Yesterday, a shooter entered the Family Research Council and shot a man. He did so because he didn’t like what FRC stood for. He did so, because didn’t like them, he did so because he hated them. Alas, a hate crime has occurred. Now, there is no doubt that this will not get the sort of coverage that a Planned Parenthood or ACORN shooting would obtain. It won’t be covered like the George Tiller murder.
It is also highly doubtful that anyone in the MSM will label it a hate crime as the slaying of a racial minority, Muslim or homosexual would be labeled. That’s too bad because it’s the same thing.
Yet, the fact that this won’t be prosecuted as a hate crime shouldn’t bother us in the slightest. Hate crimes are a silly legislative idea at best. Why should someone’s hateful motivations increase their punishment? Is it really worse to kill someone because they are different from you than because the killer wanted their shoes? A first degree murder is going to be a first degree murder, no matter what we label it, or at least it should be. The thought police finding certain motivations aren’t normally act as aggravating factors. Should a rapist who lusts after women get less punishment than a rapist who hates women? Of course not.
There is, inherently, some sort of hate involved in any murder, yet it is nearly impossible to put labels and classifications on different types of pre-meditated murders. Even if one can determine a distinction, it is inherently unfair to set aside different standards. Sure, we have defenses under our killing statutes that can negate and lessen penalties for killings, such as self-defense and heat of passion killings, but the fact remains that we don’t judge one larceny as worse than another because the thief hates a wealthier class rather than covets the property of another. These classifications are stupid, silly and most of all — political. One can already hear the murmurs of hate crime prosecution, but the fact remains that this man is an attempted murderer and thus should receive a harsh penalty. Not because of what he thinks, but because of what he did.
Update: this article was posted when the death of the victim was being widely reported.