Chapter: 24


“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither”—Benjamin Franklin 1

“Security is the lowest form of happiness”—Andrew J. Galambos

Donald P. Scott owned, and lived with his wife, on a 200-acre ranch property in the Ventura County portion of Malibu, California. On October 2, 1992, while serving a search warrant at the ranch, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies shot Scott dead. Donald Scott was 61 years old.

The Scott property was located in the County of Ventura. However, the road leading to the property is in Los Angeles County.

The killing of Mr. Scott was controversial. Because Scott was killed in Ventura County by Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs, the District Attorney of Ventura County investigated the incident and on March 30, 1993 published a 64-page report about it. The following account of the incident is drawn from that report. 2

In September, 1992, L.A. County Deputy Sheriff Gary Spencer, a member of the Sheriff’s narcotics unit, received information from an undisclosed informant that 3,000 to 4,000 marijuana plants were growing on the Scott Ranch.

Spencer pursued an investigation and enlisted the assistance of law enforcement officers of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the U.S. Border Patrol and the California Air National Guard. Both ground and aerial reconnaissance failed to reveal the presence of marijuana plants on the property.

Deputy Spencer persisted. He considered the possibility of using a Sheriff’s SWAT unit to execute a search of the Scott property. A Sheriff’s SWAT unit deputy went to talk to Mr. Scott and his wife to make an assessment of the risk of confronting Scott. The SWAT team deputy informed Spencer that Scott and his wife were friendly and that the threat of danger from Scott was so low that Sheriff’s deputies could just drive up to the house and the Scotts would let them inside.

Deputy Spencer procured a search warrant issued by a judge in Ventura County.

The District Attorney of Ventura County concluded that there was a lack of probable cause to justify issuance of a search warrant for the Scott property. This was because Deputy Spencer, in his affidavit in support of the search warrant, had misrepresented important facts and withheld other relevant information that cast doubt on the existence of marijuana on the Scott ranch.

Deputy Spencer had considered the possibility of forfeiture of the ranch, which he had discussed in the Sheriff’s department before the warrant was served. In fact, deputies assigned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s drug forfeiture unit were on the property when the warrant was served.

A supplement to the report of the Ventura County District Attorney states that officers present at a briefing received a property appraisal statement of the Trail’s End Ranch and a parcel map of the area on which a DEA Special Agent “made a notation . . . indicating that the property encompassed 200 acres and that 80 acres ‘in the area’ had recently sold for $800,000.”

The report opined: “We can find no reason why law enforcement officers who were investigating suspected narcotics violations would have any interest in the value of the Trail’s End Ranch or the value of property sold in the same area other than if they had a motive to forfeit that property.” 3

On October 2, 1992, thirty law officers, from seven government agencies, who were to serve the search warrant gathered at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Malibu Station. An entry team of five Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies went to the front door of Scott’s residence at 9:00 a.m. When there was no response to their demands for entry, the five armed deputies broke open the door with a battering ram and crow bar. They first saw Mr. Scott’s wife, Frances Plante, who they led outside of the house to stand facing a wall.

The only witnesses to what happened next were deputy sheriffs.

Deputy Spencer stated that he saw Donald Scott enter the living room, holding a pistol pointing upward at a 45-degree angle. Spencer states that he yelled, “Donald drop the gun!” and pointed his own gun at Scott.

Spencer stated that then Scott slowly rotated the barrel downward until it was pointed directly at Spencer; that he thought Scott was going to shoot him and was in fear for his own life. Spencer and another deputy then fired three rounds at Scott, killing him.

After the shooting of Mr. Scott, the law enforcement officers searched the entire Scott property for several hours. No marijuana was found. 4

The Donald Scott case is not an isolated example of police shooting and killing an innocent person during a forced entry into that person’s residence. 5 The rest of this chapter surveys the failings of state-provided security in numerous contexts including at home, on our streets and in our schools. It endeavors to show how the business activity of private security can and will evolve, together with the institution of insurance and other social institutions, to provide for the needs of all people for security and the opportunity for each individual to pursue happiness safely in his or her own way.

CTLR also posits that as political states fail, the business of security will flourish and evolve to provide better protection of property, including life and property in ideas, than has ever been known heretofore.


A major source of human unhappiness is insecurity due to concern that one’s property, including life itself, may be attacked by persons committing theft, robbery, and even violent acts that cause physical injury or death. However, it appears that humans did not begin to develop formal institutions for property protection until relatively recently in the history of Homo sapiens.

Thus, according to historian Richard Pipes, “such anthropological evidence as is available suggests that in societies of hunters and gatherers as well as among primarily pastoral people, public authority, as distinct from the authority of the kinship group, either does not exist or is negligible.” 6

Since at least the late Neolithic period from 6000 B.C.E. to 2000 B.C.E., people have made social arrangements for the protection of property. For example, Andrew Galambos observed that the Biblical Golden Rule, in its double negative iteration, “do not do unto other that which is hateful to you,” is a rule of property protection; and that many of the Ten Commandments of the Hebrew Bible are rules for protection of property. 7

Police and private security in historical context

In America there were no paid police officers until the mid-nineteenth century introduction of paid municipal police modeled after similar programs in England. Private security, that is the provision of security services by privately owned and operated businesses, has co-existed with police in America continuously since the introduction of police paid by cities, counties, states and eventually the United States.

According to historians Terry Anderson and P. J. Hill, there were no police departments on the American frontier as Americans moved westward into areas settled sparsely, if at all. During the period 1830-1900 on the western frontier, there was a virtual absence of strong, centralized, coercive authority. However, the western frontier was not as wild as legend would indicate. There were protection and arbitration agencies that functioned very effectively, either as a complete replacement for formal government or as a supplement to government. Disputes on the western frontier were generally avoided or resolved peacefully, among fur trappers, in wagon trains of westward bound settlers, in settling competing claims for land and water rights, and in mining camps. 8

The original function of paid, public police in America and England was to patrol cities in order to watch out for criminal activity and prevent attacks on property. Gradually, the function of police changed to that of law enforcement.

Police Protection Versus Law Enforcement

Law enforcement is not at all the same thing as protection of persons or property.

Actions by law enforcement officers frequently include attacks on the property of people innocent of any wrongdoing. That kind of law enforcement has become the public policy of the United States and most, if not all, of the fifty states of the union. For example, federal law encourages law enforcement officers to seize and confiscate the property of people as a means of enforcing the income tax reporting laws and the laws prohibiting possession and sale of narcotic drugs. Acting under such legal authority, law enforcement officers regularly seize and confiscate homes, automobiles, cash, and bank accounts, etc. of people who have not been accused of a crime and are never accused of a crime involving the property that has been seized.

U.S. federal and state laws that make certain types of conduct a crime have increased from few in number in the late 18th century to number in the thousands by the 21st century. The first federal criminal statute, enacted in 1790, established twenty-two offenses punishable as crimes. 9

As of the year 2007, according to a study by the Federalist Society, U.S. law contained more than 4,450 criminal offenses, up from 3,000 in 1980. Over the 25 years ended in 2007 Congress created over 500 new crimes per decade. 10 Enforcing this multitude of criminal laws has become the predominant activity of federal, state, and local police.

Criminal laws have achieved such a wide scope that almost anyone and everyone can violate a criminal law without intending to and without knowing even of the existence of such a law and the manner in which it is interpreted by law enforcement agencies.

Unlike the police, private security focuses solely on protecting persons and property. Therefore, it would be reasonable to provide by contract that a private security company would be financially liable for injuries and harm caused by the company’s failure to prevent an attack on persons or property that the company had agreed to protect. In this way, private security companies would have incentive to provide effective security.

Some advantages of private security

Lack of effective police protection is the reason that commercial properties and businesses of any size invariably will hire private security.

Private security seeks to protect the assets of its customers. Government, on the other hand, often seeks to take money and other property from people who are never accused of a crime, much less convicted of a criminal offense.

Private security providers have a direct, contractual relationship with their customers. Customers who are dissatisfied with the service of a private security provider can terminate that service and choose among a wide variety of competing security companies. No customer ever pays any amount that he or she does not voluntarily choose to pay when entering into a service contract with a private security company. The contract fee is not a matter of a forced tax imposed by government.

Private security focuses on early intervention in a disturbance, and prevention of injurious behavior before a crime occurs, not costly law enforcement after the fact.

Private security personnel are often the first responder to incidents or disturbances, even long before public police officers can arrive. Private security personnel attend to immediate safety and security needs and give the person creating a disturbance the chance to do the right thing first, without using heavy-handed methods or making unneeded arrests.

Unlike city, county, and state police, the personnel practices of private security do not burden coming generations of taxpayers with high severance packages or inflated pension costs.

Private security providers are engaged to protect persons, property and businesses, not to enforce the enormous number of laws that public police are supposed to enforce.

As we will contend in detail in the chapter on Justice, many of the laws that police enforce have nothing to do with the safety of individuals or the protection of property. The United States and virtually all the individual states have laws that prohibit conduct that amounts to a private vice but causes no injury to anyone else. For example, being intoxicated by narcotic drugs injures no one unless the intoxication causes conduct harmful to others, such as driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs that results in damage and injury to other persons and their property.

Police have no duty to protect people

In the United States of America, police do not provide effective security for individuals. The failure of police to protect Cecilia Lam in San Francisco is illustrative, but not unique, or even rare.

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “from the evening of Oct. 9, 2014, to the early morning of Oct. 10,  35-year-old Cecilia Lam called repeatedly from the . . .  apartment she shared with four roommates, asking for [San Francisco] police to protect her from her drunken, violent boyfriend, 29-year-old Cedric Young Jr. After many of her calls, officers responded and sought to help. But each time, they failed to take actions that might have saved her life. . .

“In homicides of women in California, domestic violence is the leading cause by far. A recently released state report found that at least 80 women were killed by domestic abusers in 2016, accounting for 37.6 percent of the killings in which the motive was known. . .  Across the country, stories like Cecilia’s emerge every day: terrified victims reaching out to law enforcement for help but still ending up dead at the hands of their abusers. . .

“John Coté, a spokesman for the [San Francisco] city attorney’s office, said that while Cecilia’s death was a tragedy, the city was not legally liable.” 11 Mr. Coté was right about the law. The courts of California and the U.S. Supreme Court have held that local governments cannot be held liable for failure of police to protect an individual. 12

In the United State, private security is not generally furnished to apartment dwellers such as Cecilia Lam in San Francisco. However, it could be supplied, at a cost embedded in monthly rental, as are other costs of operation of a multi-unit dwelling.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that citizens do not have a constitutional right to police protection. According to reporter Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times: “For hours on the night of June 22, 1999, Jessica Gonzales tried to get the Castle Rock [Colorado] police to find and arrest her estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, who was under a court order to stay 100 yards away from the house. He had taken the children, ages 7, 9 and 10, as they played outside, and he later called his wife to tell her that he had the girls at an amusement park in Denver.

“Ms. Gonzales conveyed the information to the police, but they failed to act before Mr. Gonzales arrived at the police station hours later, firing a gun, with the [dead] bodies of the girls in the back of his truck. The police killed him at the scene.” 13

The decision, and the reasoning, of the majority opinion of the Supreme Court may be summarized, from statements of the Court itself, as follows.

  • There is a well-established tradition of police discretion that applies even in the enforcement of duties that the law says are mandatory.
  • A restraining order does not create a personal entitlement to enforcement of the order.
  • Ms. Gonzales did not have a Constitutional property interest in police enforcement of the restraining order.
  • Federal law does not create a system by which police departments are generally held financially liable for crimes that better policing might have prevented. 14

The Gonzales case came to the Supreme Court from a lower federal court. Presumably, Mrs. Gonzales’ lawyer filed the case in the federal court because Colorado law precluded a lawsuit against government for failure to provide police protection. Every state has a law stating that government is not liable to citizens for failure of police to protect them from harm. 15

In September 1972, Ruth Bunnell telephoned the San Jose, California Police Department and reported that her estranged husband had called her, saying that he was coming to her residence to kill her. She requested immediate police aid. The police asked her to call back when her husband arrived. Later the police went to Mrs. Bunnell’s residence after a neighbor reported she had been killed.

The California Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit for damages brought by the victim’s executor against the city. The trial court dismissed the executor’s lawsuit on the ground that it was barred by a California law that states “Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to . . . provide police protection service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service.” 16

An outspoken Los Angeles Chief of Police, Ed Davis, said to the public “Get a dog and a gun. The Police Department cannot protect you.” 17

A Tallahassee, Florida police chief stated, “The community cannot put enough cops out there to protect everyone. You’ve got to empower the people to protect themselves.” 18

Principal activities of police in the United States include patrolling in automobiles, on motorcycles, and on bicycles in some high population density areas, responding to citizen calls for police, investigating actual or suspected criminal activity, issuing citations for violation of a multitude of laws dealing with motor vehicles, making reports of traffic accidents, and enforcement of vice laws, that is the laws prohibiting sale and use of prohibited narcotic drugs, prostitution, and gambling. The police are charged with the duty to enforce any and all laws that prohibit specified conduct or command obedience to laws that require specified conduct, such as wearing a seatbelt while driving a car and wearing a helmet while operating a motorcycle.

However, as indicated above, police and their government employers have no responsibility, liability, or accountability for harm done to citizens due to failure of police to protect them.

The security industry 

In the San Jose case mentioned above, the court explained that the city of San Jose had absolute immunity from liability for failure of the police to protect a person, unless the police had induced that person’s reliance on an express or implied promise to provide protection. The court stated that “the plaintiff’s allegation that the police had responded 20 times to calls and had arrested her husband once does not indicate that the [police] department had assumed a duty toward decedent greater than the duty owed to another member of the public.”

Unlike police, who protect people and property on occasion when that is incidental to their duty to enforce laws, the essence of the business of private security, and the reason it exists, is to protect people and property.

The private security industry employs more guards, patrol personnel and detectives than the federal, state and local governments combined. There were 10,000 private security companies active in America as of the year 2009. 19 Security is one of the faster growing industries in America. As of 2013 total revenues were nine times more than in 1985. 20

Private security has become ubiquitous. Even in small towns in America, there are private security companies. For example, Security Services Northwest (SSNW) has headquarters near the town of Sequim, Washington, population ­­­­­6,600. 21 The company serves residential and business customers and also local, state and federal government agencies throughout the Pacific Northwest. SSNW maintains a 24-hour central monitoring facility to receive calls and alarm signals and responds by dispatching security personnel to the point of origin of the alarm signal or call for help. 22

According to a report to an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, 45% of local government entities contract out security functions to private security companies. The federal government uses 15,000 private security company employees to guard and protect various federal locations, including guards at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and screening of visitors to the Statute of Liberty in New York Harbor. 23

The above mentioned report states that “private security is essential to ensuring the security and safety of persons and property, as well as intellectual property and sensitive corporate information. Private security officers are responsible for protecting many of the nation’s institutions and critical infrastructure systems, including industry and manufacturing, utilities, transportation and health and educational facilities.

“Companies are also heavily invested in private security, hiring security firms to perform functions such as store security, private investigations, pre-employment screening, and information technology (IT) security.

“These services are used in a wide range of markets, from commercial to residential. Some companies hire their own security personnel, whereas others contract with security firms for these services or use a mix of services both proprietary and contract staff.” 24

The American Society for Industrial Security International (ASIS), the largest association of private security professionals in the United States, identified the following categories of private security operations:

  • Personnel security
  • Information systems
  • Alarm services
  • Investigations
  • Loss prevention
  • Risk management
  • Emergency and contingency planning
  • Fire protection
  • Crisis management
  • Disaster management
  • Counterterrorism
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Executive protection
  • Violence in the workplace
  • Crime prevention
  • Environmental design for crime prevention
  • Security architecture and planning 25

The foregoing is only a partial list. There are many situations in society in which security may be needed. We do not try to address all the many areas where private security could work well. Instead, a few examples will illustrate general principles that would apply to all situations where protective services are needed.


People in the United States and anywhere in the world are at risk of violent and random criminal attacks in the workplace, in their residences, while traveling in public transportation such as railroads, urban transportation systems, airlines, and in public places such as schools, hotels, and places of worship. Effective security in such places is best provided by the entity that offers services, i.e., by a hotel or business for its patrons and employees, by a school for its students and teachers.

In the airline industry, El Al, the national airline of Israel, is a leading and successful example of securing passengers from violent attack by terrorists and other criminal actors. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “El Al began introducing undercover sky marshals after the first — and, so far, only — successful hijacking of an El Al plane, to Algeria in 1968.” 26 Since terrorists used four hijacked airliners in attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the Unites States on September 11, 2001, the U.S. based airline industry, in cooperation with the federal governments, has gradually introduced a number of the procedures that had become standard for El Al.

Over the past five decades in the United States there have been mass shootings in workplaces, schools, colleges and universities, churches, military bases, retail stores and restaurants. 27

The laws of the United States restrict police activity in the interest of protecting individuals from search and arrest solely on suspicion of planning a crime. Therefore, it has proven highly unlikely that law enforcement can both identify and arrest potential mass shooters in advance of their planned criminal attacks.

The State of Israel provides a model of how to protect people in public places. Due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and terrorist organizations and individuals in its neighbors, Israel has of necessity become successful in providing for security in public places. This is done by having security in place at schools, on buses, at restaurants, and any places frequented by the public.

According to a report on Fox News television in 2012, “Americans intent on ensuring a school massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn. [that killed 20 children] never happens again could learn a lot from Israel, where the long menu of precautions includes armed teachers. . .

“The Jewish state, which has long faced threats of terrorist strikes in crowded locations including schools, takes a [comprehensive] approach to safety in the classroom. Fences, metal detectors and armed private guards are part of a strategy overseen by the country’s national police.” 28

School security

For public, tax-financed schools, attendance is compulsory. If public schools go out of existence or become completely dysfunctional because of bankruptcy of the political state, parents will choose other schools they want their children to attend. Good school security will be a competitive advantage in the education business—and the word “business” is used intentionally.

Freedom can do nothing about the social and family conditions that caused Adam Lanza, a psychologically disturbed 20-year old, to shoot and kill 28 students and teachers in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012. But he and his like could be kept off school property by some or all of the following: perimeter security in the form of a wall or fence, keycard access, perimeter patrol by a guard service and, most importantly, by proactive intervention when such a person is first known by school personnel or police to be a potential threat.

The problem of school shooters is one of long standing, going back to the 18th century in the United States, and is also a global problem. 29

More important than excluding dangerous persons from school property, potential school shooters could be identified in advance and prevented from carrying out acts of violence. We explain this below.

A student could be a school shooter. That suggests security about what students can bring to school, similar to what has become the rule for airport security since the terrorist attacks with hijacked commercial airlines at New York City and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.

Expulsion of students would be appropriate in the case of students who appear to be a potential danger to other students. Within the school itself, closed circuit TV (CCTV) could be used for security monitoring as it is now in many settings including office buildings, retail stores, and the work place.

Furthermore, schools in a free society would not be custodial institutions for children of working parents. If parents want a custodial service for their children while they work, the free market would provide that. It already does. The Boys and Girls Club of America is an example. 30

Schools could monitor incoming telephone calls for threats. Security could investigate and find who made a threatening call. They could contact that person and confirm by investigation that he is the source of the threat. Good detective work would take over from there. His answers whether true or false would tell a good detective quite a bit.

People planning to commit armed attacks at schools often provide advance warnings, inadvertent or deliberate, of their intentions long before they attack. Three recent tragedies illustrate the warnings that school authorities, or police, or both had of impending danger from a particular person or persons.

Columbine High School shootings: 1 ½ years’ advance warning

In the Columbine, Colorado, High School Massacre of April, 1999, the local Sheriff’s office had ample advance warning of impending danger. At the time of the shootings a Sheriff’s Deputy was assigned to the high school as a full-time uniformed and armed security guard. Unfortunately, the Deputy Sheriff’s presence was inadequate to avert the tragedy, although his actions probably prevented it from becoming worse than it did. By the time the Deputy Sheriff became aware of what was happening and radioed for help, the killing had started, and it continued for sixteen minutes. The shooters killed thirteen people and wounded another twenty-one persons. Police did not arrive in force until 41 minutes after the shooting started and fifteen minutes after the killers stopped shooting people.

The killers were seniors at the high school. They were known by the Sheriff’s Department to be heavily armed and threatening of another student as early as 1 ½ years before they invaded the high school to start their murderous rampage. The two would be killers published threats to kill people on their Internet blog. The Sheriff’s Department did nothing to intervene to prevent the killers from carrying out the plans laid out on the Internet. A year before the massacre, a sheriff’s deputy prepared an affidavit in support of an application to court for a warrant to search the homes of the two students who had threatened violence. However, the deputy sheriff failed to seek the issuance of a warrant, a fact that the Sheriff’s department concealed for over a year after the shootings at the high school. 31

Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Hook School massacre: nine years’ advance warning

There is another hideous tragedy involving a school shooting that could have been prevented because there was nine years’ advance warning to staff of the school system where the shootings eventually occurred. The shooter was the aforementioned 20-year old male named Adam Lanza.

Adam Lanza could have been prevented from attacking others if effective security surveillance and intervention had been operative years before the tragedy he caused in December 2012. The following is from “Report finds missed chances to help Newtown shooter Adam Lanza,” by David Shortell, CNN, November 23, 2014 32

It was during the fifth grade, when Adam Lanza was eleven years old, that major mental health red flags were raised, the report said.

According to a report by the CNN news service, “Lanza and an unnamed co-author penned ‘The Big Book of Granny’ for a fifth-grade project. The spiral-bound comic-book style piece, with a purple cover, was made up of violent stories, according to the report, ‘filled with images and narrative relating child murder, cannibalism and taxidermy.’” [Emphasis added]

“‘The Big Book of Granny’ can only be described as extremely abhorrent and, if it had been carefully reviewed by school staff, it would have suggested the need for a referral to a child psychiatrist or other mental health professional for evaluation,” the report said.

In a state-free society, in the interest of effective school safety, private security would institute investigation and surveillance of Adam Lanza immediately after he turned into the school his Big Book of Granny in the 5th grade. He was then 11 years old. Even an 11-year old can acquire means to attack others. He would not even need a gun to act on his murderous impulses. A knife would have been available to him easily, in his mother’s kitchen.

Adam Lanza was 20 years old at the time he committed mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was eleven years old in the 5th grade. He gave nine years advance warning of his potential for violence.

NOTE: Surveillance and arrest by private security would cause intrusion into and interference with the freedom of individuals innocent of wrongdoing. Protections against wrongful surveillance and arrest will be among the subjects treated in the chapter on Justice.

Killings near the University of California, Santa Barbara: 23 days advance warning

In a prior blog post, we have analyzed another easily preventable school-related multiple murder in the residential community of Isla Vista, California, adjacent to the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The local police had at least twenty-three days advance warning of the need to stop a potential murderous rampage. The police were forewarned by the killer’s parents and by threatening YouTube videos published by the killer himself on the internet. To read this post, which details the failing of the police to protect innocent lives, click here.

Does the U.S. government protect Americans?

School shooting, Parkland, Florida, 40 days advance warning of danger from the shooter

A young man killed seventeen people at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, north of Miami, on February 14, 2018

“At least 17 dead in ‘horrific’ Florida school shooting, suspect had ‘countless magazines,’” by Emily Shapiro, ABC News, Feb 15, 2018,

“FBI failed to act on tip accused Florida gunman wanted to kill,” Reuters, February 16, 2018,

According to this article,

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday said it mishandled a January tip that the 19-year-old accused of killing 17 people in Florida had guns and the potential to carry out a school shooting.

“A person close to accused gunman Nikolas Cruz called an FBI tip line on Jan. 5 to report concerns about him, the FBI said in a statement.

“‘The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” it said.’

“The tip appeared unrelated to a previously reported YouTube comment in which a person named Nikolas Cruz said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI has acknowledged getting that tip as well but failing to connect it to Cruz, who is accused of carrying out the massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday with an AR-15-style assault rifle.

“Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life,” the FBI said in its statement. “The information then should have been forwarded to the FBI Miami field office, where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken. We have determined that these protocols were not followed.”

Crime prevention

Andrew Galambos said in his lectures that all criminals start with what at first seem like petty interferences with the property of others. That is the time to institute a requirement of restitution. If the aggressive activity continues, restitution would be required every time the individual attacks persons or property. It should be added that if the individual displays signs that he is a physical danger to others, surveillance and guarding could be instituted. If that is not enough, preemptive action would be appropriate to isolate that person from society. That will be explained in detail in the Justice chapter. No physical coercion would be necessary except to the extent that surveillance might be considered coercive by some people. However, to argue that surveillance is coercive is tantamount to arguing that self-defense is coercive.

Gun control would be important, and non-coercive in a state-free society with fully functioning mechanisms of credit and security. This will be accomplished by a combination of elements of credit, insurance, security, and justice, as follows:

  • Insurance could provide the financial means for keeping unusual supplies of guns and ammunition away from disturbed people.
  • Commercial sellers of guns and ammunition could have responsibility for damages due to failure to register unusually large purchases of weapons and ammunition with a credit clearing house for security risks. The insurance industry could offer liability insurance to retail sellers of guns and ammunition.
  • Insurance and investigation go together. Insurance investigators could follow up to determine who is buying unusual amounts of guns and ammunition.
  • Insurance investigators could identify and get in contact with the person who had bought the unusual supply of guns and ammunition. Unlike the Santa Barbara County Sheriff, insurance investigators would take proactive measures to disarm the individual—giving him the option to surrender his weapons or be placed under 24-hour surveillance.

Yes, this is costly. But that is what insurance is for—to accumulate the assets to reimburse people for catastrophic losses and—in the case of a fully developed security capability in the insurance industry—to take proactive measures to prevent loss.

Life insurance will be an element of personal security. Here, we summarize how life insurance can help to provide security against death from violent acts. That concept will be dealt with in more detail in the Justice chapter.

Currently in the United States of America justice is punishment-based. A system of justice based on punishment does no good to victims of crime. A restitution-based system of justice would be better. It could not restore life to a murder victim. At the very least it could require the murderer to make financial restitution to the victim’s family.

We cannot bring the dead back to life. But we can require financial restitution from the murderer. His failure to make financial restitution would result in his being isolated permanently from society, up to and including banishment and exile into a colony of similar people. Such a person would have nowhere else to go in a society with a fully developed credit mechanism. He could not buy food, clothing, shelter or anything else because his bad credit would bar him from acquiring anything in a free market regulated only by credit and the law of supply and demand.


In the foregoing we discussed the human desire for security and the state’s shortcomings in providing public security. We illustrated how private security in a state-free society could operate to more effectively protect life and property. In the remaining portion of this chapter, we show that through its civil asset forfeiture programs, the United States of America—the very agency of supposed security for citizens—is actually the foremost cause of insecurity.

The cases described herein are part of legally sanctioned activities intended to forfeit and confiscate property as a weapon of enforcement of the federal income tax laws and federal and state laws criminalizing the sale and use of narcotic drugs. As reported by The New Yorker magazine, “. . . at the Justice Department, proceeds from forfeiture soared from twenty-seven million dollars in 1985 to five hundred and fifty-six million in 1993. [In 2012] the [Justice] department took in nearly $4.2 billion in forfeitures, a record.” 33

IRS bank account seizures 

The following is reproduced from the CTLR blog post entitled, “Bank account seizures by the IRS.” The quotations below are excerpted from the article, “Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required,” by Shaila Dewan, The New York Times, October 25, 2014. 34

“ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

“The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“‘How can this happen?’ Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. ‘Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?’

“The federal government does.

“Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.”

The leading newspaper in Carole Hinders’ state of residence, Iowa, has also reported her case. According to a report of November 2, 2014 in the Des Moines Register, “‘This happens far more than people realize, and most people give up their money because they can’t afford the representation they need to fight,’ said Larry Salzman, the Institute for Justice attorney representing Hinders. ‘The civil forfeiture laws are harsh and allow the government to treat ordinary citizens like serious criminals without ever charging them with a crime or giving them a day in court. . .’

“[To stay in business] “. . . [Carole Hinders] had to scramble. She used credit cards. She took out a second mortgage on her home. She borrowed money from her son . . . Hinders kept Mrs. Lady’s [her restaurant] afloat for another summer. But soon, the restaurant will close. She has sold it and the building. She’ll be out of business for good by the middle of November.”

The Des Moines Register also reported part of a sworn affidavit written by Christopher Adkins, an agent of the Criminal Investigation Division in Iowa. Adkins’ affidavit states that the IRS monitored Hinders’ bank account between April 2012 and February 2013. During that time, investigators observed 55 transactions, 37 of which were deposits between $5,000 and $9,500.

The Des Moines Register also provided a statement attributed to IRS as follows: “We recognize that small businesses and other taxpayers often make deposits under $10,000 without any intent to avoid the reporting requirements.” 35

The New York Times asked the IRS for comment on the Carole Hinders case. The Times published a responsive statement by Richard Weber, Chief of I.R.S. Criminal Investigation that amounted to an admission that the IRS had been seizing bank accounts of persons whose monies were not associated with any criminal activity. Mr. Weber’s statement says, in pertinent part: “After a thorough review of our structuring cases over the last year and in order to provide consistency throughout the country (between our field offices and the U.S. attorney offices) regarding our policies, I.R.S.-C.I. will no longer pursue the seizure and forfeiture of funds associated solely with “legal source” [activities].” [Emphasis added] 36 [Note: “Legal Source” refers to monies legally obtained through legal industries and occupations.]

Eighteen months after the seizure of Carole Hinders’ bank account, the IRS released her money, but only after questioning her in the court proceeding brought by her pro bono counsel, The Institute for Justice (IJ). In a press release, The Institute for Justice stated that the IRS is asking the court for the right to refile the case in the future and “outrageously repeated its claim that the case was justified. IJ will be filing a response, asking the court to deny the government any right to refile its case and clearing the way for Carole to get interest on the money that was seized.” 37

It was the work of the Institute for Justice that brought Carole Hinders’ plight to the attention of The New York Times. It was not until the pressure of publicity in The New York Times that the IRS announced it would no longer seize bank accounts of individuals if those accounts were not associated with illegal activities, and then subsequently returned Mrs. Hinders’ money to her.

Asset seizures and the War on Drugs

In 1984 the U.S. congress enacted, and President Reagan signed, the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. 38 This law provided for the establishment of a special fund for asset forfeitures. Local police who provided federal assistance were rewarded with a large percentage of the proceeds, through a program called Equitable Sharing.

According to the Institute for Justice, “Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today.  Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime . . . [W]ith civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property. . .

“Federal laws encourage even more civil forfeiture abuse through a loophole called ‘equitable sharing’ that allows law enforcement to circumvent even the limited protections of state laws.  With equitable sharing, law enforcement agencies can and do profit from forfeitures they wouldn’t be able to [accomplish] under state law.” 39

This chapter presents a few of the great number of cases in which asset forfeiture has been used by law enforcement to rob innocent people of assets even though they are never accused of, much less convicted of, any violation of law. The case of Donald Scott, reported at the beginning of this chapter is such a case, where a search warrant fraudulently procured in large part to enable an attempt by police to forfeit a valuable parcel of real property resulted in the fatal shooting of an innocent man in his own home.

Home security: private security compared to state seizures

Private security companies work to provide home security by means of alarm systems, central monitoring of alarms and, in some locations, by neighborhood patrols. Government, on the other hand, rather than protecting homes, can and does seize and confiscate homes of people who are never charged with or convicted of any crime. Furthermore, occasionally, in the course of law enforcement, police kill people in their own homes, people who are innocent of any wrongdoing.

Philadelphia: home seizures as a city revenue measure

One case involved a home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania owned by Leon Adams, age 68 and his wife Mary, age 66. The material below is quoted from The New Yorker. 40

On July 19, 2012 Leon Adams “. . . was startled by a loud noise. ‘I thought the house was blowing up,’ he recalls. The police ‘had some sort of big, long club and four guys hit the door with it, and knocked the whole door right down.’ SWAT-team officers in riot gear were raiding his home. One of the officers placed [the] Adams’ son Leon, Jr., in handcuffs and said, ‘Apologize to your father for what you’ve done.’ Leon, Jr., was taken off to jail, where he remains, awaiting trial [on drug charges] . . .

“In [August 2012] Mary and Leon Adams were finishing breakfast when several vans filled with heavily armed police pulled up to their red brick home. An officer announced, ‘We’ll give you ten minutes to get your things and vacate the property.’ The men surrounding their home had been authorized to enter, seize, and seal the premises, without any prior notice. . .

“[A]ccording to a report by the Philadelphia Police Department, the Adams’ son, who lived with them . . . allegedly sold twenty dollars’ worth of marijuana to a confidential informant, on the porch of his parents’ home . . .

“[The Adams’ were] at a loss. [They] . . . were accused of no crime. Instead, the civil case was titled Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. The Real Property and Improvements Known as [their address]. Owing to the allegations against Leon, Jr., the state was now seeking to take the Adams’ home and to sell it at a biannual city auction, with the proceeds split between the district attorney’s office and the police department. All of this could occur even if Leon, Jr., was acquitted in criminal court; in fact, the process could be completed even before he stood trial. . .

“The Adams’ learned of a free ‘Civil Practice’ clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, run by [law professor] Louis Rulli, where students help indigent homeowners challenge civil-forfeiture claims. . .

“The public records I reviewed support Rulli’s assertion that homes in Philadelphia are routinely seized for unproved minor drug crimes, often involving children or grandchildren who don’t own the home. . .

“The Philadelphia D.A.’s office has declined to comment on the specifics of the Adams’ case, but Tasha Jamerson, its spokesperson, [said] ‘It’s not us making decisions, willy-nilly. . . . It’s the law. We’re following the law.’”

Another Philadelphia home seizure was reported by CNN, as follows. “Christos Sourovelis [and his wife] Markella, have never been charged with a crime or accused of any wrongdoing. [In March 2014] . . . without warning, the government took [their] house [in Philadelphia] away . . .

“The nightmare began when police showed up at the house and arrested their 22-year-old son, Yianni, on drug charges—[sale of] $40 worth of heroin. Authorities say he was selling drugs out of the home. The Sourovelises say they had no knowledge of any involvement their son might have had with drugs.

“A month-and-a-half later police came back — this time to seize their house, forcing the Sourvelises and their children out on the street that day. Authorities came with the electric company in tow to turn off the power and even began locking the doors with screws, the Sourovelises say. Authorities won’t comment on the exact circumstances because of pending litigation regarding the case.

“Police and prosecutors came armed with a lawsuit against the house itself. It was being forfeited and transferred to the custody of the Philadelphia District Attorney. Authorities said the house was tied to illegal drugs and therefore subject to civil forfeiture.

“In two years, nearly 500 families in Philadelphia had their homes or cars taken away by city officials, according to records from Pennsylvania’s attorney general. Authorities use a civil forfeiture law that allows them to seize people’s property when that property is connected to the sale of illegal drugs.” 41

The Institute for Justice took up the Sourovelis’ case, sued the City of Philadelphia, and won agreement of the city to abandon its attempt to confiscate the home. 42

Home seizures by eminent domain

In Kelo v. City of New London [Connecticut] the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development, even if the purpose was to enhance municipal tax revenues rather than to eliminate blighting. 43

Prior to the year 2005 the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Connecticut was home to fifteen families who lived there, on desirable water front property on the north shore of the Thames River where the river flows into Long Island Sound.

The Institute for Justice (IJ) represented property owners in this case. The following summary is in part from IJ and in part from other sources. 44

In 1998, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer built a plant next to Fort Trumbull and the City determined that someone else could make better use of the land than the Fort Trumbull residents. The City handed over its power of eminent domain—the ability to take private property for public use—to the New London Development Corporation (NLDC), a private body, to take the entire neighborhood for private development.

Susette Kelo was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit by property owners in Fort Trumbull seeking to protect their property from being taken by the city of New London or by private developers. The lawsuit eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where the Court in 2005, in a 5-4 decision, ruled that economic development was a “public use” under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Fort Trumbull project has been a dismal failure.  After spending close to 80 million in taxpayer money, there has been no new construction whatsoever and the neighborhood is now a barren field.

Ultimately, Susette Kelo’s home was taken in accordance with processes of political democracy operating in her home town of New London, Connecticut and approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Andrew Galambos defined justice, injustice, and tyranny as follows: Justice is the absence of injustice; injustice is a crime to which there is no recourse; tyranny is a condition where crime is universal, or at least so prevalent that there is absolutely no recourse. 45

The Kelo case is an injustice, all accomplished according to law. Susette Kelo had no recourse. She was the victim of tyranny—in the very nation whose constitution states that it is intended to “. . . establish justice . . . and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” 46

The Kelo case is an example of conditions in the U.S. that support the following opinion: I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”—Peter Thiel 47

Security on the Streets: highway robbery by police 

The insurance industry seeks to indemnify its customers for injury and loss arising out of operation of a motor vehicle on public streets and highways. However, insurance cannot protect a motorist from legalized highway robbery. In recent years public highways have become a place where police officers rob motorists more brazenly than any ordinary highway robber. As elaborated below, such activity would not occur on privately owned and operated highways.

According to a report in The New Yorker magazine, a lady named Jennifer Boatright and her boyfriend Ron Henderson were robbed by police on the highway in a small Texas town. The following account and the quoted text are from the New Yorker magazine article. 48

The couple was taking their cash savings to another town to buy a used car when they were pulled over by a police officer. They had Boatright’s two pre-adolescent sons in their car. “[The] officer [asked] were there any drugs in the car? When Henderson and Boatright said no, the officer asked if he and his partner could search the car. The officers found the couple’s cash . . . and escorted them . . . to the police station . . .

“According to the police report, Boatright and Henderson fit the profile of drug couriers: they were driving from Houston, ‘a known point for distribution of illegal narcotics,’ to Linden, ‘a known place to receive illegal narcotics.’ The report describes their children as possible decoys, meant to distract police as the couple breezed down the road, smoking marijuana. (None was found in the car, although [one police officer] claimed to have smelled it.) . . .

“The county’s district attorney, . . . Lynda K. Russell, [came to the jail and] . . . told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for ‘money laundering’ and ‘child endangerment,’ in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. ‘No criminal charges shall be filed,’ a waiver she drafted read, and our children shall not be turned over to CPS,’ or Child Protective Services.’ [Boatright and Henderson signed the waiver.]

“When [they] . . . complained to the county in the hope of retrieving their savings, they got another surprise. Lynda Russell, the district attorney, told them she had warned ‘repeatedly’ that they did not have to sign the waiver, but, if they continued to contest [the seizure of their money] they could be indicted on felony charges. ‘I will contact you and give you an opportunity to turn yourself in without having an officer come to your door,’ she wrote in a letter mentioning the prospect of a grand jury . . .

“Later, [Boatright] learned that cash-for-freedom deals had become a point of pride for Tenaha, and that versions of the tactic were used across the country. ‘Be safe and keep up the good work,’ the city marshal wrote to [the arresting police office] . . . following a raft of complaints from out-of-town drivers who claimed that they had been stopped in Tenaha and stripped of cash, valuables, and, in at least one case, an infant child, without clear evidence of contraband.

“Outraged by their experience in Tenaha, Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson helped to launch a class-action lawsuit challenging the abuse of …civil-asset forfeiture.”

In another case, The New Yorker reported that a man named James Morrow experienced the following in Tenaha, Texas. The police “. . . pulled Morrow over for ‘driving too close to the white line,’ and took $3,900 from him. Morrow . . . was on his way to get dental work done [in] Houston . . . (The arresting officers said that his ‘stories of travel’ were inconsistent, as was his account of how much money he had; they also said they detected the ‘odor of burned marijuana,’ although no contraband was found in the car.) Morrow . . . was taken to jail, where he pleaded with authorities to call his bank to see proof of his recent cash withdrawal. They declined.

“‘They impounded my car, and they impounded me, too,’ Morrow [said], recalling the night he spent in jail. When he finally agreed to sign away his property, he was released on the side of the road with no money, no vehicle, and no phone. ‘I had to go to Wal-Mart and borrow someone’s phone to call my mama,’ he recounted. ‘She had to take out a rental car to come pick me up . . .’”

The New Yorker is not alone in reporting highway robbery by police. It is also being reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and in other journals going back at least to the early 1990s. In 2014 the Washington Post published six articles on civil asset forfeiture, including “Stop and seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes,” by Michael Sallah, Robert O’Harrow, Jr., and Steven Rich, Washington Post, September 6, 2014. 49

This article characterized what its reporters found as “. . . an aggressive brand of policing that has spurred the seizure of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from motorists and others not charged with crimes . . . [The newspaper’s] investigation found [that] thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles that can last more than a year to get their money back.”

The Washington Post reported that under U.S. and state laws, via the “Equitable Sharing” program, since 2001 state and local police have seized $2.5 billion from people who were not charged with a crime Such police highway robberies are a large-scale, nationwide activity, coordinated by interaction between the federal state through its legislation, a booty sharing arrangement of the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and state and local law enforcement. 50

Crime-free private streets and highways

Legalized highway robbery by police could not occur on privately owned and maintained streets and highways. Public streets, roads, and highways also provide a path for common criminals to go to their intended victims and then to escape after attacking persons or property.

A business that robs its customers or allows them to be robbed on its property could not stay in business. It would be shunned and boycotted by potential customers. Hence, privately owned roads and highways are far more free of crime than publicly owned roads. We say are, rather than would be, since there are many privately owned streets and highways in America, and elsewhere around the world.

Privately owned streets and highways would be in competition with other privately owned streets and highways. It would be a competitive advantage for a road company to be able to advertise truthfully that its highest priority was the safety and security of customers, and to build a reputation in support of such a claim.

Unlike public police and publicly owned state agencies that maintain highways, privately owned streets and highways would not have immunity from claims for damages due to their failure to protect customers. It would be appropriate for street and highway companies to have insurance for liability to customers. Insurance companies would have incentive to write insurance only for street and road companies that took all feasible precautions to provide for the safety of customers. The cost of such insurance would be related to the risk of loss. The more effective the property protection by a road company, the lower its insurance costs.

With the demise of the political state due to its inherent self-destructive nature, streets and highways will all be property of individuals or companies. This is not a far-fetched idea. America and other countries have a history of private enterprise production of streets and roads.

Private investors provided over 10,000 miles of toll roads in the early days of the United States. 51 Between 1908 and 1911 William Vanderbilt provided the first toll expressway for motor vehicles, the Long Island Motor Parkway. 52 All American railroads were built and operated by free enterprise activity. 53 Private highways have been built in countries around the world, including in Europe, Australia, and communist China, of all places. Half of Italy’s toll highways are now fully investor owned by Autostrade SpA, a company with publicly traded shares. 54

The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2001 that about 4 million households lived in communities where access is controlled by gates, entry codes, key cards or security guards. 55 Streets in gated communities often are built and maintained by the real estate developer or a homeowners’ association. Gated communities with privately financed and maintained streets have been in existence in the U.S. since the 19th century.

According to economist Fred E. Foldvary, “many private communities own their own streets.” 56 The largest example in America is Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney World comprises 47 square miles, twice the size of Manhattan and about the same area in size as the city of San Francisco. Within Disney World, The Walt Disney Co. provides all roads, utilities, bus and monorail transportation, hotels, police and fire protection.

There are privately owned and maintained city streets in St. Louis, Missouri. They are called “private places,” and exist in neighborhoods of varying degrees of affluence, including lower-income neighborhoods where residents want to keep undesirable criminal activities off their street. 57

Streets in gated communities often are built and maintained by the real estate developer or a homeowners’ association. Gated communities with privately financed and maintained streets have been in existence in the U.S. since the 19th century.

For a survey of the history and the present and future role of private roads around the world see Roth, Gabriel (editor), Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads (2006).

Security in public places: private security compared to state robberies

Private security works to provide safety in public places, focusing on preventing crime before it occurs. They serve the public; they do not victimize the public.

State police, on the other hand, in recent years have frequently engaged in conduct that victimizes people in public places, such as the police highway robbery mentioned above. Here is another example reported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and The New Yorker magazine.

According to the ACLU, “on May 31, 2008, approximately 130 members of CAID [the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit] gathered for Funk Night, a well-publicized monthly event featuring music and dancing from midnight to 5 a.m. Shortly after 2 a.m., Detroit police officers, dressed entirely in black, with their faces masked and guns drawn, stormed into the CAID and ordered everyone present to lie face down. Many of the CAID’s patrons were standing in the back yard and were forced to lie with their faces in the mud.

“Those who asked questions . . . or did not move fast enough were kicked to the ground by police officers. The officers then separated men and women and searched them all, issuing each a misdemeanor citation for ‘loitering in a place of illegal occupation.’ The officers also seized the cars of anyone who had driven to the CAID, under [the supposed authority of] Michigan’s ‘nuisance abatement’ statute. In total, approximately 130 loitering citations were issued and more than 40 vehicles were seized.

“In August 2008, after ACLU filed court papers to dismiss the criminal cases against the CAID’s patrons, the City of Detroit agreed to drop all charges. Nonetheless, the police refused to release most of the patrons’ cars unless they paid $900 plus towing and storage fees. The ACLU filed suit in federal court in February 2010.

“[F]ederal Judge Victoria A. Roberts [on December 4, 2012] ruled unconstitutional the 2008 Detroit police raid of the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit . . . Police had no evidence that the patrons had broken the law and no illegal drugs or weapons were uncovered during the raid. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed the lawsuit in 2010 on behalf of nine patrons and four of their parents whose cars were confiscated during the raid.

“In addition, Judge Roberts found that the police misconduct at the CAID was not an isolated incident, but was in fact part of ‘a widespread practice’ and ‘custom’ by the Detroit Police Department of unconstitutionally ‘detaining, searching, and prosecuting large groups of persons’ and impounding their cars based on their mere presence at a raid location.’” 58

According to an article in The New Yorker magazine, “Detroit Police Department officials have said that raids like the one on the Contemporary Art Institute are aimed at improving ‘quality of life.’ The raids certainly help address the department’s substantial budgetary shortfalls.” 59

Fire security and safety

Public fire departments do not prevent fires; they try to extinguish them after they have started.

The failure to prevent fires is the cause of fire damage, one of the major causes of losses, including loss of life, to business and residential property and to the occupants of such properties.

Fire prevention is one of the functions of private security. An early example will suffice here to illustrate the benefits of insurance and private security working in alliance to protect people and property from fire damage and losses. The following is quoted from a 1991 issue of The Voluntaryist 60

“[I]insurance companies that insure against property damage have the largest vested interest in promoting fire safety. Consequently, water hoses and fittings have always been of primary interest to them. Property damage would be likely to increase if firefighters could not connect their hoses to hydrants or their hoses to one another.

“This is exactly what happened during the Chicago fire of 1871, when fire engines from many other cities were sent there to augment the local equipment, and none of them could be connected to the Chicago hydrants because of the differences in the screw threads. After this experience the American Water Works Association developed a standard fire hose coupling to meet such situations in the future.

“Practically nothing was done about adopting the standard by local municipalities because of the cost and human inertia. The same conditions as those at the Chicago fire existed at the Boston Fire of 1872, the Baltimore fire of 1904, and the San Francisco fire of 1906.

“Finally, the National Board of Fire Underwriters took a hand in the matter. In the early 1920s, an American Standard for Fire Hose Couplings was published in conjunction with the American Standards Association and the American Water Works Association. Any community which adhered to the new standard obtained a lower fire insurance rate, and in a short time the standard became widely used.”

A book originally published in 1916 sets forth the history of the development of private enterprise fire insurance and fire prevention technology from 1866 to 1916. It is The History of the National Board of Fire Underwriters: Fifty Years of a Civilizing Force, by Harry Chase Brearley and Daniel N. Handy. 61

Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), also known as, is a world-renowned company that has had an important role in fire safety since its founding in 1894. The company established and maintains safety standards for fire hoses, gasoline and kerosene engines, heaters, fire extinguishers, building materials, and electrical wiring as well as many other products. UL is totally independent of the insurance industry although it sets safety standards required by the industry. UL has grown to become an international company, operating in 75% of countries around the world. UL testing for safety operations has expanded far beyond fire safety, and into many areas of commerce and production where safety is important including, but not limited to, household appliances, sound reproduction equipment, aviation, audio/video products, and heating and air conditioning products. 62

Nondestructive Testing

Free enterprise has developed an industry to protect infrastructure assets from degradation due to natural causes. It is the Non-destructive Testing industry.

Non-destructive testing is that element of asset protection that relates to natural decay processes such as corrosion and crack growth, in materials that are exposed to stress in engineering structures. A typical use of nondestructive testing is to check piping and pipeline systems for the corrosion and cracking that can ultimately cause leaks resulting in both loss of product and environmental contamination.

According to Wikipedia, “Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a wide group of analysis techniques used in science and industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage . . . Because NDT does not permanently alter the article being inspected, it is a highly valuable technique that can save both money and time in product evaluation, troubleshooting, and research. Common NDT methods include ultrasonic, magnetic, magnetic-particle, liquid penetrant, radiographic, remote visual inspection, eddy-current testing and low coherence interferometry. NDT is commonly used in forensic engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, systems engineering, aeronautical engineering, medicine, and art.” 63

Acoustic emission (AE) provides an example of the use of nondestructive testing. AE is one of a dozen or so leak detection and location methods, each with its particular capabilities and limitations. The principle of using AE for leak detection is that remotely-detectable acoustic waves will be created by outrushing fluid and its interaction with the immediate environs of the leak site.

In some impoverished countries, desperate people tap into pipelines to steal the product, typically oil or gasoline. Therefore AE monitoring systems are one technology to detect the tampering itself and its consequences.

Mistras Group is a global company that provides technology-enabled asset protection to evaluate the structural integrity of critical energy, industrial and public infrastructure. 64 The business of this company includes inspection and engineering services for a wide array of activities such as transmission and distribution of energy from nuclear and fossil fuel, as well as alternative and renewable energy.

NDT industry trade organizations include The American Society for Nondestructive Testing 65 and ASTM International 66 an organization that provides over 12,000 NDT standards for the industry.


With the intention of providing old age security, the United States of America has created a system that has made financial insecurity inevitable for all Americans, unless politicians learn from past mistakes. In 2004 the International Monetary Fund warned the U.S. that to fund Social Security and Medicare adequately “. . . would require an immediate and permanent 60 percent hike in the federal income tax yield, or a 50 percent cut in Social Security and Medicare benefits . . . with the burden of future generations increasing further if corrective measures are delayed.” 67

No corrective measures have been instituted, or even considered seriously in the U.S. Congress. Politicians have demonstrated willful blindness about this problem, which as of the early 21st century has assumed catastrophic proportions.

Human history shows that financial insecurity on a societal level often precipitates physical insecurity. Consider for example the economic destitution of the German people caused by hyperinflation after WW I which paved the way for Hitler’s rise and ultimately WW II. However, because we have discussed the financial insecurity caused by the U.S. government at length in the chapters entitled Political Democracy in the United States and Kleptocracy, we direct readers there for a more detailed discussion. 68


The ultimate justification of a political state is to provide security to the people inhabiting the territory over which the state has jurisdiction.

The political democracies in the world in the 21st century do not provide security to their citizens. In what is reputedly the freest nation on earth, the United States of America, the state is the biggest source of insecurity, attacking and injuring more people, and confiscating far more property than all the petty criminals and organized gangs of outlaws combined.

In a subsequent chapter on Defense, CTLR will posit that no political state really has the ability to defend its citizens, although two small countries, Israel and Switzerland come closer to that goal than larger and more powerful political states.

In this chapter we have posited, and have illustrated with numerous examples, that the political state in America not only fails to defend its citizens but is the biggest threat to their security.

We have also begun the exposition of the means by which private enterprise can provide real security by real protection of individuals’ lives and property.


  1. Attributed to Franklin at
  2. The report is available online at
  3. Quotation from text of supplement to Ventura County District Attorney report reproduced at
  4. The foregoing is a nearly verbatim selection of facts and legal conclusions from “Report on the death of Donald Scott,” by Michael D. Bradbury, Ventura County District Attorney, March 30, 1993,
  5. See, e.g., “Man Dies in Police Raid on Wrong House,” by Vicki Brown, ABC News, April 27, 2013, also reported at and

    “Police kill tenant mistaken for burglar,” Associated Press, May 7, 2001,

  6. Quoted from Pipes, Richard, Property and Freedom (paperback edition 2000), page 95.
  7. Galambos, Andrew J., Sic Itur Ad Astra (1999), page 92
  8. Anderson, Terry and P. J. Hill, The Not So Wild, Wild West (Stanford University Press 2004), pages 3, 5, 24, 89, 104-105, and 128.
  9. Wikipedia, Crimes Act of 1790,
  10. “Revisiting the Explosive Growth of Federal Crime,” by John S. Baker, Heritage Foundation, Legal Memorandum #26, June 16, 2008,

  11. Quoted from “A life on the line: Eight calls to 911. Three visits by five police officers, One Woman’s Senseless Death,” by Vivian Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, October 5, 2017,
  12. See Town of Castle Rock, Colorado vs. Jessica Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005),; and  Hartzler v. City of San Jose, 46 Cal. App. 3d 7 (1975), citing California Government Code § 810 et seq. The court’s decision is available online at
  13. Quoted from “Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone,” by Linda Greenhouse, New York Times, June 28, 2005,

  14. Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005),
  15. See Disinformation, “The Police Aren’t Legally Obligated to Protect You,” by Russ Kick,
  16. Quotation from Hartzler v. City of San Jose, 46 Cal. App. 3d 7 (1975), citing California Government Code § 810 et seq. The court’s decision is available online at
  17. Reported in a reader’s letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1992, at
  18. Quoted in Benson, Bruce L., To Serve and Protect: Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice (1998), page xxi, citing “Crime Stats Fall, with Thanks to You,” Tallahassee Democrat, February 27, 1995.
  19. RTI International, “The Private Security Industry,” December 2010, page 5-1, by Kevin Strom, Marcus Berzofsky, Bonne Shook-Sa, Kelle Barrick, Crystal Daye, Nicole Horstmann, and Susan Kinsey, hereafter cited as RTI, The Private Security Industry
  20. “America’s Private Security Boom,”, November 4, 2015,
  21. 2010 U.S. Census
  23. RTI, The Private Security Industry, cited above, at page 4-15
  24. Quoted from RTI, “The Private Security Industry,” page 2-1.
  25. RTI International, “The Private Security Industry,” page 2-2,
  26.   See “El Al’s Tight Security Methods Are Now Envy of Other Airlines,” by Jonathan Karp, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 26, 2001,
  27. For a chronological compendium see  “The math of mass shootings,” by Bonnie Berkowitz, Lazaro Gamio, Denise Lu, Kevin Uhrmacher and Todd Lindeman, The Washington Post, November 9, 2017,
  28. Quoted from “Armed teachers, guards bolster school security in Israel,” Fox News, December 30, 2012,
  29. See Wikipedia, School shooting, and List of school shootings in the United States,
  30. Wikipedia, Boys & Girls Clubs of America,
  31. See Wikipedia, Columbine High School Massacre,
  33. Quoted from “Taken,” by Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker, August, 12, 2013,
  35. Quotations from the Des Moines Register are from “Forfeiture target calls it ‘a violation of civil rights’” by Daniel P. Finney, November 2, 2014

  37. “IRS releases Hinders’ money—with a catch,” Institute for Justice, Web Release 12-15-2014 The New York Times also reported this turn of events at
  38. Pub. L. 98-473
  39. Quoted from Institute for Justice, “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” March 2010,
  40. “Taken: Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?” by Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker, August 12, 2013,
  41. Quoted from “Parents’ house seized after son’s drug bust,” by Pamela Brown, CNN, September 8, 2014,
  42. Philadelphians Save Homes From Civil Forfeiture Machine But Continue Legal Fight Over City’s Unconstitutional Program
  43. The Supreme Court decision is reported by the Court at 545 U.S. 469 (2005); the opinion of the majority of the justices, by Justice Stevens is reproduced at
  44. See Institute for Justice, Kelo v. New London, and Wikipedia, Kelo v. City of New London,
  45. Galambos, Sic Itur ad Astra (1999) pages 149-151
  46. Quotation from Preamble to the United States Constitution
  47. Quoted from “The Education of a Libertarian, by Peter Thiel,” Cato Unbound, April 13, 2009, Peter Thiel is an American entrepreneur and co-founder of PayPal

  48. “Taken: Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?” by Sarah Stillman,

  50. Reported at
  51. Roth, Gabriel, Editor, Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads (2006), page xvi
  52. See
  53. Amtrak is an exception, but it is a money-losing venture by which the U.S. took over passenger service on railroad lines after the decline of public patronage made passenger railroad operations unprofitable.
  54. Roth Gabriel, Street Smart (2006), page xvi, cited above.
  55. See “Gated communities more popular, and not just for the rich, by Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY, December 15, 2002,
  56. Quoted from “Streets as Private-Sector Goods,” in Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship, and the Future of Roads (2006, ed. Gabriel Roth, page 305
  57. See Wikipedia, Private Place,
  58. Quoted from ACLU, “Federal Judge Rules CAID Raid Arrests and Car Seizures Unconstitutional,”

    December 5, 2012,

  59. Quoted from “Taken: Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?” by Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker, August 12, 2013
  60. “Voluntaryism and the Evolution of Industrial Standards,” by Carl Watner, The Voluntaryist, October, 1991, page 4,
  61. The book is in print as of the year 2015 in a reproduction of the original 1916 book by BiblioLife, LLC, and as of the year 2015 was available for purchase in paperback or hard cover from and in paperback from
  62. See “Voluntaryism and the Evolution of Industrial Standards,” by Carl Watner, The Voluntaryist, October, 1991, page 4, and the website of itself, especially the pages “About UL,” “About UL businesses,” and “History,”;; and See also Wikipedia, “UL: (Safety Organization),”
  64. See
  67. Quoted from U.S. Fiscal Policies and Priorities for Long-Run Stability, Martin Mühleisen and Christopher Towe, Editors, page 8,
  68. In Political Democracy in America the discussion of financial insecurity appears under the heading “Debt” at The URL for the Kleptocracy chapter is

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