Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Self-governing can never be achieved by looting

Self-governing can never be achieved by looting

  • Updated

Defund Police. Sounds like a good idea, but...

Have you thought about what life will be like when there are no police? A more important question might be how can any people live peacefully without any need for police? Do you know it is possible?

I spent the first 20 years of my life in a remote homestead community on the American frontier where there were no police. None. Not only that, there was absolutely no meddling in our community by government. Yet, in the four generations my family lived there, there was but one murder.

So, how was this kind of peace possible? Well, it requires a very serious self-governing, and self-policing people. There must be a very powerful high moral standard of ethics within the community. There is by nature dwelling in the hearts of any peace-loving people, a natural law, as spoken of in the Declaration of Independence as “The Laws of Nature.”

The technical legal term for this law is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary, Tenth Edition is consuetudinary law. Also in this dictionary, one of the definitions of liberty includes the condition of “freedom from government.”

Among the community that I lived in there were four laws: (1) be a good neighbor; (2) be honest - don’t lie, cheat or steal; (3) do your share of the work; (4) parents, teach your children to honor and obey these laws.

This sounds pretty simple. It is not simple. It takes mountains of hard work. A lot of giving, and a lot less taking. But it works, and it works well. It works far better than external police enforcement. For more information on this, see

This being said, it does not seem to me that the cities that are preparing to do away with the police have anything close to this set up to replace police or government interventions.

I have spent most of my life in rural America where there is to this day, no police “protection.” Rural Americans pretty much live by consuetudinary law, or customary common law as I call it. They are probably not aware that they are actually living by a real law, but they are.

You have seen recently in the news that protesters are showing up by the busload in some rural towns in America, and the locals are showing up fully armed. I know people who live in some of these towns. Not a one of them ever killed another person. They have no desire to kill anyone.

They may talk tough, but inside they are generous and peace loving. They’re just letting protesters know that they should not come into town expecting to loot, burn and destroy. They are however, welcome to come into town peacefully, and leave peacefully.

This is the America that I love. This is the America that I am proud to be a part of. Unfortunately, unlike the times in early America where about 80 percent of the people were rural and knew how to self-govern, today roughly 80 percent of Americans live in the cities. It appears to me that many of the people in some of these cities have no knowledge of how to self-govern. Self-governing can never be achieved by looting, burning and destroying. There is not one thing about that kind of action that can be considered being a good neighbor.

Jon Garate

Deer Park

Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News