Baton Rouge, LA — Sunday morning, on his 29th birthday, a Missouri man, and honorably discharged Marine, Gavin Long, engaged in a deadly shootout with police. While there were witness accounts stating police were responding to a shootout in progress, it appears that Long’s purpose was to murder.
Long had a significant presence online under the screen name Cosmo. Using this name, Long created a vast trail through the web noting his opposition to police.
Violence is not THE answer (its a answer), but at what point do you stand up so that your people dont become the Native Americans…EXTINCT?
— Convos With Cosmo (@ConvosWithCosmo) July 13, 2016
After the murders of the Dallas police, Long took to the internet to praise that murderer as well.
Gavin Long noted that he acted alone, was not religious, and his motive was police violence against black people. The day before he murdered three innocent people and shot three others, Gavin Long made a final post, seemingly predicting that he would die the next day — and that he was resolute with that result.
As the shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge show us, this sentiment and urge to kill police officers is not isolated. In fact, the day after Johnson murdered the Dallas officers, the Free Thought Project interviewed a group who attempted to claim responsibility for their deaths.
According to a spokesman for Black Power Political Organization, the group which confirmed it claims responsibility for, or at least praised the Dallas shootings, in an exclusive interview with The Free Thought Project, anger over police violence was one of the primary motivators for the act of indiscriminate violence against police.
In addition to a “number of reasons,” he said, “we want to punish them […] for punishing us.”
A quick scroll down Facebook posts, websites, and Twitter feeds on any number of subjects, it is easy to find threats against cops. There is also no shortage of cops threatening citizens, as was illustrated by a Kansas cop taking to Facebook and threatening to murder a young woman’s 4-year-old daughter — for the alleged crime of being black.
Let there be no mistake about it — there is a war brewing inside the Land of the Free. And, until we address the cause of this war, the symptoms will continue to get worse and more senseless and tragic death will follow.
To understand why there is a brewing war, we must look at who’s declaring that war and why.
The State’s drug war came to fruition specifically to criminalize hippies, seen as the radical left, and the black population — and by extension since, every non-caucasian group, as well as anyone opposing government.
“You want to know what this was really all about?”asked John Daniel Ehrlichman, President Nixon’s counsel and domestic policy chief, of Dan Baum for a 1994 article in Harper’s Magazine. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and black people with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Several decades later, and America now has the largest prison population in the world. It is estimated that victimless crime constitutes 86% of the federal prison population. That means the only reason that these individuals are incarcerated is that the state deemed their non-violent personal choices, “illegal.” The majority of that 86% is for illegal drugs only.
Most of the people who are thrown in prison are non-violent. However, when they are locked in cages with society’s worst and treated like cattle in a factory farm, they come out forever changed. America is breeding a torturous and violent environment, and they have the audacity to call this the “justice system.”
As former Congressman Ron Paul pointed out on national television on Jan 16, 2012;
[Black peope] are tried and imprisoned disproportionately. They suffer the consequence of the death penalty disproportionately. Rich white people don’t get the death penalty very often. And most of these are victimless crimes. Sometimes people can use drugs and get arrested three times and never committed a violent act and they can go to prison for life. I think there’s discrimination in the system, but you have to address the drug war. I would say the judicial system is probably one of the worst places where prejudice and discrimination still exists in this country.
If you honestly believe that black lives matter, it is your duty to call for an end to the drug war.
And if police honestly want to prevent violence, it is their duty to refuse to enforce immoral laws that criminalize arbitrary substances and personal choices.
When the government makes certain substances illegal, it does not remove the demand. Instead, the state creates crime by pushing the sale and control of these substances into the illegal black markets. All the while, demand remains constant.
Tasking police with enforcing this ridiculous war creates constant hostile interactions. Remove the drug war and remove most of these confrontations — thereby fostering peace.
We can look at the prohibition of alcohol and the subsequent mafia crime wave that ensued as a result as an example. The year 1930, at the peak of prohibition, happened to be the deadliest year for police in American history. 300 police officers were killed, and innumerable poor people slaughtered as the state cracked down on drinkers.
When the people’s freedoms to do as they wish without harming others become threatened — the people lash out. This can be seen throughout history.
While alcohol prohibition was a deadly time for police, the second deadliest time for police in America was the onslaught of the drug war.
Kidnapping, caging, and killing people for substances has the opposite of its intended effect and it’s high time we stop doing it.
Prohibition creates crime.
Criminal gangs form to protect sales territory and supply lines. They then monopolize the control of the constant demand. Their entire operation is dependent upon police arresting people for drugs because this grants them a monopoly on their sale.
However, the illegality of drug possession and use is what keeps the low-level users and dealers in and out of the court systems, and most of these people are poor black men. As Dr. Paul pointed out, black people are more likely to receive a harsher punishment for the same drug crime as a white person.
This revolving door of creating and processing criminals fosters the phenomenon known as Recidivism. Recidivism is a fundamental concept of criminal justice that shows the tendency of those who are processed into the system and the likelihood of future criminal behavior.
The War on Drugs takes good people and turns them into criminals every single minute of every single day. The system is set up in such a way that it fans the flames of violent crime by essentially building a factory that turns out violent criminals.
The system knows this too!
When drugs are legalized, gang violence drops — drastically. Not only does it have a huge effect on the localized gangs in America, but the legalization of drugs is crippling to the violent foreign drug cartels too.
Until Americans educate themselves on the cause of this violence, uninformed and corrupt lawmakers will continue to focus on controlling the symptoms.
We will see more senseless killings and more innocent lives stripped of opportunity by getting entangled in the system. And, we will see more people enact violence against police officers in retaliation.
It is the duty of those who want peace to spread this information. Those who choose violence as the answer do so because they have yet to see the solution.
Until the cause of the police state is defined and removed, all the shouting and protests will fall on deaf ears — and this suffering coupled with violence will end horribly for everyone.