“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”–Thomas Paine
Welcome to your Friday edition of The Morning Roar!
Last week I spoke with Ben Swann – in an interview Facebook refused to promote due to the fact Swann advertises guns on his website – regarding the root of police militarization in the United States. It has been brought to my attention that at one point during the interview, it comes across during an exchange between Ben and myself that current SWAT tactics may in some way be justified considering the current circumstances. In today’s Roar I’ll attempt to clear this up. Here’s what was said (emphasis mine):
Marc: What is the logic behind these tactics? Even just starting with the basic no-knock raid, I mean – why can’t we knock? Why do they do this at 3 in the morning, why do they serve these warrants in this way that they do?
Ben Swann: Well they do it because the idea is that they are going into these very dangerous situations where you have heavily armed drug gangs, very violent gangs, and if they walk up to the house and they’re wearing their uniforms and they knock on the door they’re gonna get shot through the door. And there is a potential for that, so not every bit of this is coming out of a place where they’re just kinda pulling it out of the air. There are legitimate reasons why police have allowed this to get to this point, and why grand juries allow it to get to this point, why prosecutors allow it to get to this point, right, because there is a legitimate issue. However, if we decriminalize drugs, if we legalize drugs in this country, we would eliminate all those problems because then the drug dealer would go away, at least in the traditional sense. The violence surrounding drugs, the crime surrounding drugs, for the most part would go away as Colorado has seen…
Or listen below starting around the 11 min mark:
Listening back to the show, I can see how some might take Ben’s statement as justifying the actual police state tactics due to the drug laws in place. I am fairly confident that Ben does not believe these tactics are actually justified, but was simply trying to point out the justification used by the police, prosecutors, etc. to justify them. Even using the standards set by the United States Constitution, it’s clear that these tactics are illegal, and they are certainly immoral from a philosophical point of view.
I contacted Ben Swann in order to clarify his statement, and here’s what he had to say:
My point was not one of moral justification.. rather one that is based upon the evolution of police tactics. When you criminalize a substance like marijuana you create a black market. That black market, like any other business survives on supply and demand. Protecting product is a violent business. The more aggressive police and law enforcement become in enforcing drug laws, the more aggressive and violent those who run the drug trade become. It is important to not confuse the fact that drug cartels, drug gangs and drug operations are not the same as people who simply believe in the right to possess and use naturally occurring substances like cannabis. Drug gangs and cartels are violent operations that, like the prison industrial complex and many law enforcement operations, want to keep drugs illegal. Police officers, when sent to raid these kinds of operations are certainly endangered by these violent groups who would kill, maim and do whatever necessary to protect their operations.This is why I say that legalization of drugs not only takes away the financial incentive from law enforcement to make these kinds of raids, which increasingly target innocent Americans, but it also strips power away from these cartels and gangs. It does not discount the danger police officers face to talk about legalization of drugs, rather it actually supports officers and makes their profession much safer in general as they would no longer take part in these kinds of raids.
In a free society that truly respected individual rights, you could never justify the idea of busting into someone’s house in the middle of the night in the manner that is routinely used in these SWAT Raids. While the War on Drugs gives police the impetus to use these tactics, it in no way justifies the use of them. The tactics would be wrong regardless of whatever laws led to their implementation.
In a free society, people could form communities based on their private property and collectively decide to ban drug use in that area. But even in that situation, no knock raids tactics would constitute a violation of rights. Even in a “war zone” situation, these tactics could not be justified without having very specific information regarding an imminent threat. Any attack launched upon an individual – and breaking and entering a home using flash grenades with guns drawn IS an attack – is unjustified and antithetical to liberty.
I hope this gives y’all something to nibble on in the ‘ol noggin, and you can wash it all down with your daily…
- Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell are teaming up to legalize the growth of hemp.
- Montana passes a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to ignore FDA restrictions on drugs.
- The Federal Reserve is no fan of Senator Rand Paul and his “Audit the Fed” bill.
- A Texas man has been arrested for paying his taxes! Why? Well, because he paid with dollar bills, of course!
- A CDC vaccine whistleblower has been given immunity in order to testify.
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