Senator Kerry On Hate Crimes
A horrific attack in a New Bedford bar has apparently inspired Sen. John Kerry to renew his call for passing federal "hate crimes" legislation:
“We cannot tolerate bigotry anywhere, or accept the hatred that promotes fear and breeds contempt. We’re not giving voice to our values if we allow such hateful acts of violence to go unnoticed and unpunished. The brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in 1998 wasn’t enough to force Washington to do what is right. The question is whether we will act to make America more just in the face of this latest violence, or whether Congress will ignore its responsibility even longer, just as it did when it turned a blind eye to the bombing of black churches or the scourge of lynchings.
“It’s long overdue for this government to make it clear that hate crimes in America will receive the stiffest punishment under the law. It’s long overdue to pass Senator Kennedy’s federal hate crimes legislation. We will all be judged by how we stand up and fight against this tragic violence.”
He's right, of course; I mean, if only Massachusetts had a law against attacking people with hatchets and shooting them, we might not need such federal legislation. Consider that Matthew Shepard's killers received only two consecutive life sentences (each -- plea bargained to avoid the death penalty, which they probably would have gotten otherwise). If the murders would have known that they could have gotten an extra 10 years in prison on top of those two life sentences, that may have been just what they needed to deter them.
Or, consider the animals who murdered James Bird in Texas. Only two of the three received a death sentence; the third got a life term. With hate crimes legislation, they might have gotten... well, if the progressives who support hate crimes legislation have their way, not the death penalty.
In my opinion, hate crimes legislation is nothing more than a political sop for "oppressed" groups, and will do nothing to deter crime. If someone doesn't already know you can't atttack people with axes and guns, passage of a new law won't help them realize it any better.
[Note: In reading the above, please understand that I was not being sarcastic in describing the crimes and criminals as "horrific" and "animals"; only in the sections about "additional" penalties "hate crimes" legislation might impose was I writing ironical...]
Update 1843 04 Feb: They caught the teen mentioned at the top; he reportedly gunned down a policeman in Arkansas before being wounded in a shootout. Arkansas has the death penalty, so I doubt he'll even get back to Massachusetts to stand trial.
If you have a strong stomach, and want to explore what this evil little sh*t was thinking, here's his MySpace website. (Not sure how much longer it'll be up.)