Why “Hate Crime” Laws are Immoral and Counter-Productive
Hate crime law supporters weakened our criminal justice system and self-defense rights – and now they want to fix the system only for themselves.
By Michael D. Robbins, Director
Public Safety Project
P.O. Box 2193
El Segundo, CA 90245
August 31, 2001
Revised September 4, 2001 and September 1, 2012.
Mr. Robbins is a Jew and the son of a survivor of pogroms (government sanctioned and sponsored torture and mass murder of Jews) in the former Communist Soviet Union.
This is the September 1, 2012 updated version of the article first posted on FraudFactor.com on August 31, 2001 as “Hate Crime Law Supporters Weakened Our Criminal Justice System and Self-Defense Rights”, and revised on September 4, 2001, at http://www.FraudFactor.com/ff_first_draft_0006.html. The original article and all revisions were written by Michael D. Robbins.
Public Safety Project – There are numerous problems with “hate crime” laws that increase the punishment for violent crimes, property crimes, and other crimes including intimidation primarily, if not only, where the victim is Black, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, homosexual, or some other “minority” and the criminal expressed hatred as a motivation for the crime.
Although hatred based on race, ethnicity, religion, or legal but repulsive deviant sexual behavior is rude, vulgar, and despicable, in a free society, people have a right to be rude, vulgar, and despicable – as long as they are not violating the individual rights of other people, especially by directly harming them, their property, their business, or their reputation through slander or libel. The primary purpose of government in a free society is to protect individual rights and freedom, not to infringe on those rights and freedom.
Various compelling arguments have been made against hate crime laws, yet a significant and perhaps most compelling argument against hate crime laws has not been made except by this author, to the best of this author’s knowledge. This new argument is presented below as the first and primary argument against hate crime laws. Additional arguments follow.
Fixing Criminal Justice System Weaknesses Only for a Select Few
The most insidious aspect of hate crime laws is that they fix our weakened criminal justice system only for a select few and not for everyone across the board. Under hate crime laws, the government is discriminating and playing favorites based on race, ethnicity, gender, or homosexual or other deviant behavior (“sexual orientation”). Hate crime laws are promoted by activists in the most Leftist (“liberal” or “progressive”) soft-on-crime political factions that have consistently voted for Leftist soft-on-crime Democrats who have greatly weakened our criminal justice system and eroded our Natural Right as recognized by the Constitution to own and carry firearms for self-defense.
Multiple studies by Professor Gary Kleck have shown that defense with a firearm is significantly safer and more effective than any other method, including non-resistance. A firearm is a great equalizer, allowing violent crime victims to overcome criminal attackers who rely on physical strength superiority, numerical superiority, or both.
The Leftist political factions include Blacks, Jews, and homosexuals, who typically have 80 to 90 percent Democrat voter registration rates and vote as a block for Leftist Democrat politicians.
After weakening our criminal justice system and self-defense rights, thereby increasing violent crime and endangering everyone, Leftist politicians, political activists, and “community leaders” are now trying to fix the criminal justice system and increase criminal penalties only for their own benefit, when they and the groups they pander to become crime victims. They refuse to fix the criminal justice system for everyone across the board. Instead, they create special privileged classes in a patronage system where special privileges and protections are given in exchange for votes, campaign contributions, and other forms of campaign support.
Fix the Criminal Justice System for Everyone
If the penalties for violent crimes, property crimes, and intimidation are too lenient, then the penalties should be increased regardless of the race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual behavior (“orientation”) of the crime victim. This can be accomplished by electing conservative Republican legislators and through voter initiatives in states where voters have the right of initiative. We can make everyone safer by strengthening the criminal justice system with Truth-in-Sentencing and Three-Strikes laws, and sufficient new prison construction to prevent the early release of dangerous felons. If Leftist Democrat governors and presidents have appointed Leftist soft-on-crime judges, then all voters, including Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, and homosexuals, should vote to elect Republican governors and presidents who will appoint conservative tough-on-crime judges.
So-called “hate crime” laws should be rejected in favor of strengthening our criminal justice system where necessary, and restoring self-defense rights by allowing all law-abiding adults who pass the background check to carry loaded concealed handguns in public for self-protection. Thirty-eight states now have right to self-defense laws that require that self-defense permits (“concealed carry weapon” or CCW permits) be issued on a “shall issue” basis to applicants who meet uniform standards established by the state legislature.
This prevents arbitrary denial of self-defense permits to all but a select few politicians, Hollywood celebrities, wealthy corporate executives, and big campaign contributors as in California. In states with “Shall Issue” Right to Self-Defense laws, self-defense permits are no longer arbitrarily denied on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, age, or social or economic status as in California, New York, and other states.
The “Shall Issue” states have experienced significant murder rate reductions with no significant adverse effects. In these states, the right to self-defense does not cease to exist once you leave your home or business, and the criminals know that fact, but they do not know who is armed and who is not. Criminals commit fewer violent crimes against people who may be armed.
Relative Intimidation Impact of Violent Crimes
The argument that so-called hate crimes are more severe because they can intimidate many or all people in the same identifiable group within a community (e.g., same race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or deviant sexual behavior) is weak if not entirely wrong. Crimes of violence and intimidation that do not target any specific identifiable group can intimidate everyone in an entire community regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and deviant sexual behavior, thereby impacting a greater number of people. Crimes that target a specific identifiable group intimidate fewer people than the entire population of a given community, and therefore have a lesser total intimidation effect.
Punishing Thoughts and Speech
Another problem with hate crime laws goes beyond the common criticism that they violate the First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech. Hate crime laws actually punish people for their thoughts. The speech merely provides evidence of what the accused person was thinking. But the punishment is actually attached to the thoughts, not the speech expressing those thoughts. Furthermore, the speech is used to interpret the thoughts, and may be an unreliable indicator of the true thoughts.
Conversely, thought is the precursor to speech, and punishing thought is therefore an infringement on Freedom of Speech.
Punishing thoughts sets an extremely dangerous precedent that can be used to punish and imprison people simply for their thoughts regardless of any actual behavior, and for the government’s perception and disapproval of those thoughts.
Thus, the “liberal” Leftist Democrats are promoting laws and policies that violate Free of Speech and even punish thoughts, and reduce public safety, while conservative Republicans and Libertarians are protecting Free of Speech and thoughts, and promoting laws and policies that actually improve public safety for everyone.
Yet another problem with hate crime laws is their absurd implicit claim that some crimes of violence and intimidation lack hate. Are we to believe there are “love crimes” of violence and intimidation? Hate crime laws are based on the false premise that for two violent crimes with identical circumstances and outcomes, but with victims of different race or religion, one crime can be more “hateful” than the other and should therefore receive a more severe punishment.
Use the Strongest Arguments to Educate the Public
In conclusion, we should use the strongest available arguments to educate the public on the dangers and discrimination of hate crime laws and on the benefits of the superior alternatives. In fact, under the definition of “hate crime”, enactment of hate crime laws may be considered a hate crime, because these laws endanger and victimize people based on their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual behavior, and in many cases, a hatred for their race, ethnicity, gender, or religion by those promoting and enacting such laws.
First Posted: Friday, August 31, 2001 – 10:06 a.m. Pacific Time
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2001 – 11:48 p.m. Pacific Time
Last Updated: Saturday, September 1, 2012 – 6:50 p.m. Pacific Time
©2001 and 2012 by Michael D. Robbins.