Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Contacting the good Congressman

Today, I contacted Rep. Sam Graves via both e-mail and a cordial phone call concerning the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevent Act/The Matthew Shepard Act which goes up for a vote tomorrow. Here's what I had to say.

"Congressman Graves, thank you for taking the time to listen to your constituents. I’m contacting you today to urge you to vote yes on the Hate Crimes Bill, also known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevent Act/The Matthew Shepard Act.

I want you to understand that my support of this bill is not a knee-jerk reaction to support anything that is in the pro-gay agenda. I do understand the objection.

Those opposed to this bill will say that when we start punishing criminals based on what was going through their minds, there are first amendment issues at stake.

And believe me, their point isn’t entirely without merit.

As a free speech junkie, I’ve thought long and hard about this argument and I have nevertheless come to this conclusion: Murder and assault are not forms of speech.

We take motive into account every day in our courtrooms because our legal system understands that some people are more likely to kill, maim or assault again while some are not. A thrill-killer or serial killer is a greater danger to society than say, someone who has decided to take the law into their own hands and exact justice on someone who has hurt someone they love.

Both absolutely deserve to be punished, but my point is that we do take motive into account because some people are more likely to continue to be a danger to society than others.

People who commit hate crimes fall into the category of those who will most likely strike again. When one’s motives are hate and sadism, yes, they are more dangerous than other criminals.

So please, Congressman, as one of your constituents, granted one who is most likely to disagree with you on most issues, please vote yes on the Federal Hate Crimes Bill.

Again Congressman, thank you for listening. I hope you make the right decision tomorrow."

Considering his associations, I doubt he'll vote our way, but that does not excuse us from trying to get through to these people.

Anybody who's reading this, please, e-mail and/or call your Representative and ask them to vote yes on the Hate Crimes Bill.

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