Photo Credit: Humans of New York

The death of Eric Garner highlights precisely the libertarian’s opposition to government. Many times when I debate with others, the person with whom I am speaking sometimes rolls their eyes or disparagingly chuckles when I tell them that I oppose government because it is inherently — everything it accomplishes, it must do so behind the barrel of a gun.

They sometimes say, “How dramatic!” or “Wow. Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”

But it’s not. In the Washington Post article entitled,  “Don’t support laws you are not willing to kill to enforce,” Yale Law School Professor Stephen Carter agrees with the libertarian position, “I remind them [Carter’s first-year law students] that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you…Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right.”

If you are of the belief that the government is a benevolent care-taker of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the unequal, yet, you believe that the case of Eric Garner is tragic and deplorable, I urge you to examine the premise of your political beliefs. The government isn’t there to protect us. The government isn’t there to take care of the poor and the disadvantaged – a poor disadvantaged black man who was trying to make a few bucks from some cigarettes was strangled to death as he pleaded for his life because he couldn’t breathe.

The government is there to serve itself and its special interests. The government is an institution that thrives off of murder, theft and coercion. It broadens its scope and power by implementing statutes that criminalize non-violent people. Eric Garner didn’t die because he broke the law. Eric Garner died because he violated a statute that circumvented the state’s extortion apparatus.