Tag Archives: Crime

Contrary To Popular Belief, Laws And Police Rarely Prevent Crime

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

What are laws actually for? If you’re thinking to prevent crime, think again. While I don’t support anarchy, if there’s no laws to be broken, there’s no crime, right?

The legislature writes laws to set a standard for law-abiding citizens to know what will and won’t land them in jail. It’s the best way to ensure fairness in prosecution.

Sure, some of the delusional legislators believe that would-be murderers would pause and think, “I want to kill this person, but Nancy Pelosi says that’s wrong,” but lawmakers with critical thinking skills know better.

Nancy Pelosi (D - California)
Nancy Pelosi (D – California)

Taking it further and speaking in absolutes; a law cannot stop a crime—criminal acts are physical actions. In order to stop a moving object, you need another physical object to interfere. Isaac’s Laws of Motion, remember? But a law is just words on a page and cannot technically prevent anything. A police officer could, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Let me give an example of why this nuance of defining standards is important and what happens when it’s done wrong.

In 1995, after the repeal of the national 55 mph speed limit, Montana passed a daytime “reasonable and prudent” law. In what could be one of the most glorious acts of libertarianism ever enacted, the state entrusted the people of Montana to determine for themselves a safe speed to travel under the conditions at any given time. To many people’s surprise, studies showed that letting people drive as fast as they wanted actually reduced highway fatalities. They got to where they were going faster too.

Montana Reasonable and Prudent Speed "Limit" Sign
Montana Reasonable and Prudent Speed “Limit” Sign

Then on March 10th, 1996, at a brisk 85 mph, along came Rudy Stanko and his Camaro, when Kenneth Breidenbach, a Montana Highway Patrol officer pulled him over, citing him for unsafe driving in relation to speed. See the legal arguments here.

Stanko was initially convicted, but “Reasonable and prudent” wasn’t properly written, making Stanko the victim of bad law.

Stanko’s attorneys appealed, stating that the “reasonable and prudent” statute was constitutionally vague—they were right. The judge agreed that a person cannot be cited for not driving reasonably and prudently unless the state first defines reasonable and prudent, which it hadn’t. As such, Stanko had no way of knowing if he was doing something that would earn him a ticket, and thus no way to avoid doing it.

Although I hated to see the Montanabahn go, we cannot allow police officers and courts to arbitrarily decide why one person doing 85 is OK, and the other is not. Why? Officer Ken or Justice Joe, for instance, could cite their cheating ex-girlfriends at will for something they let everyone else get away with—I assume you get the point.

As a libertarian (and a Corvette owner), I of course hoped that Montana would have attempted to define reasonable and prudent, which I concede may have been monumentally difficult, but instead, they reverted back to an actual speed limit of 75 mph, and this great bastion of libertarianism died a sad yet preventable death.

So now that I’ve illustrated the purpose of laws and what a good law does, to be fair, I should point out that some laws may serve as a deterrent. However, crimes of a violent nature are also usually crimes of passion, which are usually only preventable with a weapon, not a law.

So do police prevent crime?

Think about all the times you might call the police. More often than not, they are called because either a crime is in progress or has been committed. Also, when police pull someone over, they are doing so because a traffic law has been broken, not because you were about to run a red light—which was clearly still yellow—dammit.

In both instances, the crime is investigated and/or prosecuted, not prevented. It is a very rare occasion you would call the police before a crime is perpetrated and the police would intervene to stop the act before it was able to be carried out. EC689123235C04BEBFE698A4CC_h231_w308_m5_caksoayGp[1]

Again to be fair though, as evidenced by high rates of recidivism, when police arrest someone who committed one crime, they are often preventing the next one on that felon’s “to-do” list.

To all police officers, if you’re one of the many honorable and law-abiding people putting your life at risk for me on a daily basis, I appreciate you immensely—as we all should. So please don’t assume I’m criticizing your sacrifices.

But I believe preventing crime is ultimately a duty of the people. This is one of the many reasons why we have the 2nd amendment and why we all should be more apt to take advantage of it. We should encourage citizen-based crime prevention options, and stand your ground legislation should be nationwide. If a criminal knew most of the neighborhood was armed and would gladly shoot them without repercussion, the innate sense of self-preservation might just override the desire to steal your car stereo—it is not worth dying for.

As far as the police go, I firmly believe that as a nation we should have far less police officers in favor of more police detectives. I don’t blame the officers themselves, they’re just doing a job, but too often the police serve as a means of income for the community via traffic enforcement instead of preventing and solving crime, and this isn’t in the people’s best interests.

So how do we prevent crime then? As you may have imagined, I have some suggestions. Here’s but a few:

  1. Stop writing unneeded laws: I won’t go deep into the drug debate here, but it is a perfect example. Most violent drug-related crimes occur because recreational drugs are illegal. This idea was proven beyond any doubt during alcohol prohibition and its subsequent repeal approximately 80 years ago. Deep within our nature exists a truism: if you encroach on mankind’s freedom, we will lash out—sometimes quite violently. Don’t believe me, tell your kid not to do something, see what happens.YourSpeed
  2. Reign in entitlements: As long as we’re paying welfare mothers to have welfare babies that serve more as a source of income than an outlet for an abundance of motherly love, we’re going to have children who grow up with little to no sense of morality. If I feel I’m entitled to your car, I’ll likely just take it? However, if we force people to sink or swim, we’ll have a lot more people who develop a good work ethic. People who work for things appreciate them and don’t feel compelled to take what others worked for due to another innate quality in most humans—empathy.
  3. Improve education: Get rid of teacher’s unions, public schools, etc., and have proper free market education. If free markets can make a better car, and I think Russia vs. America proved this, then it can build a better school too. Studies have shown private schools routinely outperform their public counterparts. One look at any prison shows that most of the people in there can’t even spell incarceration. Sure there are genius criminal minds, but contrary to Hollywood hype, they’re not as common as you would think. A smarter society is usually a more peaceful one, whereas most criminals are idiots.
  4. Improve the economy: Some criminals are psychopaths, but some criminals are just desperate. Psychopaths will commit crimes as long as they are free, but with a strong economy, you at least reduce the crimes of desperation.

Ultimately we need to adopt a “No victim, no crime” policy then restore our country’s greatness such that people don’t feel the need to do bad things to survive. but the answer is almost never more laws and more police.

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Let’s Protect The Victims, Not The Felons

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

This may not seem very libertarian of me to some, but often we have our own unique views of liberty. Some libertarians are anarchists who believe in no rule of law whatsoever. But much like socialism; anarchy relies on the notion that people will always do the right thing, which is obviously unrealistic. Under anarchy, those who don’t respect the rights of others would be brought to justice solely by vigilantism; a scary proposition. As such, like socialism, anarchy would never work if we are to maintain a civilized society.

So as a logical libertarian, I feel there is a need for police to protect one person’s constitutional rights from another who might infringe upon them. If this occurs, then government applies commonly accepted justice to the offenders. However, the power to protect ourselves must remain with the people first.

Home IntruderHere’s the part where I think my opinion may be somewhat unique and controversial. While I consider myself a humanitarian, I draw a very clear and concise line on the lives I respect.

It stops at people who would willingly infringe upon my rights; such as rapists, murderers, molesters, and other violent felons. If someone breaks into my home in an attempt to take my life or property, I feel they’ve voluntarily forfeited their rights, and I will kill them with little remorse—a scenario most castle doctrines allow. I am always content to read about such attackers getting killed by either the police or their victims; it’s the epitome of swift justice.

Having liberty means that you have the right to take risks. You should be able to sky-dive, smoke a cigarette, drive without a seat belt, or drink a 20-oz soda (despite his excellency King Bloomberg’s wishes) if you so desire. So then in my opinion, if someone decides to engage in a felonious act against another person, whatever happens to them during that act was the risk they took in doing so.

If a man decides to rape a woman, and she shoots him in the back as he climbs off of her and runs away, you expect me to believe that she’s done something wrong? Yet by law, she is a murderer.

Jonathan Lowe's Mother
Jonathan Lowe’s Mother

I was disgusted last year to read about disabled veteran Jonathan Lowe being prosecuted, despite being the victim, because he stabbed a man to death who violently attacked him. How can any reasonable person consider this justice? The reason given was that the attacker had gotten up and was fleeing when Jonathan grabbed him and stabbed him, but I don’t care. Jonathan’s reaction was purely understandable.

The issue with many lawmakers and pacifists is that they’ve never been a victim of a violent crime, nor seem to appreciate the reaction it induces in even the most altruistic people. It requires unfathomable hubris to assume that they know how people will react in such a situation if they’ve not experience such an attack themselves. Controlling one’s instincts, emotions, and resultant actions after such an event is nearly impossible.

Humans have an innate sense or instinct of self-preservation. No matter how hard we might try to suppress it, we will react in an uncontrollable manner to stay alive. Don’t believe me? It is virtually impossible to commit suicide by holding your own breath. You’ll either breathe despite your best efforts not to, or you’ll pass out and then take a breath once you’re unconscious.

We’re unfairly penalizing people for succumbing to this instinct in a situation that they did not cause nor create. Once your life is threatened, unless you’re a soldier or police officer trained to stay calm in life-threatening events, temporary insanity will often ensue as you fight to stay alive and destroy that which threatens you. Anyone who has ever been violently attacked knows this.

With all that in mind, I am proposing victim protection legislation that would involve the following:

  • Duty to retreat laws should be abolished and prohibited at all levels.
  • Stand-your-ground-legislation should be a constitutionally enumerated right.
  • A carry-conceal permit from one state should be recognized by all states, just as a driver’s license currently is.
  • Committing an unprovoked felony would constitute a total forfeiture of rights under the law during the commission and escape of the felony by the felon.
  • The state, nor the perpetrator and their family should ever be allowed to criminally or civilly prosecute a victim, Samaritan, or officer who retaliated against the felon, no matter what injuries the felon may have sustained as long as the actions were committed during the commission of, or the fleeing from, the crime scene. If the felon escapes visual contact, only then should the victim or defender be required to cease any attempt to retaliate and allow the police to take over. as to stop vigilantism.
  • If someone retaliates recklessly, such as shooting a fleeing felon on a city street, the original victim could be charged for discharging a weapon within city limits or other applicable crimes, but the victim could not be charged in any way for a crime against the felon.

I specified “unprovoked” so that random bar fights and other escalations that started off civilly and grew to a felony would be treated differently. My act should only pertain to violent felonies involving premeditated intent, not flared tempers.

Police OfficerOne of the reasons crime is so prevalent is that criminals have too many protections under the law that embolden them. If more Americans armed themselves, and more would-be felons were killed by people who stood up to defend each other, then would-be-criminals who are on the fence about committing a felony might think twice.

I have a great amount of respect for our people in uniform overseas and on America’s streets. But I’m sick of the police telling me that I should allow myself to be victimized because the felon has rights too.

If the police had a 100% prosecution rate, if a victim’s property was always returned in tact, and the victim never suffered permanent bodily injury or emotional damage, maybe I could go along with giving the felons rights. But conviction rates are around 80%, and that’s only when they are able to find and arrest a defendant. Plus, property loss along with physical and emotional injury are the norm.

So with respect Mr. Police Officer or politician that thinks I should be bound by law to behave rationally when faced with an irrational attack—f*** you. I’ve been the victim of a violent crime twice in my life, and both times wasn’t armed. To this day, I regret not being able to retaliate against those thugs, and that was decades ago. Hopefully there isn’t a third, but if there is, armed with my pistol, I intend to be severely more prepared. Best of luck to my attacker (not really), but be assured I’ll be calling the police to send the coroner, not asking for them to come save me when they can get around to it.