Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do Hate Crime Laws Prevent Hate Crimes?

Not hardly. B. Daniel Blatt of GayPatriot (and Pajamas Media, has a reasoned article on that question. Pink Pistols: Can Guns Protect Gays?

The discussion centers around an attack on a gay bar in Boston.
Just over two years ago, Jacob Robida, a troubled 18-year-old who lived in a room filled with weapons, Nazi flags, and anti-Semitic writings, walked into Puzzles Lounge, a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts. After presenting a fake ID to the bartender and finishing off a drink, he asked if it was a gay bar.

Upon learning that it was, he ordered a second drink. Then he went to the back of the bar and started swinging a hatchet at bar patrons, striking two. When others tried to wrestle him to the ground, he pulled out a gun and shot one person in the face, another in the head (twice), and a third person in the abdomen.
In the aftermath of this attack, the usual suspects called for the federal hate crimes bill to be passed. But what difference would that have made?
HRC President Joe Solmonese claimed the attack in New Beford was a reminder of the need for a federal hate crimes law. What he didn’t mention was that Massachusetts, the state where the attack occurred, already has hate crimes legislation on the books.

Indeed, according to the Massachusetts Department of Education, “Hate Violence Should Be Charged Under At Least 3 Statutes,” with the state’s Hate Crimes Penalties Act providing penalties for those who assault a person because of his sexual orientation (among other qualifiers). If those laws didn’t deter Robida, it’s highly unlikely that a federal law would have.
It is at best, "feel good legislation." At worst, well, we will get there later.

Having more penalties after-the-fact, will never be as effective as letting potential victims defend themselves. Of course this example highlights another issue. In most states, concealed carry is forbidden in bars, regardless of whether you are the designated driver or not. So gay bars are for the most part defenseless victim zones.

Pink Pistols is the only organization advocating self-defense for the gay community. All the rest of the organizations are in strict lockstep with the orthodoxy of the Left. (i.e., "guns are bad!") But if 3 laws didn't stop an attack on gays in Boston, why does the Left think that the 4th will magically solve the problem?

Self-defense is a human right.

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