15 minutes ago
Monday, June 29, 2009
I saw this article on CNN today, and it got me irritated. It's a commentary piece on Hate Crimes. The laws that apply to them, and how we're making better laws against hate crimes.
I think hate crime legislation is some of the most insidious stuff we have. If it's wrong to beat someone, or kidnap someone, or torture someone, or kill someone, then it's just plain wrong. However, if you called them a pejorative name while doing it, then it's extra bad, and you'll get to do some extra time for that crime.
What the hate crime legislation is doing is attempting to control what people think. If it's wrong to commit a certain crime, then it should be wrong regardless of why you commit it. It's shouldn't be worse because you have a negative view of the person or persons you commit the crime against. Heck, if you felt all sorts of fluffy-bunny-luv for them, you wouldn't be committing crimes against them in the first place!!
Proponents of hate crime legislation say it's there to protect the rights of gays/lesbians/Jews/Asians/Hispanics/(take your pic). However, hate crime legislation does nothing to protect anyone. The only thing hate crime legislation does, is enhance the penalties a person can suffer if convicted of a real crime, based solely on that person's thoughts and ideas.
That's basic thought control there. Tell them not to do something(the law) then tell them that while it's a free country, and you can think whatever you like, if you express those thoughts before, during, or after committing a crime, we're going to make things even worse for you, based solely on your thoughts and motivations.
Is the act, in and of itself, a crime? If so, then that should be the end of it. Your motivation for committing that crime shouldn't come into play at all. It's the crime that's illegal, not your thoughts or motivations for committing the crime. Unless of course, it's against a 'protected' group, and then maybe it is a crime to have thoughts that don't lock-step with what 'They' think you should be thinking.
PS - Ironically though, when a local chapter or set of a gang decides that it's going to initiate a new member in by having them go after a cop, that never gets looked at as a hate crime. Even though the reason they target a person is based solely on clothing and job choice.