We were robbed.

Our chapter was robbed last week. After five events in six days my co-president, Luke, and I were worn out and felt tailgating for our largest game of the year was a great way to end our week, blow off steam, and hopefully meet new members in a fun and casual environment. My sun burn currently outlines a pair of sunglasses on my face, and I am hungover at 9 p.m; it was an amazing day full of drinking and joy. As I made my way home, Luke solemnly informed me that someone had stolen our YAL banner off of his truck while no one was looking.

As angry as I am, this theft brings up the question of who is responsible, and was this action avoidable. As libertarians, we believe in a strong sense of private property and respect therein. However, you would be hard pressed to find anyone, libertarian or not, who condones theft or stealing, especially a random act of drunkenness against a faultless party. Even the most radical statist wouldn’t support such an act.

Our belief in private property and freedom from government leads us to the conclusion that the protection of our property is our own responsibility, and that relying on government is unnecessary and ultimately futile. We must be responsible for ourselves. 

But now one must ask the question: If this ideal libertarian society existed, would our banner have been stolen? The answer is that it possibly would have. There would be no greater security, nothing to make Luke or myself keep a closer eye, or heightened safety in a libertarian society. However, the opposite is also true. The only case where there would be enough security to ensure the full protection of our banner is a society of complete control and absence of freedom. And let me be the first to say: My freedom is worth far more than a $50 banner.

The moral of this post is that we do not have all the answers. Our ideals and principles cannot solve all of our problems, and my banner would have been lost regardless of who is holding the Oval Office. But what we can do, as a movement, is live by our word. Be honest people. Steal from no one. Hold ourselves to a higher standard than those who wish to oppose our fight for liberty. We do not have all the answers, but my heart and mind tell me that we have the best answers proposed yet, and that in itself is a cause worth fighting for.

Consider this a call to arms, not to fight for our message, or to table for it, or speak about, or petition for it, or vote for, but to live by it.

Stay free. Stand tall.

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