Sunday, July 12, 2009

CSM On New Hate-Crimes Law: No

Not 'cos the Chistian Science Monitor's David Rittgers thinks hate crimes happen but because he knows they do -- and when they do, the law doesn't go after the perps for wrongthink, it goes after them for being criminals: "Those who commit crimes of violence motivated by extremist ideology are consistently locked up by a rule of law that criminalizes their actions, not their ideas."

...This, as Mary Baker Eddy's second-best-known creation informs us, is precisely as it should be and avoids a very real problem: "...making the ideology of the perpetrator a centerpiece of the trial doesn't deter like-minded extremists; it encourages them."

Let's not give the ijits any martyrs -- and let's allow bad ideas to fail in public, under the weight of their own foolhardiness. One of the most basic components of the idea that is the United States is that you can be trusted to make up your own mind.

If Congress wants to pull a few dimes out of the porkfest for better demographic data on crime stats, that may not be such a terrible idea (other than that whole paying for it with other people's money thing). But let us not push the idea of thoughtcrimes any further than it's already gone.

It's wrong to harm others, whatever the motive; it doesn't get any less wrong if you only did it for meth money.

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