces that are adjacent: probably the latter to avoid any issues. Then each with our own little area, we would begin to specialize and trade amongst ourselves. In the initial group of, say ten families, there would be vegetable gardeners, fruit growers, craftsmen, builders, soap makers, hunters, brewers, foragers, and medical personnel. Every able bodied man and woman would be happy to own a gun, meaning most likely at very least two guns per household in order to protect ourselves and our neighbors. With a group that size of like minded people, the community could come together to solve any disputes—accusations of force being initiated.

Keep in mind that there is plenty of uninhabited land owned by the USA, so any inequality in land ownership could be righted by simply allowing people to settle and maintain uninhabited land in order to claim ownership.

This would be a good start, but obviously we would need more protection to be secure, and cannot sustain an advanced economy with only dozens of people.

If our own land was vast enough, we could sell off little lots on the outskirts to similarly likeminded people, possibly writing into the deeds any rules which we find necessary for people living in close proximity to us. Remember, they do not have to buy the land, and therefore do not have to agree to the rules, if we felt any were necessary.

But even if we did not have enough land, we could alert people to the type of community we imagine. The incentive to settle nearby would be a community of people already working and creating many necessities.

Once our land was exhausted, we would have enough people to have developed some type of economy in the area. People who are attracted to the type of structure that springs up would be drawn to the area to start their own businesses, or get a job with an existing business, and join the community. They could settle on the outskirts of the land owned by the original group, and do their thing.

In the end I imagine a group of a few thousand people living within a town sized area. We could still trade with outside groups. Perhaps 30 miles away there is a group of mostly scientists. They make advanced medicine and technology, and trade this for necessities like food. And since they create so much value, they also trade some of their medicine for security from a different group of people whose main expertise lay in protection. They have found another group which finds and processes the raw materials they need, and this group likewise trades for protection from yet another group.

Our area is safe because of our militia style protection. The scientists’ area is safe because they can buy protection. The routes in and out are also safe, in order to allow safe trading among the groups the scientists wish to trade with. (And the scientists trade to another group who maintains roads so that trade with the scientists will be easy). The security group is happy because they trade their services for medicine, which they can also trade for other necessities. The security group cannot become too powerful, because they do not have a monopoly over protection: there is a militia in our neck of the woods, and another security company protecting the manufacturers who trade with the scientists.

Since trading is not always efficient, a guy with an empty barn near the road comes up with a great idea for a business. He begins by offering a farmers’ market style clearing house for goods and products. People can come to this location to trade, and a percentage goes to the man who started the business, provides the location, and organizes the trading.

With his portion, he sets up his own trading station. Due to the amount of activity, he can trade for many different things, and not necessarily need the thing he is trading for himself. Say one person had tons of extra apples, and needs some ammo for hunting. Not needing the apples himself, the trader still takes them and gives away the ammo, knowing that many different families will want a few apples, and possibly one food preserver would want a lot of apples. So now his booth has apples to trade, and someone takes a few apples and gives a gallon of whiskey. A portion of the whiskey is traded for some baby chickens, etcetera.

The value created is that now there is a streamlined process for trading, so one person does not have to go around to all 100 of his neighbors, and waste 2 weeks trying to sell all his apples. It is a one stop shop to sell the apples, and due to the convenience and time saved, he can sell the apples for a lower price. Due to the lower price of the apples, the trader can profit on these when trading for things of more value. His value is that of a middle-man, organizing and streamlining the process. People see this work, and imitate the same business model in other areas. He cannot “gouge” his customers because they have other options for trading facilities.

But even that can become more efficient. The tradesman decides to start issuing credits in case he doesn’t have anything on hand that someone wants to trade. For transparency to keep his customers happy, he publicly states how many credits are in circulation at any given time, and creates a small accounting department to keep track of the credits, and inventory his warehouse of goods. Now he has created even more jobs, and a currency that people can use in place of tangible goods. If someone has a dozen eggs to trade but doesn’t need anything at the moment, he issues them 5 credits. He charges 5 credits for 3 pounds of root vegetables, or a small jar of honey. Other traders see the benefit in a credit system, create their own, and compete for whoever offers the best currency—most transparent, highest value, holds its value, not easily forged etcetera. The currency is backed by the value of the business and goods the trading house has.

From there the society would continue to advance, due to the extra goods created from the system which rewards production. An arbitration company may offer their services to the security companies, so that if they need to arrest someone, there is a third party system for determining guilt or innocence. There would soon be a market for education, so that your kids could be trained while you bring home the bacon. As the quality of life rises, more skilled people come to the area to enjoy it, and inject their expertise into the economy.

It grows and grows, due to competition, and the absence of one overarching group that would take a percentage of production by force, or favor some business at the detriment to others. People stay peaceful because everyone still likes to carry their gun, and because the quality of life is high enough so that there is no desperation. People moved to the area in the first place because of the high quality of life, and they will maintain it, or a market demand for peace will be supplied.


Competing Anarchist “Towns”

But that would just be one little society. Although they certainly would trade and associate with others, it is hard to put a number on the society, since they are so interconnected through trade with all those around them. Maybe about a million people all live within the area, but since someone imports citrus fruits from another area, you can’t really say it is just the million people. And isn’t that what we are after now? Not excluding people based on arbitrary borders.

Everyone may not agree on how a society should be run, but they don’t have to. They just need to agree on their business transactions, and the rest is organic. They can influence their own society by choosing where to live and who to do business with, but they cannot force others hundreds of miles away to live their life a certain way.

Remember, force is the only no no, and since it requires a victim, this means the victim or an advocate of the victim would necessarily accuse the suspected wrongdoer. This does not preclude the possibility of agreeing to other rules. For instance, many people want benefits to be bundled for a low price. It is appealing to send off one check to the government, and get all these goodies in return! Now in reality, the goodies are not worth the money. But in a for profit town, you would get incredible bang for your buck.

But it might require agreeing to some rules. This is not force; you don’t have to live there if you don’t want to, and all the land was private in the first place. So whoever owns the private land would be able to rent or sell this land with stipulations included in the contract, such as speed limits on the “town” owned roads.

And what you agree to is paying a certain price for trash pickup, plowing, and schooling. Some towns would even let you choose which services you want, and only pay for those ones. Don’t have kids? That’s fine, you don’t have to pay for the schooling portion. Or a town may offer a type of insurance structure, and sell you health, life, home, or whatever insurance in your package. Perhaps a town offers a set of benefits that you cannot opt out of; you benefit from the police keeping the town safe, and even though your house never burns down, others benefit from the fire department.

And to get back to the restaurant example, this would create some quality towns! Because what do you do when a restaurant gives you bad service? You stop going there, and write a nasty review online. I don’t know about you, but I check out the reviews before going places. And think of all the options! Want a fast food, bad but cheap, sort of town? That’s fine, maybe that’s all you need! But I think I will stay out of that town…

I prefer a steakhouse type town. A little more expensive, but better quality. Perhaps you do like quality, but can’t quite afford the best steakhouse. Well there just so happens to be chain restaurants (towns) that are not quite as good as a single steakhouse, but a hell of a lot better than fast food! Seriously, there are so many choices for restaurants because they must compete to attract customers! Friendly’s always made me feel sick. The government says their food is fine, but my stomach says it is crap. I don’t go to Friendly’s anymore. And luckily, the government has not yet mandated that I patronize Friendly’s, though they claim the authority to do so.

You want Mexican food, Chinese, sushi, fish, burgers, Indian cuisine, steak, Italian, hot dogs from a cart, subs, pizza, a breakfast cafe, a diner, five courses, a dollar menu, tapas, fondue, ice cream, or baked goods? I bet most people could find every single one of those within an hour of where they live. I don’t have to know the intricacies of the restaurant business to know that the food I want is going to be available, as long as no one forces them not to be (i.e. government).

(And on a side not, this is not an unregulated market: there would be even more restaurant and food choices if the government did not regulate them. For instance, an ordinance in one town shut down a young boy’s hotdog cart because surrounding restaurants had paid off the government to create a food monopoly on the block.)

Freedom of Association

Why are we all forced into groups that we may or may not want to be a part of? There is no conceivable reason that 300 million people need to agree on the best type of healthcare, or on one person to make executive decisions for the group, or even to protect themselves from outside threats. It is unnecessary! There is strength in numbers, and there is a point to being apart of groups, but those groups need to be of our own choosing to leave and join. We should have the freedom to associate with who we want, and the freedom to cut ties with those whom we do not wish to associate.

It is insane that I am forced to join 300 million other people in deciding if we will fund the next round of bombings in the middle east, or be forced to pay for contraceptives for someone I don’t know, and can’t possible know if they “need” or are just lazy. But when I can choose to join a group or not, I can decide whether or not I agree with the decisions the group makes. If there is someone that we all know who needs financial assistance, I can decide if they actually need it, or are just leeching. Then I can act accordingly if I want to stay in the group, fund this enterprise, and be afforded the same safety net, or leave the group in favor of saving my money, and not have the social insurance.

So great, if 300 million people all get together and have the same exact ideas about everything, let them! But it will not happen; there are so many different interests, alternatives, life styles, and world views. And that is fine! In the end the world would be united by trade, not by force.

As long as one group is not hurting another, people need to be free to associate or disassociate with whoever they want. And refusing to be forced to provide for another group is not hurting them. But that is the attitude of our government right now, that if you refuse to be a slave to your fellow man, it is the same as aggressing on him.

Private Security is No Scarier than Public Police

wvpI talk a lot about private security or private police and how these could replace government to prevent crime, bring criminals to justice, and protect innocent people. I started doing some research to see how many private police forces are already out there, and what they are all about. A Huffington Post piece was one of the first I read. I assumed it would be casting private police in a bad light, and so it did.

Police Brutality

The article mostly focused on Detroit, and talked about how evil greedy businessmen saw the—gasp—opportunity to profit off of Detroit’s misery! And one of these companies has bought 2 million square feet of real estate which it patrols with private police, and monitors with 300 cameras in and around the buildings. This, in the eyes of the HuffPo reporter, is a bad thing, because then only the rich will be protected! While if we let the government steal our money to pay for police, everyone will be equally unsafe, and that’s  more fair.

The author apparently ignores the fact that it is bad for business to have crime in and around their company, storefronts, workplace, etc. Therefore everyone within the vicinity would be protected in order to attract more customers, and not scare anyone off.

Interestingly, the concerns HuffPo raised about private police are playing out on a larger scale with public police: no accountability, the rich get better treatment while the poor are not sufficiently protected, and innocent people could be beaten or killed. The article then links to various cases of “private police” overstepping their authority.

Two of the cases involved security guards. One of these security guards was not working when he shot and killed a man who he was arguing with outside of a gas station. He has been charged with the man’s murder. The other security guard was fired from the school he worked at after attacking a boy with cerebral palsy who slapped and spit at the security guard. In each of these cases action was taken against the security personnel; they were treated as anyone would be for their unjustified actions. Contrast this with public police who routinely murder and attack innocent people without provocation, keep their jobs, and are not charged.

At worst the private security companies seem to be as bad as typically government police. The only case having to do with Detroit private security was one in which mall cops killed a man who they were restraining with force and pepper spray. The man had been “acting suspiciously” and was told to leave the mall. When he returned the next day, he allegedly threatened to kill someone, after which the incidents leading to his death unfolded.

But Eric Garner had not even threatened to kill anyone when he was suffocated to death by NYC police in July. He was suspected of selling cigarettes illegally, and video footage shows he did not react violently when a team of police confronted him, not in the act of selling untaxed cigarettes, but after Garner broke up a fight (isn’t that the cops’ job?). The man is seen with his hands in the air moments before police attack and kill him. The police officers at the center of the murder still have their jobs with the NYC police department, and have not been charged.

False Arrest

The HuffPo article also raises concerns about false arrests by private security personnel. Again, this information focuses mainly on mall cops who are tasked mostly with thwarting shoplifters. It seems that in actual incidents of false arrest, when a mall security officer detains or uses excessive force against a subject, the victim routinely receives awards in civil court. In fact, even when the victim was guilty of shoplifting, they still sometimes won in court after suing the security company, because of the excessive force used in detaining or interrogating the suspect.

Again, let’s contrast this with public police. There was a case of a man who was arrested and held for over twelve hours, all because he helped a bicyclist who had crashed. She was using the man’s phone when he was approached by responding police (who he had called), slammed to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested because he wouldn’t leave the scene immediately, even though the women who crashed still had this man’s phone. No action has been taken against the officers responsible.

There were also false arrests of reporters covering the Ferguson protests. In fact there are too many such cases to even properly give perspective here, like the high profile case of a New Mexico man who was given forced enemas by police and doctors who claimed he was hiding drugs. He was not hiding drugs, and the searches violated even the ridiculous warrant that authorized his detention. Other cases include assaults by police when people will not show their ID, and rape by police of people pulled over during traffic stops.

In response to the arrests of three law enforcement officials in Oklahoma for sexually assaulting women while on the job, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper told women they can avoid getting raped by a cop if they simply follow traffic laws.

Raw Story first pointed out on Tuesday that Capt. George Brown, a state trooper, shared a few tips for women in an interview with local NBC News affiliate KJRH. Brown told the KJRH anchor that women can keep their car doors locked and speak through a cracked window if a trooper approaches them. If the trooper asks a woman to get out of the car, Brown said, she can ask “in a polite way” why he wants her to do that.

But the “best tip that he can give,” the anchor said on air of her interview with Brown, “is to follow the law in the first place so you don’t get pulled over.”

In the past month, a Tulsa County Deputy, an OHP trooper and an Oklahoma City police officer have all been charged with repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting women while on the job.

Anyone who has dealt with police knows how ridiculous it is to suggest only cracking the window, or asking an officer why you must exit the vehicle. This type of “resistance” will be met with extreme anger and aggression by police, likely assault, and probable charges of resisting arrest.

Are Private or Public Police Worse?

What exactly is the case that private police would be worse than public police? From the information I have read, it seems private security is more often held accountable than public police. Further, public police simply investigate their own incidents of police abuse which, surprise, often “prove” police acted according to procedure. And the incentives for behaving appropriately are stacked towards the private sector, where private police will be fired or prosecuted for violating rights, if for no other reason than protecting the profits of the company.

And in the most egregious cases of private security violating innocent people’s rights, the “private” security firm is hired by the government. This means they are not delivering a service in demand, but rather having stolen money (tax dollars) fund their enterprise. This makes them essentially the same as public police. The private police have to keep customers happy and not land themselves in too much civil litigation. The government can ignore their “customers” because they force us to fund them, and have the courts on their side. The more fragmented the system, the more likely it is that competing interests hold the others accountable.

Copblock, an organization dedicated to holding police accountable for their actions, sums up this sentiment.

I have never had a conversation about private protection services without the other person quickly bringing up Blackwater.  I think the biggest reason for the association is a misunderstanding of what a free-market anarchist means by the word private.  I will start by stating what a private company is NOT.  It is not a company that is funded by force through taxation.  It is not a company that has been granted a monopoly over a particular service by the government, and it is not a company that has been granted special legal protections against liability. 90% of Blackwater’s revenue comes from government contracts paid for with stolen money.  Blackwater’s “customer” is not only spending money that is stolen from you and me, but they are spending it on something very few people would actually fund voluntarily.  Would you personally hire Blackwater to kill people in Iraq?  Blackwater is essentially the same type of institution as your local police.  They are both funded through force and perform “services” that few that are forced to pay for those “services” want or need.  Blackwater is NOT what I am talking about when I discuss private protection services.

So, to be clear, I am not advocating a system where a municipality uses stolen money to hire the lowest bidder and then grants them the same immunities and privileges that the police now enjoy.  When I speak of a private company providing protection services, I am talking about a company that competes among other companies to attract individual customers.  Companies could package different services then sell them to willing customers.  Maybe you feel comfortable with providing your your own security, so you would only be interested in paying a company to investigate a crime that you were a victim of after the fact.  In reality, even now, you really are your own best security.  A private company no doubt would have better response times, but even they cannot be everywhere.  Nevertheless, maybe you don’t feel comfortable protecting yourself so you would be willing to pay more for a company that promised to respond to any panic calls within a certain amount of time – a promise they would be liable for if they broke, unlike your local police.

And finally, here is something that blew my mind. Despite hearing everyday about abuse by public police, there is hardly a murmer about private security force misconduct. Now I assumed this might just be because there were so few private police, but I have learned that there are almost 3 times as many private guards than public police officers in the U.S. Accountability to the company means they perform better, and abuse less.

If you feel safe, you might not have your local cop to thank after all… and these days, he’s the one making most of us feel unsafe.

Crime Drop in Detroit Due to Armed Citizens, says Police Chief

A tiny microcosm of what can happen when people take personal protection into their own hands, and have the backing of police, is playing out in Detroit where crime has steeply fallen this year after the Chief of police urged citizens to arm themselves, and fight back against criminals. But a necessary part of this is that honest citizens are not being pursued by law enforcement for protecting themselves when in danger. This means instead of trying to balance the fear for ones safety with the fear of prosecution, citizens can focus on protecting their life and property—and criminals apparently seem to be getting the message.

Detroit has experienced 37 percent fewer robberies in 2014 than during the same period last year, 22 percent fewer break-ins of businesses and homes, and 30 percent fewer carjackings. Craig attributed the drop to better police work and criminals being reluctant to prey on citizens who may be carrying guns.

“Criminals are getting the message that good Detroiters are armed and will use that weapon,” said [Police Chief] Craig, who has repeatedly said he believes armed citizens deter crime. “I don’t want to take away from the good work our investigators are doing, but I think part of the drop in crime, and robberies in particular, is because criminals are thinking twice that citizens could be armed.

Police solving crimes is a deterrent, but a crime can be thwarted by an intended victim shooting the perpetrator during the crime. This in turn serves as a deterrent to others who see that they could end up dead if they victimize any random citizen. In this way, armed citizens make everyone in Detroit safer, not just because they could be on scene when a crime happens, but because the criminal doesn’t know who is packing heat, and who is helpless.

Detroit resident Al Woods, a self-described former criminal who is now an anti-violence advocate and author, agreed criminals are thinking twice about attacking citizens.

“If I was out there now robbing people these days, knowing there are a lot more people with guns, I know I’d have to rethink my game plan,” said Woods, 60.

It is rare to have a police Chief like Craig encourage citizens to take their safety into their own hands, especially in an urban setting. There is no better solution to crime in Detroit right now, especially with the dire economic state it is in. Kudos to this police chief, the results, and the armed citizens who don’t outsource their protection to a third party.

Miami-Dade Police: Arm Yourselves if You Want to be Safe

I’m not sure if this police officer was trying to use scare tactics to keep his budget in tact, but he ended up reminding citizens that the police will not protect you: that’s on you. Apparently $64 million is being cut from the Miami-Dade police budget, which will include closing 1 station out of 9, and downsizing the force by up to 600 officers. If the budget cut stays in place, the “Incident Management Team, Sport Unit, Tactical Narcotics Team, and one of the three Special Response Teams in the city would be disbanded.”

Maybe I’m a cynic, but 600 fewer cops sounds like people will be safer to me. Especially if they take the police officer’s advice, and arm themselves.

Rivera said, “If the mayor’s not going to provide security, then my recommendation, as an experienced law enforcement officer for nearly 40 years, is either buy yourself an attack dog, put bars on your windows and doors and get yourself some firearms because you’re going to have to protect yourselves.”

Sound advice. But I think he forgot that we have always had to protect ourselves. How many murders are thwarted by cops? They come and they do an investigation, sometimes bring someone to justice, and this is supposed to deter future crime. You call 911 and the cops show up after the criminals are gone—again to the credit of the police, sometimes they catch the criminals. But the supreme court has specifically said it is not the duty of police to protect civilians, according to

“You, and only you, are responsible for your security and the security of your family and loved ones. That was the essence of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the early 1980’s when they ruled that the police do not have a duty to protect you as an individual, but to protect society as a whole.”

The idea is that they protect society as a whole by providing deterrence to crime, because there is someone to come and find you. Of course, if we weren’t compelled to pay for guvment “security” most people would use that same amount of money to buy their own, who would still probably not be on site when you are victimized, but would almost certainly have a better track record in bringing real criminals to justice (because right now we are paying for pot smokers to be arrested, and jay-walkers harassed).

But still, when someone breaks into your house, or when someone assaults you on the street, the chances are overwhelmingly that there will be no one there to save you… unless you’ve got your good friends with you, Smith and Wesson.

American’s Guns Confiscated Without Due Process

Yesterday I wrote about how American citizens of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in American internment camps during WWII, completely violating their Constitutional rights. Today I would like to highlight another issue that “could never happen here”. If you are a citizen who is distrustful of our government, which is healthy, and believe in the Constitution, you may have run into people who laugh at any suggestion our rights could be taken away. Many on the extreme left will claim they support the second amendment, while in the same sentence talking about the limitations they would like to see on firearm ownership–the phrase “shall not be infringed” does not leave much open to interpretation.

But I try not to let it bother me when ignorant people scoff at the fact that our rights are slowly diminishing. Some people apparently think that if a government wanted to limit our rights they would come out and say it explicitly. That’s not what happens though, waves of tiny regulations amount to having no rights in the end. Right now we can see the beginning stages of gun confiscation. Some instances may seem like isolated events, but others appear more orchestrated. This could be the negative effects of a bureaucracy at work, or it could be the beginning stages of testing how the public will react to gun confiscation.

Check out the video below. You will see national guard units patrolling neighborhoods in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, confiscating firearms. You will see and hear victims of unlawful  firearm confiscation where no crime was committed, property rights were ignored, due process was ignored, and innocent people’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights were clearly violated by local, regional, and federal law enforcement.

The video begins with a Marine saying, “Marines obey orders, and when we’re told to carry out a mission, we carry out that mission,” when asked if they would confiscate firearms if ordered to. The video then moves onto the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where the police department says that “no one will be able to be armed. We will take all the weapons”. This, of course, would be the very situation where people need their firearms most, in order to protect their families, homes, and property. Likewise, anyone without a legally registered firearm would not have their gun confiscated, meaning the looting criminals get to hold onto their guns, and innocent people holed up in their homes trying to ride out the disaster will be defenseless. Oh yea, and its completely 100% illegal for the police to enter a home without a search warrant, disarm the inhabitants, and steal their property without going through due process of law.

That happened today in this wealthy neighborhood, where residents had armed themselves to protect their mansions. Residents were handcuffed on the ground. In the end the police took their weapons, but let them stay in their homes.

How nice of those police, to allow the people to stay in their homes on their property; all they had to do was submit to being totally helpless and at the mercy of the police and criminals. Next the police broke into an old lady’s home, punched her in the face, body slammed her to the ground, confiscated her unloaded revolver, and dragged her out of her home. She shows her bruises in the video, which also shows her being slammed into the wall and ground, and you can make your own decision about how dangerous this frail old woman was. But this is what the police felt was necessary, not arresting looters. Instead of keeping safe the innocent people they are supposed to “protect and serve”, police harassed them, violated their rights, and became the threat, instead of the safety net.

A women who is a Baptist minister commented on the whole situation:

It’s going against my Constitutional rights as a citizen… You’re letting the thugs get away with everything and you’re coming to honest good citizens and taking away their protection and it is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Another man was in the process of evacuating with his family after a tree fell on his home. He was stopped by police, and had his vehicle searched by police. The police then smashed his girlfriend’s pearl handle revolver given to her by her grandparents, and also smashed his .22 rifle. In this situation, since the police were so obviously not “going by the books”, the man says he was extremely scared, and had no idea what the officers would do next. “Heed the warning of what this was” he warns.

[Click here to read about a man who was murdered by police, and then had his body burned by police to cover up the evidence, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.]

We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be blind to what is already going on in this country. It is not absurd to think our guns might get confiscated, it has happened before, and they did not do it in a nice, lawful, or Constitutional way. No warrants, no due process, just an innocent civilian staring down the barrel of a government gun. When people laugh at your “paranoia” laugh right back at their ignorance. If they bothered to open their eyes and look around, they would realize our concerns are quite justified.

MA Gun Control and the Need for Semi-Auto’s and Big Clips

A bill has been introduced in Massachusetts by Governor Deval Patrick which would increase gun control, put stricter limits on the size of magazines, increase mental health information sharing, and restrict firearm purchases to one per month. Although the bill is supposedly in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, only the provision about sharing mental health records seems to address the problem. For instance the bill mirrors New York’s new gun control legislation, where permit holders will not be allowed to load their ten round magazines past 7 rounds, and will have to turn in all magazines larger than 10 rounds within a year. A criminal with a ten round magazine will not listen to the law about only loading it to seven rounds, what this does is turn law abiding citizens into criminals if they put more than 7 rounds in a clip.

Furthermore, Adam Lanza did not buy the guns, he stole them, so the one gun a month scheme would have done nothing. Only being allowed to buy one gun a month can only affect people who buy guns legally. Also, if someone was planning a massacre, they would probably start planning early enough so that the one gun a month law would have no effect on the guns they obtain. The one gun a month law is completely aimed at people who obey the law, therefore it will do nothing to prevent crime, and may put some people at risk who have to wait months to properly protect themselves, their families or their businesses.

The bill will also “tighten access to high powered rounds of ammunition”, require private sales to go through a dealer in order to be tracked, and create “tiered punishments for possessing different weapons on school property”. Will the punishment for possessing a gun on school property be worse than shooting yourself in the head? If not, this will not stop tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting. More likely is that some shmuck who just went to the rifle range goes to pick up his kid after school, and gets the cuffs slapped on him because he forgot to disarm himself before driving into the school parking lot. Yesterday I shared a James O’Keefe video which shows the idiocy of gun free zones–declaring to the world that you are completely unable to defend yourself. These laws put innocent people at risk, while the psycho’s who commit these crimes are unaffected, and sometimes assisted in the fact that this law will increase the defenselessness of people in schools.

On a similar note the new gun laws passed in New York “contains the “Webster Provision,” in honor of the firefighters killed in Webster, N.Y. The provision mandates a term of life in prison without parole for anyone convicted of killing a first responder in the line of duty”. Well guess what, the guy that lured the two firefighter to a fire he started in Webster killed himself after killing the firefighters… so apparently life in prison was not a concern for him. In fact he had already been let out of jail after murdering his grandmother with a hammer! Maybe the “Webster Provision” should be a law keeping murderers in jail. According to the website, “Of 1,662 murders committed in New York City during 2003-2005, more than 90% were committed by people with criminal records“. Also, take a look at these chilling numbers:

A 2002 U.S. Justice Department study of 272,111 felons released from state prisons in 1994 found that within three years of their release:

• at least 67.5% had been arrested for committing a new offense

• at least 21.6% had been arrested for committing a new violent offense

• these former inmates had been charged with committing at least 2,871 new homicides, 2,444 new rapes, 3,151 other new sexual assaults, 2,362 new kidnappings, 21,245 new robberies, 54,604 new assaults, and 13,854 other new violent crimes

Check out the website and you will find stats on the vast amount of Americans who stop crimes every year with their legally owned guns. Keep in mind that these are just the criminals who are caught and released. Only one person is sentenced to prison for every twelve “aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders”. So, many people who have committed crimes have been released to offend again, and many were never caught in the first place. Maybe some of this new legislation should tackle the immense failure of our criminal justice system. As Adam Smith said, “Mercy to the guilty, is cruelty to the innocent”.

Finally, I can’t stand when people say things like “well why would you ever need more than 7 rounds in a magazine”, or “why would you need a high caliber rifle”, or “why would you need a semi-automatic”. People need these all the time. Are all crimes committed by one assailant? No. Also many criminals (at least 30-35% according to Just Facts) carry guns while committing crimes. So this thought of “you don’t need semi-auto” or “you don’t need high capacity magazines” is absolutely absurd. Crimes happen every day, people defend themselves against criminals every day, and it is often extremely beneficial for the victim to be able to fire more than one round without having to cock the gun again or reload, and very beneficial for a victim to have as many shots as needed to stop the assailant or multiple assailants. But if you’re not convinced of the need for everyday protection, consider some instances where things went from good to bad real quick, taken from this article.

Take for example the Los Angeles riots in 1992, when business owners were forced to defend their property from angry mobs causing severe chaos: $1 billion in property damage, 50 dead, 4,000 injured, 3,000 fires set and 1,100 buildings damaged. In this case, a handheld pistol was in no way sufficient, but semi-automatic rifles were.

Business owners in LA’s Koreatown knew what was coming their way, so they armed themselves with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles in order to defend their property. They stood on their rooftops as they watched black smoke pour down the street. The cops weren’t there to help them.

The death toll, injuries, and damage done to the semi-auto-high-capacity-magazine-protected Koreatown was much less compared to other areas affected by the riots. Also, let’s take a look at the chaos which erupted in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans became a place of complete anarchy in a matter of hours. In addition to property owners being forced to stave off mobs of people roaming for food, water and shelter to survive as the government failed to provide emergency services, they had to protect themselves against dangerous looters. But not only were New Orleans residents forced to defend themselves against immediate threats to their person and property, residents also had to protect themselves from the government. As the water started to recede, leaving New Orleans a chaotic wasteland, police officers began going door to door confiscating weapons. Who did they take them from? Mostly poor black residents in New Orleans’ 9th Ward.

You know what was also happening in New Orleans at this time? A 31 year old black man named Henry Glover who was unarmed and posed no threat to police, was gunned down by a police officer, David Warren, outside of a strip mall. Apparently realizing that there was no justified reason for murdering this innocent man, two other police officers:

Scheuermann and McRae are accused of beating people who drove Glover to a makeshift police headquarters in search of help. The three men were handcuffed when the officers drove off with the car containing Glover’s body.

The police officer then burned the body of this innocent man in the car to try to cover up the crimes; one of the officers was reportedly laughing as the body burned. I think I will hold onto my semi-auto’s and high capacity mags. If you don’t see the need for them, or that the need could arise at any time, then I think you are living in a make believe fantasy world.