Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Going to war against the Police [Updated for 2017]

On the afternoon of Saturday, December 20, 2014, a man traveled from Baltimore to Brooklyn, where he shot dead two police officers. My condolences went out to the families of NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.

Some of the mixed responses I saw to this double homicide sickened me almost as much as the news itself. Many of you reading this were sickened by the news of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, as was the shooter in Brooklyn, Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

Given police speculation that Brinsley had committed another homicide back in Baltimore, planned for killing police, and that he killed himself after the incident, I concluded the shooter was crazy and disturbed similar to the Columbine shooters.

This murderous violence, motivated partly by politics and partly by insanity, only prolonged the stalemated gun control debate. It will also continue the discussion on civil liberties and the militarization of police in America.

Many in the liberty movement not only oppose the State institution of the police, or the State’s monopoly on security (which is reasonable).  They actually take it farther and hate the police, as a group and as individuals. I had the misfortune of arguing with a handful of people who were actually glad these officers were ambushed and murdered.

If you’re one of these people who celebrated their deaths, and who celebrates the deaths of police officers, I’m ashamed of you.

This is horrible. Furthermore, the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner expressed outraged by these killings, and their outrage was more than justifiable. After all, the families didn’t lose their sons violently so that their memory could be used to justify more violence and death. It’s one hell of a slippery slope.

By no means should libertarians, who value the right to life and individual self-determination more than any other ideological group, celebrate the murder of any human beings. That’s exactly what this ambush was. It wasn’t a rebel military operation, nor was it any kind of revolutionary action, despite being partly motivated by politics. The shooter was mentally unbalanced.

I remind you all that libertarians view people first and foremost... Read more

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