Proposed Law is Redundant and Dangerous
Article from Reason by J.D. Tuccille.
But there are other objections to creating a new federal crime of domestic terrorism that also need to be addressed, given the real fears of many of the people making the call, and the serious concerns such a law could raise.
For starters, it’s not clear that there’s any need to pass more laws against crimes like the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that occurred over the weekend. Murder and related forms of mayhem are already illegal in every state, and there’s no reason to believe that the federal government is better prepared to prosecute crimes than state and local authorities, who have long experience investigating such acts and bringing their perpetrators to trial.
Some advocates of a federal domestic terrorism statute concede this point, but still want a new law for largely symbolic value.
“To be clear, it is not that there are inadequate criminal statutes on the books,” writes former Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, who is now with the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University. “But neither state-law murder charges nor hate crime charges call what happened in Charlottesville what it was—domestic terrorism—and they fail to equate it under federal law, as it deserves to be equated, with the actions of ISIS-inspired terrorists who engage in violence in pursuit of their equally insidious goals.”
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By Cory Doctorow (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons