The federal government defines hate crimes as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Most states have a variation of this as their own definition, as well (hate crimes aren’t usually handled on a federal level). Despite the fact that no state that I know of has a gun stance stipulation, there are gun proponents that are apparently worried they’re going to be the victims of hate crimes.
The Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation – self-described as “dedicated to promoting a better understanding about our Constitutional heritage to privately own and possess firearms. To that end, we carry on many educational and legal action programs designed to better inform the public about the gun control debate” — is reportedly very worried that “hate speech” is going to make gun owners targeted.
Human Events, a conservative mouthpiece, reports:
“Vitriol like this only promotes hate, but apparently it’s okay to perpetuate bigotry so long as you are an anti-gunner, and a liberal. If anyone is harmed as a result of this hate campaign, we expect them to be prosecuted under the hate crimes laws,” he [Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF executive VP] said.
They go on to state that “The task force, led by Vice-President Joseph R. Biden Jr., would be making a mistake by narrowing the focus to firearms and pushing a ban on popular semiautomatic firearms will only fuel the campaign of hate now underway on cable television and in social media.”
Let’s get something straight here, conservatives: expressing a wish to have stricter controls on weapons isn’t “hate speech.” It’s political speech, and reflects a political opinion. The idea of people committing violent “hate crimes” against someone because they own guns is so amazingly ridiculous that it’s difficult to believe it’s being reported on in seriousness — wanting guns to be harder to obtain isn’t hateful. Sure, sure, guns don’t kill people — people do. The point still stands, however, that guns make it a hell of a lot easier to kill people. Point in fact, I collect weapons — weapons that are illegal in many countries that also have strict gun bans. I collect swords. Yet, if someone breaks into my home and steals a couple of them, or someone I know steals them, they’re going to have a much harder time trying to kill 20 people.
The argument that “guns don’t kill people, people do” and “we need them for self-defense because the bad guys are going to get them anyway” is the exact same argument that is made by countries like Iran and North Korea when they want to obtain nuclear weapons.