In light of what happened in Chicago recently, it is important to understand that, for the most part, in spite of what some claim, our crimiinal laws, even when coupled with Hate Crime Legislation, do NOT shield any of us from harm!
How could they possibly do that?
If someone physically attacks you, criminal laws provide for the attacker’s apprehension and punishment and may later provide you some measure of financial compensation for pain and suffering but the attack happened, it is now a fact of your life and there is no Constitutional or even moral way the law could have prevented that. Criminal law is actually less effective than a home security system or some kind of personal security device that notifies emergency services at the push of a button.
Adding “Hate Crime Legislation” to that criminal law does not add another layer of protection for a member of a “protected class” of people. Hate Crime Legislation does, however, add some disincentives for the criminal. If it can be discerned that the crime was created against a member of a “protected class”, solely due to the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity, the punishment for the perpetrator is more severe. If on the other hand, the crime was committed because of an animus for that particular individual, even if he or she belongs to a protected class, it is not necessarily a hate crime.
The overall point of this post is to make sure that the reader understands that most criminal laws do not shield you from harm, they simply provide you the satisfaction of seeing that your attacker will be punished and they will possibly provide some financial aid to you, the victim.
If you want to be safe from criminals you really have to do it yourself!
* Obtain and use those home or personal security devices.
* If you are able-bodied enough, invest in some self defense training.
* Obtain a weapon and, most importantly, learn the rules for using it. If you don’t know when and where you can legally defend yourself you might wind up with serious legal problems.
There are plenty of laws ‘on the books’ that protect and/or punish the criminal and, to be fair, plenty of laws that benefit victims, but protecting yourself from a crime is pretty much up to you.