The first result of ending the state’s monopoly on police protection, and replacing it with a competitive market composed of multiple private security firms, would be an immediate and dramatic improvement in quality of service. Not only would there be little reason for anyone to fear harassment or brutality by employees of private security firms, which would depend for their revenues on the voluntary patronage of consumers, but also, in stark contrast to government policing, the biggest markets for such firms would be where crime is most prevalent, i.e., the inner cities. Indeed, many security firms might well be “neighborhood-owned” and specialize in serving (and hiring from within) those areas most neglected by government police.
All this taken together would add up to a marked reduction in the demand for firearms among private individuals, especially those least competent to use them safely. Those on the left who are presently pushing for stricter gun laws would therefore be doubly satisfied: first by better protection services (and the resulting lower crime rates), and second, by the overall decline in gun ownership. Meanwhile, traditional conservatives could still maintain a strict from-my-cold-dead-hands posture if they wished, without fear of being forcibly disarmed by the collectivist zeal of their neighbors. But they would no longer have either poor policing or the looming threat of state tyranny as a justification for doing so.