I’m responding to the call for discussion by Bill Baum in his guest column: "Police use of force warrants discussion" (May 27). Baum contrasts a police force with “a return to the old Wild West.” Too often people think in terms of either/or. I have a third option, which I think is better.

After the Wild West and before the current police force, the people created private protection services that could be purchased if desired. I'm not talking about the mob. This also occurred in England before they created a government monopoly of force in the 1800s. Read the book, "The Voluntary City." It is a well-documented history of private solutions to the problems we all face. If a private protection company didn’t do a great job, the customer could hire a better one. Since we’re all forced to pay for a government monopoly police force, we’re all forced to live with the way things are, like it or not. There is little incentive to do a better job.

Another example of personal protection is the lock that we have on our cars and houses. Private solutions can solve society’s issues. Both of these solutions help resolve the problem of “bad authoritarian complex personalities.” It's time to create and innovate new locks or protection products and services. We cannot afford to wait for the government to solve this for us. Private property must be protected or we all lose.

Until we get rid of the authoritarian structures that are in place all around us, we will not get rid of these bad apples. Hierarchies exist in families, churches, schools, businesses, and governments. Until the structure of this relationship is changed to one that treats us all as equals, most will never have to grow up and become adults

Chris Martin,

Hamilton

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