We don’t need to go to ISIS in some Middle East of African sewer of a country to witness horrible crimes. We’ve got a doozy right here at home, in good-old Chicago, Murder Capitol USA (sorry Detroit; you’re minor league now). The ugly, ugly details are reported here

It’s pretty clear that this heinous crime fits the definition of “hate crime.” But, regardless of how one labels the crime, it shows that the perpetrators are animals, and should be given the maximum penalties allowed under law.

Calling it a “hate crime” only amplifies the social justice warriors’ crusade (eek! That’s a micro-aggression, or something) that seeks to punish thoughts and motives.

My core problem with “hate crime” is that the term is merely another way of saying “thought crime.” In today’s world, there are many instances of what Orwell labeled “thoughtcrime,” considered (per Google) “an instance of unorthodox or controversial thinking, considered as a criminal offense or as socially unacceptable.” The obvious problem is this: once we embark on punishing “hate crimes” differently than plain vanilla crimes, at what point do we stop?

Yes, many of us imperfect humans harbor hateful thoughts about members of certain groups. But do we not have the right to think what we may?

If thoughts become actions, and those actions are crimes, yes, by all means, bring the offenders to justice. But let the punishment for the crime not be harsher for one who has bad thoughts about his victim. To have different scales of justice for those who harbor hateful thoughts would seem to violate both our freedom of speech and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

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