close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Can Libertarians Be Cops?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by RustyDaleShackleford, Jun 9, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RustyDaleShackleford

    RustyDaleShackleford Giblet Head

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Can and should libertarians be police officers?

    I'm going to officially be a senior in college beginning this August, and will graduate with my BS in criminal justice in May 2013. While I'll graduate that spring, I'll only have a brief law enforcement internship to go through that summer, and I'll be done. My minor is in psychology.

    Recently I've discovered my hardcore conservatism was just misunderstood libertarianism. Basically, I believe each individual should be allowed to do whatever they want, until they prevent another individual from doing whatever they want--which I really only see in assault, injury, theft, fraud, rape, kidnapping, damage to property, trespassing, and murder. I disagree with fines or imprisonment being used to enforce any law that doesn't protect individuals from those things--which means I'm philosophically against most laws.

    I decided to major in criminal justice because one of the things I always wanted to do was be a police officer. But now I'm rethinking the whole thing. If I went into law enforcement, I'd either have to go against my beliefs and take property (money, via fines) and/or liberty (via jail) from people for causes I don't believe warrant it, or do what I think is right and ignore every speeder and drug dealer I came into contact with until I'm fired.

    It's too late to change majors now, but I could always try to find another job using my degree, or join the military, since that's something else I've wanted to do. Plus I'd be joining as an officer. But joining the military would involve many of the same issues I face in deciding on joining law enforcement.

    When searching the internet for answers, I found very little. But in the little forum chatter I did dig up, many said that they believed that a true libertarian--someone believing in the inherent right of the individual to life, liberty, and property--can't be a functional police officer. But someone else caught my attention with a post that said they believed that, "only libertarians should be police officers."

    All this is not to even mention my belief that our country could and should move to a situation in which we have no--and need no--employees. Every paycheck I got, every bonus I earned, and every raise I fought for would be a debit against the American people.

    So... Can and should libertarians be police officers? Any experience with this issue? I want to serve and protect people, but not from themselves.
     
  2. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Messages:
    24,595
    Likes Received:
    2,281
    Location:
    Where the buffalo roam
    Personal politics should only matter if you go into politics. HH
     

  3. RustyDaleShackleford

    RustyDaleShackleford Giblet Head

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    It's not so much politics as what I see as right and wrong. I don't believe I--or the government vicariously through me or another--have the right to take someone's money or liberty just because they choose to not follow an arbitrary number painted on a sign, while driving their own car on the roads they pay for.

    Or taking someone's liberty for consuming a substance that someone thousands of miles away in a big white building may consider immoral.

    Heck, or throwing somebody in jail just because they take the Second Amendment to mean "shall not be infringed".
     
  4. Frailer

    Frailer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Not necessarily.

    FYI, just because you have a degree does not guarantee an officer slot--and with the current economy competition for these positions has increased significantly.

    I've known quite a few enlisted soldiers with masters degrees.
     
  5. frank4570

    frank4570

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Messages:
    15,508
    Likes Received:
    8
    I think you are going to find that your (correct) beliefs are not compatible with our system/culture.
     
  6. ClydeG19

    ClydeG19

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    5,862
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Location:
    Arizona
    Can you enforce the laws as they are and not as you think hey should be? I don't agree with all of the laws in my state, yet I enforce them. An officer's oath of office is a promise to the public that you serve that your political views won't play a part in how you do your job.


    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     
  7. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver the wrong hands

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,736
    Likes Received:
    0
    From your posts here I've placed you in the good guy category. You seem consistent in your beliefs which indicated that you tend to think things through and not just form opinions based on what some political group or news organization tells you.

    It would be great if ONLY real libertarians were police officers since they could make the biggest difference being the valve that controls the flow of people into our screwy legal system.

    So you have a choice to swear to uphold laws that you don't agree with and not enforce them, enforce them anyway, or avoid the situation altogether.

    You also might want to spend a few hours watching police brutality videos and reading the comments to see what a lot of people think of police. Then ask yourself if that trend is likely to reverse and if you want to be one of those police in 10-15 years.
     
  8. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    43,958
    Likes Received:
    16,239
    Location:
    S FL
    A substantial part of this may depend on what has been your life experience until now. If you have alot of time dealing with people from all walks of life here in the U.S., then you may end up having issues. If you have travelled different paths and do not understand one of the basic premises of colonial Britain, a belief that some peoples are just not capable of self-government, if you have not encountered people who cannot even make a simple transaction at the corner convenience store without extensive government assistance both in the funding and, possibly even more importantly, in the informal contractual action, then some of your views may change, possibly even rather quickly, and you may end up being functional as an officer.
     
  9. MrGlock21

    MrGlock21

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    North Texas
    And the term "should" should be a key word in your quote.
     
  10. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    25
    Start looking at other jobs.....You won't be happy and you won't be effective if you have doubts you can't do the job this early.

    The job ain't cut out for everyone, better you find out sooner then later. Better to get out now then go through a career unhappy or getting yourself or someone else hurt.
     
  11. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    18,357
    Likes Received:
    2,064
    Location:
    Alaska, again (for now)
    "Sometimes I do what I want to, the rest of the time, I do what I have to"


    I'd steer clear of police service. Its obvious you are not cut out for it.


    If you're interested in the military, pursue that. But I think you'll find that's not to your liking either.


    You need to find yourself a job doing something that doesn't entail public service or I think you're going to find yourself unhappy in whatever way you make a living.
     
  12. RustyDaleShackleford

    RustyDaleShackleford Giblet Head

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    To address a few responses all at once:

    - I know that LEOs jobs are to enforce the laws as they are, and not as I wish them to be. And no offense to you and I honestly don't mean this as a shot or anything, but I don't know that I'd trust the character of someone who could consistently do things he thinks is wrong. I'm sure it's no problem for anyone who has full faith in our current laws, but I find the enforcement of many of them morally wrong.

    - I've seen some of the videos showing police abusing their authority, mistreating citizens, and some even showing downright brutality. I never want to be that, but I don't see it as a big step from doing things you believe are wrong to doing things like in those videos. More of a slippery slope. Like if you'll compromise your principles on one thing, why not another?

    - I believe each person is capable and should be responsible for making all of their own decisions. Whether they actually practice making wise decisions for themselves is none of my business, and shouldn't concern anyone but them. What does that mean, that I may become a functional officer then? Like I'll fall into place or something?
     
  13. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    43,958
    Likes Received:
    16,239
    Location:
    S FL
    My experience has shown to me that more than a few people are no where near close enough to being capable of making their own decisions and probably should never try using anything more complicated than a plastic spork. A person's decisions regularly have an effect on people around him, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers.


    If you are willing to actually see people for who they are, faults and all, rather than what you would wish them to be, you may be able to succeed at being an officer. Whether you would really enjoy it or not is another question.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  14. Nemesis.

    Nemesis.

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here in Tulsa, fools can be cops. So libertarians can definitely be cops.
     
  15. badge315

    badge315

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Middleburg, FL
    One of the reasons that I did not pursue a career in law enforcement was precisely because of what the OP is talking about...I simply cannot in good conscience enforce what I consider to be unjust laws.

    Instead, I work as a private investigator...doing the bidding of the evil insurance companies. :whistling: :supergrin:
     
  16. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    25
    -There is more discretion built into the job than you think. Officers often ask themselves if it is morally, legally, or ethically correct. It's not always black and white, you are watching too many movies. Go on a ride-along and experience the real thing, the criminal justices classes don't give you a good idea about the real job and the real people.

    -Spend some less time on GNG and youtube and again go on a ride-along. Actual real police abuse is extremely rare. Most of the incidents you see on youtube are edited or only start after a certain point. Sometimes when you have to take a bad guy to jail and he doesn't want to go, it gets messy and you are rolling around in a fight for your life. Are you ready to deal with that? Have you ever been in a real fight in your life?

    -You have to be comfortable doing your job. You have to realize you are working for a better society and think big picture. It's a thankless job and from what you are saying it's absolutely not for you. Maybe something else to do in LE - maybe a parole officer or think about courts. The street is not for you.
     
  17. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Messages:
    27,314
    Likes Received:
    9,365
    Location:
    San AntonioTexas
    (Zen warning)

    Without getting into a bunch of meditation and flower power stuff....I like balance. I think the universe seeks it and I tend to do so as well.

    I wondered how that would work for me as a Cop. (also as someone who can pretty much always have their way)

    I am not going to go into the process of how I evolved my thinking but I will skip to the general result. Balance is yin AND yang. (I would go all Jewish on this but people are familiar with those terms) The Police tend to be on one side and a lot of other people are on the other. That creates a balance. I need to be a part of the police side of things...because that is what I am and it is part of balance.

    As for the "used to always getting my way/having it my way" that was easy, this aint my first rodeo and it isnt about me. The system doesnt work because of me, it works in spite of me. Everyone else depends on me to be a cog, not a special little flower. I do my job and things work better for the larger good.

    If any of this makes sense to you, cool.
     
  18. greenman19

    greenman19

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    central NC
    I think you should go into Law Enforcement. If for no other reason than we would get to watch your change over time as you have to pick up the bodies off the street of the people who don't care for those arbitrary numbers on a road sign. That and the victims of that drug culture that you think harmless.

    The real world education WILL change your mind.
     
  19. RustyDaleShackleford

    RustyDaleShackleford Giblet Head

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I've learned about discretion. My teachers' lectures every day always involve it. They always end up saying, "...again, it comes back around to the 'Big D'." Or when answering a question, "Again, it all depends."

    As for fighting for my life, the functional part like what to do when facing a situation like that, I'm sure that's addressed in the training. I'm not there yet.

    But I've been thinking that if I decide to go the LE route, that I don't necessarily have to be one of the drill sergeant-type, gung-ho guys who's by the book, down to the letter of the law all the time.

    I know it's only a tv show, and I don't want anybody to think I'm not taking LE seriously, but... I've thought that I could look at it more as a public servant than a brutal enforcer just roaming the streets, or whatever--but more like Andy Griffith. Again, not to dumb it down or totally misrepresent what it is that cops do, but maybe I should look at it more of how can I actually help people. And not that I'll be sitting on edge all the time, just waiting to see how quick somebody will give me an excuse to pull my weapon.
     
  20. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Messages:
    27,314
    Likes Received:
    9,365
    Location:
    San AntonioTexas
    There is alot of truth to this as well. Even a lot of the "petty" things we do are only petty to the people who dont want to be bothered with "correction"....it is pretty damned important to people who suffer because of it.

    Ever get your window cracked by a rock from a truck? It sucks. Dont you wish someone could do something about it?

    ....now be the trucker I pulled over because his mudflaps are not within 8 inches of the road. He thinks I am a chicken kaka ass hole.

    Most things tend to become really clear when you have more/all/better information from all sides. Cops are real high on the list of people who see it from all ends. It does tend to focus one.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.