"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. . . . Better [law enforcement] training won't lead to perfection. But fewer laws would mean fewer opportunities for official violence to get out of hand.It is astonishing that there were a slew of police officers trying to arrest a man selling loose cigarettes in New York City. Just as it was to see a BLM swat team on Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch over a cattle grazing issue.
. . .
"In addition to [3000 crimes in federal law], [in Overcriminalization legal scholar Douglas Husak] 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."
Carter sums up by saying he is not criticizing the cops who carry out the legislative will, but the unthinking legislators who add law upon law without thinking of the consequences.
"The criticism is of a political system that takes such bizarre delight in creating new crimes for the cops to enforce. It's unlikely that the New York legislature, in creating the crime of selling untaxed cigarettes, imagined that anyone would die for violating it. But a wise legislator would give the matter some thought before creating a crime. Officials who fail to take into account the obvious fact that the laws they're so eager to pass will be enforced at the point of a gun cannot fairly be described as public servants."Willingness to pass myriads of laws on trivial offenses or give free rein to administrative agencies to make and enforce their own laws is not only destructive of civil and human rights, but of our system of a limited government with enumerated powers.