Recently, national attention has been drawn to the case of Eric Garner. Garner was confronted by police for selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner claimed innocence over the “crime” of selling an otherwise legal product without oversight from the government, but the police did not care. Their job was to ensure that no peaceful business transaction over legal items could be made without state involvement. For that they used force against a passive and peaceful Garner, resulting in choking him to death. The video is horrific. Remember, the video is showing a man die.
No charges were levied against the police officer who killed Garner. The state endorsed the killing. Needless to say, if the police had not murdered Garner and only imprisoned him, no one in America would have heard about a man being kidnapped for years for selling cigarettes. Although stealing years of someone’s life is horrendous for selling cigarettes, most Americans would not care.
This case must serve as a reminder. The authority of the government ultimately flows from the point of a gun. No matter how petty the law, the government’s threat of death is everywhere and always implied. In this case, it was untaxed cigarettes. For even the appearance of violating this petty law, a man was harassed and then killed. Garner had been arrested and jailed previously for the same “crime”.
The record shows that the government continually harassed Garner even before this incident. Garner was just minding his own business, interacting peaceably with others in business. Those were Garner’s last words. He was peaceful, but sick of the police thugs roughing him up every time they saw him. He said it was the last time. Garner was not violent, but the police could not have people questioning their authority.
Complicit in the murder of Eric Garner are the petty tyrants of New York and the rest of the nation. They vote into law the ability for the government to kill people over mandatory seatbelt use, water use in toilet flushes, smoking in businesses, buying wholesale milk, and a host of other things that the majority whimsically believes is a good idea. Every regulation and every law is power granted to the government to kill.
The only just laws are areas in which there are justified reasons for which to kill someone. Property rights and the right to life are obvious. Reckless driving or other negligence, maybe. Carbon emissions and expired car registrations, probably not. When people vote for a law, they first need to ask themselves “is this worth killing someone over?”