Unarmed police, now fully deserving of protection by gun-bearing citizens, would gain immense respect. They would rule by the force of law, meaning respect for the law, meaning widespread voluntary submission by the citizenry. This is properly called self-government under lawful authority. The policeman’s word would be law. He just wouldn’t be armed.
A criminal would not escape from the scene of the crime by shooting the cop on the beat. He would not get 20 yards from the cop’s body.
Citizens would regard a law enforcement officer as they regard their mothers. They would do what they were told with little more than rolling their eyes. If anyone physically challenged a police officer, he would risk facing a dozen Clint Eastwoods who have been waiting for two decades to get an opportunity to make their day.What North suggests is excessively utopian, and he admits that. It would be a best-case scenario for a small republic ("no larger than Iowa") with a Christian ethic, mindset, and worldview. The words, "You may say I'm a dreamer" come to mind:
There are those who will reply that my proposal is utopian, that civilians do not have sufficient courage to come to the aid of an unarmed policeman. Furthermore, they will complain, the common man is not sufficiently self-disciplined to live under the rule of law as I have described it. Both objections have validity. I can only respond by pointing out that a society in which its citizens possess neither courage nor self-discipline is not a free society. I am not here proposing a technical reform that will produce a free society. Rather, I am describing why freedom has departed from this nation ever since, for lack of a better date, 1788.Read the linked article if you are interested. At the very least, it offers a interesting fictional world for a libertarian science fiction writer to explore.
Also, Denninger's post from yesterday with comments is applicable. One standard -- badge or no badge: Commit murder, go to prison.