By Billy Binion, Reason
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids railed against cops for enforcing the same kind of anti-vaping rule they help pass.
“We are horrified and outraged by the incident of police violence in Ocean City, MD, this weekend,” reads a statement from an advocacy group, drafted in response to the viral videos of cops using force on vaping teens. “There is absolutely no place for violence and abuse in enforcing tobacco laws.”
Such expressions were commonplace as the clips ripped their way through social media. Yet the above press blurb was particularly rich. It came from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an organization that has fought to put in place the very same sorts of laws that they now regret to see enforced.
“Our communities cannot be safe and healthy when police often choose to enforce these laws with violence, often disproportionately against Black and Brown people,” they continued.
Unfortunately for the campaign, there is essentially one way the state upholds the laws they enact: through men and women with guns. Politicians, then, must be comfortable with the fact that any rules they pass will at some point be maintained via force, and, yes, violence.