When I heard about H.R. 1955, I thought it was about hate crimes. I was wrong. It's about thought crimes. The latest anti-terrorism bill - presented by a Democrat, is H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. I have always been against hate crimes laws and from what I'm reading so far, I think I am against H.R. 1955, which some are calling a "thought crimes" bill. But is it really about thought crimes?
Presently this bill does not create any new laws. What it does do is create a commission to do a study:
... Nowhere in there does it establish any criminal penalties or say that anything that falls within the definitions violate any criminal code of the US. What it does do is establish a commission to study things that the "commission" decides falls within those definitions and report back to congress those findings every 6 months with a final report due in 18 months. This bill does not "in essence" create thought crimes, but it does set up a commission to study them. It is not "the legislation" to implement them ... (more at Free Market News Network)
The bill is supposed to be about "preventing violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States [and] is critical to combating domestic terrorism."
(b) Purpose- The purposes of the Commission are the following:
(1) Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States, including United States connections to non-United States persons and networks, violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in prison, individual or lone wolf’ violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence, and other faces of the phenomena of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence that the Commission considers important.
(2) Build upon and bring together the work of other entities and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of–
(A) the Center of Excellence established or designated under section 899D, and other academic work, as appropriate;
(B) Federal, State, local, or tribal studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence; and
(C) foreign government studies of, reviews of, and experiences with violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence.
Section 899D of the bill establishes a Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States. Essentially, this will be a Department of Homeland Security affiliated institution that will study and determine how to defeat thought criminals. (more)
Some say this violates our civil rights and goes against the Constitution.
This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution. (more at roguegovernment)
With Hate crimes laws a criminal, whether he is guilty of murder, rape, whatever, is given a more severe punishment because the hate thoughts he/she had leading up to the crime. I think this is wrong. With HATE crimes laws:
While motive or state of mind are routinely considered in criminal cases (as mitigating or aggravating factors,) ideology is not routinely invoked in determining the seriousness of an alleged crime. Hate crime legislation, however, is expressly designed to punish particular thoughts or ideas.
Its advocates argue that hate crimes demand differential treatment because they are crimes against communities, not just individuals. Hate crimes "are more serious than a normal assault because they target not just an individual, but an entire group of people," [snip]
When someone convicted of assaulting one woman is subject to an enhanced prison sentence or a more vigorous prosecution because his assault was motivated by a hateful belief in the inherent inferiority of all women, then he is being punished for his thoughts as well as his conduct. (Wall Street Journal)
It seems that H.R. 1955 may have some very good intentions. With home grown terrorists, we want to catch them before they actually carry out a terror attack on American soil. But I don't believe anyone would be arrested for what someone in government thinks the individual has in his/her mind, without tangible material evidence to back up the charges.
What do you think about this bill?
Asking the question and Trackposted to Stop the ACLU, Lost Paradise, Perri Nelson's Website, , A Blog For All, AZAMATTEROFACT, guerrilla radio, 123beta, Stix Blog, The Populist, Big Dog's Weblog, The Amboy Times, Cao's Blog, Conservative Cat, Jo's Cafe, Adeline and Hazel, Conservative Thoughts, Nuke's, third world county, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The Uncooperative Radio Show!, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, Republican National Convention Blog, CORSARI D'ITALIA, Right Voices, and Church and State, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.