RODERICK T. LONG: License to Taser.
I’ll join the fray below on the Green/Libertarian issue as soon as I get a chance (I was lecturing in Asheville last weekend and in New Orleans the weekend before that, so I’m even less caught up than usual!); but in the meantime, here’s my Center for a Stateless Society piece on the recent UCLA tasering incident. See also Charles Johnson’s post on the same subject.
[Liberty & Power: Group Blog]
Both articles are very good, but I disagree with this from Roderick Long’s article:
In short, a group of armed assailants, refusing to identify themselves to bystanders, repeatedly inflicted violent and painful attacks on an unarmed library patron who had neither used nor threatened violence. Ordinarily anyone would think that in such a case the bystanders would have been within their rights to intervene forcibly to protect the victim. And ordinarily, I wager, these bystanders would have done precisely that.
I don’t think they would have. The bystanders are Americans, and everything I’ve seen and read confirms that Americans are generally far too cowardly to do anything, regardless of who the attackers were. Certainly there are exception, but those exceptions are even more rare in a city like LA, and especially on a college campus. I’m sure that if the attackers were a random group of (non-government) thugs, the bystanders would have done nothing more than call 911 and beg to the government for help.