Hate Crime

A lot of people are arguing about whether or not Dylann Storm Roof is a terrorist, and whether or not his slaughter of 9 people inside a church should be considered an act of terrorism, or maybe a hate crime, or the work of a lone, deranged gunman.
I don’t think it makes a great deal of difference.
Oh, it might be useful in debating the issues. Precision of thought, range of opinions, no two cases are exactly the same, stuff like that.
But, as far as how Dylann Storm Roof is charged, and punished, it should make no difference at all. You are not allowed to kill people because you hate their race, or their religion. You are not allowed to kill people to further your political agenda – well, unless you’re the government, anyway. You are not allowed to kill people because you want to steal their money, or their car. You are not allowed to kill people for pay. You are not allowed to kill people if you are really, really pissed off at them. Even if you are pissed off at them for a good reason.
This is why I think hate crime laws, and anti-terrorist laws, are silly. Murder is already illegal, and motive does not matter. Which is as it should be. Once motive becomes a factor, once one kind of murder is deemed worse than another, then some kinds of murder become not so bad. And that is unacceptable.
Especially to the person who gets murdered.

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