You Can’t Breathe Without Breaking The Law
Recently, this Steve Coyne guy made a public post on Facebook showing off this asinine T-Shirt. Ostensibly, this is in reaction to the #ICantBreathe hashtag that went viral after Eric Garner’s murderers weren’t charged for their crimes. They were, after all, wearing blue costumes when they murdered him so they can do whatever they want with impunity. Even with his embarrassing support for other murderers like Darren Wilson, revealing an exceptionally low level of intelligence, Steve is not alone in the naivete shown in this T-shirt.
Of course, the message here is that Eric Garner would still be alive and breathing if he’d just not break the law. And that thug (the new word for nigger if you haven’t caught on) Michael Brown would be alive too if he’d just obeyed the law. In fact, the two black men that the police report to kill each week would probably be alive today if all they had done was just obey the law. Don’t you people get it yet? If you want to stay alive, stop breaking laws! If you break the law, no matter how trivial, then you deserve to die!
Welcome to the Police States of America where every costume wearing, gun-wielding, PTSD-afflicted maniac with a badge has become judge, jury and on-the-spot executioner. Presumption of innocence? How quaint. Trial by a jury of peers? Sorry, an officer feared for his safety. So someone had to die. You can crow about your beloved “Constitutional rights” all you want. If a cop decides you are too much of a hassle, you die. It doesn’t matter if you break a law or not.
Here’s why… you did break a law. You are a felon, you just don’t know it. As pointed out in Harvey Silverglate’s 2009 book, you commit Three Felonies A Day. You can’t live in the Police States of America without breaking the law. What are some of those felonies you are guilty of you ask? Here are some examples:
Violation of Foreign Law (The Lacey) Act
Federal Wilderness Act
Honest Services Fraud
Obstruction of Justice
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
Providing Material Support for Terrorists
False Statements to a Federal Official
“What?” you say, “I’m not doing any of those things.”
Are you sure?
Violation of Foreign Law (The Lacey Act)
Hypothetical: You are a small business proprietor who supplies restaurants with fish and produce. One shipment of lobsters comes in unusual packaging—usually sent in cardboard boxes, these lobsters arrived in clear packaging. By purchasing this shipment, you have arguably committed a federal felony. The imported lobsters originated in a country that bans the shipping of lobsters in clear plastic bags, and the U.S. Lacey Act makes criminal an importer who violates “any foreign law”—regardless of whether you knew of the foreign regulations.
Real-life example: American businesswoman Diane Huang was convicted under this far-reaching provision, despite her unawareness of the supposed Honduran law banning the shipment of lobsters in clear plastic bags. Lack of criminal intent, the Washington Legal Foundation argued on behalf of Huang and her co-defendants, should make the government’s criminal charges inappropriate. To make matters worse, the Honduran law governing such shipments was not valid at the time of Huang’s arrest—a fact that the Honduran government pointed out to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nonetheless, the federal court found Huang guilty in March 2003 and imposed a two-year prison sentence.
See more examples here.
If you manage to get through the day without committing a felony, you still have 80,000 pages of federal regulations, city ordinances, and anything a police officer tells you to do. You are guilty of breaking the law. The state has ensured that you will be guilty of something at any time. This is the same tactic Stalin imposed on the Soviet Union enforced by his NKVD. This is by design so you can stopped, detained, violated, assaulted and, if the enforcers feel like it, killed at any time.
In light of the evidence, I don’t think anyone can intelligently claim that they are able to breathe because they don’t break the law. You do break the law. You are a felon in the eyes of the state. And yet you breathe. So maybe, just maybe, you aren’t breathing because you are a good law-abidin’ citizen. And maybe, just maybe, Eric Garner and Michael Brown aren’t dead because they broke a law. Maybe there is something else to it.