WROL. You may or may not already be familiar with the acronym, which stands for “Without the Rule of Law.” It’s been made popular by Nut’nFancy in his gun and gear vids on YouTube such as this one. The acronym now has a self titled website, withouttheruleoflaw.com, with advice and articles about preparing for such situations.
In most instances where the term is used, WROL describes a possible future scenario in which one cannot count on law enforcement to enforce the law and protect citizens and their property. In the typical hypothetical WROL scenario, it is appropriate for one to don his (or her) tactical gear (w/ mags, water and 1st aid kit) and rifle in order to defend against looters and violent gangs roaming around in desperation…………….or whatever the threat may be.
No doubt hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have purchased some variant of the “WROL rig” since late 2008 when the Nut’nFancy vids became popular, the financial crisis became news, and the majority of voters elected an anti-gun, anti-liberty President and Congress. Any fan of the Nut’nfancy vids or the WROL info material out there will also be familiar with the term “Sheep Dog,” one who protects the “sheep” from the “wolves.” Example: “This type of rifle and gear configuration would be sutable for LEO’s or civilian SheepDogs in a WROL situation.”
I’ve watched a few Nut’nfancy vids myself and have to say that I fall into the category of those gun owners who bought a semi-auto military rifle, ammo, and accompanying gear following the ’08 election. So, I’ll try to tie things into the proper “WROL-SheepDog” vocabulary whenever possible. Example: “On April 19th, about 100 civilian SheepDogs gathered with their WROL weapons and gear on the banks of the Potomac in order to send a message that there was, in fact, a WROL situation going on to some degree. The message was intended for the wolves on the other side of the river as well as for the millions of other SheepDogs who were not in attendance. The media were out in force, and they helped convey the message to the sheep as well as to the wolves and the SheepDogs.”
Now if you notice, I’ve changed the subheading at the top to “Restore the Rule of Law.” What I intend to do is to show that WROL does not neccessarily have to apply only to hypothetical future scenarios. WROL can be gradual. WROL creeps in. It’s here right now. Only the violent gangs and looters are organized. Unfortunately, some of them wear uniforms, suits, black robes, and, in some cases, matching T-shirts when taking advantage of the WROL situation in order to trespass, steal, and intimidate. Numerous example abound. In some places the rule of law is in effect more than others.
Property confiscation w/o due process comes to mind as an obvious example of looters in uniforms, suits, and robes taking advantage of the lawlessness. From John Stossel:
“Under this bizarre legal fiction called civil forfeiture, the government can take your property, including your home, your car, your cash, regardless of whether or not you are convicted of a crime. It’s led to horrible abuses,” says Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice, the libertarian law firm.
Bullock suggests the authorities are not just disinterested enforcers of the law.
“One of the main reasons they do this and why they love civil forfeiture is because in Texas and over 40 states and at the federal level, police and prosecutors get to keep all or most of the property that they seize for their own use,” he said. “So they can use it to improve their offices, buy better equipment.”
Obviously, that creates a big temptation to take stuff .
This is serious, folks. The police can seize your property if they think it was used in a crime. If you want it back, you must prove it was not used criminally. The burden of proof is on you. This reverses a centuries-old safeguard in Anglo-American law against arbitrary government power.
And, then, of course, there’s the recent incident in which hundreds of SEIU members converged on the property of an Bank of America attorney in order to intimidate. Not one, but two local law enforcement agencies stood by as this occurred. What better source to cite than SEIU’s own blog:
Is this the rule of law? Or violent thugs in t-shirts taking advantage of a WROL situation, engaging in trespassing and disorderly conduct while uniformed “law enforcement” do nothing. Remember,……”service employees.” Wait, you don’t think…..no. Couldn’t be. We won’t go there. Not now anyway.
And then there’s the story that I’ve made such a big deal about lately on here, the dog shooting SWAT team in Columbia, Mo. If you’re not familiar with it, see the video here. None of the officers are being kicked off the force there, let alone charged with animal cruelty:
I focus so much on this story because it’s a very useful an example: I would say that you have a limited WROL scenario there because the wrongdoers have exempted themselves from animal cruelty laws. It’s not so much what’s been done as what’s not been done within the peaceful and legal framework in order to address the situation: charges have not been brought against the officers. The district attorney or police chief would be the decision maker in this case who has the power to take steps to assure the community that the rule of law is in effect.
And then I would guess that most readers of this blog know that while the Columbia, Mo incident makes a useful example, it is part of a bigger trend:
The viewpoint that I’m advocating here is that in determining a situation to be WROL, the victim or the ordinary citizen is not the one who has the obligation to lift a finger or spend a dime in order to assure that the rule of law prevails. In communities where you have law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, and other officials, it is THEIR obligation to take steps to ensure the rule of law prevails. That’s what they’re paid for. So, given the fact that none of the higher ups in Columbia, MO have taken any steps to prosecute the officers, you have a situation where the rule of law is absent. It boils down to a dereliction of duty. Let me expand on this:
I’m walking down the street and see a couple of guys beating another guy. The victim is on the ground and the two aggressors are kicking him; it’s not so much a fight but a beating. I see this and I also see a cop standing nearby watching it. As a good Samaritan, or SheepDog, I want to help the victim. I do not go up to the police officer and ask questions or try to talk him into stopping the beating. I can reasonably assume that he’s not likely to do much of anything. After all, he’s paid to enforce the law, and it’s obvious that he’s not doing it. As a good SheepDog, I jump in and try to pull the aggressors off of the victim.
Now, I know of SCOTUS precedent saying cops don’t have an obligation to protect, but the anaolgy I’m making here is moral, not legal.
So, back to the Columbia, Mo incident or any one of numerous incidents in which prosecutors, judges or police cheifs act in a way analogous to the cop who stands by and watches the beating in the example I just described:
Victims of police abuse are NOT morally obligated to spend one dime within the lawful and peaceable framework in order for the situation to be assessed as either ROL or WROL, in my book. We have highly paid public servants whose job it is to make sure the rule of law applies. We SheepDogs don’t just go around administering vigilante justice when we have properly functioning police forces and courts. We’re not vigilantes. We only see a need to get involved when the authorities are absent in one way or another.
But when a good SheepDog witnesses the kinds of abuses I’ve described here, when a good civilian SheepDog witnesses lawless, victimizing behavior without real law enforcement stepping in, what is a good SheepDog to do?
In a WROL situation, a good SheepDog must first recognize that a WROL situation exists. Whether the conventional, official “SheepDogs”(the guys in uniforms, suits and black robes) are unavailable, overwhelmed by other work, neglectful, or even actively participating in the lawlessness themselves, it should make no difference to the true SheepDogs among us.
A wolf is a wolf is a wolf.