When the State Fails to Provide Protection

Most gun bloggers spend a great deal of time talking about the fact that the police are not only under zero obligation to protect you but that they’re also completely ineffective in the task of protection. In general the police arrive to the scene of a crime far too late to perform the service of protection. This is why the right to self-defense is so important, you must be able to take the protection of your life into your own hands because nobody else will. Sadly protection is a market the state likes to claim a monopoly over and then dole out authorization to the populace as deemed appropriate (by the state of course).

Another market the state generally claims a monopoly over is that of delivering justice. This is rather interesting since the state doesn’t usually deliver justice, they deliver punishment. Justice would require that just compensation be provided to the victim by the criminal whereas punishment generally leaves the victim in no better shape then they were before the punishment was enacted (for example most victims of theft never get their property back nor receive compensation from the thief).

Those who seek to provide their own protection and seek justice are labeled vigilantes, which has an unnecessary negative connotation attached to it. I came across a very good article on Mises Daily talking about the American history of vigilantism, it’s benefits, and why people should rid themselves of their prejudice against vigilantes.

Although I urge you to read the article I’ll give a brief synopsis. The state claims a monopoly on both the protection and justice markets. History has proven that the state is incapable of providing either service leaving people without defense and justice. A vigilante is nothing more than a person who has taken responsibility to either defend themselves, their neighbors, or to seek justice for those who have been wronged. The key word being justice, this doesn’t mean seeking out the suspected criminal and murdering him but instead ensuring just compensation can be granted to the victim. Even though the state tries to tie the image of vigilantes to the likes of lynch mobs the comparison isn’t at all accurate as lynch mobs are just gangs of murderers seeking a desired target.

I’m not asking that you agree with this article but providing it primarily as food for thought. It’s a very interesting read and, I believe, deserving of your time.