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Liberty, We Have A Problem

(Or: No, Shooting Cops Is NOT Consistent with Liberty)

There is a problem festering within the liberty movement. This problem is one that I’ve sensed for some time, but has become much more clear to me due to some recent, tragic events.

Last week, a young couple named Jerad and Amanda Miller murdered two police officers in Las Vegas, as well as another man who later tried to stop their rampage. The two reportedly shouted “This is the start of a revolution!” before opening fire. The majority of people who heard about this event were shocked and appalled, as any rational minded person with a soul would be. There were some, however, who had a different take on the event.

“The good news is, two cops are dead”, lamented anarchist asshole (his words, not mine) Christopher Cantwell. You see, Cantwell feels that since police are enforcers of the law, and since in our society, the vast majority of laws are rights-infringing (or “aggression”, as Cantwell simplistically refers to it), that therefore any violence inflicted upon a police officer by a citizen is justified as “self-defense.”

In order to not be accused of mischaracterizing Cantwell’s position, I will allow him to explain it in his own words. (The words are his, the emphasis is mine.)

People say the officers were “simply eating lunch” and so this was a clear cut case of murder. I could not disagree more. Those officers were merely taking a short break from the aggressions all police commit day in, and day out. Immediately after they got done with their break, they would inevitably have returned to their regular duties of harassing and extorting motorists, and kidnapping people for possessing plants. They paid for their food, with money that was taken from people under the threats of violence that are taxation, and fines. While it’s a lot easier to draw the connection in something like the Justin Bourque incident, the fact remains that all police are aggressors. There is no such thing as a good cop.

It is by definition, impossible to murder an aggressor. It is an act of defensive, retaliatory, or preventive force, not aggression, to do violence to people who have no doubt harmed peaceful people, and will no doubt continue to harm peaceful people. Every free man, woman, and child has every moral and ethical right to use violence to put a stop to such threats, and the world is a better place without these two police officers victimizing the public.

There are many problems with Cantwell’s view, and while many libertarians have openly denounced his callous call for the murder of police officers and other state agents, the overall attitude can be traced back to an idea that many libertarians cling to. More so, it’s one I’ve been guilty of holding in the past. But more on that later.

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I didn't frame the discussion that way.

That is your interpretation of the discussion. And no, killing cops is not just. Defending yourself from a particular cop that is assaulting you unjustly would be just. And even then, it would not be wise.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

You've just admitted that you believe

killing a cop whos arresting you is just, so that is progress.

Let's prod you along to admitting further inanities.

Your compatriot of anarchism, kyle townsend, on a separate thread, as stated that the only way for NAP to permit arrests if on the basis that the justice of the arrest is predicated on the arrested party having been the perpetrator of an aggressive act.

kyle realizes this is the only way to justify third party, or agent, arrest on behalf of the victim or accuser.

But if this principle is true, permitting arrest, it also follows that arresting or killing a law officer is just, if it can be shown beyond reasonable doubt, that he resisted during the process of an arrest for his own previous actions in which he (the cop whom you're arresting) was aggressive, i.e., arrested parties who turned out to be innocent and did not provide restitution.

I am not sure I get your point

Are you saying that if someone is arrested and later proved innocent, he is entitled to restitution, and that the arresting cop can be charged with assault? I agree with this. That's the standard libertarian position.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus


Arrest isnt enough to warrant compensation. The current law is that law officers have special training and certification so that they can be given the assumption that their actions were made in good faith to the law and any system, to function must be judged at the reasonable man standard (pursuing NAP), not strict NAP. To me giving the benefit of the doubt to cops is perfectly reasonable, as long as the training that allows cops to gain the assumption of good faith is open to all citizenry, which is not always true (although some places make it easy to be deputized or be auxillary)

I am not talking about current law.

I am talking about what would be the situation in an ancap society. I would guess that arrest before a trial would be a rare occurrence because of the liability if the person is found innocent. Rather, the person would be invited to attend their trial. If they refused, they would be tried in their absence and, if found guilty, would be arrested afterwards.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Judging people in absentia

on the basis of an arbitrary consensus of people and then kidnapping or harming someone is not self defense, but aggression. A jury can't act in self defense, nor can the arresting agent, as they were not involved and were not harmed, and have no way of knowing with the same certainty of the person who could have acted in self defense.

This is in principle the same as a lynch mob, at least as far as NAP is concerned. There are differences between a jury trial with due process and with a lynch mob, but these differences don't pertain to NAP. On NAP, both are invalid because force not used in self defense.

How many times do I have to explain that the NAP does not

forbid aggression, but the initiation of aggression? Aggression for restitution is justified. I am really at a loss as to why you don't understand this.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

The NAP does prohibit aggression

That's why it's called the non aggression principle. Aggression is defined as the initiation of force. You have your terms crossed.

Even on the proper terms, attacking a person on suspicion or outside of self defense is aggression and initiation of aggression.

Self defense is by its nature not the same as retribution, by a third party that wasn't involved and has no certainty of guilt.

You're mad because you NAP is shown conclusively to be incapable of support an actual retributive justice system.


According to Walter Block (a prominent NAP theoretician), a third party may use force on someone who violated the NAP because the violator gives up certain rights when they initiate or threaten force against the innocent.

That 'someone'

is presumed innocent.

Arrest of suspects is not self defense, it is aggression.

As usual, Blockhead is wrong. That's why Jan schooled him, despite his conniptions any time Jan coughed.

Hey, why are you feeding the trolls? Buzz off.


I'm claiming that the arrest itself is aggression, regardless of potential facts that the aggressive arresting party does not know, and the act violates NAP in itself, the moment that it occurs, and no matter what comes out later, will always have been aggressive.

You don't get to fire into a crowd and walk because you only hit people who were also guilty of murder. That's retarded, but it is analogous to your view.

What? The NAP does not forbid aggression.

It forbids the initiation of aggression. An arrest, after a person is found guilty of a tort, is not initiation of aggression, but a justified response to initiated aggression.

I find your analogy about firing into a crowd silly. I fail to see how it relates to the concept of arrests.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Aggression is

force used not in self defense.

The determination of an arbitrary group of people who weren't there is no self defense, it is a claim to majority jurisdiction over individuals not in self defense.

The crowd analogy is very relevant.

The theory you and others has offered is that the validity or legality of an arrest is based on whether the person turned out to be guilty, even though the arresting party didn't know this.

If aggression against someone is justified ex post facto based on facts dredged up about some earlier aggression, then the person who shoots into a crowd is not guilty if he only gets people who are guilty of murder.

Back in reality, the arresting agent as well as the shooter are both guilty of acting with force not in self defense, and the question of their justness is based on their motivation, knowledge and whether they had proper jurisdiction to arrest the victim.

On NAP, no one can justly use force except in self defense. In reality, public bodies can delegate the jurisdiction that derives from the fact that the public body is itself the source of the law and justice, and not NAP.

total nonsense

Aggression is not just physical violence, it is also the threat of violence. When you shoot into a crowd, you are committing aggression against everyone in the crowd, not just the people you hit. Ever heard of the assault tort? If I point a gun at you, I am committing assault, even though I never fire it.

This is why people get tired of debating you. You continue to commit basic mistakes like this while thinking you are uber clever.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

I guess Im old..

because I have witnessed enough of these fights to last a lifetime.

No wonder why Nystrom gets tired of it. Look! New guy. Stirs up a bunch of shit. Had new guy been around a while he would have witnessed some of these debates.

Instead.. gotta deal with an extremist.

Hell, just as a poster here, I get sick of it.

Its like telling the drunk guy that you are on his side.. even though the drunk guy keeps looking for a fight.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

I'm hardly a new guy

If you aren't interested in these questions, don't participate, or post something else. It's an open forum. Why come and be negative about fruitful discussions others are having? What do you want to talk about? You're well liked around here, you can post anything you want. If you have no position on the subject, why do you keep making comments that kinda-sorta imply you do have a position but don't state it? Your vague, imprecise plaints and hints at a position, while pretending disinterest, is confusing and a little bit disingenuous. If you are merely disinterested in the discussion, you should be directing your complaints to the never-quiet anarchist section of the site, not against the other positions (hinting but not stating it).


you just have a combative attitude.

I am a moderate because I want our ideas to win. That is what matters most to me. I appreciate your willingness to engage, but dont expect us all to take the bait.

That being written... please calm your rhetoric and mind. You will accomplish more in peace than you will in war.

True story.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

The purpose of the ongoing discussion

which you deride is to clarify what those ideas are. If it is not something you like to participate in, it's not required. True story.


Now you've been reduced to advocating for victimless crimes, in contradiction to your own earlier arguments!!

On other threads, you've said that drunk driving or other reckless endangerment, and menacing, are not crimes until someone is hurt.

Now you have to claim pointing a gun is aggression, lmao.

And that isn't even relevant to my point, which was that if he hit murderers, he would not be guilty since they had what was coming. This is necessary on your other principle of justifying aggression against those presumed innocent, by post facto guilty verdict.


What's funny (or sad) is that Bill3 has posted extensively about the NAP and he doesn't even know what it is.

deacon's picture

He has the right

to his own opinions and thoughts,doesn't he?
Being able to speak your own mind,is one part of liberty,and it is protected
under the first amendment

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


Cantwell? Of course he does, as does I? Who said he doesn't? Did I call for his arrest and censorship?

The first amendment fallacy is one of my favorite pointless comments here at the Daily Paul.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

deacon's picture


While you aren't calling for his arrest(which,seems a bit unliberty)
You are complaining about his choice of words
And NO,most americans do not support the vast laws,statutes and codes,we do not vote on them,we do not get a say,they are forced upon us,and we are guilty of each and every one them,whether we know they exist or not
Ignorance of the law is no excuse....and this little gem...do you understand
the laws,infractions or what ever else it means,when the judge asks the already guilty this question
Now,cops do not have enforce bad laws,but they do,they do not have uphold immoral codes and such,they choose to,and they do it with vigor,and no restraint,and at the same time,they break the laws to enforce them !!

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


I can complain about whatever I want. Cuz Muh First Amendment.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

deacon's picture

Disregarding tripe

and from now on,all of your posts.your immature attitude just isn't worth my time
BTW,you are wrong,and have a nice posting day

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


Is this a battle from another thread that I missed?

I haven't visited the website except for a few other links that were posted around here.

Was he banned or something?

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

deacon's picture

No P,

There was no battle before,nor is there now.I took exception to one(The poster)which indicated (to me) his words were more important than the one he wrote about. As a matter of fact, I truly enjoyed reading his thoughts/insights,But I will not tolerate how I was talked to,anywhere else yes,BUT NOT HERE.If you want to teach,then teach,but it had better be in a way that most can grasp,and enjoy learning.People will not.learn nor ant to anything from another who has basically told them you are stupid,or are unworthy of my time,this is where i am at about this whole topic.
I took further exception,when instead of clarification,wrote sarcastic belittling words/comments (MUH RIGHTS) as if, because he wrote them,held more weight than the one he was trying to degrade.LIBERTY,WE HAVE A PROBLEM..the only problem is see,is when another tried to define it,and all others should take it,whether it is agreeable or not to them.
As far as the oneeyed will goes,I haven't engaged the loon in any discussions,so he just slung some crap,hoping you might jump to one of his many posts about nothing

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence


I'll start with an apology. Yes, between having bronchitis and reading all sorts of comments calling for violence all day def put me In a "mood" the other day, and instead of taking a deep breath I got fed up and gave you a sarcastic response. I'm better than that, typically, but as we all do,I had a lapse in my normal reserved judgement. So I thank you for reading and engaging here, and hope you'll accept my apology.

That being said, this conversation has nothing to do with this first amendment :)

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

deacon's picture


You have no worries by me,I have them days,bad and worse :)
I just knew something wasn't quite right,as that is not your character.
There is no need for an apology,I am here to learn and grow,and words are part of the total package.

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

I literally lol'd

You have created a ton of great content and comment.

Please don't lose sight of the goal. Ron Paul told us that we should be having fun. Wise words from such a feisty individual.

I hope I haven't slung crap, although I may be guilty of a few rambling posts!

Much love my friend in Liberty!

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul