WITH CRIMES LIKE THESE…

Don’t listen to the Libertarians, ignore them and others who complain about the number of laws in America. We don’t have too many laws, we have too small a number of crimes.

That is apparently the reason Congress passed a bill in 2009 containing ‘Hate-Crime’ legislation. It doesn’t make it a crime to hate, so all you political radio hosts can breathe a sigh of relief. What the bill does is make it a crime to beat somebody up because you hate their religion, lifestyle, race, or facial piercings.

For example, you could always be arrested for beating up an Inuit*, ever since the fifties, anyway. However, if you attacked him because you don’t like the blubber-munching wife-traders who leave their old people on an ice floe to be eaten by polar bears, you get an extra charge. If you don’t care one whit that the iglooists can’t make up their goddamned minds, and settle on ONE word for ‘snow’, then it’s still simple battery. You just felt like hitting somebody, and Nanook was too busy warming his hands in fresh road-kill to defend himself? You get out in a year or two, Nanook has a story to tell his grand-kids. Beat up a Hungarian because his paprika-stained long-overdue-for-a-trim mustache ticks you off, however, and you are now looking at a couple of extra years in the big house, giving your sweet roll to Big Jake. Plus, Jake will also likely take your dessert at mealtime.

Some people are against these new laws, their reasoning being that a crime is a crime, no matter why it was perpetrated, by whom it was committed, nor the race, creed, dress, walk, hair style, or favored athletic team of the victim per said criminal activity. Proponents point out that motive matters in murder trials. Kill someone because they cheated on you, you get 5-15. Kill someone for their social security check, and you get anywhere from life to the electric chair. That’s unfair, say I. Does it ever matter why someone robbed a bank? Nossiree, Bob. Whether you took money from the till for food, medicine, or tickets to the Super Bowl, you get the same sentence. Say hi to Jake for me, willya?

But the argument is moot at this point. The law has been passed. Haters have seen their rights impinged. And the cat is out of the bag (bagging felines in the first place is a ‘pet crime’, BTW), insofar as emotion and situationally-motivated criminal deeds are concerned. We can expect more such laws, creating new charges for our case-clogged justice system to deal with. Laws such as:

Happy crimes-You tore down the goal posts at the stadium after your cross-town rivals folded like corn-stalks under a UFO? Don’t tell the cops you did it out of sheer joy. You fired a gun in the air during your daughter’s wedding, and the bullet landed in someone’s shoulder twelve blocks away? If you confess that you did it in a fit of exuberance because now someone else has to feed her and pay to fix her car every time she ignores the ‘Check Oil’  light for too long, here come the Feds with extra warrants and tasers. And the ‘Happiness Management‘ classes are a real downer.

Wait crimes– You’ve been in line at KFC for 30 minutes, only to see the last piece of Extra Crispy disappear into a bucket for some jerk at the drive-thru? I don’t blame you for jumping the counter and pistol-whipping the manager for having only one cashier during rush hour. It needed doing, but now you are gonna ‘wait’ a while longer.
You sat for an hour in the little ‘waiting room’ at your gastroenterologist’s office? While you listened to him talking to a drug salesman just outside the door about last night’s game(..and then we tore down the goalposts! Sweet!)? Don’t steal the roll of adhesive tape. Don’t slice the cushions on the examination table. Forget what you’re thinking about doing with those tongue depressors when Dr. Indifferent finally walks in. Hard to believe, but the medical care in prison is even worse than on the outside.

Date Crimes– I’ve been stood up, too. I had a gal leave me for another man in the middle of a party. Still, that is NO reason to steal money from her purse, start a fight with the bouncer, or drive away drunk and get pulled. I didn’t need the provisions of the Dater’s Rights bill that provide for extra jail time to know that such childish retaliation was wrong, I’m in enough trouble.

Late Crimes– Sorry you’re late? You’re gonna be even sorrier soon, pal. Mark my words.

 
Author’s note: No Inuits were physically harmed in the writing of this essay.
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