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L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 115, April 2, 2001
Letters to the Editor
Send Letters to TLE@johntaylor.org
From: "Steve Trinward" <email@example.com>
RE: <<Private Investigators do most of "that" now. All major coorporations have a security department that investigates losses, interviews witnesses, gathers evidence, and hunts for the perpetrator. It is only a small step for PI's to move to the other elements you describe.>>
Susan: But do private detectives have the right to serve search warrants on people in their homes?
Steve: What percentage of the time is a search warrant currently used properly (i.e., to recover a murder weapon or stolen loot -- other than on *NYPD*, that is!), instead of as an excuse to roust someone solely for drug or gun POSSESSION ...? And in the case where such a warrant was required, to indemnify the agency doing the searching, wouldn't it be obtainable just as it is today (except with less 'greasing of palms' ... or campaign warchests ...)?
<<Forensice investigation is a science. Government holds no special monopoly on it. Private citizens are, under our constitution, already able to arrest for felonies.>>
Susan: But how can they back up their arrests? Can they legally handcuff people? Can they point a gun at their arrestees?
Steve: Not as the game is played today, thanks to the securing of monopoly powers of the State. Before all this "for your own good" socialization took place, a citizen had the right to show a gun in a 'citizen's arrest' if it was deemed necessary ...
<<And, under a truly free society, there would be a lot less rape, murder and robbery, as people would truly be able to defend themselves.>>
Susan: Sure, if everyone could carry a concealed handgun we'd see crime plummet, but that's different from having a bunch of competing private agencies do police work.
Steve: Would also be true that with people able to defend themselves, AND a rolled back police presence (confined at MOST to protecting persons and property from outside aggression), AND an end to "crimes against the state" as an excuse ... there'd be a helluva lot less for ANY police force, public or private, to actually DO ...
- Steve Trinward
From: "Jeff Schwartz" <Schwartz@BitStorm.net>
<<Do you think that private organizations can't investigate crimes? If so, what is your evidence?>>
Can private organizations serve search warrants? Can they arrest people and march them into an interrogation room at gunpoint? Can they legally detain and question them?
At moment, no... but I do know that there have been cases where a PI goes to the cops and says, "I found something" and then the cops get the warrent.
But let's take that a step further:
If we allowed a bonded PI to go to the judge and request a warrant, and serve it, then we could then take the next step and allow them to be sued if the warrent is executed improperly - which is something that we can't do now.
Also, skip tracers retrieve people at gunpoint and return them to the venue that they're supposed to be in, based on a warrant. If we were to allow PI's to go to the judge, show the evidence and get a writ from the judge that the suspect is wanted for questioning, then a similar process would work rahter nicely.
From: "Curt Howland" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Susan <Swftl@aol.com> writes:
> But do private detectives have the right
Susan, I have no problem with the root doubts that underlay your questions and concerns. They are valid and require a return to the kind of social structure that existed before Big Mommy government did so much "for" us.
However, I take great exception to your abuse of the word "right". No one has the "right" to serve a search warrant on anyone else. It is, however, a "power" that has been granted to the community by tradition and common law for thousands of years.
Granted by who, you may ask? How about your contract subscribing to Taylor's Court Company? Did you read the part where by your agreeing to the rules of the court, warrants issued under those rules are binding so long as you are a subscriber?
This seems a perfectly workable system to me, and I'm sure that someone would put together such a structure.
Since any warrant, in a truely free society, would be used in the sole situation that the target is assumed to have specific and incriminating evidence of a particular crime in which someone was hurt, and under oath or affirmation by someone *known*and*liable* for that oath or affirmation, i fully expect that the situation raised in The Probability Broach is far more likely.
To wit: a bomb kills someone. I saw the bomb making stuff in my neighbors home. I tell Pinkertons, Pinkertons sends over a professional and breaks into the house, finds the evidence, and together we act as witnesses against my neighbor in their trial.
And if I'm wrong? Then I am guilty of initiating force against my neighbor, and must pay restitution for that transgression.
From: "Les Pauls" <email@example.com>
Je suis l'Eggman.
From: "E.J. Totty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Susan <Swftl@aol.com> asks:
"But do private detectives have the right to serve search warrants on people in their homes?"
Well, if they are sworn agents of the state, then do they not?
This is to say, that if they have sworn an oath to the standing law, and are held thereto, then what is the difference between a permanent employee of the state, and one who is contracted to do the very same job?
See the above.
Just because a bunch of people carry arms, does not necessarily imply that criminal activity will become less.
It means only that the intended target will be able to offer a more effective resistance.
Ergo, the criminal will be inclined to employ MORE force -- if the results are worth the effort.
Consider: what is business all about, if not the idea of 'risk'? Crime is a risk, and crime is business.
Criminal activity is just that, because someone decided that it was.
Crime is evil, if only because it violates the natural law, which says that you may do as you please, as long as you do not harm the life, liberty, or property of another human.
The Pinkerton Police were notorious for their violations of individual liberty. If you are working for someone who pays a salary, and who 'wants results', then are you going to perform for the employer, or the law?
What if the person you work for is a state employee?
And, if your considerations are such that the idea of individual liberty, law, and due process are merely coincidental to your own pecuniary considerations, then no value system is cardinal to your thinking.
In any case, no matter. We have witnessed the slaughter of innocents by any camp, whether the government, or private, contracted henchmen.
The bottom line:
We aren't there yet. Switzerland is a close first, and America is somewhere after a banana republic near that, if only because those people in those banana republics have been shat upon by the people of the American republic in the name of whatever war against whatever drug.
In the aftermath of the latest school shootings, I have to ask, have we become a nation of wimps?
I ask this because the 'solution' being bandied about for dealing with school bullies is to provide them with some sort of 'sensitivity' training. I have long thought that one could always depend on the government to do the wrong thing. I have even suggested that one could depend on them in much the same way that one could depend on the sun to rise in the east.
How the hell do these people expect children to be able to deal with aggressive people when they grow up? Talk 'em to death?
In days of yore, fathers used to teach their sons a little boxing. Kids could also be taught judo or karate. Any one of these would be good for their health as well as their self-esteem. This is exactly what those who are society's out-casts need. This would be the right thing to do.
It appears that in this knuckle-biting, bed-wetting, panty-crapping culture that we live in these days, that this would make to much sense.
James J Odle
From: "Dennis Kabaczy" <email@example.com>
In response to Ms. Wells comments in TLE #114:
<<But do private detectives have the right to serve search warrants on people in their homes?>>
Under the current system, no. If however, we are going to a more libertarian system, then why not? Warrants could be applied for in the same manner as the police do now, with the advantage of not only naming the area to be searched and the items to be searched for, but also naming who is to be doing the searching. Furthermore, if they damage your property, you would be able to sue. Victimless crimes would no longer be prosecuted, as nobody is going to care if you are using drugs or hoarding weapons as long as you do them no damage.
<<But how can they back up their arrests? Can they legally handcuff people? Can they point a gun at their arrestees?>>
<<Sure, if everyone could carry a concealed handgun we'd see crime plummet, but that's different from having a bunch of competing private agencies do police work.>>
These two points, I'll take together. The carrying of concealed weapons, which would be much more widespread under a more libertarian society, would obviate the need for many arrests. Self defense by the intended victim would take care of the problem. For those remaining, yes it is a question. At what point after the crime has already been committed, and the attacker is no longer a threat, is the application of force justifiable? Remember, under a more libertarian system, we would be talking about reparations to the victim, not punishment for the criminal. How can you be sure the alleged criminal would show up for court (or arbitration)? Arrest and confinement might be done, with the risk that the alleged criminal may counter-sue for damages should (s)he be found not culpable. Again, many private agencies currently do many of the same things our police do, and could probably take over the remainder with little difficulty.
The bottom line is, what passes for the justice system in our society now, has very little to do with true justice. Our rights are ignored, and our liberty restrained. Any change will take time, and the inherent difficulty of a transition period. If you want to look at it in a different way, we are already in a transition period from liberty to tyranny. Reversing the current trend should be our priority, not pointing out the potential, and to a great extent imagined, difficulties of less government.
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