Reason First: Who's Right About Property Rights?
How can one reconcile this country's past with rights to property?
The usage of body cameras on police officers is like putting a bandage on top of a bandage of a bullet wound. It is in no way mending a major problem but it sounds nice on news clips and in print. One problem that exists with the body cam is that they do not address the root of the problem of the start of physical force. That would be property rights. High on the ladder among individual rights, the rights of the citizens should be protected by the police. No amount of body cameras will cease the amount of deaths by firearms. In Wilmington, Delaware, the police gunned down 35-year-old Ricardo Hylton for allegedly firing a weapon. The two officers who struck Hylton have been placed on administrative leave. Why? The story doesn’t need body cams. The story requires an objective view of the facts.
Hylton let off shots and the police used force against a serious threat to the neighborhood. What sense would it make to just show an officer with a body camera shooting at a suspect? This is the reason for property rights. Namely, the property of one’s own person. If the law emphasized the role that property rights play in the life of an individual, body cameras would be useless.
Citizens on Patrol (COP) must put up with a legal system that encourages them to employ lethal force against the people of neighborhoods like those in Wilmington. With the notion of individual rights put squarely on the front burner instead of zeroing in on illicit drug activity, the police officers and the people who make up neighborhoods would have better relations. It is because of the lack of respect for the idea of allowing men and women to be free that causes such cases as Hylton’s. He had a gun. He fired it in the street.
In an era where it is common to see stories of unarmed black men being gunned down like dogs in the street, there is somewhat of a call for body cameras. But such incidents would never occur if lawmakers and enforcers recognized the proper viewpoint on rights. Only the irrational mind frame would permit these atrocities from happening. But that is where the United States judicial system is right now.
For most of this country’s history, starting back from the United States Declaration of Independence, property rights received exclusion from the other unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There have been other figures like John Locke who saw the profound nature of implementing and regarding property rights. Some argue that had the word ‘property’ been included in the original document, slavery would have never been a facet of life in America’s fledgling years. Now, there is a chance to remember that property rights protect individuals from overbearing force, fraud, and danger posed by other individuals. America’s Founders did not base the initial ideals of the United States on slavery. They inherited it. In modern times Americans ought to revise what they think about property rights. It is time for this nation to come to terms with the fact that a body cam will not always be beneficial.
Take for instance an unruly suspect who may or may not have a weapon. Will a body cam determine whether the man is armed or not? Will it prevent an officer from opening fire on the suspect even if no guns are drawn? Property rights remain the sole origin of how cops and the citizens they protect should go about their lives. It is up to law enforcement and the populace to insure that they respect each other in this effort.