Skip to comments.Guns, Pot, and Bernie Goetz
Posted on 11/04/2013 9:47:51 AM PST by Shout Bits
The Old Media in the form of the AP planted a doozie of misinformation regarding Bernie Goetz's recent arrest for attempting to sell marijuana to a police officer. The article described Goetz as a "vigilante" and racist, the thugs he shot as "panhandlers," and his gun as "illegal." All of the characterizations are completely wrong and deceptive.
Frist, Goetz was not a vigilante, he was only defending himself. In 1984, Goetz was confronted by four youths demanding money. The thug uses a language of tone and body so that while his words may be asking for money, the real message is a threat. Goetz correctly understood the message and shot the youths rather than be robbed (a common crime on NY Subways at the time). The criminals had numerous run-ins with the law before and since the incident; they were not panhandlers, but rather Goetz was exercising his unalienable right to defend himself based on the natural right to live. A vigilante is one who proactively seeks his version of justice, but Goetz did not ask to be confronted.
The young men Goetz shot were black, so the AP implied Goetz must be racist. Goetz did not choose the race of the thugs who approached him. Goetz is not responsible for the fact that even today, blacks are strongly disproportionately responsible for violent crime in NYC. Goetz was not racist in summing up his confronters, and facts he could not know at the time proved his assessment right they were thugs and criminals. These insights no doubt influenced Goetz's jury to acquit him of all charges except for possession of an unlicensed gun he spent the better part of a year in jail.
The AP may be nominally correct that Goetz's gun was not legal, but he was breaking no valid law. Natural law and the US Constitution protect Goetz's right to carry a weapon, so the NY law itself was illegal. Further, consider the ugly reality of the Subway at the time. In NYC, driving a car about town is a joke and taxi regulators ensure that at many times hailing a cab is a long shot at best, so the Subway is the only real option for most New Yorkers. The AP itself concedes that then there were 40 serious crimes per day in the Subway system. Goetz was essentially forced to enter a thug's paradise several times per day. If the government wants to create gun-free zones, they should at least provide security, but the Subways offered danger in addition to filth and stifling heat. People like Goetz had to choose between breaking illegal gun laws and becoming victims.
After a few other controversies, Goetz has resurfaced for being busted selling a trivial amount of MJ to an undercover cop. The worm has turned here. Even though the right to self-defense is immeasurably more important than the right to consume intoxicants at will, NY does not understand. In NY, guns are even more illegal than in the 1980's, but MJ is de facto legal. Anyone walking through parts of Central Park or down hipper cross-town sidewalks gets a regular whiff of the naughty weed. It is understood that MJ possession and consumption is to be accepted, although the NYPD continue to bust MJ holders as if they were child abusers. Public opinion has shifted away from Rockefeller drug prosecution and toward MJ legalization. Goetz is now a potential symbol of the stupidity of police dedicating undercover cops to busing $30 MJ sales, just as he was once a symbol of self-defense rights. The pro-MJ Left will not take his cause because they do not understand both issues are based on natural rights. Even when the Left is right, it is usually so for invalid reasons.
The recent Goetz radar-blip is further evidence that the OM and the Left in general are divorced from the principles upon which everyone should live the first principles of the US's founding documents. Goetz is an unlucky pawn in an ugly game of government control. Self-defense and selling an intoxicant to a willing adult are not crimes, and both the Left and Right should leave Goetz alone.
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A street drug pusher at age 65? He sure let his supporters down.
If it keeps him off the dole, more power to him. I`ll bet his pot is killer... /s
Considering the sham civil trial broke him financially it makes sense to me that he would be operating in a black market where his earnings would not be confiscated and given to one of the thugs that basically ruined his life. As for letting his supporters down you are right, he should have gone into arms dealing.
Drug sales, I’m not used to sham conservatives supporting that, but conservatism is dying.
I thought he died? He has to work to support the pos that tried to rob him and then sued him. Bernie aim for the head next time and don’t turn yourself in.
The media sees here a way of getting revenge. Bernie won and liberalism lost when Bernie shot common street thugs who thought they could have some fun with a White boy who looked like he wouldn’t be able to defend himself. This is a typical tactic the subhuman savages use: they pick on an old lady or man, or a baby. This is why normal people need to defend themselves from the snail slime.
And where exactly in your definition of conservatism is it illegal to sell or partake in something between consenting adults? I think you are much more REPUBLICAN than CONSERVATIVE but not quite sharp enough to see the difference.
A real conservative would believe in personal responsibility. I know I do. If he wants to smoke or sell weed, there's nothing wrong with that. If he ends up having problems because if it, it's his own fault. Plenty of people can handle having some drinks, smoking some pot, or taking some pills without you nanny types thinking they know best. Conservative should embrace it as a personal choice. Republicans who think that they should be able to control this at the force of a gun are no better than Democrats.
Great points! I would also like someone who favors federal regulation of narcotics to tell me where in the Constitution the federal government derives the power to regulate what substances an adult citizen can or cannot consume.
Sure, drugs are not good for people. However, alcohol, tobacco, fatty foods, and numerous other LEGAL things are not good for people either. Either the government has the right to regulate our behavior for our own good or it does not. I would argue that it does not.
Don’t give me any arguments that legal drug use would lead to increased crime. Legal alcohol use or legal tobacco use does not lead to such increases in crime. Even if true, then such crimes should certainly be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Alcohol leads to a lot of criminal behavior. Just go to areas with a lot of bars and partying on weekends. There are increased incidences of assaults and sometimes homicides due to alcohol consumption. There are also drunk drivers who injure and kill people as a direct result of alcohol consumption. We still don’t criminalize the actual consumption of alcohol; we criminalize the behaviors that are caused by that consumption. Why should other drugs be treated differently?
They are all government regulated to some degree, aren't they?
Yes, it is conservative to be against drug dealers.
Your argument that selling illegal drugs on the streets is conservative is beyond silly.
This is the same kind of thing the hard left has been doing for 40 years, they just say the most insane things, up is down, down is up, until they get the laws and cultural breakdown that they are pushing for.
You may as well tell us that accepting gay marriage is conservative, how about abortion, porn, homosexuals in the military?
If you want to argue for those things, then do it, but don’t get so silly as to claim that they are conservative.
I don’t think that Goetz was busted by the feds was he?
Is this now, yet another doper thread?
“The AP itself concedes that then there were 40 serious crimes per day in the Subway system.” 40 serious crimes a day was an acceptable price to pay for a mass transit system in a large city. Goetz’s action was not. After he defended himself the subway system was flooded with police. Self-defense will not be tolerated.
Using and selling drugs is perfectly conservative. Drugs aren't a sin and are only illegal due to an un-Constitutional overreach by the government. Care to point out a clause in the Constitution to show me otherwise or are you gonna just keep talking out of your ass?
Gay marriage? Not conservative because of the marriage part. Gasys can get together all they want and enter into any legal agreements that and free person can, but it's not marriage.
Abortion? I have the perfectly conservative view that respects a women's right to choose...to not get pregnant. Once she is pregnant then there is a child involved and that child has rights.
Porn? Perfectly conservative that people should be free to make their own choices. You see ,unlike you, I understand that if someone is granted to power to declare porn illegal, they might also use that power to declare other things illegal. Again, consenting adults can do what they want as long as they bear the costs of their decisions themselves.
Homosexuals in the military? - No one has the right to be in the military. I had medical issues that kept me out. Other things can keep other people out. If we were attacked as a country and there was fighting in the streets, I know I wouldn't give one bit of a damn who the person fighting next to me wanted to screw as long as they were fighting for our Constitution.
I think that you are probably a nice person, but apparently just a tad dense. If being a conservative means what you think it means I don't want any part of it. My definition is to follow the Constitution as written. Your definition seems to include shaded of Republicanism and puritanism. no thanks.
What is a pharmacist? Are they not drug dealers? Before you answer, they possess (or have physical control of) drugs of various types and they sell them to the public for money. Correct? The only difference between them is government approval.
What kind of moron thinks the government should be in control? The ansel12 kind, apparently. Some conservative you are.
Great, a real nut case, thanks for sharing your biography and inner most thoughts with us, we were so eager to have you share all that.
Wow, if my comments on ol’ Bernie selling $30 bucks worth of pot brought out that reaction, you’ll really get the vapors if I let on my support for traffic camera scofflaws.
You need to lay off the caffeine, your hysteria is showing.
Both prohibition and making drugs illegal are laws pushed by “progressives”. They did away with prohibition because it was such an abject failure, but they added the “war on drugs” because it is a clear nanny state plus up in so many ways.
All drugs were legal until the progressives made them illegal in the 1920’s. Yes, we had problems with people becoming addicted to opium. It worked better than the current prohibition by a long shot.
Most fascinating TV I have ever seen.
Goetz even whips out a handgun and reenacts the shooting.
Did not know such an interview existed. I will look.
That doesn’t mean that such regulation is right or desirable, though.
Think about it. Bloomberg thinks he needs to ban large sodas and salt because he knows whats good for you better than you do. How exactly is your position any different? You think you're a conservative but you are pathetic. Little pissant control freak is what you are. No better than Bloomberg and perhaps even worse.
You have not made one single cogent argument to support your case. With slack-jawed people like you out there in the world trying to pass yourselves off as a conservative, it's no wonder we are in the shape we are in.
I notice that you aren't man enough to admit your error. Heck, you can't even intelligently make your case why you think we should all be more like Bloomberg.
No, this particular case did not involve the feds. However, the feds are involved in the war on drugs. For instance, even in cases where states have made marijuana legal, there have been federal raids on suppliers. Not only is there nothing in the Constitution allowing the federal government to make any drug illegal, there is a tenth ammendment that allows the states to determine the law regarding such drugs. Surely, if you are a conservative, you must oppose the feds violating the tenth ammendment and busting a drug supplier in a state where such activity is not illegal, right?
And please spare me the doper reference. I have personally never used any “illegal” drug. I barely ever even drink alcohol. I certainly would not change that behavior even if all drugs were made legal. This isn’t about drug use. It’s about the principle of limited government, which is the very heart of conservatism.
BTW, even if there is a clause in the constitution of New York allowing the state government to make drugs illegal, should we not support limited government power at all levels, not just at the federal level? Why would we want limited federal government, but uncontrolled state power? The priniciple of limited government is a good one at ALL levels. Either we believe that the government should have the power to regulate what substances we consume or it should not have that power. How can you argue against Bloomberg’s laws governing salt content of foods and large sized soft drinks, but argue in favor of drug laws? The priniciple behind them is the same; the government has the power to regulate what substances you can or cannot put into your body. Personally, I reject that principle, and I fail to see how any conservative could support that principle.
Yep, this quickly became just yet another doper thread.
Man has repeatedly proven that he is incapable of being perfect. That's why we have rules, regulations and laws.
So then, you are okay with government telling you what substances you can or cannot put into your own body? You are okay with Bloomberg’s soda and salt restrictions in NYC, for instance?
I’m not talking about a drug dealer shooting someone or an addict stealing from someone to get drug money. Those are crimes and should be prosecuted as such. I just see no difference between someone smoking marijuana in his own home and harming nobody but himself and someone smoking a cigarette in his own home and harming nobody but himself. If I’m wrong, then what is the major difference between the two cases other than the fact that one is legal and one is not (at least in most states).
BTW, which rules, laws, or regulations have allowed man to achieve perfection? Even with such, man remains imperfect. The goal of rules, laws and regulations should be to protect one citizen from having harm done to him or her by another citizen. It should not be to protect someone from doing harm to himself.
Rules, laws and regulations won't do it, but they are needed. Remember the 10 Commandments?
The goal of rules, laws and regulations should be to protect one citizen from having harm done to him or her by another citizen.
That's why we have laws against driving under the influence, discharging a firearm on a crowded city street, speeding, public nuisances, etc.
Sure some laws, rules and regulations are needed. The examples you gave are good ones. I certainly cannot argue against these laws. However, one feature these laws all share is that the intent of the laws you cite is to prevent on citizen from causing harm to another. Laws against possession or use of drugs do not share this feature. The only person directly harmed by use of drugs is the user. Why should we have laws to protect us from ourselves? I would also argue against things like helmet laws for motorcycle riders and seatbelt use laws in cars under the same principle.
If you support laws such as those making drug use illegal, then why would you oppose hypothetical laws such as one limiting your daily caloric intake? Can the government really tell you how much food you can eat? If you don’t support such a law, then why would you oppose it? I can’t see a reason to oppose such a law that doesn’t apply equally well to a law against drug use.
Even granting for the sake of argument that laws against possession and use are desirable, surely you could agree with me on the cases where the federal government has raided marijuana dispensaries in states where such dispensaries are legal under state law. If not, why even bother with the tenth ammendment? I have yet to see anything in the Constitution allowing the federal government to regulate or criminalize drugs. Since that power isn’t granted to the feds, by the tenth it must be reserved to the states or the people. If a state legalizes drugs, how can you support continued enforcement of federal drug laws in that state?
Finally, please realize that I am in no way arguing in favor of drug use. Drug use is stupid and harmful to the user. However, government legislation is not the answer. Tobacco use is stupid and harmful to the user, yet it’s not illegal. Ditto alcohol use. Ditto eating excessively. Why should drug use be treated differently. I would argue that much harm is done to drug addicts (in addition to their self-inflicted harm) by criminalizing drug use. If a person wishes to stop smoking, he can openly seek the help of a doctor, hypnotist, psychiatrist, or purchase any of a number of products designed to help him quit. He can do so openly without fear of prosecution. A drug addict has no such recourse. I have no data, but I am sure that there are numerous drug addicts who don’t seek treatment for their addiction based on their fear of prosecution and incarceration if they try to get help. I suspect that addicts wishing to seek treatment form a minority of all addicts, but why should we have laws discouraging them from seeking help?
Not necessarily. The users family, associates and employer can all be directly harmed, not to mention if the illicit drug user gets behind the wheel.
Tobacco use is stupid and harmful to the user, yet its not illegal. Ditto alcohol use. Ditto eating excessively
Both tobacco and alcohol are taxed and controlled. Would you endorse the same for high calorie foods?
A drug addict has no such recourse.
We read or hear about them frequently. Most are public figures.
Then why is alcohol legal? Why is tobacco use legal? Both of those cause similar indirect harm to those around the user. Both of those drugs can kill or cause health problems for the user, but those are indirectly harmful to the family, employer and associates of the user, not directly so. No employer of a drug addict has died from that addict’s overdose. No family member of an addict has developed health issues as a result of his drug use. If drugs need to be illegal because of the harm they can cause to a person’s family, associates, or employer, then so should alcohol and tobacco use be illegal. Surely you aren’t arguing that are you? We’ve tried that; see prohibition (it didn’t work real well).
Alcohol and nicotine are examples from a group of drugs that are legal. Marijuana and cocaine are examples from a group of drugs that are not legal. I am simply suggesting that, in principle, the only real distinction between the two groups of drugs is PRECISELY that one group is legal and the other is not. Therefore, making one group illegal is an arbitrary extension of government power and should be opposed.
Yes, most public figures have the financial resources to hire high-priced lawyers and keep themselves out of the criminal justice system to get their treatment. It would be much more difficult for the average non-famous addict to do the same. I would think most of them would be hesitant to come forward and admit drug use for fear of prosecution.
Why are cars, boats and motorcycles that can exceed any posted speed limit legal? They all are capable of killing and maiming the driver and innocents.
Why are NSAIDs and aspirin legal and available over the counter? All are capable of causing death.
Why not remove all laws and restrictions on all drugs? Why not disband the FDA and pharmacies? Why should pharmacists and MDs need to be licensed?
There are plenty of drug and alcohol addiction specialty hospitals that treat "average non-famous" patients. The cops don't arrest patients entering or exiting.
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