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TOTD 27 Jun 2001

Professional policing in the United States dates back only to the mid-nineteenth century. Before then, even major cities relied on citizens taking responsibility upon themselves for enforcing the law, and raising the occasional posse. Admittedly, the world is a different place now than in 1840, but is it that different? At the very least, we need to ask whether we're getting more good than evil from the practice of maintaining armed bodies of government enforcers in our midst who have a built-in interest in expanding their power and authority.

-J.D. Tuccille

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
jehosephat
Jun. 27th, 2001 11:35 am (UTC)
Arm a government authorized group of people or arm everyone? Life now is a bit different from the 1800's. Mode's of communication and travel are much faster and more effective. There's also a lot less isolation requiring that the locals handle transgressors by themselves. However, you gotta wonder if someone would be less willing to enter a house to steal if there was a good chance that someone could be inside with a weapon and the will to use it. Or for that matter, having the neighborhood join together, arm themselves and hunt them down for a string of thefts.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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