Tag Archive: Eric Garner


How Current Events Might Play Into America’s Shift In Favor Of Gun Rights

 

Two Years After Newtown, A Shift in Favor of Gun Rights

 

 

” For the first time, a Pew survey found more support for gun ownership than gun control among Americans. Current events like the Michael Brown case may be accelerating the trend, a gun control advocate says.

  A dramatic swing in public opinion when it comes to guns and gun control may be driven by current events – particularly high-profile police killings in Staten Island, N.Y., and Ferguson, Mo., a gun control advocate says.

  In 2012, 48 percent of Americans in a Pew survey said guns do more to protect people than place them at risk. According to a survey released Wednesday, that number has increased to 57 percent.”

 

 

More Conservative Republicans, African Americans Say Gun Ownership Protects People From Crime

 

 

” The shift was even more substantial among African-Americans, going from 29 percent in early 2013 to 54 percent now (though with a margin of error of almost 10 percent due to a small sample size). 

  In addition, Pew said that for the first time, it found more support for gun ownership than gun control in more than two decades of conducting the surveys.”

 

 

Pew Gun Control

 

 

Read it all at the Christian Science Monitor  . Of particular note is this telling paragraph: 

 

 

The shift in views makes for grim reading for gun control advocates, who, according to Pew, have lost support among every demographic except Hispanics and liberal Democrats. City-dwellers, women, and blacks moved particularly hard toward a view put forth by pro-gun rights researcher John Lott: that an armed society is a polite society.”

 

 

The poll itself , which The Monitor did not see fit to provide a link to , is even more informative than the article and  can be read here . Needless to say , it is not good news for the Statist gun-grabbers among the Democratic party .

 

HT/Instapundit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Law Puts Us All In Same Danger As Eric Garner

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Senator Rand Paul should be commended for sparking the conversation that has erupted over his statement , famously ridiculed by Jon Stewart , that cigarette taxes bear some responsibility for the NYPD killing of Eric Garner over a “crime” so trivial as selling loosies . That the discussion has quickly morphed from a concern about one revenue generating “law” that provided the impetus for Mr Garner’s death to the 300,000 some odd laws and regulations that have resulted in the “overcriminalization” of 70% of the populace .

This is a discussion that , while occupying billions of pixels in the libertarian world , has until now been one that has been arrogantly swept under the rug by the Statist supporters in the main stream media . This debate is long overdue and as the following articles make plain , offer much common ground between the Left and the Right and that common ground leads one inevitably to the libertarian view .

   Thank you Senator Paul and also to you Mr Stewart , however unintentional your help may have been .  

 

 

 

” On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce. Usually they greet this advice with something between skepticism and puzzlement, until I remind them that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you.

  I wish this caution were only theoretical. It isn’t. Whatever your view on the refusal of a New York City grand jury to indict the police officer whose chokehold apparently led to the death of Eric Garner, it’s useful to remember the crime that Garner is alleged to have committed: He was selling individual cigarettes, or loosies, in violation of New York law.

  The obvious racial dynamics of the case — the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, is white; Garner was black — have sparked understandable outrage. But, at least among libertarians, so has the law that was being enforced. Wrote Nick Gillespie in the Daily Beast, “Clearly something has gone horribly wrong when a man lies dead after being confronted for selling cigarettes to willing buyers.” Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, appearing on MSNBC, also blamed the statute: “Some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so they’ve driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive.”

  The problem is actually broader. It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the death of those the police seek to arrest. It’s every law. Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right. I often tell my students that there will never be a perfect technology of law enforcement, and therefore it is unavoidable that there will be situations where police err on the side of too much violence rather than too little. Better training won’t lead to perfection. But fewer laws would mean fewer opportunities for official violence to get out of hand.

  The legal scholar Douglas Husak, in his excellent 2009 book “ Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law,” points out that federal law alone includes more than 3,000 crimes, fewer than half of which found in the Federal Criminal Code. The rest are scattered through other statutes. A citizen who wants to abide by the law has no quick and easy way to find out what the law actually is — a violation of the traditional principle that the state cannot punish without fair notice.

  In addition to these statutes, he writes, an astonishing 300,000 or more federal regulations may be enforceable through criminal punishment in the discretion of an administrative agency. Nobody knows the number for sure.

  Husak cites estimates that more than 70 percent of American adults have committed a crime that could lead to imprisonment. He quotes the legal scholar William Stuntz to the effect that we are moving toward “a world in which the law on the books makes everyone a felon.” Does this seem too dramatic? Husak points to studies suggesting that more than half of young people download music illegally from the Internet. That’s been a federal crime for almost 20 years. These kids, in theory, could all go to prison.”

 

 

 

    This Bloomberg View article by professor Stephen Carter of Yale must be read by all who have come to rue the evolution of the most liberty-minded system of government ever devised by the minds of man into the overwhelming Leviathan State that we , as Americans , face today .

   This piece is notable not only for the wisdom imparted by it’s own content , but for the discussion it has sparked in the likes of the Washington Post , Reason , EconomicLiberty and The Daily Beast , all three of which should also be read in their entirety .

As the illustrious Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy writes in the Post:

 

 

 

” Carter correctly points out that the massive growth of criminal and regulatory law means that almost anyone can potentially end up in the same situation as Eric Garner.”

 

 

 

    Professor Somin is joined in his agreement with professor Carter regarding the corrosive affect of “overcriminalization” and the danger that it imposes on the citizenry as a whole at Reason , where Robby Soave writes:

 

 

 

” You know what’s also a cause? Overcriminalization. And that one is on you, supporters of the regulatory super state. When a million things are highly regulated or outright illegal—from cigarettes to sodas of a certain size, unlicensed lemonade stands, raw milk, alcohol (for teens), marijuana, food trucks, taxicab alternatives, and even fishing supplies (in schools)—the unrestrained, often racist police force has a million reasons to pick on people. Punitive cigarette taxes, which disproportionately fall on the backs of the poorest of the poor, contribute to police brutality in the exact same way that the war on drugs does. Liberals readily admit the latter; why is the former any different? “

 

 

 

   And finally we come to the piece written by David Henderson of The Library Of Economics & Liberty who rightfully takes issue with Jon Stewart’s ridicule (see above video) of Rand Paul’s assertion that the cigarette tax played a role in Mr Garner’s death:

 

 

 

” In an otherwise excellent segment on the tragic Eric Garner case, in which some New York cops choked to death a man selling loose cigarettes, Jon Stewart, generally a smart man, either misunderstands or plays to his audience’s ignorance. Either way, it’s worthwhile correcting him because there is a very large point to be made about this case, a point beyond the already large point about police gone wild.

  The specific issue is a claim made by Senator Rand Paul. Here’s what the clip has Senator Paul saying:

  I think there’s something bigger than just the individual circumstances. . . . Some politicians put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes. So they’ve driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police to say “Hey, we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.”

  Stewart’s response? “What the f**k are you talking about?”

  Paul already said what he was talking about. Jon Stewart simply didn’t want to acknowledge the point. Stewart says correctly that the government can enforce laws without going to such extremes. Sure. It can. But one thing we have to be aware of whenever we advocate a law is that government agents who enforce it will sometimes go to extremes.”

 

 

 

 

As our title says … When everything is against the law , everyone is an outlaw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Garner’s Daughter Is Asked If Her Father’s Death Is A ‘Black and White’ Issue – You’ll LOVE Her Response!

 

 

 

 

 

” Eric Garner’s daughter appeared on CNN to discuss the death of her father. Peppered with questions, it’s clear that reporters have already made up their mind on what happened in this case, and are on the same side as Rev. Al Sharpton and the race baiters.

  But when the daughter was asked if it was a racial issue, she said it isn’t, and is instead a “national crisis.”

  Even when pressed further for clarification, Erica Garner replied, “I really doubt it. It was about the officer’s pride. It was about my father being 6’4″ and 350 pounds and he wants to be the top cop that brings a big man down.” “

 

Headline Politics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics Nation Cold Open

 

SNL Cold Open 12.6.14

 

 

 

” Reverend Al Sharpton (Kenan Thompson) discusses the verdict of the Eric Garner case with Peter Dinello (Bobby Moynihan), a member of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “
    As a bonus we’ve thrown in the SNL cast’s “Star Wars Teaser” video to whet the whistle of all you fans out there eagerly awaiting the release of part seven of the space saga . Even if the series isn’t showing signs of age , the characters are . Enjoy .
SNL Star Wars Teaser
” In a galaxy far, far away, Han Solo (Taran Killam), Princess Leia (Bobby Moynihan) and Luke Skywalker (James Franco) face a new foe: old age.”

Eric Garner Could Spark American Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The violent death of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia set off the Arab Spring. Could the killing of Eric Garner lead to a springtime of police reform – and regulatory reform — in the United States?

  Bouazizi was a street vendor, selling fruits and vegetables from a cart. He aspired to buy a pickup truck to expand his business. But, as property rights reformer Hernando de Soto wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “to get a loan to buy the truck, he needed collateral — and since the assets he held weren’t legally recorded or had murky titles, he didn’t qualify.”

  Meanwhile, de Soto notes, “government inspectors made Bouazizi’s life miserable, shaking him down for bribes when he couldn’t produce licenses that were (by design) virtually unobtainable. He tired of the abuse. The day he killed himself, inspectors had come to seize his merchandise and his electronic scale for weighing goods. A tussle began. One municipal inspector, a woman, slapped Bouazizi across the face. That humiliation, along with the confiscation of just $225 worth of his wares, is said to have led the young man to take his own life.”

  Bouazizi was a poor man trying to engage in commerce to make a better life. His brother Salem told de Soto the meaning of Bouazizi’s death: “He believed the poor had the right to buy and sell.”

  It was a story that resonated across the Arab world – a government that stifled freedom and enterprise, unaccountable bureaucracy, arbitrary enforcement, official contempt for citizens, a man who just couldn’t take it any more.

  Eric Garner’s story is surprisingly similar. He had been arrested more than 30 times, for such crimes as marijuana possession and driving without a license, and most often for selling untaxed cigarettes on the street.

  Why sell untaxed cigarettes? Because New York has the country’s highest cigarette taxes, $4.35 a pack for New York State and another $1.50 for the city. A pack of cigarettes can cost $14 in New York City, two and a half times as much as in Virginia . So a lively black market has sprung up. Buy cigarettes at retail in Virginia or North Carolina, sell them at a big markup in New York, and you can still undercut the price of legal, taxed cigarettes.

  Patrick Fleenor reported in a 2003 study for the Cato Institute that New York’s cigarette taxes had created a thriving black market, with rising levels of street crime, turf wars and increasing organized crime. He found that from 1990 to 2002, as the city and state repeatedly raised taxes, New York’s sales of taxed cigarettes relative to the national average plummeted. But reported smoking rates fell only slightly, in line with national trends. Obviously a lot of New York smokers were getting their fix from the black market.

  A 2013 study by the Mackinac Center found, not surprisingly, that New York had the highest rate of cigarette smuggling, totaling 61% of the state’s cigarette sales. “

 

Read it all at USA Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staten Island Man Dies After NYPD Cop Puts Him In Chokehold

 

 

 

 

” A 400-pound asthmatic Staten Island dad died Thursday after a cop put him in a chokehold and other officers appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk, video of the incident shows.

“ I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville beauty supply store when he balked at being handcuffed.

 Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, stopped struggling and appeared to be unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smartphones.

“ When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw, told the Daily News.”

 

Daily News