Not Good Enough

Any polar bear can tell you that claws are necessary. If a bear has no claws, said bear has no weaponry. Yes, the large size of the paws and the roar are, indeed, intimidating. But there have to be claws, because if the bear cannot exact its penalty upon the attacker, it will be threatened again.

So it is with hate crimes.

HR1492 has already passed the House, and is pending in the Senate. George Bush has already announced he’ll veto it, which is exactly what you’d expect of the Asshole In Chief. It should pass, and one hopes the Presidential veto might be overridden.

But it’s not good enough. Not by a long shot.

Cazares, the most culpable of Gwen Araujo’s murderers (not manslaughterers, I saud murderers, in cold blood), got 7 years in jail. He didn’t get life without parole. He didn’t get death by lethal injection.

7 years. Possibly less with parole.

For a young human life.

Where were the claws?

There’s a case, recently cracked, in Arizona. You guessed it. Transperson dead, found in a creekbed, multiple stabbings. 2 years later, they find the perpetrator. Grand jury indicts him. For manslaughter.

Not murder.

Manslaughter.

Probably 3-5 years in jail if convicted.

Where are the claws?

There’s a kid named Tim. Got killed in the inner city of Louisville. Was found wearing women’s clothing. Transgendered, liked hanging at the clubs. Wasn’t doing anything wrong. The cops claim to not have a lead. Mother says she knows who it was and has evidence.

Somebody’s getting away with murder.

Where are the claws?

In the shopping center across from my home, a shooting happened a couple weeks ago. A retired Jeffersontown cop named Koenig shot a young person.

For cutting him off in a parking lot.

Koenig’s had a reputation for years. He was well known when I was young and hanging around with friends in Jeffersontown. The cop you didn’t want to mess with. It was said he’d beat the shit out of people, that he and his friends would gang swarm you and beat you if you gave them any lip at all, and that he was racist and homophobic. Never happened to me, I always made a point of not putting myself in such a position.
Now he’s retired. He put 6 rounds in a young person’s body, for cutting him off in a mostly empty suburban parking lot. It’s good to see he hasn’t changed a bit. One round lodged in the kid’s brain. He is going to be a vegetable. I doubt Koenig cares. But the kid’s parents care. They filed for a warrant on Koenig. He needs to spend the rest of his life in jail.

Claws.

They are needed.

The hate crimes law is nice, I strongly favor its passing, and hate George Bush for being duplicitous and stupid enough to wish to veto it. But it doesn’t go far enough for my taste. I feel that any deliberate hate-motivated killing under a hate crimes law should be defined automatically as capital murder, and that the automatic penalty upon conviction be death, or life without parole. I feel that is needed to send the message that killing people for who they are, regardless of that being race, GLBT, religion, or national origin, is totally unacceptable.

I also feel that murderers like Cazares and Koenig are rabid dogs that must, for the good of society, be put down. We can’t cure the disease they have, so let’s put them down.

That requires claws.

And something else that politicians lack these days.

Balls.

PB

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