Why Is This Man Shooting Grandma?

Remember this video?

This coupon is eerily reminiscent:

f2a

That ad is courtesy of Faith2Action, a Christian Right group, worried about what would happen if a hate-crimes bill currently in Congress passed.

Apparently, it means you’re going to shoot senior citizens.

I would love to understand their position… I really would. But then they do stupid shit like this and I fee like I will never comprehend what goes on in their minds.

Somewhere, there must be a sane Christian who can make sense of this…

(via Pam’s House Blend)

  • Somero

    What if it’s a gay grandma?

  • SarahH

    Seriously, this is incredibly offensive to the gay grandmas out there.

    And also: Sheesh. If you have a problem with hate-crime legislation (and I can understand both sides of that issue), then talk about it like a person and not like a bigot. That sort of propaganda would *not* fly if it used a Jewish person or a black person instead of a gay person as the example, and the ostensible objection here would apply to all groups protected under such legislation. Or are they saying they’re okay with calling certain violent crimes against blacks hate crimes, but not if those same crimes are committed against homosexuals?

    I can’t wrap my brain around the way these people think, I really can’t.

  • Jodie

    What about black gay grandmas?

    Sadly, this argument is effective most with the population that is at a higher likelihood to commit hate crimes, whilst denying that Matthew Shepard was not not murdered due to his sexual orientation.

  • Shane

    What? I don’t think their point is very hard to understand and I probably agree with it.

    If you increase penalties for “hate” crimes against certain groups it is the same as “discounting” penalties for crimes against non-recognized groups. Presumably assaulting a visible minority would be punished more severely than a crime committed against a white male?

    I’ve never agreed with that kind of reverse discrimination/racism or hate crime laws in general. That’s actually one of the problems I have with the modern day incarnation of “liberalism”.

  • Dennis N

    Actually, it isn’t simply a crime against a minority person. You have to actually prove in court that their minority status was part of the motive. That is a reason that sticker makes no sense. If you commit a crime against senior citizens because you have a vendetta against them as a group (and who doesn’t), it would be a hate crime against old people. It may not be covered under current laws, but it should be. LGBT weren’t covered under the law either, but that’s a reason to expand the laws.

  • Euan

    Well if you look at the PDF in the same article this bumper sticker’s published, here: http://www.f2a.org/images/stories/liberty/FactSheet-ThoughtCrimesBill.pdf things become a little clearer.

    Despite the, what I as a lay person and not a legal consider, unambiguous nature of the legislation, this claim is made:

    Citizens for Community Values President Phil Burress provides this insight on the phrase
    “sexual orientation.” What does it mean?
    “In 1993, Charlie Winburn, then a Cincinnati City Councilman, became the first in the nation to raise this question – because it
    had been used in piece of local, special rights legislation. Winburn found that the term could include a variety of bizarre sexual
    behaviors. Here are just a few:
    • Incest – sex with one’s offspring (a crime, of course)
    • Necrophilia – sexual relations with a corpse, also a crime
    • Pedophilia – sex with an underage child, another crime
    • Zoophilia – bestiality, a crime in numerous states
    • Voyeurism – a criminal offense in most states
    • Fronteurism – which involves a man approaching an unknown woman and rubbing up against her buttocks
    • Coprophilia – sexual arousal from feces
    • Urophilia – sexual arousal from urine
    Proponents of H.R. 1913 refuse to define sexual orientation in the bill. Consequently, these bizarre behaviors will
    become protected classes! In fact, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), offered an amendment that would have at least excluded
    pedophilia as a sexual orientation covered under the bill. Surely, King thought, the proponents would not want men sexually
    molesting children to become a protected class under this bill. King’s amendment was defeated.

    Yes, by saying that crimes with their root cause as sexual orientation have their own penalties, suddenly illegal behaviors become legal.

    Dizzying, and somewhat at odds with this:

    A. This bill would create a federal offense imposing federal criminal penalties – potentially in addition to criminal
    penalties imposed under state law – on any defendant who chooses his victim in whole or in part because of the victim’s
    “actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin” or “actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual
    orientation, gender identity, or disability.” Violations would be punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment of up to
    10 years, or imprisonment for life if the offense results in death or “includes kidnaping [sic] or an attempt to kidnap,
    aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill.”

    Maybe I’m missing something, but doesn’t this mean that the for the crime to stick the prosecution would have to prove that motive was based on gender, orientation etc etc, and nothing to do with the incest et al?

  • Quinton

    Shane,

    Hate crime laws do not protect “certain groups.” ANY crime motivated by bigotry has an increased penalty. The murderer of a white male could be charged with a hate crime if the crime was motivated by the victim’s race, national origin, etc.

    Also I think your “discount” claim doesnt fly but wont get into it at the risk of being tldr.

  • Euan

    @Shane

    I think you’re missing the point of the legislation. A person who goes out of his way to beat up homosexuals is motivated by one thing, beating up homosexuals. If any petty larceny eventuates from that it’s a product of beating up homosexuals, not because that person is a thief.

    Larceny is larceny, if there is no evidence that the crime was committed on basis of race, religion etc then the legislation doesn’t come in to play, it simply isn’t a factor.

  • Somero

    If you increase penalties for “hate” crimes against certain groups it is the same as “discounting” penalties for crimes against non-recognized groups. Presumably assaulting a visible minority would be punished more severely than a crime committed against a white male?

    If the white male was assaulted because he was a white male. The that would be a hate crime.

    If you assaulted Grandma, or a child, because of their age. That would be a hate crime.

    If I’m wrong.
    I’d appreciate it if someone corrected me.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    I have some reservations about hate crime legislation because it’s often so difficult to prove the motivation. I absolutely do believe that motive should be a factor in determining the sentence. Our laws already reflect this, for example in making premeditated murder a more serious crime than one committed in the heat of the moment.

    So while I may not be comfortable with the laws it’s clearly not for the reason these people do. They don’t believe that crimes against grandma and hate crimes against homosexuals should be equal. The implication is that offensive coupon is that grandma is more valuable than a homosexual.

  • Mike

    I don’t understand christians and their hate of homosexuals. Even when I used to believe I didn’t get it. The extreme hate that have of it because “the bible says its wrong” is just unbelievable to me.

    In their eyes\view\convictions it is a sin. But they don’t go after all of the other sins in the bible with the same vigor. Why not? Sin is sin isn’t it? They don’t go after thieves or liars the same, but if I remember right, any sin gets them kicked out of heaven. Maybe they need to go after all “sins” the way they go after homosexuality and maybe they will start to see how crazy they really are.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    Somero: You are totally correct. A crime where someone targeted the elderly because they hate older people (as opposed to because they’re easier victims) would be a hate crime. Also if a gang of gays beat up a straight person because they’re straight it would be a hate crime, though in reality that situation is very unlikely.

  • http://paulforpm.blogspot.com/ keddaw

    And if I have a pathological hatred of people with tattoos and go around beating people up who have them, is that a hate crime?

    No, why not? It falls under every plausible motive and explanation I have ever heard from people defending hate crime legislation. I am irrationally targeting a person because they are part of a group and the whole group feels threatened/intimidated by my actions.

    So why aren’t there laws to increase the penalty for attacking people with tattoos?

  • Jeff Satterley

    I absolutely do believe that motive should be a factor in determining the sentence.

    I agree; while it is never permissible to commit a crime (by definition), in some cases committing a crime seems more heinous than others. For example, most agree than premeditated crimes deserve harsher punishment than similar crimes motivated by a strong emotional reaction in the moment (and our laws generally reflect this).

    But why is bigotry a worse motive for committing a crime than jealousy or financial gain? It is not a crime to hate someone, even because of his or her race, gender, sexual preferences, etc. I could yell racial/sexual epitaphs at anyone, in public, if I wanted to (I don’t), and it is not a crime. If I then commit a crime, I should be punished for the crime, not because of an arbitrary list of things I shouldn’t think/feel about that person

    One might argue that hate crimes tend to be more heinous, and thus should be punished more harshly as such. However, we can simply increase the punishment based on the cruelty of the act directly. In fact, its conceivable that because of hate crime legislation, a crime against a minority could be punished more severely than a more heinous crime, because it was not motivated by bigotry.

    Not to be too negative, I also agree that its probably the case that this group believes that grandma is more valuable than a homosexual, which is both ignorant and intolerant. However, I have to agree with Shane that the point they are making is valid.

  • Quinton

    Euan,

    I actually think I heard about a case where a court ruled that a man assaulted due to his (actual or perceived, not sure) zoophilia was considered a hate crime.

    Allowing “sexual orientation” to cover illegal sex acts DOES NOT make illegal acts legal; it only adds additional punishment to those who commit crimes against individuals interested in illegal sex acts. This might sound like a dumb thing to legislate, but consider a convicted and rehabilitated pedophile. Certainly we should legislate to prevent people attacking this individual based on his criminal past.

  • Quinton

    Jeff,

    Bigotry is a worse motive than jealousy or financial gain because a crime motivated by bigotry is particularly dehumanizing. It represents a special and disgusting sort of attack as different and repulsive; this is totally unacceptable in a civil society.

    Race, national origin, sexual orientation, etc. have a special tie to an individual’s identity. In an attack based on greed, the target is an individual’s property; in an attack based on bigotry the target is not just the individual herself but some of the most intimate aspects of her personhood.

  • jemand

    @Jeff Satterley

    To my mind crimes motivated by bigotry are worse because of the randomness factor and the fact that there will always be those people to reoffend against…

  • Vincent

    the point is clear, and is wrong.
    Hate crimes are not creating protected classes of people.
    Hate crimes are an attempt to implement the old Biblical ideal of an eye for an eye.
    If you commit a hate crime, you are causing intimidation harm to a community of people, so your punishment is punishment for the basic crime, increased as retribution for the intimidation harm caused to that community.
    The punishment is attempting to equal the harm caused.

    So who are these murderers who are thinking “I might shoot that guy, but if I shoot that woman I’ll get a lesser sentence, so I’ll shoot her instead”?

  • Jeff Satterley

    @jemand

    To my mind crimes motivated by bigotry are worse because of the randomness factor…

    But its not random, it is an attack against someone specifically because of a specific characteristic (e.g., a person’s race). It is no more random than robbing someone because they have money or desirable property, for example.

    and the fact that there will always be those people to reoffend against…

    There will also always be rich people to rob; other people to commit crimes against. I can’t think of an example of a crime, other than some personal vendettas, which cannot be re-committed against others with a similar profile.

    @Quinton

    Bigotry is a worse motive than jealousy or financial gain because a crime motivated by bigotry is particularly dehumanizing.

    That’s an interesting point, but I would say that all hate is dehumanizing, whether its hate speech (which is usually legal), or a hate crime (which is illegal, of course). I have to think about this some more, but I still think that if the hate itself is not a crime, it can’t affect your punishment if you do commit a crime.

  • Jeff Satterley

    @Vincent

    If you commit a hate crime, you are causing intimidation harm to a community of people, so your punishment is punishment for the basic crime, increased as retribution for the intimidation harm caused to that community.
    The punishment is attempting to equal the harm caused.

    That’s a good point, but why do we have to drag things like race and gender into this? Why not just determine if intimidation was intended, and increase the punishment for that? It’s possible to intend to intimidate a group of people without performing a hate crime. One can threaten just about any group of people by performing a crime, it is not limited to groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

  • Thilina

    This message is completely screwed up.

    Currently you get 30%(probably more) off your jail time for beating up a homosexual rather than a black or any one protected by the current hate crime laws.

    Hate crimes should protect everyone and these people cannot be allowed to prevent this just so that they can continue to hate people for being different.

    This doesn’t give any special treatment to gay people. And hate crimes are difficult enough to prove as it is.

    I still cant understand why people would be against this, even the majority of people against gay people\marriage voice their opinion in legal ways and are unaffected by these laws. The only people that should be opposed to this are the people who target others for violent crimes just for being different (probably because they hate them for some reason).

  • Thilina

    @ Jeff Satterley

    Every crime will intimidate someone. If you rob a store the people in the neighborhood will be intimidated because they think crimes increasing. The difference in a hate crime is that the intimidation is intentional and very concentrated to a particular group.

  • Jeff Satterley

    @Thilina

    The difference in a hate crime is that the intimidation is intentional and very concentrated to a particular group.

    Yes, but as I said before, I can intentionally intimidate a particular group of people by committing a crime without it being, by the definition given, a hate crime. I could kill a lawyer and make it clear that I want to kill more lawyers in order to intimidate them, and that is not a hate crime.

    I would probably be in favor of increasing the punishment for intentional intimidation, if it can be proven. This would be difficult in many cases, but so is determining hate crimes.

  • Gary Loomis

    Hate crimes should be prosecuted differently from theft or jealousy because part of the intent in targeting a member of a specific race, religion, sexual orientation, etc, is to terrorize and oppress that specific group. The act of violence attempts to foster an atmosphere of fear and control over the group, which is hardly conducive to a properly functioning society.

  • http://www.dwasifar.com dwasifar

    I don’t think anyone has hit on the core issue yet. To the extent that the penalty for a crime is increased if it is a “hate” crime, the law penalizes hate. Should it? Do we really want the law telling us that certain opinions or feelings are illegal?

    Someone will certainly say that it’s a matter of whether you act on those feelings or not. But that’s a red herring. We’re talking here about the difference between, say, beating up a Mexican because you want his wallet, and beating him up because you don’t like Mexicans. Either way, the Mexican is beat up; but if you hate him while you’re beating him up, you get a harsher penalty, and the difference between the two penalties is your penalty for hating.

    I don’t like bigotry and racism any more than the next guy, but I think it’s very dangerous to have laws that lay extra punishment on you for your frame of mind. It’s a small step from that to, say, punishing people for hating without acting on it, or punishing people for holding the wrong opinions about government, or any other thoughts or beliefs you care to name. The conservatives have a point with this one. It borders on Thought Police territory.

    It’s hard to stand up and say “wait a second” about something like this, because it makes you sound like you’re pro-hate. Which I’m not. But I am pro-freedom, and I hesitate to jump on the bandwagon of something that is clearly intended to control how people think and feel, even if the (currently) intended targets are morally repellent people. We may find it disgusting that they feel the way they do, but if we don’t stand up for their right to think or feel that way, we may one day find ourselves with no one to defend our own rights to our opinions and thoughts.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    In the UK we’ve had these additional penalties for hate crimes for years. I believe that they are superfluous. If someone commits a crime motivated by gender, race, sexual orientation, religion etc then all this shows is that the crime was motivated and more likely to be premeditated. As such they should already receive a harsher penalty than stupid acts against random people simply because such people are more likely to re-offend.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    However, I have to agree with Shane that the point they are making is valid.

    How is it valid? You give some valid arguments against hate crime legislation, but that’s different than the “point” they make. They’re claiming that hate crime legislation values homosexuals over grandmothers As Noadi has already pointed out, that’s not the case. Hate crime legislation doesn’t specifically protect homosexuals, or fail to protect grandma. If a homosexual is attacked for a reason unrelated to his/her sexual orientation, hate crime legislation doesn’t apply. If a heterosexual is attacked because he/she is heterosexual, the increased penalties do apply. If grandma is attacked because she’s white, the increased penalties apply. It’s factually incorrect to claim that the legislation protects homosexuals over grandmothers.

    And if I have a pathological hatred of people with tattoos and go around beating people up who have them, is that a hate crime?

    No, why not? It falls under every plausible motive and explanation I have ever heard from people defending hate crime legislation. I am irrationally targeting a person because they are part of a group and the whole group feels threatened/intimidated by my actions.

    So why aren’t there laws to increase the penalty for attacking people with tattoos?

    Because it’s not true that people with tattoos are “part of group and the whole group feels threatened/intimidated by [your] actions.” You just made that up. In fact, we do not have societal problems based on systematic bigotry and violence against people with tattoos. (I would also note, in answer to another example that’s come up, that we also don’t have problems based on systematic discrimination and violence against lawyers.)

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    They’re trying to whip up more animosity toward LGBT people, and antagonism toward HR 1913, by implying that “homos will get more legal protection than defenseless grandmas”. That is, of course, patently false. But it’s not like the RRRW has ever had an affinity for the truth.

    Hate crimes laws are necessary, though I wish they weren’t. The very people who are protected by them, and are fighting ardently to keep LGBT people from having the same protections they take for granted, only prove how urgently they’re needed.

  • http://paulforpm.blogspot.com/ keddaw

    @ Autumnal Harvest:

    Because it’s not true that people with tattoos are “part of group and the whole group feels threatened/intimidated by [your] actions.” You just made that up. In fact, we do not have societal problems based on systematic bigotry and violence against people with tattoos. (I would also note, in answer to another example that’s come up, that we also don’t have problems based on systematic discrimination and violence against lawyers.)

    Bingo! Now we get to the crux of hate crime legislation and why some (liberal) people find it so dangerous and offensive.

    You are trying to fix society’s problems using patently unfair laws. Societal problems are more commonly and effectively fixed using dialogue, education and understanding.

    Incidentally, the tattoo example is/was actually true in some communities. For another example, think of the Goth kids being bullied in schools.

  • http://deleted Henry II

    I’m pretty sure this “coupon” was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

    They specifically used homosexuals as an example because H.R. 1913 was drafted with “crimes manifesting prejudice based on gender and gender identity” in mind (the exact wording of the resolution).

    Now, is that going to stop gay-bashers from interpreting it as “get the fags?” Probably not. Do the people behind it harbor anti-gay sentiments? It’s possible, yes. But I understand the general message of this to be a satirical swipe at hate crime laws in general.

  • Zar

    We prosecute acts of terrorism differently than we prosecute plain old violence, don’t we? Well, that’s what hate crime is. It is terrorism. Only instead of being directed at a country, it’s directed at an ethnicity/gender/etc.

  • Flapjack

    I’m in two minds on this one. The ad is blatant homophobic bigotry, and should be dismissed as such. However the question of premeditated assault based on a person’s sexuality or ethnicity etc. carrying a stiffer penalty that plain old assault is ambiguous.
    It might be due to the intimidation factor, and the tendancy for the offender to re-offend. You could argue that a one-off crime of passion directed at one person is less likely to trigger a repeat performance, but does that mean it’s less of a crime?
    There are several considerations to the sentance: is the offender more likely to try the same thing again if it’s a class of person they hate? Are they just as likely to pick the same number of victims from a random crossection of society if it isn’t a hatecrime? Is the intention to harm one specific person or to intimidate an entire group? Do the public need protecting? Was it pre-meditated?
    I think hatecrime should be sentanced the same as any other murder, as in, “What’s the likelyhood that this person will do it again”, except with the added disincentive to anyone considering a copycat assault based on their prejudices built into the sentance.
    This is the same reason witness intimidation gets heavy sentancing in the UK, as it discourages criminals from thinking the motive is generally treated as irrelevant to the severity of the crime.
    I used to work in a sculpting warehouse with a guy who would brag about his intent to go gay-bashing on the weekend, and it seemed clear that in his mindset at least gay-bashing could be considered as just a leisure activity.
    (With hindsight I probably should’ve reported it, but as a closet gay man in a homophobic workplace I didn’t have the confidence).
    That’s why the law is there.

  • cathy

    20% of LGB high school kids and about 28% of trans high school kids report being assaulted in any given year, and 90% report hearing homophobic insults on a routine basis. That kind of wide spread intimidation and violence doesn’t just hurt the people assaulted, it also hurts every closeted kid who can’t come out for fear of violence. Transgender people are murder victims at 10 times the national average. When you kill someone for being trans, you don’t only kill that person, you also send a message to the rest of the trans community that they are not safe and that notably trans people will be subjected to violence. These attacks aren’t random incidents, they are part of a system of violence used to prevent GLBT people from being open and to intimidate us out of the public sphere. The same thing applies to other victimized groups. These aren’t attacks that are random, where someone just happens to hate a random aspect of someone (like the tatoo example), they are part of hundreds of years of discrimination, inequality and violence. Our society already views certain types of victims as worth less than others “It’s not like I killed a school teacher or anything” (said by Angie Zapata’s murderer). Hate crimes bills are designed to protect groups that are especially vulnerable to crime. You act as if we are given an advantage with hate crime protection, being murdered at ten times the national rate isn’t an advantage. Those who commit crimes designed to keep oppressed people down deserve to be punished, and in so many cases, they aren’t punished at all, let alone punished as hate crimes (a Latino man was beaten to death recently due to his ethnicity and his killers were not even punished for assault).

  • Lost Left Coaster

    Zar, you hit the nail on the head. Hate crimes are ultimately a form of terrorism against a specific community of people.

    Why aren’t all the anti-hate crime people on here arguing that we shouldn’t target terrorism as anything special either? Either way the victims are dead. If three or five guys conspire to plant a bomb in a shopping mall, is that any different than a robber shooting several people at the shopping mall during a robbery attempt? The victims are still dead, aren’t they?

    But isn’t it clear that we recognize terrorism as a special threat to society? And isn’t it clear that we regard the terrorists intention to kill people as more of a threat to society in general than the robber killing people during the commission of his crime?

    Dwasifar said:

    I don’t like bigotry and racism any more than the next guy, but I think it’s very dangerous to have laws that lay extra punishment on you for your frame of mind. It’s a small step from that to, say, punishing people for hating without acting on it, or punishing people for holding the wrong opinions about government, or any other thoughts or beliefs you care to name. The conservatives have a point with this one. It borders on Thought Police territory.

    Again, hate crime laws do not penalize what people say or think. They penalize what people do. Bigotry is legal and is protected by the First Amendment. Committing an act of violence because the victim is gay, black, white, immigrant, etc., is illegal. The law is recognizing that these kinds of crimes are a special threat to society. It has nothing to do with penalizing thought.

    Or are people on here unfamiliar with the role that motive can play in the sentencing process? It goes far beyond hate crimes.

    I see many people say that they do not like these laws because it is so hard to prove motive. But the courts are not just guessing at people’s motives. Prosecutors have to prove hate crimes in court. There has to be solid evidence that it was a hate crime. This isn’t something that is arbitrarily applied. That goes the same for any prosecution: motive has to be demonstrated in the courtroom.

  • stogoe

    I think it’s weird that white, straight, men don’t actually believe that they have a race (white), a gender (male), or a sexual orientation (straight). It’s a part of their privilege, that they’re just ‘people’ and everyone else but them has to have a label – black people, gay people, female people.

    It ties back in with what Byron York said about the popularity of President Obama: People don’t actually like him, it’s just the ‘black people’ who like him. For many white straight males, everyone else just isn’t a person in the same way that a white, straight, male person is.

  • Stephan Goodwin

    I think a big reason why hate crime legislation is necessary is the likelihood of repeat offenders. If you are willing to attack/kill someone based on your bigotry and hatred, what is to stop you from doing it again and again?

    This is how we deal with lots of crimes in our society…hence crimes of passion are punished less since they aren’t likely to repeat (although I would argue that people who give into ‘passion’ at that level are more likely to commit a ‘passion’ crime than a random sample, hence we throw those people in jail). The more reason we have to believe a person will re-offend the more likely we are to keep them in jail longer. (I should note that this rationale may not be the official legal one)

    Also, just because you hate a group and beat them up, it doesn’t make it a hate crime. You can hate Mexicans all day, but if you beat up one for his/her wallet, it isn’t a hate crime…although if you go around sharing your hatred, it may look like a hate crime…

    I think one of the big reasons for disagreement is what we think JAIL is for. I think we throw people in jail to keep others safe, while others think jail is for punishment.

    Different jail for the same offense seems like unfair way to deal out punishment, but from the prospective of protecting the community, WHY a crime is committed and the likelihood of repeat offenses is extremely important.

  • Stephan Goodwin

    @ stogoe

    You nailed a big issue right there! I am a white straight male, but I at least partially ‘get it’ because I am an atheist married to a black woman. Hence, I get to see this crap from a lot of different angles.

    The first time someone pulled over to yell racial slurs at me even though I was alone so they were watching me days before, I get that hate makes a neighborhood more dangerous and needs to be dealt with when people act on it.

    But a lot of people don’t get it. I remember having a conversation with my father where I convinced him that, if being straight was the minority and prohibited by law he would still be straight because that’s the way he is, that he was in effect saying gay people should be allowed to be gay. It hadn’t occurred to him that anyone would try and tell him being straight is bad, because that’s the “default” position, because of course it is his position.

  • http://www.dwasifar.com dwasifar

    Lost left coaster said:

    Again, hate crime laws do not penalize what people say or think. They penalize what people do.

    If the penalty for beating someone up is X, and the penalty for beating someone up while thinking “I hate” is X plus Y, how is Y not the penalty for thinking “I hate”?

  • http://www.dwasifar.com dwasifar

    Also, the “SAY or think” business brings up an interesting new angle. The natural companion to the “hate crime” law is the “hate speech” law, wherein it becomes illegal to say hurtful things based on prejudice or bigotry. These laws exist in various jurisdictions around the world, including the USA. (For example, California’s SB1234.) They are on the same principle as “hate crime” laws; they just expand the concept to include verbal “attacks.” This development was inevitable once people accepted the idea that hate is punishable.

  • anonymouse

    I can see why people view this as “one violent crime is no better than another”.

    However, the more time someone gets for a violent crime (murder, rape) the better. I don’t believe in people going to jail over not hurting someone else (like for smoking pot). Our jails are overcrowded. Violent crimes are dangerous for society, and should be punished. Gay people and other groups shouldn’t have to live in fear of being assaulted or killed for being who they are.
    Honestly, how could you be against a hate crime bill!

  • http://www.dwasifar.com dwasifar

    anonymouse: If you are in favor of people getting harsher penalties for violent crime in general, then that’s what you should ask for – harsh sentences for ALL violent crime, not just a certain subset of motivations.

  • Spurs Fan

    If you increase penalties for “hate” crimes against certain groups it is the same as “discounting” penalties for crimes against non-recognized groups.

    Not sure if I agree with this. If the milk I buy is usually $3.80 per gallon, but then a more expensive brand milk comes along @$4.20 per gallon, then I wouldn’t make the argument that I would be “saving” $.40 now and my personal finances wouldn’t show that I had any additional income.

    The “non” hate crimes would still have the same penalty. Thus, the coupon above is void. :)

  • stogoe

    If the penalty for beating someone up is X, and the penalty for beating someone up while thinking “I hate” is X plus Y, how is Y not the penalty for thinking “I hate”?

    Y is the penalty for terrorizing an entire class of people. You can hate white people all you want, but when you “go beat up some white people so the rest of them damn crackers know their place”, that’s a criminal act with intent to terrorize. Can’t you see that’s a worse crime than getting into a bar brawl after a few too many beers?


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