Texas, the same state where you can be jailed for owning or selling a vibrator, has done it again. Lawmakers in Texas are proposing a bill that would make assaulting a police officer or first responder a hate crime.
This knee jerk reaction is in direct response to the 5 police officers that were shot and killed this past weekend. The bill aims to make penalties harsher on those who attack the boys in blue, but that’s not even remotely necessary.
To date 58 police have been killed in the line of duty this year. That may seem like a lot of people, until you realize that there are more than 765,000 sworn law enforcement officials in this country. That’s a remarkably small percentage of police officers.
It’s insane that if 5 police officers are shot in a weekend wide spread panic from lawmakers is almost certain. But police can kill 3 people a day on average, all year long, and the response isn’t just minimal, it’s non-existent.
Over reaction aside, the real issue with this proposed law is that police are not a protected class. Being a police officer is an occupation. Just like a garbage man, or hooker, or panhandler. That’s something you do, not something you are. According to the FBI, hate crimes are crimes that are “motivated, in whole or in part by the offender’s bias against” a protected class.
Typically protected classes include race sex, ethnicity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
You know what’s not on the list? Occupation. You know why? Because that would be fucking stupid and all encompassing. Everyone has an occupation. Hell, you could even discriminate against people who are unemployed and go out and attack them. Attacking unemployed people would make you a big old dick, but not guilty of a hate crime.
If you want to pass a law that makes it illegal to assault police officers that’s fine. In fact, most jurisdictions already have laws on their books that make it illegal to attack any government employee while they’re doing their job. So why on earth would this redundant law?
To prove a point. We hear you loud and clear. Loud and clear.