That’s too bad. Every new law requires enforcement; every act of enforcement includes the possibility of violence. There are many painful lessons to be drawn from the Garner tragedy, but one of them, sadly, is the same as the advice I give my students on the first day of classes: Don’t ever fight to make something illegal unless you’re willing to risk the lives of your fellow citizens to get your way.
The government exists solely to force people to do something they wouldn’t do otherwise. No matter what the government is doing: public health care, economic redistribution, taxation, fighting obesity, etc., it is doing so by force. At the very least, they have forcibly taken taxes from the citizenry to pay for whatever activity they are doing.
Every law is a threat of violence: Do (or don’t do) this or we will sic the police on you.
The police’s sole purpose is violence, they exist solely to enforce the law through the use of the threat of violence and, failing that, violence.
But even further than that every law is at heart a death threat: Do (or don’t do) this or we kill you.
Don’t believe me, consider the one thing every government needs simply to exist taxation.
Pay your taxes or the IRS will fine (or jail) you. If you refuse to pay the fines, they send police to take you to jail. If you refuse to go to jail, the police will threaten you or forcibly move you to jail. If you do not bow to their threats or rseist them forcibly moving you, they will shoot you. If you resist being shot, they will shoot you until you are dead.
If we remove all the intermediary bureaucracy, the law is: pay your taxes or we will shoot you until you are dead.
Smaller laws and regulations hide this behind layers of bureaucracy. You might have to deal with the Department of Administrative Affairs, then the DAA’s enforcement arm, then the courts, then the Department of Justice, all before finally meeting the police, but if you refuse the law long enough, eventually the police will be there (if they’re don’t eventually arrive, then you simply don’t have to obey, but anarcho-tyranny is another topic for another time).
The police are the eventual enforcement mechanism of any law or regulation, however many layers government may use to muddy the waters, and the police’s job is, at base, to kill you if you don’t obey. Again, the police’s job is muddied as are society is soft and unable to deal with reality, but everything the police do, the Miranda Rights, the “please come with us”, the “do you mind answering a few questions”, the handcuffs, the tasers, the “stop or I’ll shoot”, all of it, is predicated on: if you don’t obey, we will kill you.
Most people in the West abide by the law and so they never go farther than a layer or two into the bureaucratic swamp; even most criminals generally obey the police before it becomes necessary for the police to kill them, so this reality is obscured by common social delusion. This delusion is how leftists can always cry for more laws but whine when the police enforce the laws on the likes of Michael Brown or Erik Garner.
Now, just because every law is a death threat and the police’s job is to kill you if you don’t obey, doesn’t make the law necessarily evil. Sometimes death threats and killing are justified. If someone was trying to rape your daughter, “stop or I’ll kill you” is justified, as is following through on the threat if necessary. Arguably, it’s the only just course of action. So, by calling the law a death threat and saying the police’s job is to kill is no indictment against the law or the police, it is simply a recognition of reality.
This reality is important to remember whenever we theorize on politics or call for more laws: more laws means more death threats and more reasons for the police to kill. It is also important to remember when someone gets themselves shot by the police: the police exist to kill, that is their job.
So remember for all political philosophy or law-making:
The government’s sole purpose is violence and every law is a death threat. Unless you are willing to kill for something no law should be made over it.