On April 11th, the Police Chief of a small town announced in a Facebook video that his police department would soon begin to brand the citizens of their town – much like cattle are branded by farmers to demonstrate possession.
The chief explains that the town council of Haymarket, Virginia recently passed an ordinance requiring every resident to purchase and display a particular sticker decal on their vehicles. The sticker would send a clear signal that the driver of the vehicle is the property of the local government. Other than that, the video does not seem to explain any specific purpose or justification for the new law.
Though it is only a simple sticker, town residents would be forced by the threat of violence to purchase one for each vehicle for $15 each. In order to purchase one, each sheep would have to bring their ID and vehicle registration into town hall during business hours. Failure to have a sticker would initially result in a fine. After that, the police chief threatened ‘other corrective actions’ if the fine weren’t paid and/or if the resident refused to display the sticker decal on their vehicle.
What’s wrong with branding humans like cattle?
Mandatory branding violates the simplest and most foundational principle of humanity: property rights. ‘Property rights’ is a broad term which simply means that people own themselves and their property and no other human has a moral claim to the property of others. A moral people must respect the property rights of others. As such, any act that does not directly harm another person or damage their property is not truly a crime, even if politicians or cops claim that it is. Using violence against a person for a nonviolent act (such as the refusal to be branded) is a true crime, however. Keep in mind that government only ever grows and laws and penalties only get stricter with time; they never loosen.
Do police care about privacy?
Ironically, a friend of mine who is a police officer recently posted an NBC article reporting that police are warning drivers not to display any stickers on their vehicles that could give away private information to potential criminals. Some examples in the article’s image were the name of a school or sports league that the driver’s child attends. This small Virginia town is much more specific than ‘Bayside high school’ which thousands of students from all over NYC attend. Isn’t that a privacy concern? Clearly, not all cops care about privacy and freedom of us common folk.
It is important for Americans to understand that politicians generally seek control and power, and they rarely care to protect our rights (though the government was only created to protect our rights). Most politicians are ill-prepared to physically and violently enforce the laws that they create, though. Local, state, and federal law enforcement officers (yes, even your cousin and your ‘good friend’) generally enforce the laws passed by corrupt, evil, anti-freedom politicians. It is exceedingly rare for law enforcement officers to even hesitate before violently enforcing the laws passed by politicians. Using linear logic, we have now proven that police currently exist for the primary purposes of control and revenue, and not for ‘safety’ or ‘protection’. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled that police have no obligation to protect civilians. So, the next time someone mentions that society would be uncivilized without our modern form of policing, ask them why they consider stealing, kidnapping, and murdering innocent people to be civilized.