What happens when no one answers your 911 call? Or what happens when you are pretty sure the person dispatched from 911 is a dangerous to you and yours as any threat you are facing?
“Coy Tolonen, who lives in unincorporated Clackamas County, and a group of Jennings Lodge residents are responding to escalating crime in their neighborhood by posting fliers that read: ‘This is a Glock block. We don’t call 911.’ ‘We’re starting a new group,’ Tolonen said. ‘We don’t feel neighborhood watch is sufficient, and we don’t feel the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is sufficient.’ Petty crime like stolen lawn ornaments and other acts of vandalism are plaguing the area, said Tolonen, whose lawn statue was recently stolen from her front porch. ‘I will defend myself — and my home,’ she told KOIN.com. Tolonen, who saw the man who stole the statue and unsuccessfully tried to apprehend him, decided to get a concealed carry permit following the incident. ‘I think more people should be trained [with] permits to carry,’ she said, adding that all of her neighbors have licenses to carry.”
My fellow blogger Phil Hodges has defended these people, if you feel inclined to judge them negatively. I’m not going to bother. I’m just going to point out these people aren’t the first American residents in the twenty-first century to decide to provide for themselves during a shortage of law enforcement. Private households and businesses in Detroit are way ahead of them. According to one report,
“So ruined by government planning, Detroit is becoming a hotbed of spontaneous order…of the market stepping in to do what the government has never managed to do properly. Frustrated with the poor service from their tax-funded overseers, Detroit residents have turned to the private sector for security and protection, like the customer-satisfying efficiency of private protection as provided by Dale Brown and his organization, Threat Management Center… Today, Threat Management Center has a client base of roughly 1000 private residences and 500 businesses. And TMC also provides free service to those who cannot afford their prices. That free help is available because of the healthy profit margin left from providing excellent services to the bigger corporations.”
While you would never know it from the way contemporary police behave, the authority of the police is derived from the authority of the people to defend themselves and keep the peace. If neighbors band together and voluntarily help one another to deal with crime, or if they voluntarily contract with a private law enforcement contractor for his services, they are not doing anything immoral or illegal.
The fact is that, just like socialism causes shortages of food or clothing, it also causes shortages in the distribution of law enforcement or at least of real peace keeping. Rather than prioritize the people’s need to be secure, the police will be given revenue-gathering assignments that take up valuable time. The fact that they are paid whether or not crime is reduced, and are even more likely to get extra funding if crime increases, gives them the wrong incentives.
The arrangements we see growing in Oregon and Detroit show us, I think, what must happen, as the government becomes increasingly dysfunctional and bankrupt. We will take care of ourselves by helping one another.