Thursday, May 26, 2011

On freeing the peacekeeping industry

In the most reasoned and yet impassioned terms possible, Anthony Gregory utterly condemns the American policing system, noting that almost as many Americans have been executed by their blue-clad overlords since the September 11th attack as died in the attack itself. Policing, as Gregory also points out, was non-existent at the time of the nation's founding. Rather than defenders of liberty, they "are the henchmen of all the totalitarian regimes we see on the History Channel," many recent examples of which are listed by Gregory:
We can cite some of the most gruesome and high-profile outrages of recent years, such as the murder of Oscar Grant on New Years Day, 2009, a young man shot by a Bay Area cop in the back while lying face-down on the ground; or the brutal beating of Alexander Landau, a college student who dared to ask Denver cops for a warrant before they searched his trunk; or the plight of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones, who was murdered last May in Detroit as she lay on her family’s couch while the cops raided the home, tossed in a flash-grenade that set her on fire and then shot her in the head.

Any one of these incidents should set off as much anti-government anger as the Boston Massacre, but some will object that I am cherry picking. So let us limit ourselves to just the last couple months to illustrate the depth of the problem. Last month, police in Trenton shot and killed an unarmed man, saying he was reaching for his waistband. In Orlando, police tased a man to death for being disorderly in a movie theater. In Derby, Kansas, a police officer broke a teenager’s arm because he dared to talk back after getting in trouble for wearing sagging pants.

On May 5, police in Tuscon stormed into Jose Guerena’s home around 9 AM, and shot him 71 times. Yes, fearful for his family’s safety, he was holding an AR-15 in self-defense, but didn’t get a shot in, despite lies to the contrary – yet there was no evidence found of any wrongdoing or illegality on his part. In Alabama, a police officer beat an 84-year-old man for reporting a car accident and daring to put the offender under "citizens arrest" – a more civilized version of what police do routinely – and then the officer turned an ambulance away, insisting the elderly victim didn’t need medical help. Louisiana cops tased Kirkin Woolridge at a traffic stop on May 18, and he soon died of complications in jail.

Just in the last week, we have the DC cops who brutally beat up a defenseless man in a wheelchair. In Moore, Oklahoma, innocent residents are upset that police shot at their homes indiscriminately in attempting to chase down an "armed suicidal subject." In Fort Collins, Colorado, a police patrol car seriously injured a bicyclist, but unlike nearly any other collision between a bike and car, it is being blamed on the bicyclist.
Like every other service of the free market, the keeping of the peace cannot possibly be provided either efficiently or humanely by the state. It is consequently essential to end the state monopoly on this industry and thus allow it flourish as desired by local populaces. As Gregory says: "If the market is really better than socialism, abolishing the police outright shouldn’t be a problem." Consumers innately crave protection of their lives, liberty and property and will find solutions to those needs if left to themselves. Cutting all federal funding of local law enforcement is the first step to achieving this necessary correction.