Friday, June 12, 2009

Thought Crimes or Thoughtless Pandering?

The recent passage of House Resolution H.R. 1913 has brought America one step closer to implementing a pointless new hate crimes laws that will threaten free speech without making a single American safer...In the House, H.R.1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 has already passed, and is now awaiting a vote in the Senate, as S.909, "The Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Prevention Act." Matthew Shepard was the young, gay Wyoming man brutally beaten to death by two thugs...held up as an example of homophobic hate crimes... both killers (one of whom was bisexual) have stated Matthew Shepard was not targeted because he was homosexual, but was killed for drug money...Hate Crimes Against Freedom, Matt Gurney, Front Page Magazine, 6/11/2009

You can always depend upon politicians to invent more crimes. The reasoning behind hate crimes laws is on about the same intellectual level as the children's game of “dare you, double dare you.” In other words, it's about words. And the words, in the case of hate crimes, are all about one word: victim. So, instead of “dare you...”, it's “my victim is a worse victim than yours.” As such, it's not much more than constituency pandering. After all, in a case of premeditated murder, a jury is likely to put a guilty perpetrator away for life regardless of his gender preferences and antipathies. Mostly, this is the politics of hysteria. It does nothing to prevent crime and, in a perverse way, may actually encourage criminals to mask intent even more than they do now.

When shrieking determines political action, it shouldn't surprise anyone that, more and more, Congress is more like the monkey house at the zoo than a place for political discourse.


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