The debate regarding the tearing down of statues neglects two fundamental aspects: their ownership and the manner of their removal. Most often, the public (whether it be a city or state) owns the statutes, but owners can also be universities, museums, or private entities. When groups of individuals forcibly bring statues down, they usually do not have the permission from the owners of the statues to remove them. Consequently, by toppling the statues, they are violating the owners' property rights. Property rights are fundamental to American society, and, if those disappear, our way of life will completely change. Imagine an America in which individuals are free to deface or remove property (such as a private home or business) simply because they do not like it or what they perceive it to mean. Many arguments exist for the removal or keeping of statues. The owners of the statue, or their elected representatives, should debate the merits of these arguments and vote on the fate of the statutes. Outside of this process, individuals should not be allowed to disturb the statues, and, if they try to do so, the police should stop them. The protection of a civil society and the right to property demand this action.
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