Recently, a couple in Marietta were buying a car off of Craigslist, and the so-called seller they met apparently murdered them. We’ve all heard many similar stories: Craigslist criminals taking advantage of the freedom and deregulation of voluntary exchanges to con, rape, and murder their unsuspecting and overly trusting victims.
And it’s not just Craigslist. Predators are using unofficial taxi services like Uber for the same purposes. And all along, you will hear the outcry (mostly from the same people who push for gun control, incidentally): “We need to shut down these deregulated private enterprises. They’re just too dangerous.” Craigslist criminals might not be consciously fighting against liberty, but they are certainly doing the work necessary to undermine it.
I don’t fault the people who don’t want to use Craigslist or Uber. That’s fine. They can do what they want. And I don’t recommend buying a car from an individual seller anymore anyway, now that the laws have changed so that tax, tag, etc. is the same cost one way or the other. But I buy most of my used music equipment off of Craigslist if I can find what I’m looking for. In some ways, Craigslist is to the market what the internet used to be for communication: largely unregulated and largely voluntary.
And the flat fact is that Craigslist works in the vast number of cases. Should we shut it down merely because of a few Craigslist criminals who want to ruin things for everyone else? That’s what a lot of very scared people are recommending.
Enter local police departments. I am very proud of my hometown county’s police department for responding to the most recent Craigslist killing with this offer:
Many of you may have heard the tragic story of the Marietta couple that were murdered recently after attempting to purchase a vehicle from someone they met online.
Meeting a stranger in person can be scary and lead to being defrauded or in this situation, much worse.
We want everyone in Forsyth County to know that if you have to meet someone you don’t know for something like this, you are always welcome to meet people in the parking lots of our precincts or Headquarters building. Often times, suggesting this will scare away any individuals that were planning something criminal.
That is awesome. Rather than trying to use the crisis to gain greater power and control, this very reasonable measure would create greater safety while protecting the enormous liberty Craigslist affords. I have heard that the Forsyth County Police Department’s offer has been similarly extended by numerous other local law enforcement agencies around the state and country. That’s good news. Now if only we could get the civil government to be so reasonable in all its policies.