Recently, I received the following email Action by the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC):
Please urge your delegate, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, to support SB 111/HB 528.
SB 111/HB 528 would expand the definition of hate crimes to include hate-related attacks committed against homeless individuals. The House Judiciary Committee will likely take a vote on the legislation in the next week. SB 111 already passed the Senate, with a vote of 40 to 4.
In 2007, homeless individuals were victims of 160 documented acts of violence across the United States. 31 of these individuals were killed. From 1999 to 2006, at least 187 such deaths were reported - more than twice the number of hate crimes reported against currently-protected groups.
Some of these murders have taken place in Maryland. When one of the Maryland attackers - who had bludgeoned several homeless men, killing two - was asked why he had done such a thing, he answered, "I consider them trash." Another homeless individual was beaten to death in Frederick just weeks ago. His alleged attacker commented to police, "Oh him, he's just a beggar, a vagrant."
First, let me say that killing a homeless man, because he has some money or is homeless is wrong, wrong, wrong and the attacker should be punished to he full extent of the law.
But do we need to make it a “special protected category/group”?
What about combat veterans? What about plumbers? What about one legged, red-heads who are left handed and have a history of flirting with police officers?
Shouldn't the MCC push to have these people a "protected class"?
Why should some killings be considered more heinous than others?
Is their life more important than that of my spouse or children? I don’t think so.
Is this what the MCC is spending its limited time and money on?
I have a better solution: Fire Richard Dowling, the MCC Executive Director. We can save a hell of a lot of money that way.