Sunday, January 20, 2013

Police: a privileged class?

I have been lagging somewhat recently in my posts, expressing most of my ideas through Facebook. Since I find my blog to be a better place for consolidating my thoughts in the long run, however, I will try to start posting here more.

Here are some ideas regarding the police enjoying a status of a special gun-wielding, law-breaking elite:

First, a quote:

"The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence." — "Sir" Robert Peel

A link: "Are You a Feudalist?" A rather good article in which the author discusses not only the history of freedom and equality in the English-speaking world but also draws parallels between the modern world and the feudal society.

My thoughts on the article:

There is no reason why police or the army should have special privileges over the citizens. The idea that police should have special rights or privileges is absurd.

The same goes for the government. It is incumbent on every person to live according to law: i.e., a peaceful way of resolving conflicts with his fellows. The "government" should be nothing else but people whose full-time job is to figure out what the appropriate ways of peaceful conflict resolution are. Just like professors of linguistics try to figure out what the proper way of spelling words is, such that people understand each other the best.

And another repost from the Facebook:

I have read some guy on Reddit say this:
Let's assume that an assault weapons ban is unconstitutional and infringes your right to self-defense. However, it doesn't completely eliminate your right to self-defense—you can certainly defend yourself in the vast majority of situations with a shotgun or a handgun.
My response (first line shamelessly stolen from some meme):
Rosa Parks had other seats on the bus to choose from. 
Self-defense is a natural right. Not something granted by the Constitution as a civil right. Any prevention of any means of self-defense is a violation of that right. Who cares how big or small? If we had slavery only on Wednesdays, as opposed to full slavery, would you oppose it? How about once a year? How about once ten years? And don't tell me that doing whatever you want with your body is a more fundamental right than living. 
I draw the line at WMDs. Not because 'that's just nuts, dude' (which is the argument people use against ownership of machine guns), but because use and storage of them endangers everyone else. 
But then, the government should not have them either! Not because they are less safe in its hands, but because the government draws its rights to do something from our rights. The government has no rights a priori (unlike us, the sovereigns). We delegate to it our natural rights. 
Which us also why if you're going to forbid people to own a certain kind of weapon, forbid it to police and army too. I'm not being funny. There is an article on Reason quoting NY police chief saying that having only ten bullets at a time in their magazines will limit police officers' ability to defend themselves and others effectively, while leaving the criminals with full magazines. No shit!..
Now, if you're wondering what are these magical natural rights that I keep talking about... well, I am wondering the same thing. I have been thinking about the nature of natural rights (no pun intended) and will try to organize my thoughts in a post in near future (bli neder).

Meanwhile, if you're in a mood for quick senseless British humor, enjoy this:

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